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The Jesus Discovery: The Resurrection Tomb that Reveals the Birth of Christianity Hardcover – February 28, 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (February 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 145165040X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451650402
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #521,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

More About the Author

James D. Tabor is Professor of Christian Origins and Ancient Judaism in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where he has taught since 1989. Previously he held posts at Notre Dame and William and Mary. He holds a Ph.D. in biblical studies and early Christianity from the University of Chicago and is an expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls and Christian origins. The author of several previous books, he is frequently consulted by the media on these topics and has appeared on numerous television and radio programs.

Customer Reviews

I'm more interested in the results which, in this case, aren't very convincing.
S. E. Moore
The Jesus Discovery by James Tabor and Simcha Jacobovici is a follow up book to The Jesus Family Tomb by Simcha Jacobovici and Charles Pellegrino.
Robert D. Williams
I really don't know what or how I feel about the book yet, but I will say it has me thinking.
John Johnson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 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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91 of 110 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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15 of 19 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mary Lou Corbett on January 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Easy reading and very informative - I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to know the history of Jesus!
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