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Re: [ANE-2] Whose tomb ?

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  • Eliot Braun
    If the names on the ossuaries are the names of the interred, then it was also Yosef s, Mary s and several other people s tomb. By the same token it was also
    Message 1 of 21 , Feb 28, 2007
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      If the names on the ossuaries are the names of the interred, then it was also Yosef's, Mary's and several other people's tomb. By the same token it was also probably some Jesus' tomb, and according to the history of the NT, not at all likely to be a tomb of a Nazareth based family. Why don't we just call it the East Talpiot tomb, its a much less 'value laden' and more accurate term and not likely to be offensive to any.

      I received an email query today asking me for my opinion because I was among the first of the IDAM to visit the tomb way back then. I will state for the record that I vaguely remembered being there when Simha came and interviewed me. I do mean vaguely because I was and and remain totally unimpressed with the tomb. I'd already helped excavate several, including one or two behind my house in French Hill. They were much more interesting. The hype on the tomb is because of the movie, which I haven't seen. Most of what I read in the article which one link on the list directed me to. It indicates to me the 'research' and the whole theme of the film is anything but 'scientific' or objective. Even the 'statistical' indications of the chances of one tomb producing names of so many people from the NT story of Jesus are suspect. I'm not quite sure of how one goes about making such determinations. One of my ruminations suggested to me what names I'd find if I went to a neighborhood in Jerusalem today and counted how many people shared the same name. Then it occured to me that a similar count 40 and 80 years ago with the same size sample would have been vastly different. What about more stable societies? Imagine something like this in Rome?I had a teacher who used to cite: 'figures don't lie, liars figure'. Now I don't mean that anyone lied in the film, just that one can be tendentious in interpretation.


      Eliot Braun



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    • Ariel L. Szczupak
      ... Yes they are. I m waiting to see the details. If anyone has a URL, please let me know. Ariel. [100% bona fide dilettante ... delecto ergo sum!] ... Ariel
      Message 2 of 21 , Feb 28, 2007
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        At 06:02 PM 2/28/2007, Eliot Braun wrote:
        >[...] Even the 'statistical' indications of the chances of one tomb
        >producing names of so many people from the NT story of Jesus are suspect.

        Yes they are. I'm waiting to see the details. If anyone has a URL,
        please let me know.



        Ariel.

        [100% bona fide dilettante ... delecto ergo sum!]

        ---
        Ariel L. Szczupak
        AMIS-JLM (Ricercar Ltd.)
        POB 4707, Jerusalem, Israel 91401
        Phone: +972-2-5619660 Fax: +972-2-5634203
        ane.als@...
      • Doug Weller
        Hi Ariel, ... The Discover Channel website has this: But Andrey Feuerverger, professor of statistics and mathematics at the University of Toronto, recently
        Message 3 of 21 , Feb 28, 2007
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          Hi Ariel,

          Wednesday, February 28, 2007, 7:55:27 PM, you wrote:

          > At 06:02 PM 2/28/2007, Eliot Braun wrote:
          >>[...] Even the 'statistical' indications of the chances of one tomb
          >>producing names of so many people from the NT story of Jesus are suspect.

          > Yes they are. I'm waiting to see the details. If anyone has a URL,
          > please let me know.

          The Discover Channel website has this:
          "But Andrey Feuerverger, professor of statistics and mathematics at the University of Toronto, recently conducted a study addressing the probabilities that will soon be published in a leading statistical journal.

          Feuerverger multiplied the instances that each name appeared during the tomb's time period with the instances of every other name. He initially found "Jesus Son of Joseph" appeared once out of 190 times, Mariamne appeared once out of 160 times and so on.

          To be conservative, he next divided the resulting numbers by 25 percent, a statistical standard, and further divided the results by 1,000 to attempt to account for all tombs ? even those that have not been uncovered ? that could have existed in first century Jerusalem.

          The study concludes that the odds are at least 600 to 1 in favor of the Talpiot Tomb being the Jesus Family Tomb. In other words, the conclusion works 599 times out of 600."

          --
          Doug Weller Moderator, sci.archaeology.moderated
          Director and Moderator The Hall of Ma'at http://www.thehallofmaat.com
          Doug and Helen's Dogs: http://www.dougandhelen.com
          Doug's Archaeology Site: http://www.ramtops.co.uk
        • Marc Cooper
          The Discovery Channel press release gives the following information on the ossuary inscriptions: In addition to the Judah son of Jesus inscription, which is
          Message 4 of 21 , Feb 28, 2007
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            The Discovery Channel press release gives the following information on
            the ossuary inscriptions:

            In addition to the "Judah son of Jesus" inscription, which is written
            in Aramaic on one of the ossuaries, another limestone burial box is
            labeled
            in Aramaic with "Jesus Son of Joseph." Another bears the Hebrew
            inscription
            "Maria," a Latin version of "Miriam," or, in English, "Mary." Yet
            another
            ossuary inscription, written in Hebrew, reads "Matia," the original
            Hebrew
            word for "Matthew." Only one of the inscriptions is written in Greek. It
            reads, "Mariamene e Mara," which can be translated as, "Mary known as
            the
            master."

            The statistical calculations answer the question, what is the likelyhood
            of finding four names from the Jesus family by chance? The answer
            Professor Feuerverger provides is 600 to 1. The problem with these
            calculations is that they presume the epigraphic evidence is a precise
            fit for the NT evidence. As you can see from the press release, a lot of
            fudging and some interesting parsing is required to produce a set of NT
            names of which one is only part of the Jesus family in spurious
            material and that one doesn't mention Magdala.

            Imagine if you bought a lottery ticket and had the ability to change
            numbers here or there. Sometimes a 2 is really a 4, sometimes a string
            of 8 numbers is the same thing as a completely different string of 6
            numbers. My guess is that the chances of winning would greatly increase.
            In other words, garbage in, garbage out.

            Marc Cooper
            Missouri State University


            --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, Doug Weller <dweller@...> wrote:
            > The Discover Channel website has this:
            > "But Andrey Feuerverger, professor of statistics and mathematics at
            the University of Toronto, recently conducted a study addressing the
            probabilities that will soon be published in a leading statistical
            journal.
            >
            > Feuerverger multiplied the instances that each name appeared during
            the tomb's time period with the instances of every other name. He
            initially found "Jesus Son of Joseph" appeared once out of 190 times,
            Mariamne appeared once out of 160 times and so on.
            >
            > To be conservative, he next divided the resulting numbers by 25
            percent, a statistical standard, and further divided the results by
            1,000 to attempt to account for all tombs ? even those that have not
            been uncovered ? that could have existed in first century Jerusalem.
            >
            > The study concludes that the odds are at least 600 to 1 in favor of
            the Talpiot Tomb being the Jesus Family Tomb. In other words, the
            conclusion works 599 times out of 600."
            >
            > --
            > Doug Weller Moderator, sci.archaeology.moderated
            > Director and Moderator The Hall of Ma'at http://www.thehallofmaat.com
            > Doug and Helen's Dogs: http://www.dougandhelen.com
            > Doug's Archaeology Site: http://www.ramtops.co.uk
            >




            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • George Athas
            ... No, the odds are 600 to 1 that the tomb belonged to all the names inscribed on the ossuaries. What are the chances that humans can fudge statistics? Best
            Message 5 of 21 , Feb 28, 2007
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              > The study concludes that the odds are at least 600 to 1 in favor
              > of the Talpiot Tomb being the Jesus Family Tomb. In other
              > words, the conclusion works 599 times out of 600."

              No, the odds are 600 to 1 that the tomb belonged to all the names inscribed
              on the ossuaries.

              What are the chances that humans can fudge statistics?



              Best Regards,

              GEORGE ATHAS
              Moore Theological College (Sydney)
              1 King St, Newtown, NSW 2042, Australia
              Ph: (+61 2) 9577 9774





              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Zachi
              I think the statistics here are completely flawed , since the statisticians who did them used flawed assumptions. In statistics you always have an hypothesis
              Message 6 of 21 , Mar 1, 2007
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                I think the statistics here are completely flawed , since the
                statisticians who did them used flawed assumptions. In statistics you
                always have an hypothesis you accept or reject. There was no real
                predefined hypothesis here, but only a sham hypothesis that was
                created from the excavation results This is circular reasoning!

                There was no reason to calculate the probability that those 6 names
                will appear together, because no one ever proposed they should be
                found together. In addition, only 3 (Yeshua, Maria and Yose) out of 6
                can be considered a coincidence that can be taken into account, but
                since we have three names that we have no reason to assume to be part
                of the known family, it should only reduce the probability.

                It's true that we should not take the NT at face value, and there
                could many way to reconstruct historical facts. The thing is that
                when doing probability tests we don't have that kind of freedom. If
                someone had previously published an article that suggests that Jesus
                might have had a son named Yehuda, probably married to Mariemene and
                was buried with Matya, then this kind of find would have been really
                shocking.

                Zachi Zweig


                --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, "George Athas" <george.athas@...> wrote:
                >
                > > The study concludes that the odds are at least 600 to 1 in favor
                > > of the Talpiot Tomb being the Jesus Family Tomb. In other
                > > words, the conclusion works 599 times out of 600."
                >
                > No, the odds are 600 to 1 that the tomb belonged to all the names
                inscribed
                > on the ossuaries.
                >
                > What are the chances that humans can fudge statistics?
                >
                >
                >
                > Best Regards,
                >
                > GEORGE ATHAS
                > Moore Theological College (Sydney)
                > 1 King St, Newtown, NSW 2042, Australia
                > Ph: (+61 2) 9577 9774
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
              • Ariel L. Szczupak
                ... I saw this :( It was written by someone with very little understanding of statistics. And if this is taken from the text of the movie, then the movie won t
                Message 7 of 21 , Mar 1, 2007
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                  At 10:39 PM 2/28/2007, Doug Weller wrote:

                  >Hi Ariel,
                  >
                  >Wednesday, February 28, 2007, 7:55:27 PM, you wrote:
                  >
                  > > At 06:02 PM 2/28/2007, Eliot Braun wrote:
                  > >>[...] Even the 'statistical' indications of the chances of one tomb
                  > >>producing names of so many people from the NT story of Jesus are suspect.
                  >
                  > > Yes they are. I'm waiting to see the details. If anyone has a URL,
                  > > please let me know.
                  >
                  >The Discover Channel website has this:

                  I saw this :( It was written by someone with very little
                  understanding of statistics. And if this is taken from the text of
                  the movie, then the movie won't be much help either.

                  But I'll use the quote to point the things I'll be looking if and
                  when there'll be a more serious publication of the statistical aspect

                  >"But Andrey Feuerverger, professor of statistics and mathematics at
                  >the University of Toronto, recently conducted a study addressing the
                  >probabilities that will soon be published in a leading statistical journal.
                  >
                  >Feuerverger multiplied the instances that each name appeared during
                  >the tomb's time period with the instances of every other name. He
                  >initially found "Jesus Son of Joseph" appeared once out of 190
                  >times, Mariamne appeared once out of 160 times and so on.

                  As it is, this paragraph doesn't make much sense. It seems to say
                  that Feuerverger claims a 1/190 frequency for "Jesus son of Joseph"
                  and a 1/160 frequency for "Mariamne", which he then multiplies
                  getting a 1/30400 expected frequency, or probability, for the
                  combination of the two. I.e. some 33 such cases in a population of a
                  million (which I think is a reasonable assumption for that period?).

                  I'm not sure what the numbers 190 and 160 represent and they seem
                  small compared to what I've seen on the number of names evidenced for
                  that period. And multiplying the frequency of a single name with the
                  frequency of a double one has to be shown to be valid.

                  You multiply frequencies, or probabilities, only when these
                  frequencies are independent of each other within a common set. E.g.
                  if you multiply the frequency of green apples by the frequency of
                  white grapes you don't predict correctly the frequency of green
                  apples and white grapes on one plant. E.g. if you multiply the
                  frequency of tall people (above a certain height) with the frequency
                  of short people (below a certain height) you don't predict correctly
                  the frequency of tall-short couples.

                  So I need a detailed exposition of the procedure and the reasoning to
                  understand what Feuerverger is doing.

                  But I'll take some elements out of this paragraph to illustrate an
                  important point.

                  There's a 1/6 probability of getting a specific number when rolling a
                  dice, and a 1/36 (1/6*1/6) probability of getting a specific pair of
                  numbers when rolling a pair of dice. If the frequency of number pairs
                  that is evidenced is not 1/36 for each of number pairs there can be
                  two reasons. 1st, the evidence is not a representative sample, i.e.
                  the pair of dice were not rolled enough times. 2nd, the results of
                  rolling the dice are not randomly distributed, e.g. the dice are loaded.

                  Or, if the single dice rolls result in a random distribution (1/6
                  frequency for each number) but the pair rolls don't, the reason could
                  be magnets in the dice that attract certain sides of the dice to each
                  other, skewing the random distribution of pair rolls without
                  affecting the single dice rolls.

                  We have as evidence a set of names from that period. The frequency in
                  which each specific name appears in that set is its probability. If
                  you multiply the frequency of "Jesus" with the frequency of "Joseph"
                  you get the expected frequency of these two names appearing together.
                  If that predicted frequency is "more or less" (see below) the
                  evidenced frequency in which "Jesus son of Joseph" and "Joseph son of
                  Jesus" appear in the set of names, all is well (statistically). If
                  not, either the sample is not representative or double names are not
                  random combinations of single names and simple frequency
                  multiplication is not the correct method to predict the frequencies
                  of double names.

                  The general point is that the existing evidence has to be evaluated,
                  assessed, in order to determine if it is usable, statistically, and
                  if so, what are the appropriate statistical tools.

                  This is something basic, and it will have to be detailed in a
                  scientific publication. I don't know enough about population and name
                  statistics to be able to criticize Feuerverger. What I'll be looking
                  for is reactions from experts in such statistics to see if they
                  accept Feuerverger's assessment of the evidence and how to use it
                  statistically.

                  For example, the expertise in the field of population statistics
                  should indicate what is the statistical test that determines if the
                  evidenced frequency is indeed "more or less" the predicted one.
                  Statistical results are usually accompanied by such tests to
                  determine how significant, trustable, these results are.


                  >To be conservative, he next divided the resulting numbers by 25
                  >percent, a statistical standard, and further divided the results by
                  >1,000 to attempt to account for all tombs ?

                  No idea what that means.


                  >even those that have not been uncovered ? that could have existed in
                  >first century Jerusalem.

                  That actually makes sense. A calculation of the probability of name
                  groups appearing together in one tomb is based on an assumption that
                  the entire population can be divided into such groups, i.e. could
                  have had such tombs. Whether they did or not, or whether we know if
                  they did or not, is not important. What is important is if we can
                  assume that they could have had such tombs if they wanted to, and I
                  think that's a reasonable assumption.


                  >The study concludes that the odds are at least 600 to 1 in favor of
                  >the Talpiot Tomb being the Jesus Family Tomb. In other words, the
                  >conclusion works 599 times out of 600."

                  This is the really problematic paragraph.

                  First, I'm not really sure what is claimed because the first sentence
                  seems to imply a probability while the second seems to apply a degree
                  of confidence in a calculated probability. If it is a degree of
                  confidence (chi squared etc), the type of test and the result to
                  which it is applied will have to be specified in a scientific publication.

                  If it is a probability, it means that Feuerverger claims that the
                  probability of there being only one such set of names is 599/600. In
                  other words, that the probability of there being two, or more, such
                  sets of names is 1/600. If the population is a million with 10 people
                  families (i.e. "10 people per tomb") that means 100,000 families,
                  100,000 potential tombs. Given this number of potential tombs the
                  claim is that there will be 167 cases of duplicate sets of such names.

                  This is not a result I'd use to support a claim that this tomb is
                  "very likely" the one and only one ... That's a "duh?" result.

                  For comparison, in forensic DNA results the test is usually if the
                  probability of a combination of DNA markers is lower than one per the
                  entire possible population of suspects. E.g. in Israel (population of
                  ~8 million including tourists etc), the result for a male suspect
                  should be lower than 1/4,000,000. With the assumptions above, a more
                  serious claim would be of a probability of two such sets of names
                  being lower than 1/100,000 or "odds" of at least 100,000 to 1. Even
                  if you cram 100 people in each tomb you'd still need odds of 10,000
                  to 1, not 600 to 1.

                  And it's very important to see if the calculation included the
                  frequency of the name Judah, or not. Every added name, every increase
                  in the number of names in the set, will lower the probability of
                  there being several such sets.

                  We all know that the evidence is not clear about what names should be
                  included in the "Jesus Family" set, and some of that evidence
                  actually claims there shouldn't be physical remains of Jesus in a
                  tomb at all. But let's take the largest group, i.e. including John &
                  Mary Magdalene. That leaves us with the son, Judah. As far as I know
                  there is no evidence that claims explicitly that Jesus had a son, let
                  alone what his name was.

                  Putting aside obvious problems with defining what names should be in
                  the "Jesus Family" set, a possible argument could be:

                  - The probability of there being only one family with the "Jesus
                  Family" set of names (without Judah) is very high.
                  - Therefore there's a very high probability that Jesus had a son, Judah.

                  But if the "very high" probability is reached by including the Judah
                  frequency in the calculation, the argument becomes invalid, circular.


                  So the bottom line is that in order to understand the claim and why
                  it made I will have to wait for Feuerverger's paper, or some
                  equivalent publication.


                  Ariel.

                  [100% bona fide dilettante ... delecto ergo sum!]

                  ---
                  Ariel L. Szczupak
                  AMIS-JLM (Ricercar Ltd.)
                  POB 4707, Jerusalem, Israel 91401
                  Phone: +972-2-5619660 Fax: +972-2-5634203
                  ane.als@...
                • Ariel L. Szczupak
                  ... James, James, James ... Ariel. [100% bona fide dilettante ... delecto ergo sum!] ... Ariel L. Szczupak AMIS-JLM (Ricercar Ltd.) POB 4707, Jerusalem, Israel
                  Message 8 of 21 , Mar 1, 2007
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                    At 01:01 PM 3/1/2007, Ariel L. Szczupak wrote:
                    >[...] including John & Mary Magdalene.

                    James, James, James ...



                    Ariel.

                    [100% bona fide dilettante ... delecto ergo sum!]

                    ---
                    Ariel L. Szczupak
                    AMIS-JLM (Ricercar Ltd.)
                    POB 4707, Jerusalem, Israel 91401
                    Phone: +972-2-5619660 Fax: +972-2-5634203
                    ane.als@...
                  • goranson@duke.edu
                    ... There do appear to be problems with the show s statistics and DNA claims. Since burial niches were ordinarily reused and ossuaries often held more than one
                    Message 9 of 21 , Mar 1, 2007
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                      Quoting "Ariel L. Szczupak" <ane.als@...>:

                      > At 06:02 PM 2/28/2007, Eliot Braun wrote:
                      >> [...] Even the 'statistical' indications of the chances of one tomb
                      >> producing names of so many people from the NT story of Jesus are suspect.
                      >
                      > Yes they are. I'm waiting to see the details. If anyone has a URL,
                      > please let me know.

                      There do appear to be problems with the show's statistics and DNA
                      claims. Since burial niches were ordinarily reused and ossuaries often
                      held more than one set
                      of remains, and since, apparently, the tomb was disturbed in ancient and in
                      modern times, there is no secure link between a DNA sample and a particular
                      inscription.

                      Though various sets of statistics have been presented, the assumptions
                      on which
                      they are based are questionable. For one example, it biases the results to
                      emphasize that the Talpiot ossuary with Jesus son of Joseph (if that's the
                      correct reading) is from a controlled dig while the earlier found ossuary with
                      Jesus son of Joseph was not (though the earlier one was in a museum and
                      apparently involved no money-making or hoaxing and is quite likely genuine and
                      likely from Jerusalem) while, simultaneously, claiming that the "James"
                      ossuary
                      came from Talpiot, an ossuary whose inscription and provenance are, to say the
                      least, questioned.

                      Stephen Goranson
                      http://www.duke.edu/~goranson
                    • Ariel L. Szczupak
                      Reply to several offlist comments. ... I m not talking about the population of Jerusalem proper but of the country. I think that s the correct population
                      Message 10 of 21 , Mar 1, 2007
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                        Reply to several offlist comments.

                        At 01:01 PM 3/1/2007, Ariel L. Szczupak wrote:
                        >[...] a population of a million (which I think is a reasonable
                        >assumption for that period?).

                        I'm not talking about the population of Jerusalem proper but of the
                        country. I think that's the correct population figure to use in
                        general, but it's especially appropriate to this case as the claim is
                        that Jesus of Nazareth and Mary of Migdal are buried in this tomb.



                        Ariel.

                        [100% bona fide dilettante ... delecto ergo sum!]

                        ---
                        Ariel L. Szczupak
                        AMIS-JLM (Ricercar Ltd.)
                        POB 4707, Jerusalem, Israel 91401
                        Phone: +972-2-5619660 Fax: +972-2-5634203
                        ane.als@...
                      • Doug Weller
                        I just found this statistical analysis - like the other one, it assumes the names are correct. I have computed that the probability of the tomb in the Talpiot
                        Message 11 of 21 , Mar 1, 2007
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                          I just found this statistical analysis - like the other one, it assumes the names are correct.
                          I have computed that the probability of the tomb in the Talpiot
                          district of Jerusalem being the family tomb of the Jesus of Nazareth
                          is at least 12 to 1 *against*. Apparently the makers of the movie
                          calculated the probability that more than one family living in ancient
                          Jerusalem would produce a cluster of names like the ones discovered in
                          the tomb in the Talpiot district of Jerusalem, and found that this
                          probability is very small and that therefore this must be the tomb of
                          Jesus of Nazareth's family. But I think they asked the wrong question.
                          The right question is: How many families living in ancient Jerusalem
                          would produce a cluster of names in a tomb that would appear to be as
                          similar to the names in Jesus' family as the cluster of names actually
                          found? And the answer is that more than 12 families would have
                          produced such remarkable cluster of names in a tomb.

                          Here is how I computed this number. According to the gospels Jesus'
                          family consisted of Joseph and Mary, Jesus, and four male brothers of
                          Jesus named James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas (besides unnamed female
                          siblings). We also know the approximate frequency of names in ancient
                          Palestine. According to
                          http://benwitherington.blogspot.com/2007/02/jesus-tomb-titanic-talpiot-tomb-theory.html

                          these are: 9.2%, 8.3%, 6.2% and 3.8% for Simon, Joseph, Judas and
                          Jesus respectively for male names, and Mary's name frequency is a
                          whooping 21.3% for female names. The tomb discovered in Talpiot
                          contained 10 ossuaries, of which 6 carried inscriptions. The relevant
                          inscriptions here are "Jesus son of Joseph", "Mary", "Mary", and
                          "Joseph". These inscriptions were in different languages and used
                          different forms for these names, but that's about it. (see:
                          http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070228135009.htm ) I read
                          somewhere that first century Jerusalem had about 50,000 inhabitants.
                          As the period in question spanned various generations I used a
                          population of 10,000 families.

                          I wrote a computer program simulation that actually randomly produced
                          10,000 families of 10 members each (keeping the right name
                          frequencies) and then proceeded to compute the following average
                          numbers:

                          111 families would have a Jesus son of Joseph. I understand that in
                          fact other ossuaries have been found with the inscription "Jesus son
                          of Joseph".

                          75 families would moreover have at least one Mary.

                          71 families would moreover have one more name that belongs to Jesus'
                          family, be it Joseph, Simon or Judas, or maybe a second Mary
                          (supposedly Mary Magdalene).

                          43 families would have two more such names. One of such clusters might
                          be: [Jesus son of Joseph, Mary, Mary, Joseph], as is the one
                          discovered in the Talpiot tomb.

                          And 16 families would have three more such names. Here is in detail
                          the very first family case my simulation produced: An unnamed (i.e.
                          with no relevant names) couple have three children: a daughter Mary, a
                          son Joseph, and an unnamed second daughter. Their daughter Mary
                          marries Simon and produces an unnamed daughter. Their son Joseph
                          marries an unnamed wife and produces two children, Jesus and Mary.
                          Voila: A family cluster of 10 whose tomb might have had inscriptions
                          "Jesus son of Joseph", "Mary", "Joseph", "Mary", and "Simon" - all
                          names related to the circle of Jesus of Nazareth, but this is not
                          Jesus Christ's family. Nevertheless this cluster would appear to be
                          even more statistically conspicuous than the one discovered in the
                          Talpiot tomb.

                          The film producers have tested the DNA of one of the Mary's and
                          discovered it is not maternally related to Jesus' DNA. I compute that
                          adding this condition we still get 12 families. Here is the very first
                          such case my simulation produced: A Jesus (whose father was named
                          Joseph) marries a Mary and has 4 children: Simon, Jesus, and two more unnamed ones. Their son Simon marries a second Mary but have no children that would be buried in the family tomb. One unnamed daughter marries Joseph and has a daughter Mary. That's the second Mary who is also not maternally related to "Jesus son of Joseph". - So, any of these 12 families might have produced tomb even more conspicuous than the one found, but at most one of these families could be Jesus'. Hence the chance of the Talpiot tomb being Jesus is less than 1/12.

                          Further: Taking into account that Jesus' family was not from
                          Jerusalem, that his family was too poor to afford a family tomb, that
                          if Jesus' bones were put in an ossuary one would expect the ossuary
                          itself or the inscription on it to be more special in some way, and
                          that if Jesus' body was buried in a tomb to decompose and then put in
                          an ossuary then probably somebody would have found out back then when
                          so much was made of Jesus' bodily ascension to heaven - taking all
                          that into account the probability of the Talpiot tomb being of Jesus
                          is much less than 12 to 1 against. Finally, if the movie producers
                          really believed that this was Jesus' tomb one would expect that they
                          would have asked neutral professional archeologists to evaluate their
                          evidence or argumentation - which they haven't done.

                          There is some more arguments, such as the "James son of Joseph brother of Jesus" ossuary (see:
                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Ossuary )
                          having come from this same tomb, but the archaeologist who first
                          studied the tomb flatly denies it (see:
                          http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?c=JPArticle&cid=1171894527185&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull )
                          and the archeological report on the Talpiot tomb counts six ossuaries
                          with inscriptions, all accounted for (go to
                          http://dsc.discovery.com/convergence/tomb/explore/explore.html
                          and
                          click on "Enter the Tomb", then on "Download Documents" and then on
                          "Download PDF").

                          I did the above computations in a hurry and it's possible that I have
                          committed some mistake. If you send me an email to
                          dianelos@... I will gladly send you a copy of the program I
                          wrote, so that you can check it yourself. It's written in Pascal, and
                          it's a simple 150 lines program that any programmer can read.

                          Doug Weller
                        • OAK
                          Wonderful statistical analysis -- thanks a lot. And an additional factor that nobody seems take in consideration is that we are probably not looking at a
                          Message 12 of 21 , Mar 1, 2007
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                            Wonderful statistical analysis -- thanks a lot.

                            And an additional factor that nobody seems take in consideration is that we are probably not looking at a single generation of deaths which all of the statistical analysis seems to be based upon. It is far more likely we are looking at several generations. Obviously this consideration would lower the probability factors drastically. In addition since we have no dates of the death order who knows whether Joseph of Talpiot may not have died in 90 and Mary of Talpiot in 25 and Jose the imagined son of Jesus in 10 etc. Not having such data, the span of time and the death order, makes statistical analysis at best complete conjecture it would seem, which, I guess is fitting with the rest of the extravagant unscholarly claims.

                            Everett Oakley
                            Houston, Texas

                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Peter T. Daniels
                            You must be referring to a different Jesus ... -- Peter T. Daniels grammatim@verizon.net ... From: OAK To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com Sent:
                            Message 13 of 21 , Mar 2, 2007
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                              You must be referring to a different Jesus ...

                              --
                              Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...



                              ----- Original Message ----
                              From: OAK <eoakley3@...>
                              To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                              Sent: Thursday, March 1, 2007 6:55:38 PM
                              Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Whose tomb ?

                              Wonderful statistical analysis -- thanks a lot.

                              And an additional factor that nobody seems take in consideration is that we are probably not looking at a single generation of deaths which all of the statistical analysis seems to be based upon. It is far more likely we are looking at several generations. Obviously this consideration would lower the probability factors drastically. In addition since we have no dates of the death order who knows whether Joseph of Talpiot may not have died in 90 and Mary of Talpiot in 25 and Jose the imagined son of Jesus in 10 etc.

                              <...>
                            • Peter Nathan
                              For the record, Kloner s report from Atiqot notes that remains of at least 35 people were recovered from the tomb, 17 in the 10 ossuaries and 18 others.
                              Message 14 of 21 , Mar 2, 2007
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                                For the record, Kloner's report from 'Atiqot notes that remains of at
                                least 35 people were recovered from the tomb, 17 in the 10 ossuaries and
                                18 others. Bearing in mind that the ossuaries had been tampered with,
                                the numbers originally in ossuaries would have been higher. So we are
                                clearly dealing with a multi-generational family tomb. This would have
                                been a small tomb in relation to some of the other discoveries which
                                have had up to 80 people interred.

                                The 'Caiaphas tomb" also in Talpiot area had six ossuaries with human
                                remains, the rest of the ossuaries had been emptied by grave robbers or
                                others. Some of those ossuaries had up to six sets of remains. The
                                same is true of the Mr Scopus tomb that Sussman reported in 'Atiqot 1992.

                                --
                                Best wishes,

                                Peter Nathan
                                ___________
                                Peter Nathan
                                476 S. Marengo
                                Pasadena
                                CA. 91101
                                Tel. Office: 626-535-0444/204
                                Tel. Home: 626-357-9995
                                Facsimile: 626-535-0455
                                Cellular: 626-353-7309

                                Call me on SKYPE: free internet telephony
                                http://www.skype.com (username: peternathan)
                              • Ariel L. Szczupak
                                At 01:01 PM 3/1/2007, Ariel L. Szczupak wrote: [...] ... The Discovery Channel PDF ...
                                Message 15 of 21 , Mar 2, 2007
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                                  At 01:01 PM 3/1/2007, Ariel L. Szczupak wrote:
                                  [...]
                                  >That's a "duh?" result.

                                  The Discovery Channel PDF ...

                                  http://dsc.discovery.com/convergence/tomb/explore/media/tomb_evidence.pdf

                                  ... has [p.13] basically the same text as on the web page but has
                                  also some computations. I don't understand the last two, but I'll use
                                  the first three.

                                  I'll add to it another bit of info from an article in today's Yediot
                                  Aharonot printed supplement which says that in those calculations the
                                  population of Jerusalem was assumed to be of 100,000. [Again I think
                                  the calculations should be made using the country's population, not
                                  just Jerusalem's, but for the sake of this demonstration I'll use it]

                                  When they (whomever wrote what's in the PDF) say that the frequency
                                  of "Jesus son of Joseph" is 1/190, that means that 1 out of 190
                                  persons will have that name. That means that in a population of
                                  100,000 persons there'll be 526 persons with this name.

                                  How do I know it's "persons" and not "males"? Because in the 2nd &
                                  3rd calculations the frequencies are multiplied as-is without
                                  separating male-names from-female names or halving the frequencies.
                                  [If the frequency of "Jesus son of Joseph" is 1 of 190 male-names,
                                  then the frequency is 1/380 for the general male/female population]

                                  The 3rd calculation claims that the probability of the four names
                                  appearing together, as calculated from the frequencies of individual
                                  names, is 1/2,400,00. That means that if you check the names in
                                  4-person groups, only one of every 2,400,000 will have those exact four names.

                                  Impressive, right?

                                  Now let's see how many 4-person combinations, order not important and
                                  without repeats (can't have one person dying twice), we can have
                                  given a population of 100,000?

                                  The formula (which you'll find in any basic text on statistics) is
                                  n!/(r!(n-r)!)

                                  [n is the number of items to choose from, r is the number of items
                                  that are chosen together each time, ! is factorial (n! = 1*2*3*...*n)

                                  In this case we have 100,000!/(4!(100,000-4)!), or (courtesy of a
                                  spreadsheet) 4,166,416,671,249,980,000.

                                  Every 2,400,000 of these 4,166,416,671,249,980,000 4-person groups
                                  will have these four names. How many is that?

                                  1,736,006,946,354.16

                                  I.e. given the probability they calculated for those four names,
                                  checking all the possible combinations of 4-person groups (no order,
                                  no repetitions) in a population of 100,000 will result in some 1.7
                                  trillion and change such possible groups having those four names.

                                  Duh? DUH?

                                  One of the reasons for such a ridiculous result is the 1/4 frequency
                                  for "Maria". It means that out of the 100,000 people, 25,000 were
                                  called Maria. Or that every second woman was called Maria. And since
                                  they call the wind Maria, that's a little bit too much wind.

                                  So I doubt we'll be able to figure out this "600 to 1" claim without
                                  a serious publication.



                                  Ariel.

                                  [100% bona fide dilettante ... delecto ergo sum!]

                                  ---
                                  Ariel L. Szczupak
                                  AMIS-JLM (Ricercar Ltd.)
                                  POB 4707, Jerusalem, Israel 91401
                                  Phone: +972-2-5619660 Fax: +972-2-5634203
                                  ane.als@...
                                • Joe Zias
                                  The math/probability is a real snow job, e.g for starters pop. of Jrsm ca 30 AD was about 50,000 at the most and a good percentage of those were not even
                                  Message 16 of 21 , Mar 2, 2007
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                                    The math/probability is a real snow job, e.g for starters pop. of Jrsm ca 30 AD was about 50,000 at the most and a good percentage of those were not even Jewish. They up the ante to 100,000 as if everyone was Jewish and rig the math game as they have all along. don't buy into it. They have rigged the 'game' from the beginning, their geneaolgy chart is a good example of ignoring the fact that the tomb is an extended family running up to 100 yrs from 30 BC to 70 AD.

                                    Joe Zias

                                    "Ariel L. Szczupak" <ane.als@...> wrote: At 01:01 PM 3/1/2007, Ariel L. Szczupak wrote:
                                    [...]
                                    >That's a "duh?" result.

                                    The Discovery Channel PDF ...

                                    http://dsc.discovery.com/convergence/tomb/explore/media/tomb_evidence.pdf

                                    ... has [p.13] basically the same text as on the web page but has
                                    also some computations. I don't understand the last two, but I'll use
                                    the first three.

                                    I'll add to it another bit of info from an article in today's Yediot
                                    Aharonot printed supplement which says that in those calculations the
                                    population of Jerusalem was assumed to be of 100,000. [Again I think
                                    the calculations should be made using the country's population, not
                                    just Jerusalem's, but for the sake of this demonstration I'll use it]

                                    When they (whomever wrote what's in the PDF) say that the frequency
                                    of "Jesus son of Joseph" is 1/190, that means that 1 out of 190
                                    persons will have that name. That means that in a population of
                                    100,000 persons there'll be 526 persons with this name.

                                    How do I know it's "persons" and not "males"? Because in the 2nd &
                                    3rd calculations the frequencies are multiplied as-is without
                                    separating male-names from-female names or halving the frequencies.
                                    [If the frequency of "Jesus son of Joseph" is 1 of 190 male-names,
                                    then the frequency is 1/380 for the general male/female population]

                                    The 3rd calculation claims that the probability of the four names
                                    appearing together, as calculated from the frequencies of individual
                                    names, is 1/2,400,00. That means that if you check the names in
                                    4-person groups, only one of every 2,400,000 will have those exact four names.

                                    Impressive, right?

                                    Now let's see how many 4-person combinations, order not important and
                                    without repeats (can't have one person dying twice), we can have
                                    given a population of 100,000?

                                    The formula (which you'll find in any basic text on statistics) is
                                    n!/(r!(n-r)!)

                                    [n is the number of items to choose from, r is the number of items
                                    that are chosen together each time, ! is factorial (n! = 1*2*3*...*n)

                                    In this case we have 100,000!/(4!(100,000-4)!), or (courtesy of a
                                    spreadsheet) 4,166,416,671,249,980,000.

                                    Every 2,400,000 of these 4,166,416,671,249,980,000 4-person groups
                                    will have these four names. How many is that?

                                    1,736,006,946,354.16

                                    I.e. given the probability they calculated for those four names,
                                    checking all the possible combinations of 4-person groups (no order,
                                    no repetitions) in a population of 100,000 will result in some 1.7
                                    trillion and change such possible groups having those four names.

                                    Duh? DUH?

                                    One of the reasons for such a ridiculous result is the 1/4 frequency
                                    for "Maria". It means that out of the 100,000 people, 25,000 were
                                    called Maria. Or that every second woman was called Maria. And since
                                    they call the wind Maria, that's a little bit too much wind.

                                    So I doubt we'll be able to figure out this "600 to 1" claim without
                                    a serious publication.

                                    Ariel.

                                    [100% bona fide dilettante ... delecto ergo sum!]

                                    ---
                                    Ariel L. Szczupak
                                    AMIS-JLM (Ricercar Ltd.)
                                    POB 4707, Jerusalem, Israel 91401
                                    Phone: +972-2-5619660 Fax: +972-2-5634203
                                    ane.als@...






                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • nancy in chicago
                                    ... From: Doug Weller much missing The film producers have tested the DNA of one of the Mary s and discovered it is not maternally
                                    Message 17 of 21 , Mar 2, 2007
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                                      ---------- Original Message-----------
                                      From: Doug Weller <dweller@...>

                                      much missing

                                      The film producers have tested the DNA of one of the Mary's and
                                      discovered it is not maternally related to Jesus' DNA.

                                      ------- End of Original Message-------

                                      Umm... what Jesus do they have DNA from?  Could they tell which one of the bones was actually Jesus in the ossuary? 

                                      Otherwise, all that they are saying is that Mary married into the family -- which I would think more likely than having a grown daughter in the ossuary.

                                      Personally, having the DNA of THE Jesus of Nazareth is probably as likely as having the DNA of THE Harry Potter (and the latter is impossible).

                                      Nancy Jones
                                      Interested Amateur

                                      "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend; inside of a dog, it's toodark
                                      to read."  Groucho Marx




                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    • Doug Weller
                                      Have people been following this blog? http://benwitherington.blogspot.com/ and
                                      Message 18 of 21 , Mar 2, 2007
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                                        Have people been following this blog?
                                        http://benwitherington.blogspot.com/
                                        and
                                        http://benwitherington.blogspot.com/2007/02/jesus-tomb-titanic-talpiot-tomb-theory.html

                                        Doug Weller
                                        --
                                        Doug Weller Moderator, sci.archaeology.moderated
                                        Director and Moderator The Hall of Ma'at http://www.thehallofmaat.com
                                        Doug and Helen's Dogs: http://www.dougandhelen.com
                                        Doug's Archaeology Site: http://www.ramtops.co.uk
                                      • Jim West
                                        If they have they should know a couple of things about Ben. First, he is among the very few who supported and still supports the authenticity of the James
                                        Message 19 of 21 , Mar 2, 2007
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                                          If they have they should know a couple of things about Ben. First, he
                                          is among the very few who supported and still supports the authenticity
                                          of the James Ossuary inscription. Second, the very persons involved in
                                          the Talpiot Tomb program were involved with him when he peddled the
                                          James Ossuary.

                                          In other words- he's all for the James Ossuary (with its questionable
                                          inscription) and he's all against the latest "big news". He is, in
                                          other words, hardly a disinterested bystander.


                                          Doug Weller wrote:
                                          > Have people been following this blog?
                                          > http://benwitherington.blogspot.com/
                                          > and
                                          > http://benwitherington.blogspot.com/2007/02/jesus-tomb-titanic-talpiot-tomb-theory.html
                                          >
                                          > Doug Weller

                                          --
                                          Jim West, ThD

                                          http://drjewest.googlepages.com/ -- Biblical Studies Resources
                                          http://drjimwest.wordpress.com -- Weblog
                                        • Ariel L. Szczupak
                                          ... For a population of 25,000 the numbers are 6,780,056,542.97 Jesus groups out of 16,272,135,703,118,800 possible 4-person combinations. Still ridiculous.
                                          Message 20 of 21 , Mar 2, 2007
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                                            At 07:33 PM 3/2/2007, Joe Zias wrote:

                                            >The math/probability is a real snow job, e.g for starters pop. of
                                            >Jrsm ca 30 AD was about 50,000 at the most and a good percentage of
                                            >those were not even Jewish.

                                            For a population of 25,000 the numbers are 6,780,056,542.97 "Jesus
                                            groups" out of 16,272,135,703,118,800 possible 4-person combinations.

                                            Still ridiculous.

                                            >They up the ante to 100,000 as if everyone was Jewish and rig the
                                            >math game as they have all along. don't buy into it. They have
                                            >rigged the 'game' from the beginning, their geneaolgy chart is a
                                            >good example of ignoring the fact that the tomb is an extended
                                            >family running up to 100 yrs from 30 BC to 70 AD.

                                            Of course I don't buy into it. The official web site linking the
                                            pirates' skull-and-bones flag to the tomb was a "subtle" hint as to
                                            how serious this was.

                                            But I focus on the statistics for a reason.

                                            In statistics the issues are much simpler than in the interpretation
                                            of archeological evidence or of ancient texts. That's why it was so
                                            simple, once I had some calculations to work with, to reduce their
                                            claims to absurdity.

                                            But the real reason is that we, humans, have a blind spot when it
                                            comes to assessing odds.

                                            Our brains can do amazing things. Practically everyone can crumple a
                                            page of paper into a very irregular shape and throw it into a waste
                                            basket 3 feet away - a trajectory that is expressed in complex
                                            aerodynamic equations. But when it comes to odds, our brains don't
                                            have that ability. If we had there would be no casinos. I know,
                                            through learning & training, to asses odds. At the same time when I
                                            talked last week to a high school classmate and found out that the
                                            names of two of his daughters are the same as my wife's and my
                                            youngest daughter's I had this "what an amazing coincidence" internal
                                            sensation. Even though I fully realized that there's nothing
                                            surprising since these are very common names, another part of me was
                                            saying "wow!"

                                            Most people will be able to follow the pro/con archeological and
                                            historical argumentation, if they wish to, but the "600 to 1" claim
                                            takes advantage of a cognitive blind spot.

                                            Is that wrong? Depends what you do with it. Magicians take advantage
                                            of our blind spots all the time, and so do con artists. Questions is
                                            where are Jacobivici et al on this scale.

                                            When Uri Geler claims supernatural powers instead of trickery and
                                            slight of hand, he is being dishonest, but he still presents his act
                                            as entertainment. Dan Brown wrote a novel, not a scientific paper.
                                            Swift claimed in "Gulliver's Travel" that the story is true, but he
                                            didn't present it to his generation's Discovery Channel, the
                                            Geographical Society, but published it as a novel. In all such cases
                                            people know from the context they are about to be entertained, not
                                            about to learn truths about reality.

                                            Jacobivici, on the other hand, presents his "masterpiece" in another
                                            context, a "this is real" context. For me the money he makes is not
                                            honest wages for honest entertainment but the dishonest proceeds of a
                                            con job. And it's not a con job that takes advantage of someone's
                                            moral defects (greed etc), but one that takes advantage of this
                                            statistical blind spot, like conning a blind man into buying a
                                            "beautiful" picture. A dirty con.

                                            And when I say "Jecobivici et al" I include everyone making money out
                                            of this pseudo-scientific circus. That includes every reporter that
                                            makes in the back of his mind a "it's a good story so I will not
                                            check if it's just supermarket tabloid material" decision. And
                                            specifically it includes the Discovery Channel. If they air it they
                                            are, to me, con artists.

                                            May they all be blessed in getting the same respect they give to others.



                                            Ariel.

                                            [100% bona fide dilettante ... delecto ergo sum!]

                                            ---
                                            Ariel L. Szczupak
                                            AMIS-JLM (Ricercar Ltd.)
                                            POB 4707, Jerusalem, Israel 91401
                                            Phone: +972-2-5619660 Fax: +972-2-5634203
                                            ane.als@...
                                          • Schmuel
                                            Hi Folks, I want to thank Doug for this analysis he gave the forum a few days ago. If there is any follow-up, or if it has been posted on a blog, please let us
                                            Message 21 of 21 , Mar 7, 2007
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                                              Hi Folks,

                                              I want to thank Doug for this analysis he gave the forum a few days ago.
                                              If there is any follow-up, or if it has been posted on a blog, please let us know.
                                              The only other interesting discussion of the statistics that I have seen
                                              was by Joe D'Mello and was on the NTGateway blog of Mark Goodacre.
                                              While they are in some senses complementary I believe that Doug has done
                                              the best overall job of really trying to wrestle directly with the statistical issues,
                                              writing with a real savvy and flair and comprehension. D'Mello emphasized more
                                              the *interpretation* of the existing numbers given by the film makers rather than trying
                                              to find a proper and accurate *formulation*. And the latter is ultimately far more important.

                                              The fly in the ointment of much of the discussion (and was never even remotely
                                              discussed in all the brouhaha) is the difficulty of what is sometimes called "post facto
                                              probability" calculations. This pops up in all sorts of venues and defining the proper
                                              input parameters is very dicey since there already is a bullesye target (what actually
                                              happened) staring you in the face. So it is very difficult to go back to *before* what
                                              happened.. happened.. and develop the proper formulations and questions that give
                                              a sound resultant calculation number.

                                              To give an example of a post facto probability (one that was never really
                                              done, afaik) in the public arena that actually made a lot of sense and could
                                              have well-defined input .. when Hillary made her $100g on futures trading
                                              one might be able to go back and say .. given a-b-c .. what is the likelihood
                                              that she could gain that amount by *luck* as opposed to a little "help" from
                                              the person entering the profits and loses (ie. perhaps doing a little winnowing
                                              out of losses to help her accrue gains.)

                                              However the variables in the ossuary situation are a lot more difficult. I will
                                              give an example of one. Jose is an extraordinary name in one sense, in that
                                              it did not show up on ossuaries much. On the other hand it is all over the
                                              Talmud and other ancient Hebraic realms and was apparently simply much like
                                              "Joe" is today to Joseph, a shorthand, a nickname. John Gill discusses this as well.
                                              And most graves today do not have a Joe, they have Joseph. So if you hit a grave site
                                              today with "Joe" how easy would it be for you to figure out what Joseph or Joe was
                                              involved ?.. (answer, very difficult .. especially as most people with one name are
                                              sometimes called the other).

                                              Difficulties like this are all over the ossuary calculations.

                                              Enough for now. Thanks, Doug.

                                              Shalom,
                                              Steven Avery
                                              Queens, NY
                                              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Messianic_Apologetic


                                              Doug Weller -
                                              >I just found this statistical analysis - like the other one, it assumes the names are correct.
                                              >I have computed that the probability of the tomb in the Talpiot
                                              >district of Jerusalem being the family tomb of the Jesus of Nazareth
                                              >is at least 12 to 1 *against*. Apparently the makers of the movie
                                              >calculated the probability that more than one family living in ancient
                                              >Jerusalem would produce a cluster of names like the ones discovered in
                                              >the tomb in the Talpiot district of Jerusalem, and found that this
                                              >probability is very small and that therefore this must be the tomb of
                                              >Jesus of Nazareth's family. But I think they asked the wrong question.
                                              >The right question is: How many families living in ancient Jerusalem
                                              >would produce a cluster of names in a tomb that would appear to be as
                                              >similar to the names in Jesus' family as the cluster of names actually
                                              >found? And the answer is that more than 12 families would have
                                              >produced such remarkable cluster of names in a tomb.
                                              >
                                              >Here is how I computed this number. According to the gospels Jesus'
                                              >family consisted of Joseph and Mary, Jesus, and four male brothers of
                                              >Jesus named James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas (besides unnamed female
                                              >siblings). We also know the approximate frequency of names in ancient
                                              >Palestine. According to
                                              >http://benwitherington.blogspot.com/2007/02/jesus-tomb-titanic-talpiot-tomb-theory.html
                                              >
                                              >these are: 9.2%, 8.3%, 6.2% and 3.8% for Simon, Joseph, Judas and
                                              >Jesus respectively for male names, and Mary's name frequency is a
                                              >whooping 21.3% for female names. The tomb discovered in Talpiot
                                              >contained 10 ossuaries, of which 6 carried inscriptions. The relevant
                                              >inscriptions here are "Jesus son of Joseph", "Mary", "Mary", and
                                              >"Joseph". These inscriptions were in different languages and used
                                              >different forms for these names, but that's about it. (see:
                                              >http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070228135009.htm ) I read
                                              >somewhere that first century Jerusalem had about 50,000 inhabitants.
                                              >As the period in question spanned various generations I used a
                                              >population of 10,000 families.
                                              >
                                              >I wrote a computer program simulation that actually randomly produced
                                              >10,000 families of 10 members each (keeping the right name
                                              >frequencies) and then proceeded to compute the following average
                                              >numbers:
                                              >
                                              >111 families would have a Jesus son of Joseph. I understand that in
                                              >fact other ossuaries have been found with the inscription "Jesus son
                                              >of Joseph".
                                              >
                                              >75 families would moreover have at least one Mary.
                                              >
                                              >71 families would moreover have one more name that belongs to Jesus'
                                              >family, be it Joseph, Simon or Judas, or maybe a second Mary
                                              >(supposedly Mary Magdalene).
                                              >
                                              >43 families would have two more such names. One of such clusters might
                                              >be: [Jesus son of Joseph, Mary, Mary, Joseph], as is the one
                                              >discovered in the Talpiot tomb.
                                              >
                                              >And 16 families would have three more such names. Here is in detail
                                              >the very first family case my simulation produced: An unnamed (i.e.
                                              >with no relevant names) couple have three children: a daughter Mary, a
                                              >son Joseph, and an unnamed second daughter. Their daughter Mary
                                              >marries Simon and produces an unnamed daughter. Their son Joseph
                                              >marries an unnamed wife and produces two children, Jesus and Mary.
                                              >Voila: A family cluster of 10 whose tomb might have had inscriptions
                                              >"Jesus son of Joseph", "Mary", "Joseph", "Mary", and "Simon" - all
                                              >names related to the circle of Jesus of Nazareth, but this is not
                                              >Jesus Christ's family. Nevertheless this cluster would appear to be
                                              >even more statistically conspicuous than the one discovered in the
                                              >Talpiot tomb.
                                              >
                                              >The film producers have tested the DNA of one of the Mary's and
                                              >discovered it is not maternally related to Jesus' DNA. I compute that
                                              >adding this condition we still get 12 families. Here is the very first
                                              >such case my simulation produced: A Jesus (whose father was named
                                              >Joseph) marries a Mary and has 4 children: Simon, Jesus, and two more unnamed ones. Their son Simon marries a second Mary but have no children that would be buried in the family tomb. One unnamed daughter marries Joseph and has a daughter Mary. That's the second Mary who is also not maternally related to "Jesus son of Joseph". - So, any of these 12 families might have produced tomb even more conspicuous than the one found, but at most one of these families could be Jesus'. Hence the chance of the Talpiot tomb being Jesus is less than 1/12.
                                              >
                                              >Further: Taking into account that Jesus' family was not from
                                              >Jerusalem, that his family was too poor to afford a family tomb, that
                                              >if Jesus' bones were put in an ossuary one would expect the ossuary
                                              >itself or the inscription on it to be more special in some way, and
                                              >that if Jesus' body was buried in a tomb to decompose and then put in
                                              >an ossuary then probably somebody would have found out back then when
                                              >so much was made of Jesus' bodily ascension to heaven - taking all
                                              >that into account the probability of the Talpiot tomb being of Jesus
                                              >is much less than 12 to 1 against. Finally, if the movie producers
                                              >really believed that this was Jesus' tomb one would expect that they
                                              >would have asked neutral professional archeologists to evaluate their
                                              >evidence or argumentation - which they haven't done.
                                              >
                                              >There is some more arguments, such as the "James son of Joseph brother of Jesus" ossuary (see:
                                              >http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Ossuary )
                                              >having come from this same tomb, but the archaeologist who first
                                              >studied the tomb flatly denies it (see:
                                              >http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?c=JPArticle&cid=1171894527185&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull )
                                              >and the archeological report on the Talpiot tomb counts six ossuaries
                                              >with inscriptions, all accounted for (go to
                                              >http://dsc.discovery.com/convergence/tomb/explore/explore.html
                                              >and
                                              >click on "Enter the Tomb", then on "Download Documents" and then on
                                              >"Download PDF").
                                              >
                                              >I did the above computations in a hurry and it's possible that I have
                                              >committed some mistake. If you send me an email to
                                              >dianelos@... I will gladly send you a copy of the program I
                                              >wrote, so that you can check it yourself. It's written in Pascal, and
                                              >it's a simple 150 lines program that any programmer can read.
                                              >
                                              >Doug Weller
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