The Lost Tomb of Jesus
The piece provides some nice illustrations, explaining how Yeshua` might be derived, adding a question mark over bar and providing some alternative suggestions for reading the letters in question, though none of them provide any recognisable, coherent names. He also asks the question whether the "cross mark" is in fact an aleph. Carruso is not an epigrapher, so I am not drawing attention to his piece as if to flag it up as expert commentary. Rather, I found it helpful for illustrating for non-experts the difficulties that some of the experts are seeing in interpreting the inscription as Jesus. The following thoughts and questions come to mind:
(1) Is Yeshua` the only viable suggestion for this combination of letters? Given the lack of plausible alternatives, it seems that Rahmani's suggestion is still the best, albeit one that requires a question mark to be present.
(2) Is there any chance that the so called "cross mark" is in fact an aleph? I recall seeing that this mark actually lines up with another mark on the lid, in which case there is presumably little chance that this is an aleph. It is a mark for aligning the lid properly.
(3) Are there parallels to this way of representing bar?
(4) In general, is it accurate to say that the person inscribing this ossuary has made a bit of a mess of it? Compared with the other ossuaries in this tomb, the inscription here is by far the hardest to read.
(5) In relation to the previous point, here is one of the major concerns about the potential identification of this ossuary with Jesus of Nazareth. How plausible is it that so little effort would have been made over someone of such obvious importance to so many as Jesus of Nazareth?
Update (22.01): Ed Cook comments, helpfully, to the following effect:
I don't think Caruso has divided the letters correctly. He assigns a long vertical shaft to the "shin", but this vertical is actually (in my opinion) the waw, and the letter he identifies as waw is, conversely, the left shaft of the shin. Also the triangle shape that is part of the yodh (these loops or triangles are common in the ossuaries) he assigns to the shin. In short, I do not believe that Caruso's site is a reliable source of paleographic information. The reading "Yeshua" looks likely to me based on the published drawing.