The documentary “The Lost Tomb of Jesus” presents startling new evidence in the ongoing debate concerning the “James Ossuary.” The James ossuary was found around 1980. “The Jesus Family Tomb” was discovered in 1980.Stephen comments:
One of the ten ossuaries went missing from “The Jesus Family Tomb.” Its hastily scribbled, rounded-out dimensions generally match the James ossuary.
And the film documents recent tests conducted at the CSI Suffolk Crime lab in New York which demonstrate that the patina (a chemical film encrustation on the box) from the James ossuary matches the patina from the other ossuaries in the Talpiot tomb. (Emphasis original).
James Tabor's The Jesus Dynasty (pp. 31-33) previously raised this as a possible identity.Kloner's article is, helpfully, available on-line on the Discovery web site (PDF) along with the relevant pages from Rahmani's Catalogue of Jewish Ossuaries and Shimon Gibson's maps.
But Amos Kloner, "A Tomb with Inscribed Ossuaries in East Talpiot," 'Atiqot 29 (1996) page 17 Table 3 plainly lists that (#10) ossuary as having "No Inscription." If it had no inscription in 1980 how can it be an anciently-inscribed "James" ossuary?
Also on Xtalk, John Poirier asks about the issue of the dimensions of the missing ossuary and compares them with the dimensions of the James ossuary:
Another thing that doesn't add up are the dimensions of the ossuaries inIt looks like the sentence quoted above, about "hastily scribbled, rounded-out dimensions" which generally match" the James ossuary are a concession to the disparity in measurements between the two.
question. As I posted on this list on Oct 8, 2006, Tabor's claim that "the
dimensions of the missing tenth ossuary [from the Talpiot tomb] are precisely
the same, to the centimeter, to those of the James Ossuary" is bogus. *BAR*
lists the dimensions of the James ossuary as 50.5 cm x 25 cm x 30.5 cm, while
the report on the Talpiot tomb published in *Atiqot* 29 (1996) 15-22, lists the
tenth ossuary as measuring 60 cm x 26 cm x 30 cm. Tabor has been aware of this
discrepancy at least since Nov 23, 2006 (when I first heard Tabor's complaint
about a piece I wrote for *Jerusalem Perspective*, in which I cite this along
with several other problems with his theory). He could only continue to hold
his theory after that date, therefore, if he has reason to suspect that the
published report on one of the two ossuaries is in error.
At this point it looks highly unlikely that the James ossuary is the missing tenth box from the Talpiot tomb, unless the data we possess requires correction.