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The Fée Verte Absinthe Forum - The Oldest, Largest, Most Authoritative Absinthe Forum. > The Monkey Hole > Arts & Philosphical Sundries
Jaded Prole
This should raise an interesting ruckus among believers -- especially literalists.
Kirk
QUOTE
“I refute all their claims and efforts to waken a renewed interest in the findings. With all due respect, they are not archeologists,” Kloner said, referring to the filmmakers.

Kloner discovered the cave.
The author can't spell.
Steyr850
I can't get the link to work, butt in the spirit of the topic...

How do you embarrass an archeologist?

Give him a tampon and ask him which period it came from.
Absomphe
Speaking of which, what was up with Picasso, and his blue period?
Jaded Prole
Great deal on blue paint.
Donnie Darko
It all depends on the evidence Cameron's documentary presents. I expect he'll sensationalize it, but I'm curious what archeologists who have no stake in the matter have to say. So far every article I've seen only cites those skeptical of the identities of the Ossuaries. It's true that those names are all common, but are they so common that Jesua, Joseph and Mary would all be buried in the same tomb? Also, it always makes it sound nice to say Jesus came from poor beginnings but that story is likely not true. Joseph was at least master builder if not a scholar (depending on the translation of the Greek word Tekton), not just a mere carpenter, and he made enough money to be able to travel, had to pay taxes and made enough money to educate Jesus in Greek (only the upper 3-5% of the population at that time could afford to be literate). Based on that alone I'd say sources that say they couldn't afford a family tomb are wrong.
Alyssa Dyane
I am wondering what kind of DNA evidence they could possibly have. How do we know what Jesus' DNA traits were to compare with these samples?
traineraz
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Feb 26 2007, 08:58 AM) *

It all depends on the evidence Cameron's documentary presents. I expect he'll sensationalize it, but I'm curious what archeologists who have no stake in the matter have to say. So far every article I've seen only cites those skeptical of the identities of the Ossuaries.

I'm interested to hear about the "DNA evidence".

The only possible remains they could try to tie to would be the previously-discovered-and-debated "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus" ossuary (in another tomb).

If there's no link there, then there's nothing at all remarkable about the people buried in a tomb together being related.
jacal01
QUOTE(Alyssa Dyane @ Feb 27 2007, 02:38 PM) *

I am wondering what kind of DNA evidence they could possibly have. How do we know what Jesus' DNA traits were to compare with these samples?

Correlation against either Andrew Sinclair or Linda Fiorentino
Kommienezuspadt
"This 90-minute documentary is bound to outrage Christians and stir up a titanic debate.."

This is the kind of pointed epigram you'll need to aim for if you ever want to work for TIME.
hartsmar
Did they even have DNA back then!?
Absomphe
No, I hear our cells were composed of green cheese back then, kinda like the moon. harhar.gif
Jaded Prole
QUOTE
Did they even have DNA back then!?


You've been hanging around with Americans too long!
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(Alyssa Dyane @ Feb 27 2007, 05:38 PM) *

I am wondering what kind of DNA evidence they could possibly have. How do we know what Jesus' DNA traits were to compare with these samples?


That's actually a very good question.

The bones no longer exist in the Ossuaries (they were buried when they were discovered in 1980), but decomposition supposedly left residue in the Ossuaries which does contain at least fragmentary DNA. If more than one of those Ossuaries has complete enough fragments to compare, then it becomes possible to determine relations. From what I've read only one sample has been analyzed thus far, which won't tell you much since they have yet to compare it to anything else. If, however, they are able to analyze and compare Mary and Jesua, it would not be too difficult to determine if she was the mother, even from fragmentary DNA analysis. Even if no other Ossuary contained any DNA fragments aside from Jesua's, it might still be possible to determine common relations to Jesus by comparing DNA of the local population to what is found in Jesua's (IF there is enough DNA found in Jesua's Ossuary to analyze that far). Of course DNA testing wouldn't guarantee that the person buried there was the biblical Jesus, but if there were enough matches between the Ossuaries, it would be an extremely improbable coincidence to have so many of Jesus's relations mentioned in the Bible all apparrently buried together and having the names mentioned in the Bible. It wouldn't PROVE that was Jesus, but it would make it extremely unlikely it was anybody other than the Biblical Jesus.

The more I've read the more it sounds like Cameron has jumped the gun on this a bit, and that more study needs to be done before he can have any verifiable claims. Journalistic standards, however, are much lower than scientific ones, so I'm not surprised they're counting their unhatched chickens...
AndrewT
I don't know, my hoax radar is going off on this one. Even if it's not a modern hoax, it's not necessarily the real deal. There're at least 3 generations buried there if the geneology is correct, which means that either the first generation (Joseph and Mary) were buried there first, and some of their children and grandchildren were buried there later, or that prior generations relocated the bodies so they could all be buried together. It could be the case of "pieces of the True Cross" or "mummies of the Three Magi" where churches make extraordinary claims on ordinary relics. One of the early churches may have considered it quite a publicity stunt to move all the major players in their religion into a stately family grave, whether they could find the bodies or not.

Would certainly be interesting to see how different Christians react if this turns out to be true, though.
hartsmar
Come on! How hard can it be?
I've seen it on TV. Put on the goggles and fire up the sperm light and we're home free.
The evidence never lies. CSI - Christ Semen Investigation.













...and I'm not even drunk! I'm sorry, I just can't take this serious!
Alyssa Dyane
Oh my god - Christ Semen Investigation? That is soooo funny.
Absomphe
Yeah, Dan Brown's laughing all the way to the bank, as we speak.
Jaded Prole
Does that have anything to do with the second cumming?
Absomphe
I wooden't know anthing about that, I'm old.
MrsAbsomphe
QUOTE(Absomphe @ Feb 28 2007, 07:39 PM) *

I'm old.


I thought you were at the burial.

Weren't you called something like Lazarus back then?

Or was it Methuselah?

The Methuselah Tree

---Tish looking-up.gif
Absomphe
Unfortunately, the only relation I bear to the bristlecone pine is the rough texture of my five o'clock shadow, so I doubt I'll be around quite that long.

wub.gif
bob_chong
I haven't really followed this at all, but DD is right about it being an oooold story. This thing was discovered nearly 30 years ago, so I don't understand the newfound interest. Is Cameron selling something?

I heard a professor on the radio mention that Mary M. was never mentioned as a spouse in any early text, even the apocryphal ones. Not once. Why the late 20th C/early 21st C theory? Is it all latent DaVinci Code hype?

hartsmar
It's all a conspiracy. Masterfully staged by the Bush administration.
Alyssa Dyane
QUOTE(bob_chong @ Mar 1 2007, 10:36 AM) *

I heard a professor on the radio mention that Mary M. was never mentioned as a spouse in any early text, even the apocryphal ones. Not once. Why the late 20th C/early 21st C theory? Is it all latent DaVinci Code hype?


This debate really isn't that new. I was a philosophy major in college, way before the DaVinci Code hype (about 15 years ago), and this was a topic heavily debated in class.
jacal01
QUOTE
Correlation against either Andrew Sinclair...

Oops, my bad. Should be Prince James of Albany.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(hartsmar @ Mar 1 2007, 01:47 PM) *

It's all a conspiracy. Masterfully staged by the Bush administration.


Which is Clinton's fault.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(bob_chong @ Mar 1 2007, 01:36 PM) *

I haven't really followed this at all, but DD is right about it being an oooold story. This thing was discovered nearly 30 years ago, so I don't understand the newfound interest. Is it all latent DaVinci Code hype?


Bingo. The story being old and this sudden newfound interest don't reflect on the possibility of it being true, as looking at old things in a new way can sometimes be illuminating, but it's obviously timed to capitalize on the Dan Brown money printing machine more than it appears to be any legitimate study. I don't care what James Cameron and some journalists think. Show me what the archaeologists, scholars and scientists say, then I might care. Until then it might as well be Jonathan Frakes hosting Alien Autopsy Part Deux.
Jaded Prole
As long as it will be displayed on tour, they ought to include the shroud of Turin. A relic road show replete with dead sea scrolls and bits of the bones of apostles..
Nymphadora
Don't forget the Spear of Longinus.
Jaded Prole
I've got one of those.
Donnie Darko
So I watched the program. I was right. The director sensationalized it, used the terms "code" and "secret" far too many times, which proves he's trying to make the DaVinci code connection as much as possible, which is not surprising. The director is a disingenuous charlatan who is full of himself, and who hides behind journalistic neutrality whenever his manipulative approach is questioned. I admire the restraint of everyone on the panel Koppel led afterwards for not reaching over and throttling him.

There's a ton of re-enacted bullshit that is clearly trying to guide the viewer's opinion. I'd rather just be handed the raw information and be allowed to make up my own damned mind, but it would be unreasonable of me to expect that from TV. One doesn't have to work too hard to distill the raw information from the bullshit in this "Docu-Drama", however.

The science presented was compelling. It was not conclusive, nor was it sufficient, but what was there was all compelling that it is plausible that the tomb contained the remains of somebody named Jesus and somebody named Mariamne, who it's plausible is Mary Magdelene. Given the statistical improbability of all the names on those ossuaries all appearing in the same tomb, that's good enough for me to conclude that it's very probable Jesus of Nazareth was buried there. If EVERYONE in that time period and location had a tomb and an Ossuary, I'd say the statistics were NOT compelling at all. But tombs and assemblages of ossuaries like that were reserved for people who could afford them, they were not all that common, and so in my opinion it's virtually impossible that you would have a tomb with 9 people who were all previously established as being connected and probably related to Jesus and for that tomb to NOT be the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth.

The mitochondrial DNA analysis proved that Jesus and Mariamne did not have the same mother, which is a step towards showing they may have been married, but that does not necessarily indicate Jesus and Mariamne were not related (they could be paternal cousins). Unfortunately the documentary sneakily omitted that part, so the mitochondrial DNA evidence is not as compelling as the filmmakers present it to be, though it is still compelling.

Obviously more study needs to be done. At least the filmmaker admits that. At this point I think it's reasonable to say that it is plausible that is Jesus's tomb and Jesus's bones, but it is not conclusive, and I'd really like to see more evidence which will hopefully be presented by archaeologists and scientists rather than "filmmakers".
G&C
But they did get you to watch it.


End of Story.™
bob_chong
QUOTE
Given the statistical improbability of all the names


The statistics presented are not as robust as the program would lead one to believe.
Donnie Darko
How so? I'm not asking that rhetorically, I'd love to hear other expert analysis that might shed better light on what was presented.
bob_chong
According to the book, The Jesus Family Tomb, upon which the TV show is based, the authors estimated that there were 1008 people named "Jesus, Son of Joseph" in 1st C Palestine. To put it another way, 1 out of every 79 males in this time period were named "Jesus, Son of Joseph."

Add in the commonness of the name Mary, and then 1 out of every 316 families had this combo of names in a single generation. Add in the extra Jose/Joseph brother/cousin/whatever, and it's 1 out of every 442 families with this combo.

Etc.

There are other problems with this whole thing, although you seemed to be into the stats. But this story has been widely discredited on many different fronts (e.g., what is a poor family from Nazareth doing buried in the capital city, a city to which they had no connection? Why didn't the Pharisees, Romans, or Saducees find this tomb? Would have made a nice prize, no? And right under their noses, in Jerusalem? Oliver Stone is pissed he didn't think of it first, with a conspiracy that wide. Etc.)

This guy goes through some of the stats, esp. at the end. He brings up the other stuff, too. It's not a "religious" bent but a scientific one.
Donnie Darko
He does make some valid points that definitely counterbalance some of the program. He's dead on about the Patina analysis. I thought that was BS from the moment they showed it on the program precisely for the reason he mentions. Plus why would you have a New York crime lab do the analysis?!? Wouldn't you have a geologist do it if you wanted to be accurate?

However, I don't think the guy in the RCP article is justified in discounting the Acts of Philip and Mariamne's name appearing there and in the tomb out of hand, since he hasn't shown the Acts of Philip to be unreliable, he's only shown it to be from a source 200 years after her death, which means little. He also assumes Jesus's family was not middle class but there is evidence to support that they were middle, if not upper middle class (they could afford to travel, they made enough money to have to travel to pay taxes, they could afford to educate Jesus in Greek.)

Plus he's also dead wrong in one instance. He says:
QUOTE
There is no reason to expect it to be in or near Jerusalem. Indeed, one of the contributing experts on this documentary, Professor James Tabor, the only one with academic credentials in New Testament studies affiliated with this documentary, just last year publisheda work asserting that Jesus was buried in Galilee.
Tabor's book endorses the idea that the Talpiot tomb belongs to Jesus's family, and says the location is reasonable since Mary was likely buried in Jerusalem, so Tabor is in fact saying the exact opposite of what the author of the RCP article says he is saying. That's rather disingenuous of him in my opinion.

I don't think statistics can really make much of a case for or against the tomb the more I read. There's just too many unknown variables when you're dealing with a subject thousands of years old. Things that are statistically unlikely can and do happen. People do win the lottery. That doesn't mean it's Jesus's tomb, however, it just means that what statistics can predict is tough to tell when there are so many unknowns. I prefer the approach to be informed by history, archaeology and forensics. Of course the people at the IAA resealed the tomb so now it's going to be much harder for anyone to learn more.
fryke
The statistics only matter if it's _not_ the grave of Jesus Christ. If it is, they matter only in that it _is_ his grave, even though it was highly unlikely. wink.gif Then again: Even if that _was_ his grave, there's still this highly unlikely claim of him being the son of God. God being highly unlikely Himself.
Kirk
The producer gives people who wear funny hats a bad name.
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