why the so-called ‘jonah ossuary’ does not contain the name of jonah

Below is a side-by-side comparison of the image that Dr. Tabor and Dr. Charlesworth both claimed yesterday morning contained the “name of Jonah.”

I disagree. I have argued against this here and here.

I have marked up the image below. (The original is here.) I have placed a marked-up image next to the original so that viewers can see that the color-stroked lines correspond to the actual engraved lines. (Click for larger image.)

Side-by-side images of the bottom of the image inscribed on Ossuary 6 from the so-called "Patio Tomb" in Talpiot, Jerusalem. (Original image here: http://thejesusdiscovery.org/press-kit-photos/?wppa-album=3&wppa-photo=15&wppa-occur=1)

Side-by-side images of the bottom of the image inscribed on Ossuary 6 from the so-called "Patio Tomb" in Talpiot, Jerusalem. (Original image here: http://thejesusdiscovery.org/press-kit-photos/?wppa-album=3&wppa-photo=15&wppa-occur=1)

Dr. Charlesworth has claimed that red line forms a yod (“Y”), the aqua line forms a waw (“O”), the lime and yellow lines constitute a nun (“N”), and the orange, black, and pink lines form a heh (“H”). Dr. Charlesworth proposes that these lines form the name יונה (“YONH,” or “Jonah”).

There are a number of problems with this reading. Jim Davila, Antonio Lombatti, Mark Goodacre, Steven Goranson, and Steve Caruso have all already addressed many of the problems. Below is a summary with illustrations.

1. There is a space between the lines that comprise the supposed nun (yellow and lime lines), meaning it is likely not a nun. NOTE that given the present lighting, there are visible horizontal lines (to the left) and angled lines (above and to the right). Thus, were the yellow and lime lines connected, we should expect to see a quite visible horizontal connection between the two lines. However, this is lacking even though the same angles are visible in the same lighting elsewhere in the same photograph.

There is a space between the lines that make up the supposed 'nun'. Thus, this is not likely a 'nun'.

An over-under comparison of the original image (above, available here: http://thejesusdiscovery.org/press-kit-photos/?wppa-album=3&wppa-photo=15&wppa-occur=1) and the same image with the contrast and levels increased for clarity. The red arrow points to a space between the lines that make up the supposed 'nun'. Thus, this is not likely a 'nun'.

We must also ask if there is a line (that I have not highlighted) at the bottom of the lime green line running from northwest to southeast, that intersects the center white line at the space where the lime green and yellow lines approach one another. We might also ask whether the dark green line is a continuation of the lime green line.

2. The line above the supposed yod (blue line) is completely overlooked or intentionally ignored.

Side-by-side images of the original image (left) of a supposed 'yod' and a line above it. The line above the supposed 'yod' is completely ignored. (Original image here: http://thejesusdiscovery.org/press-kit-photos/?wppa-album=3&wppa-photo=15&wppa-occur=1)

Side-by-side images of the original image (left) of a supposed 'yod' and a line above it. The line above the supposed 'yod' is completely ignored. (Original image here: http://thejesusdiscovery.org/press-kit-photos/?wppa-album=3&wppa-photo=15&wppa-occur=1)

3. The line making up the supposed waw (aqua line) is bent the wrong way.

Side-by-side image of the supposed 'waw' from the so-called 'Jonah ossuary'. The waw is bent the wrong way. (Original image: http://thejesusdiscovery.org/press-kit-photos/?wppa-album=3&wppa-photo=15&wppa-occur=1)

Side-by-side image of the supposed 'waw' from the so-called 'Jonah ossuary'. The supposed 'waw' is bent the wrong way. (Original image: http://thejesusdiscovery.org/press-kit-photos/?wppa-album=3&wppa-photo=15&wppa-occur=1)

4. The faint line to the bottom left of the left leg of the supposed heh (purple line) is completely overlooked or intentionally ignored.

Side-by-side of an ignored line to the left of the left leg of the supposed 'heh'. (Original image: http://thejesusdiscovery.org/press-kit-photos/?wppa-album=3&wppa-photo=15&wppa-occur=1)

Side-by-side of an ignored line to the left of the left leg of the supposed 'heh'. (Original image: http://thejesusdiscovery.org/press-kit-photos/?wppa-album=3&wppa-photo=15&wppa-occur=1)

5. The line that provides the top of the supposed heh (pink line) is far too long in relation to the lines of the other supposed ‘letters.’

Side-by-side image of a supposed 'heh.' The top of the supposed letter is far too long in relation to the lines that would comprise the other supposed letters. (Original image: http://thejesusdiscovery.org/press-kit-photos/?wppa-album=3&wppa-photo=15&wppa-occur=1)

Side-by-side image of a supposed 'heh.' The top of the supposed letter is far too long in relation to the lines that would comprise the other supposed letters. (Original image: http://thejesusdiscovery.org/press-kit-photos/?wppa-album=3&wppa-photo=15&wppa-occur=1)

6. The faint, but definitely present line toward the bottom on the left side (the green line) is completely overlooked or intentionally ignored.

Side-by-side illustration of a faint line (green line above) that has been missed or ignored. (Original image here: http://thejesusdiscovery.org/press-kit-photos/?wppa-album=3&wppa-photo=15&wppa-occur=1)

Side-by-side illustration of a faint line (green line above) that has been missed or ignored. (Original image here: http://thejesusdiscovery.org/press-kit-photos/?wppa-album=3&wppa-photo=15&wppa-occur=1)

7. There is no base line. The supposed yod should not be lower than the supposed waw, and the supposed nun should not extend that far above the supposed heh, etc. In the graphic below, I have isolated the lines that supposedly make up the name of Jonah (and have ignored and not highlighted the lines that have been missed or intentionally ignored, just for argument’s sake).

No baseline exists for the supposed letters. We should expect the letters to hang from a baseline like on nearly all other ossuary inscriptions.

Side-by side image with lines that were missed or ignored removed. This image therefore consists only of the lines that some believe to make up the name of Jonah. No baseline exists for the supposed letters. We should expect the letters to hang from a baseline or show some attempt at some linear alignment like on nearly all other ossuary inscriptions.

Thus, in order for the name of Jonah to be present on the bottom of this vessel (or proposed “Jonah’s Great fish”), Dr. Charlesworth and Dr. Tabor must claim the following:

1) that two strokes that are not connected can count as a letter typically made with a single stroke (see the nun in #1 above)
2) that lines that clearly appear among the other lines can be simply ignored and disregarded because they do not fit the desired outcome (see #2, #4, and #6 above)
3) that letters can bend over backward to become something they’re not (see the waw in #3 above)
4) that lines of letters can be disproportionately lengthy compared to others (see #5 above)
5) the letters lack any semblance of a linear alignment (see #7 above)

If the above rules are permitted, that there may be no end to the ways in which we can interpret a random set of lines at the bottom of a vessel (complete with handles).

Side-by-side images of the bottom of the image inscribed on Ossuary 6 from the so-called "Patio Tomb" in Talpiot, Jerusalem. (Original image here: http://thejesusdiscovery.org/press-kit-photos/?wppa-album=3&wppa-photo=15&wppa-occur=1)

Side-by-side images of the bottom of the image inscribed on Ossuary 6 from the so-called "Patio Tomb" in Talpiot, Jerusalem. (Original image here: http://thejesusdiscovery.org/press-kit-photos/?wppa-album=3&wppa-photo=15&wppa-occur=1)

Because yods, waws, and nuns, are essentially straight or slightly curved lines of varying lengths, if we eliminate linear alignment, we can make a chicken scratch patch of lines of various lengths say just about anything that contains the letters Y, W, O, or N. And if we add the lines that were missed or deliberately ignored, we can introduce the letter Z, and perhaps L.

It is far more likely that the graffito artist made a poorly executed attempt (like the rest of the graffito vessel) at representing the geometry we find at the bottom of many amphoras, kraters, and hydrias, just above their half-spherical bases.

This interpretation seems far more likely that taking a Rorschach Test / word search approach to epigraphy.

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“The Resurrection Tomb Mystery” live blog by Robert Cargill

This will be the live blog of the premier of Simcha Jacobovici’s “The Resurrection Tomb Mystery” on the Discovery Channel on Thursday, April 12, 2012 at 9:00 PM Central.

This blog will be updated frequently and will be corrected/altered throughout the hour. (Please forgive misspellings and grammatical errors, as this is rapid fire.) I shall edit and make the text into a more coherent narrative when it’s over.

Other live blogs taking place: Mark Goodacre, Thomas Verenna.

=====

9:00 BEGIN

Disclaimer. Use your own judgment. Wise words.

9:01 Preview/Ad Intro. Seen this before.

Jesus’ crucifixion is being reenacted.

Intro Joseph of Arimathea. Wha?

Cut to Church of the Holy Sepulcher. True: no archaeological evidence of resurrection

Unused tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. OK. What’s the connection?

1980 in Talpiot (I didn’t know they had footage of that. ;-)

Talpiot Tomb: removed 10 ossuaries.

2007: Intro Simcha ‘Re-discovering” the tomb

Rehash 2007 “Jesus Family Tomb” info.

Made same mistake about the Mariamme name.

First talking head: James Tabor

Footage of Simcha doing what he does best: press conference

Simcha plays to the RELIGIOUS outrage (not Scientific)

1981: Archaeologists discover 2nd Talpiot Tomb

Showed Kloner’s B&W photos. Funny how Simcha kept saying this was an unexcavated tomb, when someone has already been in it, photographed it, and published it…

Nephesh pipe was cemented closed.

Simcha believes the tombs possess evidence of of Christianity, perhaps even the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. How/why?

James Tabor is giving a location arguing that because it is between the Herodion, The Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Hill of Ill Counsel.

Somehow this location is “central” because there are important things on all sides???? There are things EVERYWHERE in Jerusalem. Bathrooms and felafel stands are significant by that logic.

Arimathea evidence is circumstantial. It means, “Two Hills?” That’s all? No evidence has been presented. Anywhere you stand in Jerusalem there are 2 hills!

Cut to Haredim not wanting Simcha to mess with the tombs.

They say he is like a Nazi. Simcha doesn’t appreciate that.

Simcha reminds viewers that he is the son of Holocaust survivors. (He must not appreciate people implying that he is anti-Semitic when they should know better.)

Simcha has negotiations with Haredim’s rabbi.

Simcha agrees never to touch the contents of the tomb.

Simcha’s team does Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) in the apartment to detect presence of tomb.

9:10 COMMERCIAL BREAK

9:13 BACK

Review. Must figure to figure out how to get in.

Historian JAMES TABOR. Archaeologist RAMI ARAV. Narrator notes that Rami Arav was not involved in previous projects.

WALTER KLASSEN is cool! Amazing device. Tremendous potential for archaeology someday!

BILL TARANT (of General Electric Inspection Technologies)’s remote’s camera is very cool. The technology involved is legit. (Too bad it’s debut is with sensationalist documentary). I want one, or want Bill Tarant to sell me one. Wonder how much those cost?

Rome? Why Rome?

And why are we looking for evidence of Christianity? Do we want to find this? Predisposition anyone??

ROBIN JENSEN – expert on Early Christian Art

Earliest Christian symbols date to no earlier than the 4th Century

NOTE THAT THEY TOOK THE FISH THAT IS POINTING UP IN THE CATACOMBS AND ROTATED IT TO THE LEFT!!!! (I have a bad feeling about this.)

Robin Jensen establishes “Sign of Jonah” as symbol of the resurrection of Jesus. But notice she says nothing about SIMCHA’S ‘discovery’. She just provides background.

9:17: Cool music. Setting up to drill.

Simcha wants discovery!

9:18: Drilling. Drilling. Drilling.

Simcha wants to “Puts around with it all.”

Simcha just wants to get in.

9:19 They’re in.

9:19 Commercial

9:24 Back.

Walter Klassen shows up with amazing technology.

Again with the Joseph of Arimathea? That’s the THIRD time he’s been mentioned with absolutely NO evidence of him at all.

Two holes. One to see and one to search.

Simcha’s moment of truth.

Remember, Simcha has claimed that this is all live and real time.

Simcha is a pilot. (I think he said that.)

CGI is well done. Simcha’s CGI folks get an A+ (especially since we see so much of it in the documentary. And the press. And the book. And the website.)

So the niche closest to the door is the owner of the tomb?

Again with Arimathea? That’s FOUR now.

Intro snake camera.

Simcha is looking for a name.

They find ornate ossuary. But that is not evidence of Arimathea.

Others? Who?

Design in the center is a Nephesh? A symbolic reference to the afterlife?

They appear to be looking for something that ‘s not there.

Next niche with 3 ossuaries.

Simcha explains that we should expect to find a graffito. Prophetic!

MARA Greek inscription. Now Mara is buried here?

Note who is in that shot.

Now more of the Mariamme rehash. Like the book, much of it is Lost Tomb rehash.

Oops. Breakdown and stuck.

9:30 Cut to commercial.

(Commercial break side note: Remember – we should not expect to find graven images on Jewish tombs. we should find vessels (which we find on many ossuaries from Jerusalem) and geometric shapes like circles squares, triangles, Xs, and braids.)

9:34 Back!

Discussing the break to the equipment.

How are they going to get that out of there? They can’t go in the tomb.

Simcha sits sad and dejected.

They finally pulled out.

Now they’re looking back in the tomb.

Niche 3 Human skeletal remains.

The camera posses over a pelvis, but the re-enactment cuts to a skull.

Last niche. Last Chance.

Rami Arav points where he wants to look. Remember, Simcha says this is real-time.

Simcha finds something.

Walter spots a pair of intersecting lines, but calls it a cross.

“Ya ya ya ya ya ya ya ya ya!”

Correct: 4th century CE

If the cross… speculative and circular.

Better cut to commercial so people don’t think about it to hard.

Maybe when they come back from commercial, they’ll just assume they’ve found a cross and move on.

9:39: Commercial

9:42 Back

Wonder what we’ll find at the climax of the show?

Simcha: We have a pillar, a “Christian cross”, and a Mara inscription

But Tabor wants more.

SIMCHA SEES SOMETHING!

SIMCHA MAKES THE DISCOVERY!

There’ the vocals of the “Jesus Face” video.

It’s a NEPHESH (RAMI). Great thinking Rami!!! Stick with that!

“Handles!” Yes. Stick with that too!!!

SEE WHEN THEY TURNED IT TO THE SIDE, THEY CALLED IT A WHALE, A FISH

THE SYMBOL OF XN RZRXN. (That’s shorthand for Christian Resurrection.)

Cut to CGI Photoshopped image!!!

THAT IS NOT THE IMAGE!!! THAT IS COMPLETELY PHOTOSHOPPED!! SHOW THE REAL IMAGE

There HOLY CRAP! LOOK AT THEM OVERLAP THE TAILS AND DIGITALLY INK THE “FISH IN THE MARGINS”.

NOW THEY’RE GLOWING! SHOW THE ACTUAL PHOTOGRAPH!!!!

AND THEY KEEP SHOWING THE PHOTOSHOP IMAGE. AND IT’S ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ON ITS SIDE!!!! OUT OF ORIENTATION.

Tabor explains that they have the ‘earliest xn evidence ever.’

AND THEY KEEP SHOWING THE PHOTOSHOP IMAGE ON ITS SIDE!!!!!!!!!!

AND NOW, THEY’VE FOUND THAT THEY WANTED TO FIND.

Cut to Kloner’s photographs.

Are they mixing up the ossuaries?

FISH?

And there is ARIMATHEA AGAIN! Where the heck is the evidence for Arimathea?????? NOTHING. Yet how many mentions now, FIVE?

9:48 Commercial.

Ouch. that hurt my head.

WTF?? DID YOU SEE THEM DIGITALLY INK THE CIRCLES/OVALS IN THE BORDERS? HOLY CRAP! THEY SHOWED AN OVAL, THAT WASN’T CLOSED, AND THEY INKED IT WITH GLOWING INK INTO OVERLAPPED TAILS LIKE JESUS FISH ON THE BACKS OF CARS!!!!!I feel like I’m driving through Colorado Springs!

Why not show the actual ovals?

9:52 Back.

Summary coming back from commercial assumes they found Jonah.

INSCRIPTION.

“That’s it baby!”

Greek inscription. 4 lines.

JAMES CHARLESWORTH shows up.

I wonder if he’ll find the name of Jonah in the bottom?

YHWH??

“I am lifted up says Jesus,” says Charlesworth. Really? That’s what you read?

“From the dead????”

I wonder if Simcha liked Charlesworth yelling Yahweh.

Again great CGI. Simcha is great at CGI.

“GOD YHWH RAISE UP RAISE UP” in alternating lines of Greek Hebrew Greek Hebrew

YHWH is a problem in Jewish ossuaries

Now it’s “LORD JESUS RISE UP! RISE UP!”

What just happened?

The tomb where Jesus is dead and buried only a few meters away is celebrated by Christians who believe he is resurrected?

95% convinced.

James Tabor is the 95%! :)

Charlesworth speaks:

WHALE. HUMAN BEING.

Good grief. The sound editing on Charlesworth’s quote was horrid. They chopped that up into a gillion pieces. I wonder what he really said?

[Here’s what I added after re-watching the recording. This is Charlesworth’s quote as it stands in the documentary:

“The significance of what we have seen for the first time, and any eye has seen for 2000 years, is that we have a <em>whale</em>, with a mouth that’s closed, not a whale that’s swallowing someone, and out of that mouth comes a human being. [cut] This symbol here in Jerusalem, near where Jesus was crucified, not far away, is the symbol of the [terrible cut] belief that Jesus [cut] is raised. [cut] This is within [cut] decades [cut] of Jesus’ death.”

It’s almost like he originally said something other than ‘symbol of the belief in Jesus…’ It also sounds like he originally said something other than ‘This is within decades of Jesus’ death.” The question is: what did he originally say? Simcha and Tabor said elsewhere that ‘they probably heard him preach” and “they probably knew him.” Did Charlesworth originally echo that and say something like, “This is within the time of Jesus’ death?” or “This is within the first decade of Jesus’ death?” And why did they change it? All I know is he got butchered. ]

Tabor explains how it is possible that Christians celebrated Jesus’ SPIRITUAL resurrection, while the dead and buried bones of Jesus are just meters away.

Summary is awful. Someone should debunk that in 2 minutes in a CNN interview.

10:00 DONE

Summary:

40 minutes of digging and rehash of Jesus Family Tomb

15 minutes of speculation.

The narrator states at the end that now it’s up to scholars. The problem is that scholars debunked this bunk a month ago, literally 2 weeks after the book was released.

We kept being told, “Just wait for the documentary. You’ll see the actual pictures.” But there were none. There were better pictures on the website. The documentary kept showing a rotated vessel and inked circles to make them look like ‘fish’. And you now see why they rotated the fish from the catacombs scene. It’s a visual trick to prime the brain to see similar fish.

Again, they found what they wanted to find. They knew better. They said “Nephesh.” They said, “Handles.” And yet that didn’t fit what they wanted to find. So, the Photoshopped it and rotated it and inked the circles in the margins to make Jesus fish and sold it to the audience.

Then, they translated the inscription into saying precisely what they needed it to say to support what they wanted to find.

We learned nothing new. There were some dramatic reenactments. The camera and robotic are were cool. Klassen and Tarant are to be commended. Hopefully they can be used in a real excavation in the future.

But I’m very sorry: there is no evidence of Christianity in either of those tombs. They resorted to showing digitally manipulated images (the so-called “Jonah fish’ rotated to its side, AND the glowing Jesus fishes) to try and convince the viewer. But only those who really want to believe will be convinced.

I seriously kept waiting for Giorgio Tsoukalos to show up and make my joy complete and say that aliens, not Joseph of Arimathea, put the ossuaries in there.

And what was with all the references to Joseph of Arimathea? If I didn’t know any better, based upon the continued references to Joseph of Arimathea, and yet ABSOLUTELY ZERO evidence presented about him, I’d argue that there WAS originally a segment on evidence for Joseph of Arimathea that got edited out, perhaps when Discovery cut the time from 2 hours to 1 hour, or perhaps when certain images of mailboxes and green signs appeared in the internet. Either way, it was a lot of narrative investment in talk about Joseph of Arimathea without a single shred of evidence to support it.
(SEE UPDATE BELOW!)

They should have reported the graffito inscription of the rather interesting inscribed Greek vessel on the side of the ossuary. That would have been a solid contribution to archaeology. Problem is, Discovery Channel doesn’t want to buy a documentary titled, “Rather Interesting Inscribed Greek Vessel: DECODED.” They want “JESUS SPIRITUALLY, YET NOT PHYSICALLY RESURRECTION TOMB MYSTERY.”

What’s interesting is that they blamed believing xns last time around for not wanting to believe Simcha had found the dead and buried bones of Jesus. Weirdly, this time around, they’ve been saying that Christians should want to believe this because they found evidence of Resurrection. However, as Dr. Tabor explained, they found evidence of SPIRITUAL resurrection and exaltation, not PHYSICAL resurrection. How are xns going to react to the claim that Jesus wasn’t PHYSICALLY resurrected? Doubting Thomas please sit down. You never touched him.

And we can expect Simcha to say, “See the xns don’t WANT to believe this discovery,” and then from that attempt to deduce that therefore his discoveries and conclusions are true.

But, of course, it’s not just people of faith who are disagreeing, but scholars.

I do like how they’ve already ditched the Jonah stick man argument and are now desperately looking for the letters of the name of Jonah in a Rorschach Test. Is someone trying to save face? When you dig yourself in a hole, put down the shovel.

Final thoughts:

A) There is no ‘Jonah’s Great Fish.’ It’s some sort of Greek vessel like we find on dozens of other ossuaries from Jerusalem. The image used in the documentary was actually a CGI, Photoshopped composite turned on its side to make it look more like a fish. See here.

B) There are no ‘fish in the margins.’ They are simple ovals or circles that surround the image along with a number of standard geometric shapes, including a simple braided border, stacked triangles, squares with X’s in them, and simple ovals or circles. In fact, the image of the so-called ‘fish in the margins’ that Simcha’s team had first released on their website was shown to be Photoshopped; They added ‘digital ink’ to extend the lines of the ovals to make them look like fish with crossed tails like the ‘Jesus fish’ you’d find on the backs of cars. They added glowing ink in the documentary.

C) There is no cross. It is nothing more than a pair or intersecting parallel lines.

D) They claim that the inscription possesses the Tetragrammaton, the personal name of God, but the only scholars who read the personal name of God are already working with Simcha on this or previous projects.

E) Finally, there is no ‘Jonah.’ They had been arguing that the half-spherical base of the vessel was the ‘seaweed wrapped head of stick figure Jonah.’ But, this was SO absurd, they just last night, they’ve changed their position and are arguing that a bunch of randomly etched lines spell out the Hebrew name of “Jonah.” The problem with this is that the first three letters of the name of Jonah in Hebrew, yod, waw, and nun, are essentially differing lengths of straight or slightly curved lines. They are looking at these simple lines and trying to make letters out of them like one would look at a Rorschach Test and make it be something. Their previous “stick figure Jonah’s head’ argument was so weak, they appear to have ‘cut bait’ (no pun intended) and have moved on to “Rorschach Test Archaeology.”

F) There were no additional images to convince scholars of anything. This was very disappointing. The website has better photos. I learned nothing new about the claims tonight. And since the Jesus Discovery website doesn’t show all of the images that are available (like the one peering behind Ossuary 5 that reveals the handles at the top of the vessel on Ossuary 6 – Remember, fish don’t have handles!), then we’re left with beig forced to conclude that there IS no more evidence, and the reason that they kept referring to the Photoshopped CGI image is because any closer look at the photos will contradict their conclusions.

G) At the end of the day, the entire documentary is essentially an apologetic for the belief in a spiritually, and not physically resurrected Jesus. In 2007, Simcha claimed he had discovered the bones of a very dead Jesus buried next to his wife and his family. This year, Simcha claims to have found the earliest ‘evidence’ of Christian celebration of a resurrected Jesus. This means that we must ignore biblical accounts like those of ‘Doubting Thomas,’ who wanted to touch the body of the physically resurrected Jesus, and redefine ‘resurrection’ as the ‘spiritual resurrection and exhalation.’ Simcha and Dr. Tabor seem to be setting out to find apologetic evidence for a set of modern beliefs that understands Jesus as ‘spiritually’ resurrected, but not ‘physically’ resurrected.”

Because they obviously don’t have the evidence, and yet they claim this evidence, the question we must ask becomes this: who would benefit most from the discovery of first century evidence of a Christian belief in a spiritually, but not physically resurrected Jesus?

Who do you know who believes in a physically unresurrected, but spiritually resurrected and exalted Jesus?

The answer to that question will tell us much more about the possible motive behind Simcha and Dr. Tabor’s otherwise circumstantial and highly spurious conclusions.

OK. Done. Time for bed.

In the words of Gerald Ford, let us hope “our long national nightmare is over.” :)


UPDATE:
April 26, 2012 – Jim West is reporting that in the Canadian 90-minute version of the documentary, there IS a segment dedicated to the signs on the apartment mailbox and buzzer that have little signs that say הרמתי, or “Arimathea” on them.

The green sign above mailbox 4 appears to be a little different shade of green than the rest of the green mailbox signs. Likewise, the little green sign to the left of the buzzer seems to be a little lighter shade of green than the rest of the buzzer signs. A screen capture image of the apartment mailbox and buzzer system from the Canadian Jesus Discovery documentary appears to reveal that the small green doorbell sign that read “Arimathea” may have been added/replaced more recently than the other signs above and below it (which would explain the slightly different color and typeset/font).

What is more, note that when the camera zooms in on the buzzer, there appears to be an over-sized sign that reads הרמתי, which is so large that it now partially covers the speaker!!! Likewise, the names of the other folks appear to be blank, while the massive הרמתי sign is clearly visible.

So, based upon this evidence, I shall speculate (and mind you this is only speculation) the following:

  1. It appears that someone replaced the standard/old green sign (that appear on nearly all of the other mailboxes) on the Apartment #4 mailbox with a more recent, slightly lighter green הרמתי (“Arimathea”) sign in a slightly different typeset/font. (We don’t know who or why it was added/replaced, but it appears to have been done.)
  2. It appears that someone replaced the smaller standard/old green sign (that appear on nearly all of the other buzzers) in the buzzer/doorbell signs with a more recent, slightly lighter green sign. (Again, we don’t know who or why it was added/replaced, but it appears to have been done.)
  3. Furthermore, it appears that the new, slightly lighter green הרמתי (“Arimathea”) sign wasn’t enough to convince viewers, so for the close up of the buzzer, an ADDITIONAL, much larger, handwritten הרמתי (“Arimathea”) sign was placed next to the doorbell with the slightly greener doorbell sign on it, AND, all of the other doorbell signs were obscured. Again, the side-by-side images on Dr. West’s blog clearly show that a larger “Arimathea” sign has been added to the doorbell for the documentary close-up.

Also note that all of this supposed “evidence” is referred to by the documentary as an “omen,” as if the fact that someone named הרמתי (“Arimathea”) lived in this apartment for the past 2000 years, and that fact is further evidence that the tomb beneath the East Jerusalem apartment is the tomb of Jesus.

But let’s be honest – that’s IMPOSSIBLE given the fact that:

  1. It appears the הרמתי (“Arimathea”) signs were added/replaced more recently than the remainder of the mailbox and doorbell signs
  2. The apartment has only been around since around 1980! Remember the tomb was DISCOVERED when construction workers were building the new apartment in East Talpiot (or Armon HaNetziv), East Jerusalem, a West Bank neighborhood that was annexed by Israel following the Six Day War. The apartment is only a few decades old, and the הרמתי (“Arimathea”) signs appear to be even more recent than that.

And yet, this is all some sort of “omen” that Simcha and his camera crew are on the right track in finding the “Tomb of Jesus” – just like Simcha repeatedly suggests (see the 1:40 and 8:43 marks in this interview with Drew Marshall) that the “timing” of the Talpiot Tomb discoveries themselves are some sort of more-than-coincidental, “strange” omen, and not the product of a well-organized production schedule and press campaign designed to broadcast documentaries in the weeks before and after Easter.

This is all literally un-believable.

So, not only does this “Joseph of Arimathea” segment appear to have been deleted/edited out of the American 60-minute version of the film (which would explain the absence of any “evidence” for Joseph of Arimathea despite the multiple reference to Joseph of Arimathea throughout the documentary, but it also appears to have been set-up (at least the larger הרמתי sign) specifically for the documentary.

Camera tricks involving lighting, angles, zooming, and framing/cropping to support a claim, which are contradicted by subsequently released photos of the same object. Where have we seen this before? Unfortunately, it appears to be a systemic problem of the entire expedition, and the credibility and integrity of all of the images involved with the documentary are damaged by these quite amateurish camera tricks.

April 26, 2012 – Jim West is reporting that in the Canadian 90-minute version of the documentary, there IS, in fact, a segment dedicated to the signs on the apartment mailbox and buzzer that have little signs that say הרמתי, or “Arimathea” on them.

The green sign above mailbox 4 appears to be a little different shade of green than the rest of the green mailbox signs. Likewise, the little green sign to the left of the buzzer seems to be a slightly lighter shade of green than the rest of the buzzer signs. A screen capture image of the apartment mailbox and buzzer system from the Canadian The Jesus Discovery documentary appears to reveal that the small green doorbell sign that read “Arimathea” may have been added/replaced more recently than the other signs above and below it (which would explain the slightly different color and typeset/font).

What is more, note that when the camera zooms in on the buzzer, there appears to be an animated over-sized sign that reads הרמתי, which is blown up so large that it now partially covers the speaker!!! Likewise, the names of the other folks appear to be blank, while the enhanced הרמתי sign is clearly visible.

So, based upon this comparative evidence, I shall speculate (and mind you this is only speculation) the following:

  1. It appears that someone replaced the standard/old green sign (that appear on nearly all of the other mailboxes) on the apartment #4 mailbox with a more recent, slightly lighter green הרמתי (“Arimathea”) sign in a slightly different typeset/font. (We don’t know who or why it was added/replaced, but it appears to have been done.)
  2. It appears that someone replaced one of the smaller standard/old green doorbell/buzzer signs (that appear next to nearly all of the other doorbells) with a more recent, slightly lighter green sign. (Again, we don’t know who or why it was added/replaced, but it appears to have been done.)
  3. Furthermore, it appears that the new, slightly lighter green הרמתי (“Arimathea”) sign wasn’t enough to convince viewers, so for the close up of the buzzer, an ADDITIONAL zoom of a much larger, possibly handwritten(?) הרמתי (“Arimathea”) sign was placed next to the doorbell with the slightly greener doorbell sign beside it, AND, all of the other doorbell signs are somewhat obscured. Again, the side-by-side images on Dr. West’s blog clearly show that a larger “Arimathea” sign has been digitally zoomed next to the doorbell for the documentary close-up.

Also note that all of this supposed “evidence” is referred to by the documentary as an “omen,” as if the fact that someone named הרמתי (“Arimathea”) lived in this apartment for the past 2000 years, and that fact is supposedly further evidence that the tomb beneath the East Jerusalem apartment is the tomb of Jesus.

But let’s be honest – that’s IMPOSSIBLE given the fact that:

  1. It appears the הרמתי (“Arimathea”) signs were added/replaced more recently than the remainder of the mailbox and doorbell signs.
  2. The apartment has only been around since around 1980! Remember the tomb was DISCOVERED when construction workers were building the new apartment in East Talpiot (or Armon HaNetziv), East Jerusalem, a West Bank neighborhood that was annexed by Israel following the Six Day War. The apartment is only a few decades old, and the הרמתי (“Arimathea”) signs appear to be even more recent than that. Now, it could very well be the case that a new family coincidentally named “Arimathea” moved into the apartment after everyone else (which would explain the replaced, slightly lighter green signs), but I would consider this to be highly coincidental, and certainly would not be evidence that the tomb beneath the apartment has been in the “Arimathea” family since the first century.

And yet, this is all some sort of “omen” that Simcha and his camera crew are on the right track in finding the “Tomb of Jesus.” This is similar to other suggestions Simcha has made in the past, like those he made in this interview with Drew Marshall (see the 1:40 and 8:43 marks), where he suggests that the “timing” of the Talpiot Tomb discoveries themselves was some sort of more-than-coincidental, “strange” omen, and not the product of a well-organized production schedule and press campaign designed to broadcast documentaries in the weeks before and after Easter.

This is all literally UN-believable.

So, not only does this “Joseph of Arimathea” segment appear to have been deleted/edited out of the American 60-minute version of the film (which would explain the absence of any “evidence” for Joseph of Arimathea despite the multiple reference to Joseph of Arimathea throughout the documentary), but it also appears to have been enhanced (at least the digitally enlarged הרמתי sign) specifically for the documentary.

It appears we have yet another example of camera tricks involving lighting, angles, zooming, and framing to support a particular claim, which is then contradicted by subsequently released photos of the same object. Unfortunately, it appears to be a systemic problem of the entire expedition, and the credibility and integrity of all of the images involved with the documentary are damaged by these quite amateurish camera tricks and film making blunders.

on seeing the name of “Jonah” in the “Jonah Fish” ossuary

This really is Rorschach Test archaeology.

News from Simcha, Dr. Tabor, and Dr. Charlesworth claim to have ‘discovered’ the ‘name of Jonah’ inscribed in a jumbled mess of lines at the bottom of the so-called “Jonah fish” ossuary.

I addressed this yesterday in a YouTube video. There is no ‘Jonah.’ Mr. Jacobovici and Dr. Tabor had been arguing that the half-spherical base of the vessel was, (I kid you not), the ‘seaweed wrapped head of a stick figure Jonah.’

But, this was SO patently absurd, that just last night, they’ve changed their position and are now arguing that a bunch of randomly etched-in lines spell out the Hebrew name of ‘Jonah.’ (Think about it: Jonah loses his legs and arms if they are now ‘letters.’)

The problem with this is that the first three letters of the name of Jonah in Hebrew, yod, waw, and nun, are essentially differing lengths of straight or slightly curved lines. They are looking at these simple lines and trying to make letters out of them like one would look at a Rorschach Test and make into whatever their imagination tells them.

Jim Davila, Antonio Lombatti, and Mark Goodacre have already addressed this new ‘discovery.’

Apparently, their previous ‘stick figure Jonah’s head’ argument was so weak, they appear to have already ‘cut bait’ (all pun intended) and have moved on to “Rorschach Test Archaeology.”

So, if that’s how we’re going to do it, then I have a (quite satirical) ‘discovery’ of a name of my own:

If a bunch of random lines is "Yonah," then I've discovered "Yo Yo Ma." The argument of "Jonah's seaweed wrapped stick figure head" is so weak, Simcha and his team have cut bait and moved on to "Rorschach Test archaeology."

If a bunch of random lines is "Yonah," then I've discovered "Yo Yo Ma." The argument of "Jonah's seaweed wrapped stick figure head" is so weak, Simcha and his team have cut bait and moved on to "Rorschach Test archaeology."

YouTube: “Jonah’s Seaweed Wrapped Head” on the “Jonah Ossuary” from “The Resurrection Tomb Mystery”

I’ve created one more YouTube video that critiques the image that is claimed by filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici and Dr. James Tabor to be “Jonah’s Seaweed Wrapped Head” on the so-called “Jonah Ossuary” from a tomb in Talpiyot, Jerusalem. The ossuary is featured in a forthcoming Discovery Channel documentary entitled “The Resurrection Tomb Mystery.”

And just as I’ve written before, the “Seaweed Wrapped Head” of “Jonah” is actually an attempt at a half-spherical base of a Greek vessel etched into the side of the ossuary. Nothing more.

The “seaweed” is nothing more than an etched version of “coloring in” the base, just like the artist “etched in” the top of the vessel (Simcha and Dr. Tabor’s “fish tail”) and many areas of the geometric border surrounding the vessel. Note that the lines are drawn as you’d expect one to draw them were they attempting to represent a half-spherical base.

Finally, the lines that comprise the extra “legs and arms of stick man Jonah” are nothing more than attempts at reproducing the ring of lines that quite commonly appear just above the bases in vessels, as the video clearly shows. Unless you are going to put forward Rorschach tests as archaeological evidence, there is nothing else there.

Up, around, in, and down. Handles on the so-called “Jonah fish” highlighted in YouTube video

Up, around, in, and down.

Up, around, in, and down.

Up, around, in, and down.

This YouTube video shows clearly that there are handles of the same size, shape, and location on both sides of the top of the graffito inscribed Greek vessel on Ossuary 6 from the so-called “Patio Tomb” in Talpiyot, Jerusalem.

The video also examines Dr. James Tabor’s claims that the lines comprising the handles are merely “imagined,” “made by mistake,” “unconnected,” “randomly scratched,” “stray lines,” “random mark,” “random scratch,” and “not there.”

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to respond below.

For background, see:

Sins of Commission and Omission: Digitally Generated Marginal ‘Fishes’ and Overlooked Handles on the So-called ‘Jonah Ossuary’

YouTube Tutorial on Correcting for Perspective in Photoshop: “Jonah Ossuary” Edition

James Tabor is Correct: ‘It’s Anything But a Fish’: Logical Fallacies in Defense of the “Jonah Ossuary” Theory

YouTube Video: Digitally Manipulated “Fish in the Margins” Imagery on the so-called “Jonah Ossuary”

what handles? these handles. and fish don’t have handles

what handles? these handles. and fish don’t have handles

Question: Why aren’t the following photos on the thejesusdiscovery.org website?

Answer: Because they reveal without any doubt that there are handles of the same size, shape, and location on both sides of the top rim of the Greek vessel. And fish don’t have handles.

The image inscribed on the front panel of Ossuary 6 from the so-called "Patio tomb" in Talpiyot, Jerusalem. Strangely, this image does NOT appear on the thejesusdiscovery.org website. Image courtesy Dr. James Tabor.

The image inscribed on the front panel of Ossuary 6 from the so-called "Patio tomb" in Talpiyot, Jerusalem. Strangely, this image does NOT appear on the thejesusdiscovery.org website. Image courtesy Dr. James Tabor.

The image inscribed on the front panel of Ossuary 6 from the so-called "Patio tomb" in Talpiyot, Jerusalem. Strangely, this image does NOT appear on the thejesusdiscovery.org website. Image courtesy Dr. James Tabor.

The image inscribed on the front panel of Ossuary 6 from the so-called "Patio tomb" in Talpiyot, Jerusalem. Strangely, this image does NOT appear on the thejesusdiscovery.org website. Image courtesy Dr. James Tabor.

The image inscribed on the front panel of Ossuary 6 from the so-called "Patio tomb" in Talpiyot, Jerusalem. Strangely, this image does NOT appear on the thejesusdiscovery.org website. Image courtesy Dr. James Tabor.

The image inscribed on the front panel of Ossuary 6 from the so-called "Patio tomb" in Talpiyot, Jerusalem. Strangely, this image does NOT appear on the thejesusdiscovery.org website. Image courtesy Dr. James Tabor.

The image inscribed on the front panel of Ossuary 6 from the so-called "Patio tomb" in Talpiyot, Jerusalem. Strangely, this image does NOT appear on the thejesusdiscovery.org website.  Image courtesy Dr. James Tabor

The image inscribed on the front panel of Ossuary 6 from the so-called "Patio tomb" in Talpiyot, Jerusalem. Strangely, this image does NOT appear on the thejesusdiscovery.org website. Image courtesy Dr. James Tabor.

The image inscribed on the front panel of Ossuary 6 from the so-called "Patio tomb" in Talpiyot, Jerusalem. Note the handle on the left side of the top of the vessel. Note also the digitally altered 'fish in the margins', where someone placed ink of the same color as the engraved areas into the image.

The image inscribed on the front panel of Ossuary 6 from the so-called "Patio tomb" in Talpiyot, Jerusalem. Note the handle on the left side of the top of the vessel. Note also the digitally altered 'fish in the margins', where someone placed ink of the same color as the engraved areas into the image.

An over/under comparison of an image of an inscribed on an ossuary from the so-called "Patio tomb" in Talpiyot, Jerusalem. Note the handles on the side of what Tabor and Jacobovici call a "half fish."

An over/under comparison of an image of an inscribed on an ossuary from the so-called "Patio tomb" in Talpiyot, Jerusalem. Note the handles on the side of what Tabor and Jacobovici call a "half fish."

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Holy Photoshop Batman! The “Jonah Fish” Image on Nightline

ABC’s Nightline will run a segment this evening on the forthcoming The Resurrection Tomb Mystery documentary by Simcha Jacobovici.

ABC News has released a short article to accompany the segment this evening.

In part it reads:

Robert Cargill, an assistant professor of classics and religious studies at the University of Iowa, told “Nightline” that the original image of the engraving that Tabor sent him is “clearly displaying the handles” but that the handles do not appear in the image that was distributed to the press.

“There are clearly handles on the top of the so-called ‘Jonah fish’ image, but Tabor and Jacobovici don’t include them in their museum replicas or the CGI image,” Cargill said. “No credible scholar except those that work with or for Simcha on this or some other project believe his conclusions… The evidence does not support their sensational claims. But that doesn’t stop them from wanting it to be true, so in their minds, it’s true.”

And good grief! Is this or is this not the most Photoshopped of all Photoshopped images? It looks like some leftover CGI footage from Avatar. Note that they even rotated it to its side to better resemble the natural disposition of a fish. And is that a drop shadow? What now? Is it going to swim away?

Photoshopped "Jonah image" from Ossuary 6 of the so-called "Patio Tomb" in Jerusalem.

Photoshopped "Jonah image" from Ossuary 6 of the so-called "Patio Tomb" in Jerusalem.

Check out the Nightline segment tonight on ABC. Dr. Mark Goodacre will be featured and represent the scholarly rebuttal to Simcha and Dr. Tabor.

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