Excerpt: 'The Jesus Dynasty' by James D. Tabor

15. For some reason Baruk seems to have misidentified the first one. Instead he showed them a broken inscribed fragment barely six inches in diameter that could not have read "Jesus son of Joseph." No such inscribed fragment exists. The actual 1926 ossuary with this inscription is complete and intact, pictured clearly in the Rachmani catalogue. Had the crew been shown this one it would have more than suited their purposes for filming and I doubt they would have even asked to see the second one. Baruk then brought out the second one, discovered in 1980.

16. The ossuary from Talpiot with the inscription "Jude son of Jesus" is on permanent display in the Israel Museum for public viewing as part of an exhibit showing the common use of these various Jewish names on burial ossuaries of the time.

17. London Sunday Times, March 31, 1996.

18. Reuters, April 2, 1996.

19. London Sunday Times, March 31, 1996. Zias's comments are all the more interesting given his later skepticism about the authenticity and significance of the so-called "James ossuary" revealed to the public in 2002.

20. Neil Silberman, The Hidden Scrolls: Christianity, Judaism, and the War for the Dead Sea Scrolls (New York: Putnam, 1994), p. 129.

21. Associated Press, April 2, 1996.

22. Amos Kloner, "A Tomb with Inscribed Ossuaries in the East Talpiot," Atiqot 29 (1996): 15?22. Kloner writes, "The bones within these ossuaries were in an advanced stage of disintegration" (p. 16). He says nothing about the human skulls that Gibson saw and put in his drawing. In a final note in his article he says, "After the completion of the excavation, the bones were reburied" (p. 22). Notice that Kloner did not publish his official report until 1996, sixteen years after the excavation and the same year all the publicity broke. He apparently was not involved in the excavation and writes his report based on the information compiled by the excavator, the late Joseph Gath.

"The Jesus Dynasty." Copyright © 2006 by James D. Tabor. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster Inc.

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