Christopher Rollston’s Statement

“I have argued in print (in the journal Near Eastern Archaeology) and at the Princeton Symposium that because (a) the names attested on the inscribed Talpiyot ossuaries are all quite common and because (b) just two of the six inscribed ossuaries have patrononymics (i.e., “son of”), it is not methodologically tenable to posit that this Talpiyot tomb can be considered the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth.

Note also that although titles and geographica (statements about the region from which the deceased hailed) are attested in the corpus of ossuaries, none is attested in this Talpiyot tomb. Thus, the necessary conclusion, based on the cumulative epigraphic data, is that the proposal that this is the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth must be considered sensationalistic speculation based on a strained and tenuous interpretation of the evidence.”

Christopher Rollston, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University; Toyozo Nakarai Professor of Old Testament and Semitics, Emmanuel School of Religion.

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