Thursday, April 05, 2012

Successes in Correcting Material on "the Jesus Discovery" website

Since I have often complained in the past about my inability to make an impact in listing the multiple errors and inaccuracies on the Jesus Family Tomb website (see also Jesus Tomb: I pointed out the mistakes), I don't want to appear ungracious this time round.  There is a marked difference with the 2012 analysis of Talpiot Tomb B when compared to the 2007 analysis of Talpiot Tomb A.  On that occasion, try as I might, it was impossible to get those involved with the project to acknowledge the most egregious errors imaginable, and all remain to this day.  But on this occasion, there has been a degree of success where I have attempted to draw attention to anomalies and apparent difficulties.  

I mentioned recently the Correction in Identifying one of the Talpiot Tomb B Ossuaries after I had drawn attention to anomalies in the captioning and discussion of photographs in James Tabor's Preliminary Report.  But now there is more.  I had been puzzled by the description of Ossuary 4 in kokh 2, on the Jesus Discovery website, as "Plain".  Here is a close-up of the relevant section on the original page, drawing attention to the description of ossuary 4 as "plain":
Excerpt from "Complete Findings", describing Ossuary 4 as "plain"
I could not see how ossuary 4 could be described as "plain".  Here is the excerpt from my earlier post:
Ossuary 4 is described in the Complete Findings as "Plain (Not fully explored)", which conflicts with the idea that it is "ornamented" ("Preliminary Report", 14).  If the 1981 photo above is of Ossuary 4, there is no question that it is ornamented.  Here is the detail of the fa├žade as we see it above:

Close-up of ornamented facade on ossuary 4 (1981)
. . . .  And while it is described as "plain" in one place, it is described as "ornamented" in another.
Well, I recently noticed that the Complete Findings page on the Jesus Discovery Website has been adjusted apparently to take account of my criticism:
Excerpt from the "Complete Findings", describing ossuary 4 as "highly decorated"
The same ossuary is now described as "highly decorated".  I am grateful to whoever made the change for taking account of my comments.  They do not acknowledge me or my observation and they do not make any note on the site that they have made these changes but I am pleased to see that on this occasion blog criticisms are apparently making an impact, albeit an unacknowledged one.


James D. Tabor said...

Mark I have acknowledged your help on this correction more than once and I thank you again. I have asked our web person to make the correction and appreciate it greatly. I have also mentioned that I will credit you in our official publication. Thanks again...

Mark Goodacre said...

Thanks, James. Sorry if I came across disgruntled, which wasn't my intention. I just wanted to put down a marker, as it were. I appreciate your acknowledgement of these things in your blog and here, but just hadn't seen it in any of the "official" places. Cheers, Mark

Unknown said...

we should also add (to their credit) the fact that they have corrected the caption on the photoshopped 'composite' image to now say 'cgi' or wholly computer generated. that was a correction.

see for details.

also, again to their credit, they updated the caption on the 'fish in the margins' image to at least designate it as 'marked' (meaning they placed digital ink the same color as the engraved portions into what they believe to be the engraved area), when they previously did not indicate that they had digitally altered the image.

likewise, again to their credit, they uploaded an unaltered (except for the spotlighting) 'fish in the margins' image, so that viewers can see the digital ink they had placed in the original 'fish in the margins' image.

see for details.

those are all steps forward.

Mark Goodacre said...

Thanks, Bob; good points. And in several of those cases, the changes happened with speed too, so there was no waitng around, unlike in 2007. One could make the same point about the lack of acknowledgement on the site itself, but that might be a bit of a grumpy thing to do.

Skeptic said...

Mark, what happened to those 17 errors in their 2007 book/film which you twice pointed out and were twice ignored?

Mark Goodacre said...

More than twice, in fact. All still there to this day.