Session 6 – The tomb and the Shroud In this session we will look at two topics, the supposed tomb of Jesus that was discovered, and the shroud of Turin Much information was taken from the following source when dealing with the tomb of Jesus: Michael S Heiser PhD – Association for Biblical Research, Biblical Archeology
Did we find Jesus’ tomb? On March 4, 2007, the Discovery Channel aired The Lost Tomb of Jesus The discovery was based off the recently published book at the time, The Jesus Family Tomb If we actually discovered Jesus’ grave, that sure would mess up Christianity
The tomb housed ten ossuaries (bone boxes),several of which bore inscribed names intimately associated with Christianity, including Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. The authors also claim that one of the ossuaries in the tomb housed the bones of Mary Magdalene, proving Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married
In the documentary released on the Talpiot family tomb of Jesus, all but one scholar issued disclaimers and objections to how they were portrayed in the movie as supporting the discovery being the tomb of Jesus Realize also, the tomb was known to specialists years before the discovery was announced, and was rejected by the vast majority of scholars as being the real tomb
Dr. James Tabor, Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte was the one individual who argued for the discovery because of other views he had previously held that it seemed to support Tabor articulates his theory in his recent book, The Jesus Dynasty: The Hidden History of Jesus, His Royal Family, and the Birth of Christianity
Tabors views can be summarized as followed: He rejects the virgin birth, but does not say Joseph was the father. Instead, Mary had relations with a Roman soldier named Panthera This idea was first proposed by Celsus in the late second century AD.
According to his view, John the Baptist and Jesus were both royal priestly messiahs, John first and then Jesus, and they’re teachings were about coming back to the Torah and seeking the Kingdom of God According to the theory, after John was killed Jesus went to Jerusalem to confront the Jewish religious rulers and point out the corruption and demanding a return to righteousness and the Kingdom of God
Jesus expected God to protect him as he did this, but he ended up getting crucified because of it After that, Jesus brother Joseph takes over, and after him James leads the group Jesus and John both were both royalty from the line of David, which means his brothers were also! Thus they were forming a sort of Davidic dynasty
What we have in Christianity today is not what Jesus actually taught according to Tabor, but instead it’s the teachings of Paul who disagreed with Jesus and is responsible for modern day Christianity Because of these views, the idea of Jesus tomb fits well within his theory, because he never rose from the dead
Tabor gives some arguments to support this being the tomb of Jesus, let’s look at them THE NAME "YOSEH" Tabor says the ossuary that has the name Yoseh(Hebrew letters, yod-waw-samech-heh; Joseph) belongs to Jesus’ brother who has the same name in the gospels.
What did Tabor write himself? “In the time of Jesus, that is, in 2nd Temple times, before the Destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE, this nickname Yoseh is extremely rare in either Hebrew or Greek. As far as Hebrew goes, it is found only here, in the Talpiot tomb, on an ossuary, and one other time in a slightly different, but equivalent spelling (Yod, Samech, Hey), on an ossuary from Mt. Scopus…
It is also found once on a tomb inscription from the period (Jason’s Tomb), and once in apapyrus from WadiMuraba’at (pre-135 CE). In Greek, its equivalent forms (Ιωσε/Ιωση/Ιωσης), which are usually translated Yose/Jose or Joses/Joses in English, occur on only five ossuaries. In contrast, the full name Joseph/Yehosef is found on 32 ossuaries and many dozens of literary references in the period...This nickname Jose/Joses in Greek is found in Mark 6:3 as the nickname for Jesus’ brother Joseph. (2007b).
“…Of course this alone does not prove that the Yoseh in the Talpiot tomb is the brother of Jesus. But the data does indeed argue that as a rare nickname, known only on a handful of ossuaries and from two inscriptions of the period, found in a tomb with a “Jesus son of Joseph,” Yoseh is quite striking. And that Mark knows this as the unique and rare nickname of Jesus’ brother Joseph, is surely significant evidence.”
Understand, He admits the name is used in other instances, and is not unique to the Biblical text (that text is one among several) but steers it towards his theory We actually have no evidence that the Yose found in the tomb is related to anyone else in the tomb, and if he is we have no idea how because his ossuary doesn’t include any information on kinship
The only way that we can show that the Jesus in this tomb is the actual Jesus of Nazareth is if the other individuals match the historical records that we have It would be easy to imagine things and make connections in our minds that are not made in reality for us, if we are going to make a good decision on this tomb we need to look at the evidence, and not speculate
We have six ossuaries with these inscriptions: • Mariamenou [e] Mara (“Mary, who is Martha / lord”); or(Mariamēkai Mara; “Mary and Martha”) (Pfann 2007)• YhwdhbrYshw’ (“Judah/Jude, son of Jesus”)• Mtyh (“Matiyahu”; “Matthew”)• Yshw’ brYhwsp (“Jesus, son of Joseph”)• Ywsh (“Joseph/Yose”)• Mryh (“Mary”)
Dr. Michael S Heiser said the following in response to these names: “Notice that only two of the names have what is called a patronym—a descriptive phrase denoting family affiliation or ancestry (e.g., “Jude, son of Jesus”; “Jesus, son of Joseph”).What this means is that, in terms of data that actually exists,the Talpiot tomb tells us only that we have a Jesus who was the son of a Joseph, and a Jude who was the son of a Jesus.
We know nothing about the other relationships of the other people in the tomb. Despite this paucity of information, Jacobovici and his associates know how the mind works. Since millions around the world are familiar with the names of Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and Mary Magdalene—whether because of Biblical literacy or The DaVinci Code—the creators of the Jesus Family Tomb documentary assume correctly that when a person hears those names presented together,
the mind will immediately cluster them in a manner associated with the New Testament. The mind therefore “defaults” to the supposition that these people are related in the way the New Testament describes, and so the mind is predisposed to equate them with the actual New Testament characters. But that is not what the data from the tomb tell us, since there are no patronyms that produce that conclusion—it is just where the mind goes subconsciously.”
What we do not know We do not know if this is a family tomb If it is a family tomb, we don’t know who is closely related and who is distant relatives We do not know if the people buried there were adults of children Though it is assumed, we do not know that Mary in the tomb is the mother of Jesus
It is assumed that Mariamenou, considered to be Mary Magdalene, is married to the Jesus of this tomb… there is no evidence We have no information on if either Mary was married to the Joseph in the tomb The second argument is the statistical rarity of this combinations of names being found together
The claim is because of the name Yoseh (Hebrew) as a shortened nickname for Joseph is extremely rare, it means statistically this must be Jesus’ tomb Keep in mind, every other name, and the full name Joseph, are EXTREMELY common names at the time Is the name Yoseh actually that rare though in the way that it is used?
There has been many arguments from statisticians on both sides debating how likely it is for these names to all be together But the arguments from the unbiblical side always assume this extremely rare nickname referring to Jesus’ brother in the Bible As mentioned earlier, that name is only found in three other times in archeology
The problem arises because Mark 6:3 is written in Greek, not in Hebrew, and you cannot prove by any means that when dealing in the Hebrew language, Jesus’ brother went by the shortened Yoseh! It’s never used that way in the Bible The Greek name does not have a one-on-one comparison to the shortened Hebrew version, it can either be the long Joseph, or short Yoseh
There are other problems (published by the Duke University Religion Department Instead of reinventing the wheel, or rewriting the following (well written) arguments, I will instead quote the paper published by Duke University that was signed and authored by the following individuals throughout the next few slides:
Signed,Professor Mordechai Aviam, University of RochesterProfessor Ann Graham Brock, Iliff School of Theology, University of DenverProfessor F.W. Dobbs-Allsopp, Princeton Theological SeminaryProfessor C.D. Elledge, GustavusAdolphus CollegeProfessor Shimon Gibson, University of North Carolina at CharlotteProfessor Rachel Hachlili, University of HaifaProfessor Amos Kloner, Bar-Ilan UniversityProfessor Jodi Magness, University of North Carolina at Chapel HillProfessor Lee McDonald, Arcadia SeminaryProfessor Eric M. Meyers, Duke UniversityProfessor Stephen Pfann, University of the Holy LandProfessor Jonathan Price, Tel Aviv UniversityProfessor Christopher Rollston, Emmanuel School of ReligionProfessor Alan F. Segal, Barnard College, Columbia UniversityProfessor Choon-Leong Seow, Princeton Theological SeminaryMr. Joe Zias, Science and Antiquity Group, JerusalemDr. Boaz Zissu, Bar-Ilan University
Statistically, the odd’s of this tomb belong to Jesus are extremely low if Mariamene (named on one of the ossuaries) is not Mary Magdalene. The reading of the name inscribed Mariamene was contested by epigraphers very early on in this discovery (but you won’t hear about that.)
Furthermore, Mary Magdalene is not referred to by the Greek name Mariamene anywhere in literature before the late second-third century “An expert panel of scholars on the subject of Mary in the early church dismissed out of hand the suggestion that Mary Magdalene was married to Jesus, and no traditions refer to a son of Jesus named Judah”
“Moreover, the DNA evidence from the tomb, which has been used to suggest that Jesus had a wife, was dismissed by the Hebrew University team that devised such procedures and has conducted such research all over the world.” “The ossuary inscribed with the name “Jesus son of Joseph” is paralleled by a find from another Jerusalem tomb, and at least one speaker said the reading of the name “Jesus” on the Talpiot tomb ossuary is uncertain.”
The idea of this being the tomb of Jesus flies in the face of everything we have in the early sources of the gospels and Paul that say Jesus was buried (alone) in a tomb by Joseph of Arimathaea after his crucifixion There are strong traditions on which tomb Jesus was buried in, and non of them point to the tomb discovered
“To conclude, we wish to protest the misrepresentation of the conference proceedings in the media, and make it clear that the majority of scholars in attendance – including all of the archaeologists and epigraphers who presented papers relating to the tomb - either reject the identification of the Talpiot tomb as belonging to Jesus’ family or find this claim highly speculative.”
Briefly on the Shroud The Shroud of Turin is a 14-foot-long linen cloth with the faint image of a man. Imagine the cloth going from feet to head along a man’s back, then folding over the head to continue back to the feet.
Many Christians think this is the shroud of Jesus and that the supernatural energy from the resurrection burned an image into the cloth. The shroud first appears in history in 1390 in France and was moved to Turin, Italy in 1578. Fire and water damage from 1532 are visible on the shroud. Those who believe this is the true burial cloth says it shows signs of the crucifixion in the image (and the beating beforehand)
The first problem is scriptural. Doesn’t fully match what the Bible says: “[Simon Peter] saw the strips of linen lying there [in the tomb], as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head.” (John 20:6–7) The Bible doesn’t record a single shroud, but two pieces. There is also no evidence people buried their dead this way at that time
“They took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews.” (John 19:40) This wasn’t just a pinch of spice though, it was around 100 pounds that Nicodemus brought (John 19:39) Next we face an artistic problem that the shroud faces, because it should drape around the head, but it doesn’t
Was this a fake and forgery? Selling religious relics was very common in the medieval days, it’s been said there were enough pieces of the cross sold to build a ship! And enough nails from Jesus’ hands to hold that ship together This was not the only shroud, history records forty of them that have been discovered
In fact, our first well-documented discussion of the shroud in 1390 states that it is a forgery and that the artist was known. C-14 dating says that the linen is from the 1300s, there is evidence of tempera paint creating the image, blood 2000 years old should be black not red, pollen found on the shroud is from Europe, not Israel (Debated point), and the problems go on and on
On the flip side, there are arguments that make it sound true 1. The cloth and what is on it The image bears the marks of everything that you would expect from the crucifixion, the nail marks in his hands, the evidence of the crown, and the beating that he went through before the crucifixion
The shroud would be expensive, and thus they say Joseph of Arimathaea (rich man) would own that The pollen is claimed to be correct for Israel at that time Adding to the mystery is travertine aragonite limestone (road dust) almost exclusively found in the vicinity of Jerusalem, is also on the Shroud around the knees and feet.
2. The substance comprising the image is still unknown Most scientists agree we do not know how (what “paint”) this image could be formed The image over the shroud did not sink into the linen (like the blood, or paint would) it only penetrates the first two microfibers (and that’s consistent over the entire shroud) which a human couldn’t do
3. The formation of the image According to World-renowned Shroud researcher Professor Giulio Fanti of Padua University in Italy, the image on the shroud has to be the result of radiation released in the form of an electrical discharge. In layman’s terms, a burst of light and energy. How can someone in the 13th century or before do this?
4. The age of the cloth The C-14 date for the “middle age forgery” is around 1260 – 1390. The carbon-14 test was performed on an outer piece of the Shroud that had been sewn on later for handling purposes. New dating by looking at decay rates of microscopic fibers date the shroud from 300 B.C. – 200 A.D.
Memory Verse 1 Corinthians 15:13-14: “But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.”