This morning I encouraged the members of the Symposium to gain “fair representation” by speaking for themselves. I will post these in the order in which they were received.
Geza Vermes’ statement:
” The evidence so far advanced falls far short of proving that the Talpiot tomb is, or even could be, the tomb of the family of Jesus of Nazareth. The identification of the ossuary of Mariamne with that of Mary Magdalene of the Gospels has no support whatever and without it the case collapses. The conference, primarily devoted to the problem of afterlife in Second Temple Judaism, was useful in airing the the latest views on ancient Jewish burial practices and modern science. Apart from a handful of participants, the large majority of the assembled scholars consider the theory that the Talpiot ossuaries contained the remains of Jesus of Nazareth and his family as unlikely after the conference as it has been before. In my historical judgment, the matter is, and in the absence of substantial new evidence, should remain closed.
Fellow of the British Academy
Professor Emeritus of Jewish Studies