Robin Jensen Repudiates the Claims of Tabor in No Uncertain Terms: Or, How the ‘Jesus Discovery’ Deceives

The latest in the series being posted by ASOR concerning the ‘Jesus Discovery’ is by Robin Jensen, who repudiates Tabor’s claim that Jensen agrees with his findings.  She observes

At the end of our second day of filming (in the Catacomb of Priscilla), someone suddenly thrust a photograph into my hands and asked me to comment upon it while cameras were running. I was asked if it might be an image of Jonah. I really didn’t know what to say. What I did say was something like this (I don’t recall my actual words):

“If (and it’s a big IF) this were an actual image of Jonah from the first century, it looks nothing like the images we have just been discussing. If this dates to the first century, it also would be two hundred years older (more or less) than the next earliest image of Jonah. It would be unique. I cannot say more than that.”

I did not say that I believed the photograph to show an early Christian image of Jonah. In fact I have not clear idea what the image was that I was shown. I had no opportunity to study the photograph prior to my being asked, on camera, what I thought. In a later meeting, I had a longer time to study and came to the conclusion that the image likely depicted something other than Jonah.

Once I knew how my judgments were going to be used, I persistently tried to get my “handlers” to understand the much later Christian art from Rome is of an entirely different style and content than anything from first-century Palestine. There simply is no significant correlation between them. Because of this, my expertise was totally irrelevant. I know very little about ossuary art and could not possibly verify anything related to their authenticity or their iconography.

Therefore, I absolutely refute any claim that I concur with the interpretation of any first-century ossuary iconography as depicting Jonah. Nor do I believe that “first-century visual evidence of Christian belief in the resurrection” has been discovered to date.

When ‘scholars’  or journalists twist the words of others simply to make them fit the ‘facts’ they want to present, not only is it dishonest, it’s despicable.

4 thoughts on “Robin Jensen Repudiates the Claims of Tabor in No Uncertain Terms: Or, How the ‘Jesus Discovery’ Deceives

  1. I’m afraid that this has happened before. Bovon had to issue a similar statement after his views were misrepresented in the previous Talpiot Tomb documentary.


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