A major New Testament scholar recently commented to a colleague that “Tabor’s support of the idea that the Talpiot tombs might related to the historical Jesus is truly bizarre.” I won’t name the scholar but 99% of my readers would recognize the name. My reaction is someone needs to do a bit of “in-depth” reading and study of the evidence. I have found, even after a solid month of ASOR discussion back and forth, devoted entirely to my 2012 book when it appeared in April of that year, The Jesus Discovery, there was much more heat than light even from some of the most reputable historians and theologians who have commented on the topic.
I am more than pleased to dialogue and even critically discuss the evidence pro- and con- for such an identification with anyone who wants to put in the time to study the issues, but I find that dismissive ridicule is not helpful. For an example of a balanced discussion see the respectful exchanges between me and Mark Goodacre and Chris Rollston at the ASOR meeting in 2013, archived here: “The Tombs at Talpiot: Overview of the “Jesus Discovery.” Our disagreements are substantive but also fully debatable and worthy of exchange and discussion. We now have major new evidence, see links below, published with full peer review, that the “James Ossuary” like does originate from the Talpiot Jesus tomb. This is a game changer, but I am quite sure my critic who was willing to characterize my views as “bizarre,” is completely unaware of such.
So here is where one must begin. Let’s call it “Getting the Facts Straight.” In Depth Reading on the Talpiot Tombs: What is the Best Evidence?
I also have just posted this short video lecture where I survey the evidence with slides which might be a good place to begin if any of my readers are new to the topic:
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