The Talpiot Tomb

In early 2007, Simcha Jacobovici and Charles Pellegrino released their book, The Jesus Family Tomb, in conjunction with "The Lost Tomb of Jesus," a film produced by Jacobovici and James Cameron. The topic of both book and film was a first-century tomb found in the Talpiot neighborhood of Jerusalem in 1980, and ten ossuaries associated with this tomb. Their premise that the Talpiot tomb belonged to the family of Jesus of Nazareth was based on the ossuary inscriptions, especially three in particular, which they identifed as belonging to "Jesus, son of Joseph," Mary Magdalene, and "Judah, son of Jesus." Naturally, the idea that Jesus was married and had a son garnered extensive media attention, but numerous archaeologists, epigraphers, statisticans, and other experts weighed in on the theory as well, raising many questions about the validity of Jacabovici, Pellegrino, and Cameron's claims
 
The Talpiot tomb theory reappeared in the news when Princeton University hosted a scholarly symposium on the subject in 2008, and again in 2012 when Simcha Jacobivici and James Tabor linked a possible Jonah image on one of the tomb's ossuaries to early Christianity's belief in the resurrection. This new take on their theory appears in a book entitled The Jesus Discovery: The Resurrection Tomb that Reveals the Birth of Christianity.

Dr. Stephen Pfann was among the experts consulted for "The Lost Tomb of Jesus," and one of the first to articulate the scholarly objections to the Talpiot tomb theory in a way that was accessible to scholars and laymen alike. His and others' key essays are collected here for easy reference. Even more resources and articles relating to the topic can be found in the UHL blog page and archive.