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Re: [XTalk] FW: "James" again

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  • Emmanuel Fritsch
    ... Hey, there is a problem. If the shadows are clear in the photograph, they point rather to an incised text. The shadows are sharp cut. If the letter were
    Message 1 of 17 , Oct 30, 2002
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      "David C. Hindley" wrote :
      >
      > Here is Rochese's latest ...
      > [...]
      > Incised graphs are cut into the material; they do not cast shadows in a
      > photograph. Excised graphs sit above the background; if a photograph is
      > taken at even a slight angle, the graphs cast shadows. The shadows are
      > clear in the photograph. One can polish the surface of an incised text,
      > but one cannot polish the graphs. One can polish the graphs in an excised
      > surface. The light from the flash glitters off the graphs in the photograph.
      >
      > I'm getting the impression that this may be a question of terminology.
      > Excised means cutting away the background material to leave a raised
      > section. Sculptors refer to excised as "bas relief."

      Hey, there is a problem. If the shadows are clear in the photograph, they
      point rather to an incised text. The shadows are sharp cut. If the letter
      were excised, they would be eroded, (like a smoothing) and the shadow
      would be fuzzy, with an intermediate area between enlighted and shadow
      sides ("bas relief is also called "ronde-bosse"). Incised texts would behave
      as a valley : one side in the light, the other in the shadow, and the ridge
      of the valley as a precise limit between light and shadow. And this is what
      we see on the photograph, ( with a North-West position of light, I say for
      the photo found on that page :
      http://dsc.discovery.com/news/briefs/20021021/jesus.html# )

      Are you sure Rochelle got a photo of the right ossuary ?
      Or did I miss something in her account ?

      a+
      manu
    • Stephen C. Carlson
      On Wed, 30 Oct 2002 08:42:06 -0500 David C. Hindley ... At some point, I think Rochelle ought to appear here in person rather than by proxy. ... Finally,
      Message 2 of 17 , Oct 30, 2002
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        On Wed, 30 Oct 2002 08:42:06 -0500 "David C. Hindley"
        <dhindley@...> wrote:
        > Here is Rochese's latest ...

        At some point, I think Rochelle ought to appear here in person rather than by
        proxy.

        > >>There's that, but what does it for me is that Altman is still
        > >>unaware of which letter is supposed to be daleth.
        >
        > Sigh, the only graph that could be pushed into a "dalet" sits right
        > before the yod-shin-vav-ayin. And that's not a dalet in commercial
        > cursive.

        Finally, we're getting somewhere. Lemaire, of course, asserts that there is a
        cursive daleth, and, what's more important, he actually cites evidence in
        support of it. Has Altman examined Lemaire's references? If so, how is
        Lemaire wrong?

        > >>Her lack of familiarity with Lemaire's transliteration,
        >
        > Epigraphic/Paleographic is done from either direct access to the original or
        > a good photograph. One does not depend upon a copy, transcription or a
        > transliteration, for research. There are many documented cases where a
        > transliteration/transcription is incorrect and the error is finally
        discovered
        > only when someone else goes back to look at the original again instead of
        > just citing the copy. This happens in many fields; it is not unique to
        > Biblical Studies.

        This is all well and good but largely irrelevant to the issue at hand. The
        previous comments about a lack of the letter daleth were directed to the wrong
        letter in the inscription, a waw. How can one argue that a transliteration is
        incorrect when one is ignorant of it in the first place?

        > While with a badly damaged inscription it is much easier on the eyes to use
        > a transliteration *along* with a photograph, one must still constantly refer
        > back to the photograph to check the transliteration. This inscription is not
        > badly damaged; in fact, only a tiny portion of the asserted-to-be "dalet"
        > is missing at the bottom edge. A transliteration is both unnecessary and
        > undesirable.

        I'm just asking for some awareness of how the scholar who first published the
        inscription made his interpretation. Making arguments without checking the
        editio princeps (particularly the arguments rely on a different interpretation
        of the letters) is just not doing one's homework.

        > >coupled with her assertion, contrary to Lemaire, that the inscription
        > >was excised instead of incised,
        >
        > Incised graphs are cut into the material; they do not cast shadows in a
        > photograph. Excised graphs sit above the background; if a photograph is
        > taken at even a slight angle, the graphs cast shadows. The shadows are
        > clear in the photograph. One can polish the surface of an incised text,
        > but one cannot polish the graphs. One can polish the graphs in an excised
        > surface. The light from the flash glitters off the graphs in the photograph.

        The printed photographs in the BAR article clearly show it to be incised.
        Lemaire states in the BAR article that the inscription is incised. This
        indicates to me that Altman is probably working from a poor quality
        photograph.

        > I'm getting the impression that this may be a question of terminology.
        > Excised means cutting away the background material to leave a raised
        > section. Sculptors refer to excised as "bas relief."

        The inscription is not in bas relief.

        > >>Nevertheless, it is hard for me to take her conclusions seriously
        > >>when she has not yet established her familiarity with the material.
        >
        > Back to the technical name: "blatant forgery." That is, the forged
        > elements are clear and easily seen by the unaided eye. One does not
        > need to fondle this bone-box to establish "familiarity with the material" --
        > all one needs is a good photograph.

        And if the photograph is so bad that one cannot tell the difference between a
        daleth and an ayin in it or whether the inscription is incised or an excised?

        Stephen Carlson

        --
        Stephen C. Carlson,
        mailto:scarlson@...
        "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
      • William Arnal
        ... I ve been avoiding contributing to this thread since it strikes me as much ado about nothing (it definitely falls into the old who cares? category), but
        Message 3 of 17 , Oct 30, 2002
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          Stephen Carlson asked, among other good questions:

          >And if the photograph is so bad that one cannot tell the difference
          > >between a
          >daleth and an ayin in it or whether the inscription is incised or an
          > >excised?

          I've been avoiding contributing to this thread since it strikes me as much
          ado about nothing (it definitely falls into the old "who cares?" category),
          but I must confess to becoming more and more interested not so much in the
          inscription itself as in people's reactions to it, largely because of
          Rochelle Altman's (sp.?) response. Like Stephen, I am curious about how her
          discussion can be based on a claim that appears to be OBVIOUSLY false, i.e.,
          that the inscription is excised. In the photos that I have seen, all of
          them, unambiguously, show that the text is clearly and positively incised.
          What's the deal here? Is she talking about a different inscription? Is she
          looking, as Stephen suggests, at a thoroughly degraded photograph? And why
          would the editors of "Jewsweek" (I LOVE that name, by the way) publish her
          article without comment ALONGSIDE a photo which clearly shows the text to be
          incised? What am *I* missing? Or what is *she* missing?

          (On the other hand, I can't say that I'm sympathetic to the arguments of
          some crosstalkers which cite her disagreement with "established scholars" as
          prima facie evidence that she's wrong. For starters, she IS yet another
          "established scholar," so it is a disagreement between several scholars,
          which happens all the time, as we all know. In addition, I find it hard to
          take seriously ANY argument predicated on the impossibility of "established
          scholars" taking unbelievably and self-evidently stupid and incorrect
          positions.)

          Anyway, I'd love to find out what's going on here, not regarding the
          inscription (again, and for the record: who cares?) but regarding Altman!

          cheers,
          Bill
          ___________________________
          William Arnal
          Department of Religious Studies
          University of Regina
          Regina, Saskatchewan S4S 0A2


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        • David C. Hindley
          ... the wrong letter in the inscription, a waw. How can one argue that a transliteration is incorrect when one is ignorant of it [the transcription] in the
          Message 4 of 17 , Oct 30, 2002
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            Stephen Carlson says:

            >>The previous comments about a lack of the letter daleth were directed to
            the wrong letter in the inscription, a waw. How can one argue that a
            transliteration is incorrect when one is ignorant of it [the transcription]
            in the first place?<<

            I'm rather sure that the "comments" to which you refer were mine and not Dr
            Altman's. Let's not equate my mistake with Dr Altman's, please.

            Respectfully,

            Dave Hindley
            Cleveland, Ohio, USA
          • John Lupia
            Stephen C. Carlson wrote: I m just asking for some awareness of how the scholar who first published the inscription made his interpretation. Making arguments
            Message 5 of 17 , Oct 30, 2002
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              Stephen C. Carlson wrote:
              I'm just asking for some awareness of how the scholar
              who first published the inscription made his
              interpretation. Making arguments without checking the
              editio princeps (particularly the arguments rely on a
              different interpretation of the letters) is just not
              doing one's homework.


              The first published transcription (is this what you
              mean by editio princeps?) was made by a she not a he,
              Ada Yardeni, and appeared on a cover of BAR.


              Stephen C. Carlson wrote:
              The printed photographs in the BAR article clearly
              show it to be incised. Lemaire states in the BAR
              article that the inscription is incised. This
              indicates to me that Altman is probably working from a
              poor quality photograph.

              I am reluctant to answer for Rochelle since I hate
              putting my words in other people�s mouths. This
              happens when we interpret what others say in ways they
              never intended. �I think� what Rochelle is saying is
              that the second half of the �incised� inscription has
              its field including the surrounding field �excised�.
              The reason why this is characterized as a blatant
              forgery by Rochelle is clear. A forger needed to
              smooth out the coarse pitted surface in order to
              incise the final half of the inscription. This
              creates an artificial bas relief-like affect. This is
              evident in the photographs since the chiaroscuro
              varies between the first and second half of the
              inscription. In this case her comment differs from
              mine since she had the wits to see this. Whereas I
              did not pick up on the fact that the pitting in the
              rosh of bar in the first half was sufficient enough to
              signify that it was of greater antiquity than the
              second half. My assumption was that the forger
              deliberately carved into a pitted area to lend
              credence of the age of the inscription. This may
              still be possible, but only microphotography can
              determine this. If the latter is true then the entire
              text is a forgery and was carefully given a patina of
              natural material applied by some means yet unknown
              (perhaps using microwaves). Stating the thing again
              the pitting and roughness of the surface where the
              second half was to be carved was so bad that the
              forger needed to smooth it out to incise it.
              Consequently the remaining incised text was placed
              onto and into an excised field.

              A previous post (David Hindley?)
              > >>Nevertheless, it is hard for me to take her
              conclusions seriously
              > >>when she has not yet established her
              familiarity with the material.


              I am very reluctant to comment here since people do
              not like others to comment on their age, but Rochelle
              has been doing palaeography and epigraphy for about 50
              years or more.

              Best regards,
              John


              =====
              John N. Lupia, III
              501 North Avenue B-1
              Elizabeth, New Jersey 07208-1731 USA
              Phone: (908) 994-9720
              Email: jlupia2@...
              Editor, Roman Catholic News
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Roman-Catholic-News

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            • Stephen C. Carlson
              On Wed, 30 Oct 2002 12:14:46 -0500 David C. Hindley wrote: ... I think this is why we should not be doing this discussion via
              Message 6 of 17 , Oct 30, 2002
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                On Wed, 30 Oct 2002 12:14:46 -0500 "David C. Hindley"
                <dhindley@...> wrote:
                Stephen Carlson says:
                >>The previous comments about a lack of the letter daleth were directed to
                >>the wrong letter in the inscription, a waw. How can one argue that a
                >>transliteration is incorrect when one is ignorant of it [the transcription]
                >>in the first place?
                >
                >I'm rather sure that the "comments" to which you refer were mine and not Dr
                >Altman's. Let's not equate my mistake with Dr Altman's, please.

                I think this is why we should not be doing this discussion via proxy, but I
                was referring to the following comments that you forwarded from Altman on Mon,
                Oct. 28:

                |That is a vav and cannot be forced into being a dalet; there is simply no
                |room for a dalet.

                These comments were immediately followed by her signature. I was not
                referring to your own comments in another message.

                Stephen Cralson

                --
                Stephen C. Carlson,
                mailto:scarlson@...
                "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
              • LARRY SWAIN
                ... Bill, When I stated earlier in this thread that Altman has been criticized before for overdependence on photographs rather than seeing the artefact itself,
                Message 7 of 17 , Oct 30, 2002
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                  --- William Arnal <warnal@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > (On the other hand, I can't say that I'm sympathetic
                  > to the arguments of
                  > some crosstalkers which cite her disagreement with
                  > "established scholars" as
                  > prima facie evidence that she's wrong. For starters,
                  > she IS yet another
                  > "established scholar," so it is a disagreement
                  > between several scholars,
                  > which happens all the time, as we all know. In
                  > addition, I find it hard to
                  > take seriously ANY argument predicated on the
                  > impossibility of "established
                  > scholars" taking unbelievably and self-evidently
                  > stupid and incorrect
                  > positions.)

                  Bill,
                  When I stated earlier in this thread that Altman has
                  been criticized before for overdependence on
                  photographs rather than seeing the artefact itself,
                  this speaks more to academic, rigorous, methodology
                  than it does to whether or not Altman disagrees with
                  other scholars.

                  This relates to Stephen's and others questions of
                  Altman: they are not taking issue with whether or not
                  she agrees with Lemaire or not, but rather taking
                  significant issue with her method: a method that in
                  fact has led her to claim that the letters are
                  excised, in bas relief, and not incised in spite of
                  what every photograph, and those who have actually
                  seen the artefact, indicate. Her further claim that
                  everyone who has not seen this excision is just plain
                  wrong smacks of something unsound somewhere. Where is
                  the mounted argument? When did she actually see the
                  artifact and under what conditions? What leads her to
                  see excised letters with shadows when what Lemaire,
                  and many on this list see, are letters incised into
                  the stone? All this is lacking, and that is more than
                  just "disagreement among eminent scholars", that means
                  that someone has not exercised a productive and
                  controlled methodology.

                  Larry Swain
                • William Arnal
                  ... But one I agree with, and was in fact hinting at. Again, I have (had?) many questions about her characterization of things, but did not, and cannot, find
                  Message 8 of 17 , Oct 30, 2002
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                    David Hindley wrote:

                    >PS: I have to agree with Bill A. Some reactions are bordering on knee->jerk
                    >"personal" attacks (that's *my* characterization, not Bill's, thank >you).

                    But one I agree with, and was in fact hinting at. Again, I have (had?) many
                    questions about her characterization of things, but did not, and cannot,
                    find arguments like "many scholars disagree with her" to be compelling
                    evidence in any way that she is wrong! I was NOT attributing this argument,
                    by the way, to Stephen Carlson.

                    >1) It matters not one whit if the inscription be excised or
                    > incised.

                    I am still curious about this, and would like additional explanation. John
                    Lupia's post actually seems to offer an explanation for this, although I
                    barely understand it. Is this what Altman meant?

                    >3) It does matter about the frame, but people do not
                    > understand the relevance, so fine, have it your way:
                    > ignore the frame.
                    >Simply put: If that entire inscription is genuine, people
                    >have to explain why:

                    Etc. My own questions were NOT offered from the perspective of the
                    inscription's authenticity, about which I care not a whit. I just wanted to
                    understand Altman's argument, and was failing to. So at least for me, it
                    isn't all that useful to point to the various indications that the thing is
                    a forgery -- I want to understand the original argument offered by her, and
                    in particular her points about a) the incision/excision issue; b) the
                    spelling of "Jeshua"; c) the frame. I am just not following these -- they
                    don't seem to make sense to me as arguments. I would like them clarified --
                    and NOT, again, because I am interested in defending the authenticity of the
                    inscription.

                    Bill
                    ___________________________
                    William Arnal
                    Department of Religious Studies
                    University of Regina
                    Regina, Saskatchewan S4S 0A2


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                  • Steve Black
                    ... The high level of rhetoric suggests to me that people DO care. I am curious why. I confess that I also care, but I m not entirely sure what lies at the
                    Message 9 of 17 , Oct 30, 2002
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                      >Stephen Carlson asked, among other good questions:
                      >
                      >>And if the photograph is so bad that one cannot tell the difference
                      >> >between a
                      >>daleth and an ayin in it or whether the inscription is incised or an
                      >> >excised?
                      >
                      >I've been avoiding contributing to this thread since it strikes me as much
                      >ado about nothing (it definitely falls into the old "who cares?" category)...

                      The high level of rhetoric suggests to me that people DO care. I am
                      curious why. I confess that I also care, but I'm not entirely sure
                      what lies at the root of my own interest. This goes back to my very
                      first post on the subject where I said that I don't think this
                      ossuary really tells us very much. That led into an interesting
                      thread with Ted & others on James' christology. In hindsight, I think
                      that too much might have been read into the lack of a christological
                      title. That, however, at least might have told us *something*. Other
                      than the fact that there was a Jesus in the first place. This is
                      commonly believed in any event with only rare exceptions. That Mary
                      wasn't virgin till death hardly strikes me as a historical
                      "discovery" - being as it is commonly assumed in all but the most
                      confessional materials. So once again, I suggest that this is at most
                      an interesting material remain from an era that obviously interests
                      every one on this list (this is after all a list on the historical
                      Jesus, so something like this ought to be interesting by default)
                      yet, we really don't learn anything from this relic if it is
                      "authentic". So, why is the rhetoric so hot and heavy? Why DO we
                      care? (because many of us - Bill aside of course - obviously do care).

                      >(On the other hand, I can't say that I'm sympathetic to the arguments of
                      >some crosstalkers which cite her disagreement with "established scholars" as
                      >prima facie evidence that she's wrong. For starters, she IS yet another
                      >"established scholar," so it is a disagreement between several scholars,
                      >which happens all the time, as we all know. In addition, I find it hard to
                      >take seriously ANY argument predicated on the impossibility of "established
                      >scholars" taking unbelievably and self-evidently stupid and incorrect
                      >positions.)

                      I actually don't recall any examples of this kind of "reasoning". I
                      recall folk wanting to know her credentials, which is certainly
                      legitimate. I recall folk wanting to know how she addressed arguments
                      of her peers. This too is legitimate. I recall folk suggesting that
                      she might have been engaging in rhetorical excess, when she says
                      things like how "obvious" her conclusions are when other leading
                      scholars have come up with different interpretation. I see all this,
                      but I don't recall anyone saying that she was wrong just because she
                      disagreed with other scholars.

                      --
                      Steve Black
                      Vancouver School of Theology
                      Vancouver, BC
                      ---

                      Strangers stopping strangers just to shake their hand...

                      -Robert Hunter From SCARLET BEGONIAS
                    • Gordon Raynal
                      ... Hi Bill, An Ontario friend just let me know that the museum is going to have an exhibit about all the stuff from Lord of the Rings. And I hear that the
                      Message 10 of 17 , Oct 30, 2002
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                        >I've been avoiding contributing to this thread since it strikes me as much
                        >ado about nothing (it definitely falls into the old "who cares?" category),

                        Hi Bill,

                        An Ontario friend just let me know that the museum is going to have an
                        exhibit about all the stuff from Lord of the Rings. And I hear that the ROM
                        has a pretty good collection of dinosaur bones. See any connections;)?

                        About the ossuary I rather imagine that the former user and his brother's
                        reactions are in line with yours;)!

                        See you in the BIG To.

                        Gordon Raynal
                        Inman, SC
                      • David C. Hindley
                        John, ... No, that wasn t me. Stephen Carlson was responding to a response by Rochelle Altman who was in turn responding to a post by Stephen Carlson.
                        Message 11 of 17 , Oct 30, 2002
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                          John,

                          >>A previous post (David Hindley?)<<

                          No, that wasn't me. Stephen Carlson was responding to a response by Rochelle
                          Altman who was in turn responding to a post by Stephen Carlson.

                          Respectfully,

                          Dave Hindley
                          Cleveland, Ohio, USA
                        • David C. Hindley
                          ... because she disagreed with other scholars.
                          Message 12 of 17 , Oct 30, 2002
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                            Steve Black comments:

                            >>I see all this, but I don't recall anyone saying that she was wrong just
                            because she disagreed with other scholars.<<

                            There have been a few posts that did expressed amazement (perhaps an
                            overstatement, but just barely) that in the latter half of the inscription,
                            Dr. Altman reads " Y(QWB BR YWSP )XW W(Y#W( " instead of the reading of
                            Andre Lemaire " Y(QWB BR YWSF )XWY DY$W( " (i.e., a vav where Jack K. says
                            Lemaire reads a yod, and an ayin where Lemaire reads a daleth), as if this
                            was incomprehensible. Yet Lemaire cites only one example of a cursive daleth
                            written in that manner (Rahmani, CATALOGUE, no. 801), so it is not as self
                            evident as it has been presented.

                            The suggestion was also made that if Altman wishes to challenge such an
                            authority as Lemaire then she should do so in a peer reviewed journal, in
                            spite of the fact that this whole thing came to light in an issue of BAR,
                            which is *not* a peer reviewed journal.

                            When Lemaire expresses the apparently faith-based opinion that "It seems
                            very probable that this is the ossuary of the James in the New Testament"
                            and offers a tentative date of 63 CE based on that very assumption, there
                            should be red flags going up all over.

                            As far as I know, the team at the Geological Survey of Israel that has
                            investigated the box in the past month has not published anything on it
                            (yet).

                            So let's stop talking about "editio princeps" and such.

                            Why hasn't a single person suggested a simple solution? The ossuary
                            originally contained the bones of one Jacob son of Joseph, and later the
                            ossuary of a second Jacob, also a son of a second Joseph, was interred in
                            the same crypt. To distinguish the first from the second, someone added
                            "brother of Jesus" to the first (perhaps the second had no brothers which
                            could be cited to distinguish him from the first James). Now we can have an
                            ossuary with an altered inscription and still not have to postulate fraud.

                            Respectfully,

                            Dave Hindley
                            Cleveland, Ohio, USA
                          • Jack Kilmon
                            ... From: David C. Hindley To: Xtalk aka Crosstalk2 List Sent: Wednesday, October 30, 2002 1:14 PM
                            Message 13 of 17 , Oct 30, 2002
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                              ----- Original Message -----
                              From: "David C. Hindley" <dhindley@...>
                              To: "Xtalk aka Crosstalk2 List" <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
                              Sent: Wednesday, October 30, 2002 1:14 PM
                              Subject: [XTalk] FW: "James" again


                              > Find attached Rochelle's reaction to the dust cloud that seems to have
                              been
                              > kicked-up recently...
                              >
                              > Respectfully,
                              >
                              > Dave Hindley
                              > Cleveland, Ohio, USA
                              >
                              > PS: I have to agree with Bill A. Some reactions are bordering on knee-jerk
                              > "personal" attacks (that's *my* characterization, not Bill's, thank you).
                              > Rochelle had expressed concern that my *unintentional* misspelling of her
                              > name a few posts ago might be construed as an *intentional* slight of her
                              > expressed ideas on my part, or purposefully reproduced in the responses of
                              > others as a means to indirectly "diss" her difference of opinion with
                              other
                              > critics. Anyone who pays any attention to my posts knows that I do not
                              stoop
                              > to such things, and I do not condone that behavior in others. C'mon,
                              > everybody. Let's all try and remain neutral and cordial as befits an
                              > academically oriented list!
                              >
                              > -----Original Message-----
                              > From: risa3@... [mailto:risa3@...]
                              > Sent: Tuesday, October 20, 1992 7:29 PM
                              > To: dhindley@...
                              > Subject: Re: FW: [XTalk] FW: "James" again
                              >
                              >
                              > Dave,
                              >
                              > I hope that this one makes people focus on the actual
                              > evidence... but I have me doubts.
                              >
                              > Regards,
                              >
                              > Rochelle
                              > ===============================================
                              >
                              > Dave is posting my answers because I'm not on XTalk...
                              > and wouldn't be posting even this much if I had not
                              > been asked to examine this inscription. To be thoroughly
                              > un-scholarly, can we cut the cackle and get down to the
                              > heart of the evidence for fraud?
                              >
                              > 1) It matters not one whit if the inscription be excised or
                              > incised.
                              > 2) It matters not one whit if that be a dalet or an ayin.
                              > 3) It does matter about the frame, but people do not
                              > understand the relevance, so fine, have it your way:
                              > ignore the frame.
                              >
                              > Simply put: If that entire inscription is genuine, people
                              > have to explain why:
                              >
                              > ***Two different hands;

                              IF it is two hands, one person inscribed the first phrase and another
                              person, either one close to James or a family member, inscribed the second.
                              Alternately, the ossuary may have been inscribed by the family sometime in
                              the year preceding the bone collection and the second phrase on the occasion
                              of the bone collection by whomever performed it. Sometimes this was
                              performed by female family members. No matter how it was done, 2 hands does
                              not equal forgery.


                              > Two different scripts;

                              The second phrase shares only three fonts with the first; yod, waw and ayin,
                              all of which (but for the final obvious overstroke on the final ayin) are
                              similar to the first phrase. I can't see a foundation for 2 different
                              scripts.


                              > Two different levels of execution.

                              The first phrase begins a descent after the resh and descends with the feh
                              on line with the alef and the descent continues. The final ayin, to me, is
                              identical in stroke and form to the ayin in y(qwb.

                              > And to this has now been added from other experts:
                              > Two different textures on the surrounding block.
                              > ***
                              >
                              > These differences are clear, self-evident, and obvious.
                              > The inscription as-is meets the criteria of a "blatant fraud."

                              Rochelle, I consider you numero uno on the entire planet on writing systems
                              and form but there is something here in convention that either you or I am
                              missing from a palaeographic viewpoint.

                              >
                              > Until people can explain these points, the authenticity
                              > of the second part of that inscription is questionable to
                              > say the least.
                              >
                              > Now, if someone wants to come up with an ad rem argument
                              > that can explain these clear and obvious differences, go
                              > right ahead.

                              I don't see how any of those differences equals forgery.

                              Jack
                            • Bob Schacht
                              ... That was probably me that you re referring to, David, and you raise a valid point. I think *both sides* ought to be published in a refereed journal,
                              Message 14 of 17 , Oct 30, 2002
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                                At 06:18 PM 10/30/2002 -0500, David Hindley wrote:
                                >...The suggestion was also made that if Altman wishes to challenge such an
                                >authority as Lemaire then she should do so in a peer reviewed journal, in
                                >spite of the fact that this whole thing came to light in an issue of BAR,
                                >which is *not* a peer reviewed journal.

                                That was probably me that you're referring to, David, and you raise a valid
                                point. I think *both sides* ought to be published in a refereed journal,
                                preferably both in the same issue, with a concluding essay by a panel of
                                experts other than those in the previous articles.

                                In defense of BAR, we have an unfortunate precedent with some of the DSS
                                about how long the process can take for an inscription to be "properly"
                                published. Perhaps the interest shown in this inscription as a result of
                                the BAR publication and others will accelerate the process of full and
                                proper publication.

                                Bob
                              • Stephen C. Carlson
                                ... I didn t find the initial misreading so problematic (or amazing ). What really shocked me is that her rebuttal to Lemaire s reading attacked an
                                Message 15 of 17 , Oct 30, 2002
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                                  At 06:18 PM 10/30/02 -0500, David C. Hindley wrote:
                                  >There have been a few posts that did expressed amazement (perhaps an
                                  >overstatement, but just barely) that in the latter half of the inscription,
                                  >Dr. Altman reads " Y(QWB BR YWSP )XW W(Y#W( " instead of the reading of
                                  >Andre Lemaire " Y(QWB BR YWSF )XWY DY$W( " (i.e., a vav where Jack K. says
                                  >Lemaire reads a yod, and an ayin where Lemaire reads a daleth), as if this
                                  >was incomprehensible.

                                  I didn't find the initial misreading so problematic (or "amazing").
                                  What really shocked me is that her rebuttal to Lemaire's reading
                                  attacked an identification Lemaire did not make.

                                  >Yet Lemaire cites only one example of a cursive daleth
                                  >written in that manner (Rahmani, CATALOGUE, no. 801), so it is not as self
                                  >evident as it has been presented.

                                  This is the cite I quoted from the BAR article. The cite was
                                  prefixed with a "See" so it is not intended to be exhaustive,
                                  and I disagree with the inference. The fact remains that only
                                  one side has cited evidence for the identification of the daleth.

                                  >The suggestion was also made that if Altman wishes to challenge such an
                                  >authority as Lemaire then she should do so in a peer reviewed journal, in
                                  >spite of the fact that this whole thing came to light in an issue of BAR,
                                  >which is *not* a peer reviewed journal.

                                  This was not my suggestion, and in fact my initial message in this
                                  thread expressed doubts as to Lemaire's presentation in BAR, which
                                  I reproduce for convenience:

                                  |I have read the BAR article. It is written for popular consumption,
                                  |and by its very nature lacks the recitation of the factual details
                                  |needed to assure me that the inscription is authentic. I would hope
                                  |that Lemaire is planning on publishing a more rigorous article under
                                  |peer review.

                                  This remains my position.

                                  >When Lemaire expresses the apparently faith-based opinion that "It seems
                                  >very probable that this is the ossuary of the James in the New Testament"
                                  >and offers a tentative date of 63 CE based on that very assumption, there
                                  >should be red flags going up all over.

                                  "Faith-based opinion"? What about the statistical analysis that preceded
                                  the conclusion?

                                  >As far as I know, the team at the Geological Survey of Israel that has
                                  >investigated the box in the past month has not published anything on it
                                  >(yet).

                                  Their letter has been published in its entirety on p. 29 of the BAR article.

                                  >So let's stop talking about "editio princeps" and such.

                                  Huh? I don't understand why it is unreasonable to expect scholars
                                  to actually read what the other side has written.

                                  And it is not like there are not enough questions evident from the
                                  BAR article that could be addressed. For example, I'd like to know
                                  more about that one other Aramaic ossuary inscription that mentions
                                  a brother. In fact, Hershel Shanks's appeal to Fitzmyer for support
                                  (p. 33) raises a few red flags to me. Fitzmyer was troubled by the
                                  spelling of )XWY for brother instead of the expected )X but he relented
                                  after finding the same spelling in the Genesis Apocryphon and "in an
                                  ossuary inscription in which the deceased was identified as someone's
                                  brother, just as James is here." Shanks's dilemma that "[e]ither a
                                  putative forger had to know first-century Aramaic better than Father
                                  Fitzmyer or the inscription is authentic" fails to cover all the
                                  alternative. A putative forger need only to find one (and there's
                                  only one other) ossuary inscription that mentions a brother and copy
                                  that.

                                  Stephen
                                  --
                                  Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
                                  Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
                                  "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
                                • Stephen C. Carlson
                                  ... I was referring to Lemaire s transliteration on p. 28, which sets forth his interpretation of the inscription. ... The material refers to the particular
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Oct 30, 2002
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                                    At 09:39 AM 10/30/02 -0800, John Lupia wrote:
                                    >Stephen C. Carlson wrote:
                                    >>I'm just asking for some awareness of how the scholar
                                    >>who first published the inscription made his
                                    >>interpretation. Making arguments without checking the
                                    >>editio princeps (particularly the arguments rely on a
                                    >>different interpretation of the letters) is just not
                                    >>doing one's homework.
                                    >
                                    >The first published transcription (is this what you
                                    >mean by editio princeps?) was made by a she not a he,
                                    >Ada Yardeni, and appeared on a cover of BAR.

                                    I was referring to Lemaire's transliteration on p. 28,
                                    which sets forth his interpretation of the inscription.

                                    ...
                                    >A previous post (David Hindley?)
                                    >> >>Nevertheless, it is hard for me to take her
                                    >conclusions seriously
                                    >> >>when she has not yet established her
                                    >familiarity with the material.
                                    >
                                    >I am very reluctant to comment here since people do
                                    >not like others to comment on their age, but Rochelle
                                    >has been doing palaeography and epigraphy for about 50
                                    >years or more.

                                    "The material" refers to the particular inscription in
                                    question, not to her general experience in the field.

                                    Stephen Carlson
                                    --
                                    Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
                                    Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
                                    "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
                                  • DaGoi@aol.com
                                    In a message dated 10/30/2 3:50:18 PM, you wrote:
                                    Message 17 of 17 , Oct 30, 2002
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                                      In a message dated 10/30/2 3:50:18 PM, you wrote:

                                      <<I confess that I also care, but I'm not entirely sure
                                      what lies at the root of my own interest. This goes back to my very
                                      first post on the subject where I said that I don't think this
                                      ossuary really tells us very much. That led into an interesting
                                      thread with Ted & others on James' christology. In hindsight, I think
                                      that too much might have been read into the lack of a christological
                                      title. That, however, at least might have told us *something*. Other
                                      than the fact that there was a Jesus in the first place. This is
                                      commonly believed in any event with only rare exceptions. That Mary
                                      wasn't virgin till death hardly strikes me as a historical
                                      "discovery" >>

                                      It doesn't really do anything to that. That the appelation brother of Jesus
                                      that appears with his literary attestations hasn't bothered the doctrine for
                                      2000 yrs, I don't see how it should bother it now.

                                      But this is a celebrity; gThom says for his sake heaven and earth came into
                                      being. This guy argued with Paul, and here he well, was. A letter is
                                      ascribed to him; his hand may have written scripture which makes it as weird
                                      of a relic as Baruch's ring especially to us. the average Joe hasn't been
                                      given the full rundown on who James really was, maybe someone can compose
                                      like an obit for the casket in Toronto.

                                      Bill Foley
                                      Woburn
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