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The Jesus Family Tomb: The Discovery, the Investigation, and the Evidence That Could Change History Hardcover – February 27, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A slick and suspenseful narrative. . . . Jacobovici is a maverick, a self-made Indiana Jones.” (Newsweek)

“Absolutely fascinating . . . many would argue the biggest story or one of the biggest stories of our lifetime.” (Today Show)

“This discovery is potentially the last nail in the coffin of biblical literalism” (John Dominic Crossan, author of God & Empire)

About the Author

Simcha Jacobovici is an Emmy-winning documentary director and producer and a widely published writer and lecturer. His articles have appeared around the globe in publications such as the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. Currently the host of The Naked Archaeologist on the History Channel, Simcha Jacobovici lives in Toronto.



Charles Pellegrino is the author of numerous internationally bestselling books. Her Name, Titanic sold over a million copies and was one of the nonfiction sources for James Cameron's movie Titanic. Several of Pellegrino's books have been adapted for Time Life and National Geographic specials, including Unearthing Atlantis. He has a Ph.D. in paleobiology and is one of a small number of scientists who brought forensic science methods into the field of archaeology. As a forensic archaeologist, he has worked on the Titanic, in Pompeii and its sister cities, and at New York's Ground Zero.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne (February 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061192023
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061192029
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #700,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

105 of 124 people found the following review helpful By Itamar Bernstein on March 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book basically describes the making of a TV documentary, during which the Talpiot tomb, discovered in 1980, was relocated and reopened briefly. Good pleading of a case requires a clear, logical, well-organized, and comprehensive presentation, including all material evidence. In my opinion the documentary and the book incompletely, dispersively, obliquely and sometimes over-dramatically present the inherently strong case of that tomb. It sometimes relies on anecdotal, long shot evidence (such as the Acts of Phillip connection) or remote speculation (such as the Didymus Judah Thomas-Judah son of Jesus connection) while ignoring direct, compelling evidence (such as symbology) right under its nose. The documentary still deserves much credit for exposing this previously hardly known discovery on a mass media scale to the general public. However, the grand exposure also drew criticism of the magnitude of the find. The critics basically argue:

1. That the Jesus family would be buried in Nazareth, not Talpiot;
2. That the "Jesus" ossuary would have been inscribed "of Nazareth";
3. That the Jesus family couldn't have afforded a tomb like the Talpiot tomb;
4. That the "Jesus son of Joseph" ossuary is not inscribed "Yeshua" (Jesus) at all;
5. That the names inscribed on these ossuaries were supposedly common;
6. That the "Mariamne" ossuary didn't contain the remains of Mary Magdalene, but of two other women.

I believe the first five of these allegations against the book's premise don't carry much water. The sixth argument actually supports the conclusion that this is the real thing. My comments:

1. Talpiot is the right place for Jesus' family tomb- Per Luke, 2:3-4, the family's LEGAL residence was Bethlehem, not Nazareth.
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76 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Aethelred on March 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
1. FACTS

On 28 March 1980 a tomb was discovered in Talpiot, Israel ( a suburb of Jerusalem) by workers building an apartment complex. The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) was called in and preceded to excavate the tomb over the course of several days.

The tomb contained 10 ossuaries of which six were inscribed and four were not. An ossuary is in essence a "bone box" used to house human remains. After a person died, their remains were wrapped in fabric and placed in a temporary location (inside a tomb generally on a specially designed shelf) for a period of about one year to allow all soft tissue to decompose. After soft tissue decomposition was complete the person's bones would then be placed in an ossuary which would be positioned in a permanent location, which would generally be in the same tomb.

The use of ossuaries was confined to the period of c. 40 BC to AD 70. Christ was crucified in c. AD 30.

The IAA cataloged the ossuaries as 80-500 to 80-509, they are inscribed as follows:

80-500 - Mariamene

80-501 - Judah, son of Jesus

80-502 - Matthew

80-503 - Jesus, son of Joseph

80-504 - Yosa

80-505 - Maria

80-506 - not inscribed

80-507 - not inscribed

80-508 - not inscribed

80-509 - not inscribed

2. CLAIMS

Simcha Jacobovici began his investigation of the Talpiot tomb in 2002, he enlisted the help of Charles Pellegrino, James Cameron and others. Jacobovici seems to have concluded early on that this was the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth and some members of his family.

He states that the odds that this is not the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth are 1 in 600.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Honest Opinion on August 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
Simcha Jacobovici has written an exciting book that is guaranteed to be controversial. Unfortunately for Simcha, his name has never been well respected in archaeological circles, and I think that the disappointing reviews this book has gotten from respected archaeologists won't improve his stature.

The inconsistencies and poor research used in this book have been better documented elsewhere. Suffice to say that this book reads as if the author started with the assertion that he alone has uncovered the tomb of Jesus Christ. He then goes on to select only that research that can be interpreted to support this assertion, while selectively ignoring research that proves him absolutely wrong. After marketing this poor research by disguising it as archaeology, poor Simcha attempted to ignore the onslaught of contradictory evidence with an attitude of "if I don't see it, it isn't there". We all know what happens when pedestrians cross busy streets with that attitude.

Many devout Christians will be quick to denounce this book, while others that are initially prejudiced to support Simcha's claims will hail this book as nothing less than a masterpiece. That's to be expected, because both parties come to this book not to be educated, but to be vindicated in their own personal beliefs. Their minds are made up before they even hold this book in their hands. That's to be expected, isn't it?

But even a cursory read of this book makes you feel as if you are being deceived. He starts with a tomb located miles away from where Jesus supposedly died. Reading the names on the tombs, you see a list of the most wildly popular names found at that time.
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