Friday, March 02, 2007

James Charlesworth on the "Jesus Family Tomb"

James Tabor has appeared often in the publicity connected with the Jesus Family Tomb documentary, not least because he was involved with the production. But it has gone largely unnoticed that James Charlesworth of Princeton Theological Seminary has also shown support for the documentary. He appeared as one of the panelists at the press conference on Monday in New York (on-line on the Discovery website, bottom left side bar) and is quoted in the press to the following effect (EOnline):
James Charlesworth of the Princeton Theological Seminary, who also consulted on the film, told Newsweek that the documentary makes a strong case for the biblical lineage, which is supported in part by archaeologists, historians, statisticians and DNA and forensics experts.

"A very good claim could be made that this was Jesus' clan," he said.
I would be interested to know if that is still Professor Charlesworth's view now at the end of this week. Another prominent New Testament scholar associated with the documentary is Francois Bovon of Harvard Divinity School (listed on the Discovery webite), but I have not seen any public comments by Bovon on the claims made by the documentary.

Update (16.13): Professor Charlesworth is involved in an Expert Q & A on the Discovery website. From what one can see of his answers so far, there is nothing to suggest that he has changed his mind about the identification of the Talpiot tomb with Jesus of Nazareth's family.


Anonymous said...

Wow. That's kind of puzzling, because I always used to respect James Charlesworth for his immense archeological and literary expertise on the New Testament. How did he not pick up on the many flaws so many other NT experts have pointed out over the past few days?

Of course I won't 'disrespect' him now because he supports the Jesus tomb idea. That would be juvenile. But I do question his judgment in this matter.

Anonymous said...

Also see the article by Ben Witherington III in the Wall Street Journal (3/2 issue).