Via Media

One more good link from the Archaeological Institue of America:

The identification of the Talpiyot tomb as the tomb of Jesus and his family is based on a string of problematic and unsubstantiated claims, including adding an otherwise unattested Matthew (Matya) to the family of Jesus; identifying an otherwise unknown son of Jesus named Judah; and identifying the Mariamne named on one of the ossuaries in the tomb as Mary Magdalene by interpreting the word Mara (which follows the name Mariamne) as the Aramaic term for "master" (arguing that Mariamne was a teacher and leader). To account for the fact that Mary/Mariamne’s name is written in Greek, the filmmakers transform the small Jewish town of Migdal/Magdala/Tarichaea on the Sea of Galilee (Mary’s hometown) into "an important trading center" where Greek was spoken. Instead, as in other Jewish towns of this period, generally only the upper classes knew Greek, whereas poorer Jews spoke Aramaic as their everyday language. Taken individually, each of these points weakens the case for the identification of the Talpiyot tomb as the tomb of Jesus and his family. Collectively these points are devastating, since the statistical analyses presented in the film are based on certain assumptions made about these names.

To conclude, the identification of the Talpiyot tomb as the tomb of Jesus and his family contradicts the canonical Gospel accounts of the death and burial of Jesus and the earliest Christian traditions about Jesus. This claim is also inconsistent with all of the available information – historical and archaeological–about how Jews in the time of Jesus buried their dead, and specifically the evidence we have about poor, non-Judean families like that of Jesus. It is a sensationalistic claim without any scientific basis or support.

All I saw of it was literally about 37 seconds in which the Acts of Philip were referred to as some sort of authentic historical source for first-century events. The usual game of not distinguishing among sources, etc., which is what so much of this type of nonsense is built on. If it says "Gospel," "Acts" or has an apostle’s name on it, it must be authoritative, and in fact it must be more authoritative than texts actually, you know, written in the first century.  Seen it before. Just thank goodness that this time, the media seemed to take a more critical view from the beginning.

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