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Since the public controversy over the Talpiot “Jesus” family tomb broke in 2007, much has happened behind the scenes. This presentation brings things up to date, examines what we know for certain about who may have been buried in the Talpiot tomb, and how new evidence is helping to separate mere speculation from solid historical and archaeological interpretation.
Recent events surrounding the “James ossuary” controversy and the discovery in the second Talpiot tomb of an image that is arguably one of “Jonah and the big fish” have sparked renewed consideration of the question of whether Jesus’ earliest followers left behind any distinctive archaeological remains. This lecture considers this century-old question and asks how the Talpiot discoveries are changing our perspective on the traditional evidence.
This lecture sorts through the major scientific, historical and archaeological issues related to the “James ossuary” controversy and the ongoing debate over its authenticity. We examine the variety of media and academic responses to the first-century bone box inscribed “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus,” and clarify what we know about the box and its inscription, and what remains uncertain.