# Re: [asa] The tomb of Jesus?

From: David Opderbeck <dopderbeck@gmail.com>
Date: Wed Feb 28 2007 - 09:42:18 EST

Some recent comments from well-known Biblical archeologist William Dever are
worth noting:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/26/AR2007022600442.html
:

"I've know about these ossuaries for many years and so have many other
archaeologists, and none of us thought it was much of a story, because these
are rather common Jewish names from that period," he said. "It's a publicity
stunt, and it will make these guys very rich, and it will upset millions of
innocent people because they don't know enough to separate fact from
fiction."

On 2/28/07, philtill@aol.com <philtill@aol.com> wrote:
>
> It seems to me that the two biggest flaws in their argument are:
>
> 1. The statistics are based on one particular cluster of names, with no
> accounting for how many other cluster of names could have occurred. Suppose
> the tomb contained "Jesus, Mary, Jude, Simon..." then you could claim Simon
> was Simon Peter, etc., and calculate the odds for THAT particular cluster to
> occur. It is horrible logic to take one particular cluster of names out of
> all the many clusters that could have occurred, and then calculate the odds
> that that ONE particular cluster would occur as if that supported the claim
> it was Jesus' family.
>
> Two sub-points to make here:
>
> a. Considering that they really had to make a stretch to rationalize some
> of the members of the cluster, the argument gets even worse.
>
> b. At least one of the members of the cluster cannot be rationalized
> based on any external evidence (Jesus' "son"), and yet they still
> rationalize him as being in the cluster, and so it gets even worse still.
>
> But the main point is that the basic statistical method is flawed to begin
> with. They should have calculated the odds that ANY cluster of names could
> randomly occur consisting of names recognizable from the NT, with no more
> than one exception, and including a Jesus. What fraction of all possible
> clusters would fit this description? I believe that figure is rather high.
> Therefore, to discover such a cluster is unremarkable and cannot support the
> filmmakers fantastic claims.
>
> 2. The ossuary inscriptions were dated to the Herodian period, and that
> is some 30 years before Jesus died.
>
> Phil M.
>
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: dopderbeck@gmail.com
> To: drsyme@cablespeed.com
> Cc: TDavis@messiah.edu; asa@lists.calvin.edu
> Sent: Tue, 27 Feb 2007 12:49 PM
> Subject: Re: [asa] The tomb of Jesus?
>
> Another good link with various resources about the film's claims: http://biblical-studies.ca/blog/wp/2007/02/26/the-jesustalpiot-tomb-around-the-blogosphere/
>
>
> On 2/27/07, David Opderbeck <dopderbeck@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > *But I also understand that the statistician that worked on
> > > the film Andrey Feuerverger, is planning on publishing his
> > > results in a peer reviewed journal. Would that make any
> > > difference to any of us *?
> >
> > I think what will be most interesting is to see, when Feuerverger
> > publishes, exactly what he claims, and then too see whether there are
> > responses in the literature. As I understand his statistics, *at most *he
> > is establishing the likelihood of a particular cluster of names appearing
> > together, out of a population of about 2,500 names known from ossuaries and
> > inscriptions found in tombs around Jerusalem, adjusting for tombs around
> > Jerusalem that are lost or undiscovered. Interesting and provocative,
> > maybe, but hardly conclusive of anything concerning Jesus of Nazareth whose
> > family didn't come from near Jerusalem, and whose family from all we know
> > didn't have the resources to afford a stone family tomb. It seems like a
> > classic instance of sampling the wrong universe. A real comparison would
> > have to include the prevalence of such a cluster of names among Jews of
> > Jesus' class in the area where Jesus lived.
> >
> > On 2/27/07, drsyme@cablespeed.com < drsyme@cablespeed.com> wrote:
> > > That is an interesting point, and one that I have been
> > > thinking about the past couple of days. And it is
> > > probably why things like this are largely ignored by
> > > people like us.
> > >
> > > However, we are going to have to be familiar with this
> > > film and its contents in order to discuss this with fellow
> > > christians, fellow scientists, skeptics, atheists, etc.
> > >
> > > But I also understand that the statistician that worked on
> > > the film Andrey Feuerverger, is planning on publishing his
> > > results in a peer reviewed journal. Would that make any
> > > difference to any of us?
> > >
> > > On Tue, 27 Feb 2007 11:19:14 -0500
> > > "David Opderbeck" <dopderbeck@gmail.com > wrote:
> > > > There is an interesting little irony to this whole
> > > >thing. The filmmakers
> > > > shunned peer review, opting instead for a popular book
> > > >and film; evidence
> > > > was not handled properly and the conventional scientific
> > > >methods appropriate
> > > > to the relevant discipline were not followed; sweeping
> > > >proof claims are
> > > > being asserted prior to any academic debate; experts who
> > > >have been working
> > > > in the field for many years and have first-hand
> > > >knowledge of the
> > > > evidence are dismissive of the claims; seemingly
> > > >devastating contrary facts
> > > > are being ignored and/or rationalized away; and some
> > > >scientific-sounding
> > > > stuff relating to DNA and statistics is being thrown in
> > > >the mixer to support
> > > > the novel claims. And we Christians are now the ones
> > > >having to confront the
> > > > psuedo-science! Maybe this is a blessing in disguise.
> > > >
> > > > On 2/27/07, Ted Davis < TDavis@messiah.edu> wrote:
> > > >>
> > > >> For interesting comments from Israel, go here:
> > > >>
> > > >> http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull&cid=1171894527177
> >
> > > >>
> > > >> ted
> > > >>
> > > >> To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu
> > > >>with
> > > >> "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the
> > > >>message.
> > > >>
> > >
> > >
> >
> >
> >
>
>
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Received on Wed Feb 28 09:42:58 2007

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