If there is still anyone out there, and I doubt if there are more than a handful, who may believe that the Talpiot tomb described by Simcha and the BAR crowd may have anything to do with Jesus of Nazareth or his family, I suggest viewing Jonathan Reed's latest scathing review of the book(http://bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleID=5934)
which should silence much of the discussion. I have provided a link to the book review on my 'viewers guide on the film on www.joezias.com which is somewhat longer and goes into some detail as to the agendas of those involved.
I have excerpted here the portion dealing of his review with the so called "DNA analysis" which typifies the lengths to which the BAR crowd were willing to go to give some semblance of scientific scrutiny to the story.
<The DNA analysis is both scientifically and morally questionable. Tiny samples of mitochondrial DNA were scraped off Jesus and Mariamnes ossuaries andwithout IAA permission and hence illegallyshipped to a Canadian lab, which concluded that the two samples were not maternally related. But the reader is again deceived and is not told that this Yeshua and Mariamne could have had the same father with different mothers, or could be paternally related as cousins, aunts-uncle, grandparents, or father-daughter. They could even be close family friends. Two tiny flecks with human remains, encrusted in an ossuary for two millennia, and removed under suspicious conditions, is insufficient for the kind of repeated testing of sufficiently sized samples to hold up to peer review. Never mind that a negative (they dont share the same mother) is used to support a positive (they were married). And no mention that airing this experiment only further antagonizes the Jewish religious
authorities against Israeli archaeologists, who are perennially stuck finding a reasonable balance between scientific inquiry and religious sensitivities when it comes to Jewish bodily remains. > This last remark by Jonathan Reed is something which particularly antagonizes us here in Israel, having to deal with the difficult question of human skeletal remains in that here, we have a group of outsiders in both the scholarly and geographically sense of the word, with little of no academic creditability from peers, coming from the US and Canada, causing untold damage, which we in IL eventually have to put up with, and then returning home and leaving us with the mess. They in a sense have set the profession back decades.
Information from highly reliable sources have recently informed me that those same individuals involved with the tomb have been approaching wealthy individuals in the US in hope of gaining funds, (as if they are short on cash) to restore the site as well as to examine the tomb nearby which was closed immediately after it's discovery . I hope that the IAA which issues excavation permits and the family abroad in NJ will be wise enough to put an end to such schemes and that serious scholars will continue to boycott those involved with these get rich schemes, at our expense and the expense of the profession here.
Lastly, rumors going around here in Jerusalem, say that a conference on the Talpiot tomb will be held here in January, I doubt if any serious scholars will attend the conference other than the handful who have a vested, financial interest in promoting their books and films on the topic. For those of you who cannot attend, their book which has been out but for a few months is now selling for less than $7.00 US dollars and the companion book by one of the promoters can now be picked up new for $5.00 on line. The James brother of Jesus book, based upon the James ossuary, which they believed to be genuine, can now be picked up used, for $0.01 on Amazon. Talk about shelf life...
Joe Zias www.joezias.com
Science and Antiquity Group @ The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
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