What lies beneath?
What lies beneath the name "Yeshua‘ (?)" in the Talpiot tomb inscription? That is the question.
Yeshua‘ (?).................................................earlier scratches beneath
The earlier yellow scratches/strokes (right) are beneath Yeshua‘ (?) and are made by a duller tool. However they were made by a similar or identical tool to those in Yehosef. These are arguably the remnants of an earlier name. The surface was also apparently effaced and shaved. This makes the earlier name difficult to decipher. (The names Chanun or Yadun are possible but only conjectural until the inscribed lines can be thoroughly cleaned and examined).
At least one or more of the earlier scratches appear to have been incorporated into the name "Yeshua‘ (?)" when it was added. For example, it would be the case if one accepts the long stroke on the right as the yodh. The upper left vertical stroke of the ‘ayin has been incorporated. The waw is also part of the earlier layer, which may either have been incorporated into the later inscription, or if not, the earlier inscription was intended to read simply, "Yesha‘ (?)" without a waw.
What are the implications?
The filmmakers propose that the burials of Jesus' family in this tomb began with his own death and burial. The implication is that this "Yeshua‘ (?)", (no matter how one chooses to read the name), was not the first to be interred in the ossuary nor in the tomb. This means that the family of this individual both had a tomb and a burial in the family tomb before this "Jesus (?)" ever died.
Stay tuned for more.