Searching for the Talpiot Tomb
by James Tabor
Posting Professor Groh’s review of my book The Jesus Dynasty this morning has gotten me to thinking way, way, back to April 2006 when that book came out and public news about “The Talpiot Jesus Tomb” first made national headlines. This was over a year before the Simcha Jacobovici and James Cameron film, The Lost Tomb of Jesus was broadcast on the Discovery Channel in 2007. Although I began this blog in January, 2009, I decided to archive the posts from my previous blog, called, the “Jesus Dynasty” that I began when the book was published. Here is a brief description of my history as a “biblioblogger”:
I stepped into the newly emerging field of “biblioblogging” in April, 2006 with the publication of my book, The Jesus Dynasty. The blog at that time was called, accordingly, “The Jesus Dynasty.” My original focus was on the “historical Jesus” and issues related thereto. In order to accommodate a wider range of postings on “all things biblical,” I decided it would be best to inaugurate this new one, simply called “TaborBlog,” January 1, 2009. Many of the relevant posts from “The Jesus Dynasty” blog were migrated over to this one when I made the change, especially those covering the subject of the Talpiot Jesus family tomb, giving it a rich and deep archive reaching back to 2006.
What struck me today was the realization of how many countless posts I had done over the past six years that dealt in one way or the other with the Talpiot “Jesus” tomb. I decided to run a search, just for the single word “Talpiot,” and I got back 96 results! Since these results include posts that even mention the Talpiot tomb I am estimating that on my blog right now are upwards of at least fifty posts that deal with “all things Talpiot” in great detail. In fact, because I have been so diligent to chronicle every aspect of the topic from “day one,” as we say, I dare say that my blog probably has the most extensive collection of “Talpiot Jesus tomb” materials anywhere. I have been careful to answer all the critics from all quarters, always trying to be fair but factual, and never engaging in personal polemics.
I have tried my best to present the “best evidence” as I see it. I must also say, in my judgment at least, 90% of the objections one hears to the “Talpiot Jesus tomb” hypothesis, which I consider to be likely true, have been extensively addressed in these posts. The problem I continually see on blogs, op-ed pieces, and the Internet more widely is that despite all efforts the basic facts on the Talpiot tomb have somehow not gotten through. What amazes me is how many people who comment on the subject, even many of my colleagues who should know better, have not bothered to inform themselves on even the most basic parameters of the discussion.
I don’t think “underinformed” is, technically speaking, a proper English word, but I will use it here nonetheless. The most common objection, of course, is that the “names in the Talpiot tomb are common,” a view that has been repeatedly refuted, not just by me but by those with much better credentials to comment. For a start, see Jerry Lutgen’s work on the web site Bible & Interpretation here (yes, this is the link to previews of all 96 posts!) but while you are there do a search for “Talpiot” and you will be amazed at all the solidly scientific posts and articles, most of which have been unfortunately ignored.
You can see the full search results here all the way back to the beginning. I wonder if anyone could possibly have the stamina to read them all. Anyway, for those interested, Happy reading–and if anyone reads all 96 of these post I need to figure out some kind of a prize!