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Buzbee 1

Billy Buzbee

English 1302

Professor Poole

March 19, 2007

The Tomb of Jesus

1980, South Jerusalem, a build site for new apartments are held when a tomb of some sort is found while digging. Upon the arrival of the first archaeologists Josef Gat, Amos Kloner and Shimon Gibson one thing was noted right away, the strange symbol over the door to the Tomb. Nothing like it had ever been seen before, a decorative V- or Y-shaped chevron over a prominent circle. It measured more than a meter wide. All three archaeologists knew that the splendor of the fascia, especially in a tomb with no other decorative features, was extremely rare. Hundreds of tombs have been uncovered since the 1970s, and of all the thousands of ossuaries pulled from those tombs, only about 20% bear inscriptions. In the case of the Talpiot tomb, 6 of the 10 bared inscriptions. Every inscription has been corroborated by the world's leading scholars in the field, including professors Amos Kloner, Tal Ilan, Frank Moore Cross and the legendary L.Y. Rahmani. Every inscription bears a relationship to the Gospels. While the names themselves range from the most common to the fairly rare, it is the cluster of names that is unique.

The first inscription, written in Aramaic, states: "Yeshua bar Yosef." Translated, it reads "Jesus son of Joseph." This is very rare. The second inscription, written in Hebrew reads: "Maria." 25 % of all Jewish women in first century Judea (ancient Israel) were called "Miriam," in English, "Mary." As a result, to distinguish one from the other, variants and nicknames were adopted. Through literary sources the name of the mother of Jesus has always come down to us in one way: "Maria." Finding a Latin version of a Hebrew name inscribed phonetically in Hebrew letters is rare. Only eight other such inscriptions have ever been identified. The third inscription, written in Hebrew, reads: "Matia". This is the Hebrew original of the English "Matthew". It is not known whether the writer of the Gospel was one of Jesus' Disciples, or a member of his family. What is known, however, from the genealogy provided in Luke (3:23) is that unlike Joseph, Mary mother of Jesus, had many "Matthews" in her family. Unlike, say, a "Daniel" or a "Jonah", the appearance of a "Matthew" in this family's tomb is consistent with the information provided in the Gospels. The fourth inscription, written in Hebrew, reads: "Yose". This is a very rare rendering, a nickname for the Hebrew "Yosef", like "Joey" to "Joseph" today. The Gospels tell us that Jesus had four brothers: James, Judah, Simon and Joseph. The "Yose" inscription from this tomb is the only such example of this name on an ossuary. In the Gospel of Mark, the earliest Gospel, Joseph, brother of Jesus, is not called "Joseph", but "Yose." The fifth inscription, written in Greek, reads: "Mariamene e Mara", an endearing form of the name "Mariamne."



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