The Huffington Post, March 8, 2007.
The latest ‘discovery’ of the so-called ‘Jesus Tomb’ or ‘Jesus Cave’ is so preposterous that it has to be laughed out of court.
For starters one must say that one must be glad that ossuaries of this kind in Israel are finally getting the publicity they deserve and that sites in which they occur will, as a result, finally be open to and become visited by the public.
They are so rich and beautiful that they demonstrate what a richly beautiful life was being led in Eretz-Israel or ‘The Holy Land’ at the time before – as D.H. Lawrence might have put it as he did the Etruscans – the Romans crushed the breath or spark of life out of it
First of all, all these names — which are mostly ‘Maccabean,’ primarily demonstrating the popularity of the Maccabean family in Israel at the time and not what our intrepid ‘archaeologists’ seem to think they demonstrate — found in the ‘Jesus Burial Cave’ on the outskirts of Jerusalem (as many have now already said) were so widespread at the time that finding a family tomb with ossuaries inscribed with them proves nothing at all.
But even more to the point:
1) To think that an inscription seemingly bearing the name of one ‘Mariamne’ has anything whatever to do with some character we think was called ‘Mary Magdalene’ (only mentioned about three times in the Gospels and this cursorily or in passing) is a stretch of immense proportions. All ‘Mary’s in Josephus are called ‘Mariamne’ in Greek. First disinformation. And what of this ‘Mary’s other descendant all Gnostic Gospel enthusiasts and those wishing for the eternal feminine (to say nothing of ‘the bloodline of the Holy Grail’ ) fantasize over, ‘Sarah’?
2) Then, of course, ‘Jesus’ father (if he existed or there was one) probably wasn’t even called ‘Joseph’ ( really the patronymical tribal name of the Samaritan Messiah). Most contemporary texts give Jesus’ father or Mary’s husband as ‘Clopas’ or ‘Cleophas’. Even the Gospel of John does this, unless this was her second husband or there were two ‘Mary’s or three!
3) And what was ‘Matthew’ (diminutive or otherwise) doing in this tomb – a ‘statistical’ outlier, no? And ‘Mary’s DNA didn’t match ‘Jesus’, so they were married, right?
4) And ‘Jose’ was Jesus’ brother, right? Why not father – meaning, the one mentioned on the alleged ‘Jesus ossuary’? And what is Jose’s DNA, since we seem to have ‘Jesus’ and ‘Mary’s, or weren’t we able to get a sample?
5) And who is this mysterious ‘Judas’? Of course, ‘Mary’s child’ by ‘Jesus’ – why didn’t I think of that? Again, another ‘statistical outlier’. And what were the results of his DNA if they were taken? Did we get a fix on this? Who was his mother?
6) Oh yes, and I forgot, ‘the James ossuary’ was pilfered from here. Why of course. How sensible. And therefore, it wasn’t forged (or was it from the Antiquities Authority’s storeroom) – again, why didn’t I think of that?
‘Though I am no statistician’ (sic – as they say), I would say that the statistical probability of this kind of primeval stupidity is about 666,000 to one.
Still, let’s not take one’s eye off the ball – the fact of a cave with such beautiful ossuaries is interesting in itself and should be examined for and by itself and not just sealed or stored somewhere out of sight. Hoorah, that it will now become part of the tourist itinerary. One plus from this sorry charade and display of historical ignorance anyhow! How beautiful and comely was thy daughter, O Children of Zion.