All of us scholars are disenchanted when archaeological discoveries are presented too sensationally or are used to “prove” the Bible truthful or fallacious.
Absolutely true. Could not agree more.
By profession, scholars shun sensationalism and do not feel the need to defend biblical truths.
We are dedicated to a means of expression in which certainty appears in a spectrum from “conceivable to probable.”
Thus, it is as absurd to claim with absolute certainty that the Patio Tomb preserves the remains of some of Jesus’ first followers
as it is unwise to pronounce with equal vigor that such a possibility is unthinkable.
Completely false. Some things really are impossible and in the case of the ‘Patio Tomb’ or the ‘Talpiot Tomb’ or whatever people decide to call it (I prefer the Silwan Cave), there is simply no way, just no way whatsoever, to connect the remains of any part of that tomb with the family of Jesus or of his disciples. Such a determination requires our possession of multiple samples authenticated to stem from the disciples or Jesus’ family. So where’s the evidence besides in the fertile imagination of those selling the tomb via books and Discovery channel specials? Where’s the demonstration? Where’s the ‘here we have a sample of Mary’s DNA with which we can compare the DNA of UNDISTURBED tombs excavated by legitimate archaeologists in controlled digs’?
There is none, so, therefore, it is absurd to claim a familial connection notwithstanding Professor Charlesworth’s hesitancy to say so.
Some things, some claims, simply are absurd and scholars have to say the words. Leave the dilettantes and the conspiracy theorists a tiny hole and they will make it into a giant cavern. They will turn Charlesworth’s ‘it’s possible’ into ‘James Charlesworth says it’s likely that Jesus’ family tomb has been located’. And then it will become a ‘truth’ that cannot be dislodged (just as has happened in the case of the Shroud of Turin).
- The Third Quest, For the Historical Charlesworth (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
- Talpiyot B / Patio Tomb Roundup ~ The Final Nails in the Ossuary(ies) (rogueclassicism.com)
- Who’s Telling the Truth? Charlesworth or Tabor? (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)