Re: Jesus' Tomb and Bones

Allan Harvey (
Thu, 4 Apr 1996 15:10:55 -0700

>I heard on the news today that an ancient grave site was found that has
>caskets filled with bones and they are labeled Mary, Joseph, and Jesus the
>son of Joseph. Does anyone know anything about this?

I read about this a few days ago. The story I read reported this fairly
responsibly, quoting some authority as pointing out that these were 3 of the
most common names in that culture, so that statistically speaking, given the
number of tombs that have been excavated, you would have expected this
combination of names to turn up at least once.

Any news report trying to make this into something of theological
significance (as opposed to an arguably cute little story to report around
Easter) is being sensationalist and maybe dishonest.

| Dr. Allan H. Harvey | |
| Physical and Chemical Properties Division | Phone: (303)497-3555 |
| National Institute of Standards & Technology | Fax: (303)497-5224 |
| 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80303 | |
| "Don't blame the government for what I say, or vice versa." |