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What is the Message of “the Patio Tomb” in Talpiot, Jerusalem?

All of us scholars are disenchanted when archaeological discoveries are presented too sensationally or are used to “prove” the Bible truthful or fallacious. By profession, scholars shun sensationalism and do not feel the need to defend biblical truths. We are dedicated to a means of expression in which certainty appears in a spectrum from “conceivable to probable.” Thus, it is as absurd to claim with absolute certainty that the Patio Tomb preserves the remains of some of Jesus’ first followers as it is unwise to pronounce with equal vigor that such a possibility is unthinkable.

For the official publication of Talpiot I and the definitive research on it by Shimon Gibson and Amos Kloner, see The Tomb of Jesus and His Family? Exploring Ancient Jewish Tombs Near Jerusalem’s Walls. Ed. James H. Charlesworth. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2012 (expected publication date is 15 Oct 2012). See: The Tomb of Jesus and His Family?

The following is a postscript in that book. Parts of it will appear on my web page.

By James Hamilton Charlesworth
June 2012

To read this article in its entirety, we have presented it here in PDF format.