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.

Simcha Jacobovici’s Circular Responses During Interview with Canada’s Drew Marshall

I just finished listening to Canadian talk show host Drew Marshall‘s interview with Simcha Jacobovici and Dr. Craig Evans.

This was my first time listening to Drew Marshall, and let me say he was a gracious host, and yet he didn’t let Simcha off the hook (my only fish pun). He actually called Simcha on a couple of things, but of course, that didn’t stop Simcha from entering into his obstinate alternate reality and completely dodge the questions and spin some answer that only a six-year old would accept as valid.

Listen to the interview. Read my marked-up comments.

Please keep in mind that in addition to being Assistant Professor of Classics and Religious Studies at the University of Iowa, I am also part of the “Digital Public Humanities” consortium here at Iowa. This means that part of my job as a scholar (in addition to teaching and researching and writing and excavating with Dr. Oded Lipschits at Tel Azakah in Israel) is responding to claims made in the public sphere (and if necessary, critiquing them) that involve technology and the humanities (i.e., the Digital Public Humanities), particularly in the fields of religion and archaeology. Simcha Jacobovici’s latest Discovery Channel documentary, The Resurrection Tomb Mystery (alternatively titled The Jesus Discovery in Canada) makes a sensational religious/archaeological claim involving innovative technology directly to the public, bypassing scholarly conventions of peer-review in refereed journals and professional conferences.

The above video is a critique of a publicly broadcast interview where filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici attempts to present ‘evidence’ for his latest pseudo-archaeological claim.

A couple of things to listen for:

At the 22:43 mark, Simcha mentions me by name, stating in the interview:

Even my worst detractors are saying, this – this guy Cargill he spends all of his days on his blog attacking me – even he says in the pages of the Washington Post, ‘This is important. This is different’.”  – Simcha Jacobovici, The Drew Marshall Show, April 7, 2012

Of course, I never said that. My four quotes from the April 5, 2012 Washington Post article by Nicolas Brulliard are as follows:

“It sounds like they’re trying to act out ‘The Da Vinci Code’.”

“The image on ossuary 6 is not Jonah’s great fish spitting out a seaweed-wrapped head of Jonah,” says Cargill, who favors the Greek vessel interpretation.

“Fish don’t have handles.”

“Cargill also says that the inscription and carvings found in the tomb are significant regardless of their interpretation.”

This is a typical example of how Simcha mishandles information. I obviously don’t agree with Simcha, but that doesn’t stop him from claiming I said: “This is important. This is different,” and spinning it into some kind of support for him.

(But, it’s always good to know that Simcha is paying attention. ;)

So there’s the joke that Simcha still does not realize the difference between a mention and an endorsement. I’ve addressed this elsewhere.

Second: I about fell out of my chair laughing at Simcha’s insistence that his 6-year old daughter’s assessment that the image on the ossuary is a fish was the “ultimate test”. Then again, that fact alone really does explain a lot about these sensational claims. Forget scholars and trained professionals. We don’t need no stinking scholars! (Because we scholars disagree with his conclusions.) So, he turns to his daughter. And she accepts that it is a fish. Case closed. Again, the “Mishi Test” (his words (on multiple occasions), not mine) alone trumps all the education and all the scholars in the world.

(BTW, and I mention this in the video: To be really honest, this is not a bad rhetorical tactic on Simcha’s part. Because now, if anyone ever calls Simcha on the fact that he consulted his six-year old daughter regarding ancient Jewish burial iconography, he can claim, “You’re personally attacking members of my family. How dare you!” or something like that.

Simcha invoked his six-year-old daughter’s professional(?) testimony as evidence in his interpretation of the image inscribed on Ossuary 6, but if you call him on it, he might try claiming “personal attack.” (And the less discerning among us might even buy it!) But I really wonder if he’d actually go there? I mean, it’d be a fairly obvious double standard and disingenuous retreat to a feigned offense designed to distract from his lack of evidence and circular reasoning. And yet, I’m torn about whether he’d actually do it. Maybe one of his doting fans (or employees) will claim “personal attack” for him? At least we’d know of its disingenuous nature beforehand.)

Finally, the sad fact that Simcha absolutely refuses to listen to ANY OTHER POSSIBLE EXPLANATION or interpretation regarding his “Jonah Fish” image is, with all due respect, laughable. In fact, if you listen to me on the video, you’ll hear me quite literally laughing out loud. Simcha actually tries to compare “that Drew Marshall exists” to his claim that the inscribed image on Ossuary 6 “is a fish.” Both are unquestionable facts in Simcha’s mind. In fact, he says that any other interpretation than ‘fish’ is “silliness,” and he refuses to entertain any further discussion about it. There is no other possible interpretation in Simcha’s mind. It’s a fish. End of story. (Did I mention he admitted he’s NOT an academic and NOT an archaeologist?)

The fact that Simcha absolutely refuses (and says so in the interview) to see anything other than what he ABSOLUTELY MUST see in order for his speculative theory to work essentially explains everything you need to know about both Simcha and this entire project.

In the video, Simcha admits he is “not a theologian, not a Christian,” and of course, elsewhere has admitted he is “not an archaeologist, nor an academic.” (Simcha Jacobovici, “The Nails of the Cross: A Response to the Criticisms of the Film,” jamestabor.com, June 22, 2011, p. 45.) And yet, if any theologian, Christian, academic, archaeologist, or any one else trained in these fields suggests anything other than “it’s a fish,” Simcha will have nothing to do with it.

That’s how desperate and precarious their theory has become…and the documentary hasn’t even aired yet.

Drew Marshall’s interview with Simcha Jacobovici will be remembered as THE moment that the delusional obstinate stubbornness of Simcha Jacobovici became self-manifest. He said it himself. He doesn’t want to hear anyone tell him it’s not a fish. It just is. Oh, and because it’s a fish, it’s a “Christian tomb,” “owned by Joseph of Arimathea,” those buried inside “knew Jesus” and “heard him preach,” and therefore the tomb next to it “contains the bones of Jesus.”

Do we really need to say more?

the talpiot tomb and jesus: it’s come to this

The whole Simcha Jacobovici / Talpiot Tomb / Jesus Family Tomb / Jonah Ossuary / Resurrection Tomb Mystery / Jesus Discovery circus has finally (and perhaps not unexpectedly) completed its descent into absurdity.

It’s come to this:

The Talpiot Tomb: It's Come to This

For background, see "Representative from Simcha Jacobovici’s Associated Producers, Ltd. Claims to Have Discovered the FACE OF JESUS in Talpiot Tomb Ossuary!" at http://wp.me/pm5VN-2tc.

HT: Every Jesus Sighting Ever

the power of twitter for pseudoarchaeology

Twitter: Because when reason, logic, common sense, facts, evidence, and scholars all say "No," you can always appeal to faith and beg the public to keep the story alive.

Twitter: Because when reason, logic, common sense, facts, evidence, and scholars all say “No,” you can always appeal to faith and beg the public to keep the story alive.

washington post reports on the so-called ‘jonah ossuary’ circus

Simcha points at a blank areaNicolas Brulliard of the Washington Post has filed an excellent report entitled, “Jerusalem tomb houses some of Jesus’s earliest followers, filmmaker says,” critiquing the approaching media circus known as Simcha Jacobovici’s latest Easter season documentary, The Resurrection Tomb Mystery.

The article reports:

“Where we’re standing right here is the beginning,” [Jacobovici] said this week outside the building erected atop one of the two 1st-century tombs. “To my mind, this is the most important archaeological find ever maybe — of the past 100 years for sure.”

Not everyone agrees.

No, not everyone does. In fact, the only people thus far who have even come close to supporting Jacobovici’s claims are those receiving some form of compensation for doing so in the form of cash, honorariums, subsidized trips, consulting credits, co-authorships, or on-air face time. Thus far, not a single scholar not somehow associated with this or another of Mr. Jacobovici’s projects has offered any form of public endorsement of, agreement with, or academic support for his claims. (You can read more about this near unanimous rejection of Jacobovici’s claims here).

“It sounds like they’re trying to act out ‘The Da Vinci Code,’ ” says Robert Cargill, an assistant professor of religious studies at the University of Iowa.

And once again:

The reading of the inscription has spurred a healthy amount of discussion among scholars, but Tabor and Jacobovici’s interpretation of one of the carvings has been rejected outright. Where they see a stick-figure Jonah emerging from a great fish heading downward, others see a vase, a perfume bottle or a pillar but no fish and no Jonah.

“The image on ossuary 6 is not Jonah’s great fish spitting out a seaweed-wrapped head of Jonah,” says Cargill, who favors the Greek vessel interpretation. “Fish don’t have handles.”

Handles: fish don't have them.

Handles on a "fish" are more likely handles on a vessel. But why isn't this drawn on the 'museum quality replica' shown to the press??

Handles on a "fish" are more likely handles on a vessel. But why isn't this drawn on the 'museum quality replica' shown to the press??

Give it a read.

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