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The Jesus Discovery: The Resurrection Tomb that Reveals the Birth of Christianity Kindle Edition

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Length: 274 pages Word Wise: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In 1981, a tomb was discovered under a condominium in Jerusalem that held ossuaries inscribed with such names as Jesus, son of Joseph; Mary; and Mariamene Mara. Although the bone boxes were ignored for more than 20 years, when they were finally examined, the case was made that they held the bones of Jesus, mother Mary, Mary Magdalene, Jesus’ brother, and a son of Jesus (!). This theory was largely rejected due to the commonality of the names. Now, another tomb under the same condo building has been examined using specialized robotic cameras. Untouched for more than 2,000 years, two of these newly discovered bone boxes contain further references to Jesus, according to the authors. One, they claim, is inscribed with a large fish, symbolic of Jonah, whose story is mentioned by Jesus in Matthew and Luke. The other has words scratched upon it that say, “The Divine Jehovah raises up from the dead.” Tabor, a religious studies professor, and filmmaker Jacobovici do an excellent job of walking readers through the discoveries, framing the history; explaining the what, why, and how of ancient ossuaries; and taking another look at the statistical evidence surrounding the names in the first tomb. For readers, however, the book’s problem is the photographs. Printed on dull stock, they are difficult to make out. The fish looks like a decorative urn, and it’s almost impossible to see the stick figure of Jonah often mentioned in the text. Considering the conditions under which the photos were obtained, the poor quality may be understandable, but why not at least have labels to show what is being discussed? Will this discovery cause heated debate? It already has. And a Discovery Channel television program coming soon will turn up the temperature still higher. --Ilene Cooper


“An exciting, extraordinary, exceptional discovery. See for yourself the first archeological evidence ever for early Christian belief in resurrection.” (Barrie Wilson, Professor of Religious Studies, York University, Toronto and author of How Jesus Became Christian)

“These newly discovered findings, revealed by a sophisticated robotic camera exploration, are extremely important for early Jewish-Christian archaeology.” (Peter Lampe, Dr. theol., Dr. habil., Professor of New Testament Studies, University of Heidelberg)

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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By J. Dolby on September 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had read The Jesus Family Tomb and had seen the the TV programs dealing with each of the Talpiot tombs and felt that this book would probably not have much more to offer.

I was wrong.

This book presents strong arguments to support the hypothesis that the two tombs in the Talpiot suburb of Jerusalem are quite special. When analyzed in tandem, they represent not just a clearly pre-70 CE Christian burial area and a tomb that might have some interesting coincidence in name inscriptions, but instead two tombs that each held the bones of people we know from scripture.

This is a book that deals with history, not theology. Indeed, the authors firmly point out that the findings they present in no way counter one's belief in resurrection. Indeed, their report includes the earliest yet discovered symbols of Christian resurrection.

This is exciting stuff!

Their research used techniques ranging from "good ole archeology" to the study of ancient scripts, to the most modern of techniques, including robotic cameras and advanced DNA analysis techniques.

This book is perfect for three groups of people: those who are not at all familiar with this subject; those who are reasonably in agreement with the information presented in the earlier book and TV shows; and, perhaps most importantly, those who know something about these prior efforts and are in strong disagreement.

Beside enjoying the results of all the research James Tabor & Simcha Jacobovici presented here, I was highly impressed by the pace of the book and even more so by the logical progression of findings, building to the final conclusions.

This book doesn't have to change your mind or your beliefs. Just read it with an open, historical rather than theological, mindset and I think you will find this intriguing.
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99 of 120 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey J. Bütz on February 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Right out of the gate, the discovery that this book describes has been viciously attacked by academics and conservative Christian leaders, as was the previous book and documentary on the original Talpiot tomb. Sadly, those on the attack often do so without fully examining all the evidence. On the day of the press conference, scholars such as Jodi Magness were already resorting to near histrionics ("it pains me to see archaeology hijacked in the service of non-scientific interests, whether they are religious, financial, or other"). It is ironic that Magness and others who accuse Tabor and Jacobovici of using unscholarly methods resort to such unscholarly ad hominem attacks.

That being said, yes, the authors of this book have gone against the grain of the laboriously slow, methodical scholarly approach. And for that the world should be thanking them! If their theses and conclusions are false, the academics have plenty of time to refute them. What is interesting is that in the years since the initial release of information on both the so-called "Jesus Family Tomb" and the "James" ossuary, the scholarly refutation of these finds has been eroded by increasing evidence supporting their authenticity. The trial of Oded Golan on charges of forging the inscription on the James ossuary is presently completely collapsing. The supposed "commonness" of the names on the ossuaries in the Talpiot tomb is being stood on its head by the latest statistical research. The grouping of these particular names is not statistically probable, adding to what is now a likelihood that these ossuaries do belong to Jesus and his family. Now, the latest evidence from the neighboring "Patio tomb," discussed in this book, adds further evidence in support of the initial claims of Jacobovici and Tabor.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Marte on April 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As with all Dr. Tabor's books, The Jesus Discovery is well written and clearly lays out the facts. The discovery and exploration of a second tomb close to the original "Talpiot Tomb" strongly backs up the original theory that the first tomb belonged to the man whose name has come to us as Jesus, and his family. I personally was skeptical about the claims for the first tomb, although I could see why the archaeologists believed it was what they said it was, but with this additional information it's much more clear that they were correct.

Anyone with an open mind can see all the facts for themselves. There are many people who will adamantly refuse to try to understand anything outside their own comfort zone, and thinking in new and different ways about religious beliefs is very difficult for many. Those people have already gone out of their way to try to discredit Dr. Tabor and Dr. Jacobovici and all they've done is make themselves look desperate.

The only real down side to the book is the horrible, horrible cover. I think it's supposed to look like a Torah scroll with an image of Jesus faintly superimposed on it. What it actually looks like is... well, people have seen it as someone's bare behind and people have seen it as a closeup of female anatomy. One has to wonder whether the publishers were trying to sabotage the book from the get-go! One should not judge the book by its cover, but with a cover this blatantly awful, that's not easy to remember.
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27 of 36 people found the following review helpful By OtherWorlds&Wisdom on March 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I approach books like this with hesitation because there is a whole industry out there "revising Jesus" with every possible theory often based on barely visible evidence and great leaps in imagination. Often the attempts are simply poor tries to undermine Christianity. This book dabbles both in revisionism and good research.

The authors' finds in this "new" tomb, if verified, are the earliest written references to Jesus. It's funny how some attack them before any attempt at verification. This is leftover angst from the controversy surrounding the "Jesus Family" boxes nearby to this other site. Skeptics tried to use those bones to say Jesus never resurrected. Tabor and Jacobovici detail within why that is not the case. Though their continued use of phrases like "resurrection faith" or something similar does sound like the common skeptic claim that "faith is ok, but its a personal belief and not really rooted in evidence." Perhaps this wasn't intentional by the authors, though their continued belief in the "bones of Jesus" in the other tomb, tells me it is. Realize though, the earliest Christians based their beliefs based on personal eye-witness accounts (theirs and their friends/families) of the resurrected Jesus. This isn't just blind faith (see The Historical Jesus, The Case for Christ, The Case for the Real Jesus). The thrust of their argument is that the oldest NT books (written by Paul) focus on a resurrection not including the original body.
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