The sensational discoveries get all the media (and blog) attention, but too little is reported when the initial claim falls short. One example is the papyrus fragment that mentions “Jesus’ wife” which Harvard University probably wishes would just quietly be forgotten. (More than a year later, there is still no report from a test that was supposed to take weeks.)
Another case is that of the “Jesus family tomb” in Talpiot. There was a barrage of sensational press coverage when the movie was released, but what do scholars say once they’ve had a chance to evaluate the evidence?
Eerdmans has just released a volume based on a conference convened in Jerusalem in 2008. The Tomb of Jesus and His Family?: Exploring Ancient Jewish Tombs Near Jerusalem’s Walls was edited by James H. Charlesworth, and the 600-page volume includes 28 chapters written by several dozen contributors. The work is selling on Amazon for $34. Here are a few of the chapters:
The Talpiot Tomb Reconsidered: The Archaeological Facts, by Amos Kloner and Shimon Gibson
Identifying Inscriptional Names in the Century Before 70:
Problems and Methodology, by André Lemaire
Demythologizing the Talpiot Tomb: The Tomb of Another Jesus,
Mary, and Joseph, by Stephen Pfann
On the Authenticity of the James Ossuary and Its Possible Link to ‘the Jesus Family Tomb,’ by Amnon Rosenfeld, Howard R.
Feldman, and Wolfgang E. Krumbein
The Burial of Jesus in Light of Jewish Burial Practices and
Roman Crucifixions, by Lee Martin McDonald
Polemics, Irenics, and the Science of Biblical Research, by James H. Charlesworth
The full table of contents is available via the preview in Google Books.
Eerdmans has also produced a 22-minute video interview with James Charlesworth.