First it was the Jesus Family Tomb. Then it was the Nails of the Cross. Now, the same folks who brought you this nonsense are about to go for more sensationalistic cash with their latest discovery: “The Ossuary of Jonah.”
Word that soon the world will hear an announcement that the ossuary of Jonah has been ‘discovered’ at Talpiot, near the putative ‘ossuary of Jesus’ family’ has come around through a source in Jerusalem ‘in the know’.
But there’s already a problem with the alleged claim: this motif first appears in Duro Europos in the 3rd century. And even more importantly, such graffiti would never appear on an ossuary.
Like the ‘Jesus tomb’ press release, the upcoming announcement of the discovery of ‘Jonah’s Tomb’ appears to be aimed at generating publicity for an upcoming book (by Tabor [UNC-Charlotte] and Jacobovici [Canadian on the Discovery Channel] and through Simon and Schuster) and tv special.
Is it the real deal? Who knows till the claim is fully fleshed out with meticulous detail. But these days, when so many claims are made and the media grabs hold of them and promotes them without bothering to check into them with more than just their promoters, skepticism is in order. No, skepticism is demanded. Just look what a hoopla was made of the ‘ossuary of James’ and the ‘family tomb of Jesus’ and ‘the lead codices’. All nonsense but all vaunted by the ignorant media as though they were the real thing.
The truth is, you have a better chance of finding the bones of Jonah’s big fish (in popular talk, the ‘whale’- but of course we all know that ‘big fish’ means only that and not ‘whale’) than you do in finding accuracy in the media when it comes to the bible or ‘biblical archaeology’.
But come to think of it, I think I have some of the big fish’s bones in my freezer. Now I just need to have connections at the Discovery Channel to turn the ‘find’ into a special.