Wednesday, March 7, 2007

The Jesus Tomb: Some last thoughts

Let me preface this with saying that I am a novice. I am by no means an expert on Hebrew, Aramaic, Ossuaries, or anything else, so I may very well be wrong.

I was looking over the "evidence" PDF file at the Discovery Channel's website and I noticed something that interests me concerning the inscriptions on the ossuaries. I looked over "Yehudah Bar Yeshua (Judah, Son of Jesus)"'s ossuary and the inscription on it, which appears below:

For those who can't read Hebrew, I've color-coded the inscription. In case you're unfamiliar, Hebrew is read from right to left. The word "Yeshua" is Yellow, the word "bar" is Red, and the word "Yehudah" is Blue. Now, I can clearly read "Yehudah" "Bar" and "Yeshua" (although it's written in a funny way, it's readable).

However, a look at the supposed "Yeshua Bar Yehosef" inscription shows a bit of difference. I can see "Bar", I can see "Yehosef", but I certainly cannot see "Yeshua" at all. One reason I color-coded the above inscription is because I wanted you to look for yourself. Do you see "Yeshua" anywhere in there?

In fact, if you look at the PDF file available on the website, the translator apparently wasn't sure whether this was "Yeshua" either. There's a question mark after the name "Yeshua". Later, the document goes on to say:

The first name following the X mark is difficult to read. In contrast to other ossuaries in this tomb, the incisions are here superficial and curiously carved. Each of the four letters suggesting ישוע is unclear, but the reading is corroborated by the inscription of Ossuary 2, above.

I'm not really sure I follow the logic here. Are they asserting that because there is a Jesus somewhere in the family (Ossuary 2 is that of Judah, Son of Jesus), then perhaps this scribble-scrabble could be made out to be that Jesus? This just seems like wishful thinking. To my (extremely untrained) eye, that name is just as likely "scribble-scrabble" as it is Jesus. Perhaps one day we'll find the Gospel of Scribble Scrabble and Dan Brown will write "The Scribble Scrabble Code" entirely in Scribble-Scrabble! It'll be a hit, for sure! He'll make hundreds!


Chris Tilling said...

Great post!
Thanks for putting it out like this.

Josh McManaway said...

Thanks for the kind words.

And from the previous post: If you make it to North Carolina, I suppose being a research student atleast entitles you to a free cup of coffee.

Anonymous said...

Very nicely presented, easily refutes the false 'Tomb of Jesus' idea.