James Tabor has published the following on his blog for the Jesus Dynasty: The Talpiot Tomb separating Fact from Fiction. The following line represents the thesis of his article:
“The following is a list of what I judge to be the “top twenty fictions” related to the discussion of the Talpiot tomb.”
It seems strange that the professor from North Carolina is accusing the scholars and experts of producing fiction in spite of the fact that the very basis of the film that he and the filmmakers produced was by a veritable fiction writer’s association. It should be pointed out at this point that many of the filmmakers and their advisors have a history of being involved in fiction writing. Two are actual fiction writers, James Cameron (science fiction/historical fiction, produced e.g., Aliens, Terminator, Dark Angel; Titanic), Charles Pellegrino (fiction writer and moderates part of a fiction writer’s web site. He wrote Dust, Unearthing Atlantis, Ghosts of the Titanic, The Ghosts of Vesuvius; he reportedly conceptualized Jurassic Park and The Titanic). The others, Simcha Jacobovici (creator of award winning documentaries but casting Lost Tomb and Jesus Family Tomb upon his works The Naked Archaeologist and The Exodus Decoded) and James Tabor (author of the highly controversial book and web site, The Jesus Dynasty) have researched and created a new Gospel of the life of Jesus based upon eclectic use of first century sources combined with 3rd to 4th century fictitious gospel texts (that were known to be fictitious theological/philosophical allegories during the very years that they were being written). Their hopes were, with the aid of archaeology and science, to prove their imaginative story to be true. However, in the eyes of the archaeologists and scientists (even those who they chose to appear in the film) the evidence does not support their story. In this way, until more convincing evidence appears, the story remains within the realm of “fiction” (and, since science is being used to support the theory perhaps even “science fiction”). This statement is not intended to be rude. But rather it is intended to encourage the filmmakers be honest as to the nature of their enterprise and to continue to sell their works as such to an audience that enjoys such productions.
In the meantime academics and scientists continue to accept the challenge of the filmmakers and “weigh in” by preparing papers in response to the assertions of the film and book. Unfortunately, the prospects for a fair roundtable discussion are not good. To date, those scholars who have conscientiously prepared and submitted papers have been met with baseless dismissal and ridicule by the filmmakers and their advisors.
Over the coming weeks and days leading up to the re-airing of the film in North America, more facets of this story will continue to be provided on this and other related web sites.
UHL Staff Report