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Re: Jesus Family Tombs?? (fwd)

Ed and Chuck:

Since several had complained that this Jerusalem ossuary name discussion was
out of place on the Orion List, having little or nothing to do with DSS, I
have dropped it--duly chastened.  However, now with your two latest posts, I
feel I must add a comment.  I think you might be confusing things here.  My
friend Joseph Zias, the "bone man" at the IAA, has confirmed that the tomb in
question was found in East Talpiot (Armon Hanatziv) in 1980--there were nine
in all, including the names Yeshua bar Yohosef, Yehosef, two Miriams, a
Yehuda bar Yeshua, and a Mattai.  The other three have not been publicized as
yet.  Everyone who has discussed this tomb so far--including Zias, Father
O'Conner, Zvi Greenhut, Motti Neiger, Amos Kloner, Post reporter Rabinovich,
etc. has agreed that these names were found in this one tomb.  So, I am a bit
confused here.  I rather think the ossuary to which you and Chuck refer is
not under discussion here, but rather another that may or may not appear in
the Rahmani catalogue--I don't have a copy so I can't look it up.  Whether
this discussion should move to IOUDAIOS or not, we should at least get our
facts straight before we drop it.

James Tabor  

In a message dated 96-04-08 17:35:21 EDT, Ed Cook  writes:

>Apparently the ossuary was "discovered" in the museum basement by E.L.
>Sukenik in 1926. It has long been known to archaeologists and has been
>anthologized several times, most recently in Fitzmyer & Harrington's _Manual
>of Palestinian Aramaic Texts_.  Sukenik himself was the first to assert that
>any connection to the family of Jesus of Nazareth was misconceived in view
>the commonness of the names involved. I don't think Sukenik can be accused
>having been a Christian apologist.
>Further to the question of the chances of a random co-occurrence of these
>names: I'm not aware of any other "Yeshua bar Yehosef"'s among the Aramaic
>ossuaries, but there  are at least 2 separate "Yehuda bar Yehohanan"'s
>the small (30-40) corpus of Aramaic ossuaries. I imagine that the more
>name would not be any less common.
>Finally: It does not appear that the "Jesus ossuary" was found with any
>inscribed material.  Early reports of other ossuaries bearing the names of
>Mary, etc., were apparently mistaken.
>Ed Cook
>Aramaic Lexicon Project
>Hebrew Union College