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The White Tiger

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: July 19, 2007, 04:51:05 AM

Could it be that the ones trying to expose a "hoax" were actually trying to FOIST a hoax?:

Apr. 11, 2007 0:58 | Updated Apr. 11, 2007 8:35
Jesus tomb film scholars backtrack

"...Several prominent scholars who were interviewed in a bitterly contested documentary that suggests that Jesus and his family members were buried in a nondescript ancient Jerusalemburial cave have now revised their conclusions, including the statistician who claimed that the odds were 600:1 in favor of the tomb being the family burial cave of Jesus of Nazareth, a new study on the fallout from the popular documentary shows.

The paper also notes that DNA scientist Dr. Carney Matheson, who supervised DNA testing carried out for the film from the supposed Jesus and Mary Magdalene ossuaries, and who said in the documentary that "these two individuals, if they were unrelated, would most likely be husband and wife," later said that "the only conclusions we made were that these two sets were not maternally related. To me, it sounds like absolutely nothing."

"Furthermore, Pfann also says that a specialist in ancient apocryphal text, Professor Francois Bovon, who is quoted in the film as saying the enigmatic ossuary inscription "Mariamne" is the same woman known as Mary Magdalene - one of the filmmakers' critical arguments - issued a disclaimer stating that he did not believe that "Mariamne" stood for Mary of Magdalene at all.

Pfann has already argued that the controversial inscription does not read "Mariamne" at all...."

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#1 : July 19, 2007, 07:34:36 AM

The enemy well at work to confuse and conform.  Propaganda at its best.


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#2 : July 19, 2007, 03:03:28 PM

According to the New Testament, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion, and an ossuary containing Jesus's bones - the explanations of the movie director notwithstanding - would contradict the core Christian belief that he was resurrected and then ascended to heaven.

This whole thing wasn't going to past muster even if they found bones in the ossuary with nail marks through the hands and feet....

The White Tiger

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#3 : July 19, 2007, 05:33:36 PM

BBB - it would probably help if the experts actually agreed with the data that was presented.

but they don't.

It means Tabors credibility is on par with Dan Rather right now....

It means that when you make a statement - you need to have facts that are supported by data and all your sources agreeing with the facts you present.

Otherwise it's propaganda.

Scientist aren't supposed to go into research with a predetermined point of view, seeking to create data to support that point of view.

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#4 : July 19, 2007, 11:49:51 PM

Are you kidding? Now you post this?

This article has already been addressed and rebutted by Tabor and others. It's old news. April 8th.

The response...


And the details on the tomb, if you want to know...


Here's the text for the top link...

Jerusalem Post Update on “Backtracking Scholars”
Filed under: Talpiot Jesus Family Tomb — James Tabor

Last week I offered my own response to the April 11th story in the Jerusalem Post claiming that most of the scholars appearing in “The Lost Tomb of Jesus” Discovery TV special had now “backtracked” on their statements and positions as portrayed in the film. Here is an update on that story from the Post.

‘No Scholars Backtracked on Jesus Film’

Jerusalem Post staff, THE JERUSALEM POST
Apr. 24, 2007

The director of the Lost Tomb of Jesus documentary, which claims that Jesus of Nazareth and his family were laid to rest in a burial tomb in what is today the Jerusalem neighborhood of East Talpiot, has rejected claims that scholars who were interviewed in the film have now backtracked and revised their conclusions.

“Not a single scholar that appears in the film has backtracked on any statement made in the film,” the Canadian filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici stated in an e-mail to The Jerusalem Post. “Not a single scholar has retracted a single word.”

Jacobovici was responding to an article that appeared in the Post of April 11, which stated that several scholars who had [sic “been”] featured in the film had backtracked and were now stepping away from the filmmakers’ “Jesus and family were buried here” theory. The article cited a paper entitled “Cracks in the Foundation: How the Lost Tomb of Jesus is losing its scholarly support” compiled by epigrapher Stephen Pfann of the University of the Holy Land in Jerusalem.

Jacobovici, who could not be reached for comment in the original April 11 article, rejected the assertion that the University of Toronto statistician Prof. Andrey Feuerverger, who claims in the film that the odds are 600:1 in favor of the tomb being the family burial cave of Jesus of Nazareth, has now undergone a “startling change of opinion.” “What is ’startling’ about this statement,” said Jacobovici, “is that it’s completely false.”

Feuerverger is not giving interviews, but Jacobovici quoted from an e-mail he received from Feuerverger in response to the article, in which the statistician states: “I would like to make it clear that I stand by the statements I had made in my probability calculations. I have retracted nothing.” Jacobovici added that Feuerverger was continuing “to refine his calculations in preparation of a scholarly paper destined for publication in a scholarly journal.”

Changes cited in the April 11 article that have been made on the Web site of the Discovery Channel, which broadcast the documentary, relating to Feuerverger’s conclusions, said Jacobovici, reflect those refinements. “As he refines his language, Discovery Channel refines its Web site language on the statistics. So what? The bottom line is that Feuerverger does not ‘backtrack’ on any statement made in the film, nor on the 600 to one probability presented in the film,” insisted Jacobovici.

Relating to the critique that Israeli archeologists have called the similarity between the names in the Talpiot tomb and the Jesus family “coincidental,” Jacobovici noted that several prominent experts were given the opportunity to level precisely this objection in the film itself and did so. But “the fact is that the cluster of names found in the Talpiot tomb is not only rare, it is unique,” said the filmmaker. “The fact is that in 100 years of Jerusalem archeology, only one ‘Jesus, son of Joseph’ ossuary has ever been found in situ. Only one other [such ossuary] emerged unprovenanced in a warehouse.” Similarly, there is only one ossuary inscribed “Yose,” said by the filmmakers to relate to one of Jesus’s brothers, and “even the so-called Mary ossuaries are extremely rare,” said Jacobovici.

Jacobovici also stated that reservations raised by other experts in the Pfann paper and the subsequent Post article relate to matters outside their field of expertise. For instance, epigrapher Prof. Frank Moore Cross has said that he is not persuaded by the statistics. But, noted Jacobovici, “Cross is not a statistician. I respect him as a scholar but I would never turn to him for an opinion on statistics. I went to him to confirm the reading of the inscriptions.”

In similar vein, the dismissal of aspects of the Jesus family theory by DNA scientist Dr. Carney Matheson, who supervised DNA testing carried out for the film from the supposed Jesus and Mary Magdalene ossuaries, is “nonsense,” according to Jacobovici, who noted that “Matheson, in my film, makes statements that are limited to his expertise in DNA.” And in that specific area, “he hasn’t retracted a single word.”

Jacobovici also countered the assertion that Prof. Francois Bovon - who is quoted in the film as saying that “Mariamene” is the name given in the Acts of Philip to Mary Magdalene, and that she is differentiated from the mother of Jesus who is called “Maria” - has changed his mind. “All that has happened is that Prof. Bovon now states that his references to Mary Magdalene’s name being ‘Mariamene’ have to do with a literary tradition, not a historical one,” said Jacobovici. “But that’s all we asked him.”

Jacobovici also noted that Pfann challenges the reading of the “Mariamene” inscription, and stated that “It’s good for scholars to give various opinions. That’s what scholarly debate is all about… But the fact is that Pfann is not an expert on Greek inscriptions. The inscription in question has been categorically identified as ‘Mariamene’ by Dr. Rahmani in the IAA official catalogue of ossuaries.”

One scholar who has been skeptical all along about the “Jesus family tomb” claims is Dr. Shimon Gibson, who was one of the original team that worked at the tomb when it was first discovered in 1980, appears in the film and sat on Jacobovici’s panel when the documentary was launched at a New York press conference in February.

In a recent e-mail to Jacobovici, Gibson states that: “My professional assessment of the facts available about this tomb, based on having dug there, and on some 30 years of experience studying Second Temple tombs around Jerusalem, is that the Talpiot Tomb is not the Jesus family tomb.” Gibson adds that, “At the moment, I think the facts stack up against the Talpiot tomb being the family tomb of Jesus. But the filmmakers do have a right to do their investigative journalism, and we, as scholars, must now check out their claims and make balanced arguments for or against the ideas, as the case may be.”

Jacobovici said that this does not represent backtracking, since “Gibson never says it is the tomb of Jesus in the film. I never quote Gibson saying anything about the probability that this is the tomb of Jesus.”

Meanwhile, Jacobovici added, an attempt by certain “religious groups” to block a screening of the film in Chile next week on Discovery Latin America has been thrown out by the local courts.

The White Tiger

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#5 : July 20, 2007, 01:52:37 AM

Sorry joe Jacobovici made up his own conclusions based on stretching the facts gathered by the experts.

BTW - your two posts are blog sites of the filmaker, what do you expect them to say?

This is from your post Joe, I added some emphasis to point to the real conclusions:

"Dr. Carney Matheson, who supervised the DNA tests on the bone fragments in the Yeshua and Mariamene ossuaries, has not backed off in the least from the results achieved by his laboratory. I have been involved in the whole thing from start to finish and I was present when his results were presented. I have also since been in touch with Dr. Matheson, to be sure he is okay with what I write here. When Dr. Carney Matheson first broke the news of the DNA test results live on camera in his laboratory he offered the passing observation that given the small grouping in that tomb, with only two women named, it was possible the two were “husband and wife.” He did not intend to be understood to say that was the only possibility

Finally, Professor Francois Bovon has not in any way backed off from what he said in the film regarding the use of the name Mariamne as an appropriate name for Mary Magdalene in later Christian sources. His article is on the SBL Web site for anyone to read. What Bovon has clarified is that he is dealing with literary sources and traditions, and in his work in that regard he does not intend to claim that the historical Mary Magdalene was called by this name in her own lifetime.

However, it is ludicrous to fault Jacobovici, who is neither archaeologist, epigrapher, statistician, DNA expert, nor historian for consulting with those experts considered among the best in each of these areas, presenting the results of their work, and then making use of that data in formulating his own presentation."

No joe - sorry - what is exposed here is that nothing was proved. It was a conclusion by the guys doing the documentary who are neither a archaeologist, epigrapher, statistician, DNA expert, nor historian - in other words they made calculations that were skewed. Jacobovici made up the conclusions. They are modern day "snake oil salesmen". There are critics of the films conclusions shouting down critics while filling their pockets and improving their fame (or is that infamy?).

The experts seem to be saying "Sorry folks - nothing here move along...."

The point is that the experts made no conclusions - they tested, measured data and left it at that. Other critics around the world have offered alternate explanations but this Jacobovici only wants you to consider his flawed and skewed conclusions.

"As we shall see below, in some cases, the support for the filmmakers’ assertions are not expressly stated by the experts themselves. But, rather the assertions are made by the filmmakers by extending the statements of the experts to make claims that they never intended to make..."

Epigrapher, University of the Holy Land
, was called upon to read the inscriptions and examine the ossuaries for the film. He notified the filmmakers that he had discovered different readings on at least one of the ossuaries in the light of new photographs. He asked he asked that he not be quoted and the filmmakers honored his request. Although the film says otherwise, he was not assisting Steven Cox.


Says Scholar Whose Work Was Used in the Upcoming Jesus Tomb Documentary: "I think it's completely mishandled. I am angry." In an interview I conducted this morning, the scholar Tal Ilan, without whose work these calculations would have been impossible, expressed outrage over the film and its use of her work--she's the source of the quotation in the headline of this post.


Headline from the University of the Holyland - where Dr Stephen Pfann is a professor.
"July 1, 2007
Problems with the “Yeshua (?) bar Yehosef” inscription

So you tell me - you believe the blogs of the guy who filmed the movie that says all the critics are wrong.

Or do you believe critical reviews?

Tabor and Jocobovici's story is propaganda.

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