Tuesday, March 13, 2012

BS Part 2

Last Friday (March 9th), I posted--or attempted to post--a comment on Dr. Joan Taylor's excellent article, The Talpiyot Unguentarium. I'm guessing that the comment went into a moderation queue because the page refreshed, but without adding the comment. When it still had not appeared Saturday while comments by other people had appeared, I decided to submit it again, this time using Firefox instead of Internet Explorer since sometimes sites require different security settings or versions. By the end of the day when still other comments appeared, I decided to send an E-mail to Drs. Rollston & Meyers who are currently responsible for editing (& presumably moderating) the ASOR blog. I also CC'd ASOR executive (& LMLK VIP) Andy Vaughn. Alas, several days have elapsed without a response. Big surprise. So even though it won't get the attention here it would've gotten there, I'm posting it here for vanity's sake:

"Simcha Jacobovici's rebuttal to Prof. Robin Jensen certainly showed that either her memory is poor, or she deliberately misrepresented her participation in the filming. In any event, if the image under discussion isn't of a fish, it doesn't matter.

Dr. Taylor's interpretation accounts for the image far better than Simcha's. Instead of 'our fish' in his March 4 comment, readers should substitute either of the following:

  1. 'our sky-swimming fish' vomiting Jonah onto dry land at the bottom of the ossuary

  2. 'our Jonah-drowning fish' vomiting Jonah onto the bottom of the sea

Unfortunately neither of these corresponds with the story of Jonah, nor with the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Too bad Simcha's 'fish' wasn't oriented sideways, but even if it had been, it still would've looked more like an ancient jar (shown in this sideways orientation on Roman-era coins) than a fish with multi-oriented scales on only half its body. And the inscribed lines look like common decor on funerary jars.

Simcha criticized Dr. Taylor's perfume-jar references as being from the wrong time or wrong place, & noted that no similar specimens were found in the tomb. Yet there are no similar Jonah/resurrection images from any time or any place, & I don't recall hearing that any copies of the book of Jonah were found in the tomb. At least we know there were jars in existence that the image resembles; we just can't prove that the artist who inscribed the image ever saw them. Is Simcha able to prove that the artist ever read the book of Jonah?

Simcha & Dr. Tabor have repeatedly emphasized the '3 days & 3 nights' quotation, & if the artist had wished to convey this narrative, it would not have been difficult to utilize 3 simple suns (rosettes/stars were common on ossuaries) along with 3 moons.

I would also like to go on record as complimenting Prof. Juan V. Fernandez de la Gala for his articulate & tactful article, Some Considerations about the Icthyomorphic Drawing on Ossuary 6:3 from East Talpiot Tomb (Talbiot B or 'Patio' Tomb), in Jerusalem (though the editors should tend to the "TalBiot" typo).

G.M. Grena

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