A RINGO OSSUARY?
A number of our readers found it difficult to follow the technical language of the previous posting and have asked, “Can’t you put the same thing in layman’s terms?”
Okay. Remember how James Cameron said that “Mary Magdalene” combined with a group of otherwise commonplace names such as those found in theTalpiot tomb creates a distinctive group that could be interpreted as the family of Jesus? He suggested the Mariamne (assumed name of Mary Magdalene) identification does for the Talpiot tomb, what finding an individual named “Ringo” would do for a tomb group with “John, Paul and George” inside.
To quote him:
“The prevailing wisdom at the time, and even today, is that these are like finding a John, Paul and a George, and you’re not obviously going to leap to the conclusion that that’s the Beatles…unless you found a Ringo. If you found a Ringo in the tomb, then you’d start to have to look pretty carefully at that being the tomb of the Beatles.”
This is a fair statement. But let’s not mix apples and oranges. We don’t have the actual name “Mary Magdalene” nor even the exact name “Mariamne” in the tomb.
So, as an exercise in methodology, let’s take the name RINGO and subject it to the same transformations that are proposed to have been done to the name “Mariamne” and see if the comparison is still valid. (This follows the same observations for MARIAMHNOU (H) MARA in the previous blog).
1. First, add an extra vowel “E” between two of the letters to form “RINEGO.”
2. Next, place an unusual ending on the end of the word to make it sound cuter, such as “RINEGOE.”
3. Now, merge the last two letters of the name together in a bound form unfamiliar to the readers, “RINEGŒ.” And write the word in the possessive case “RINEGŒ’S.”
4. Mistakenly use the letter “K” instead of “N” when writing the name, thus “RIKEGŒ’S”.
5. Then, presume that an illegible imperfection on the writing surface after the name should be taken as a substitution for the word “which” which is taken to be short for “which is also called.”
6. Add a second name, a nickname, which is not widely known to be used for this individual and which can be mistaken by others to be read as a title), something like “RICH.” The ossuary now reads “RIKEGŒ’S ¬ RICH.” Is “Rich” here a nickname for “Richard” or does it mean “Rich” as in “wealthy”?
7. Now, take the two names (the name RIKEGŒ’S and the nickname RICH) and the imperfection ¬ and call it by a fancy technical term like “signum,” even though the two words do not follow the grammatical rules of the signum. Suggest the reading “RIKEGŒ’S ¬ (WHICH IS ALSO KNOWN AS) RICH,” that is, “Rikegœ’s who is also known as wealthy.”
8. Very importantly, completely ignore the fact that two different type styles are used for the two parts of the inscription starting with the letter “Œ”. “RIKEGŒ’S ¬ RICH“.
9. And also ignore the fact that no one is called by this name in the 20th century in England.
10. Would any English speaker in recent times, with nice handwriting, make this many writing and grammatical errors when creating a name plaque of only two words?
So let’s propose that we find a tomb with the name plaques of “John”, “Paul”, “George”, among a few others and somone by name of “Rikegœ-Rich” inside. Is this combination a “dead ringer” for “the Beatles”?
Nice try, but let’s be honest. It does take a real stretch of the imagination.