Friday, March 9, 2012

A terrific article by Richard Bauckham on the Talpiyot Tomb B Inscription that has been creating a buzz (for all the wrong reasons?). Bauckham, at the ASOR Blog, argues that it is a fascinating and significant inscription, but that it has nothing to do with early Christianity. Here is Bauckham's conclusion:

I propose the translation:
Belonging to Zeus IAIO.
I, Hagab, exalt (him/you).
I do not think the inscription has anything to do with Jesus or early Christianity, but I do think it is one of the most interesting of ossuary inscriptions and that it has a contribution to make to our understanding of early Judaism.
You will be fascinated by how carefully he reaches his conclusion, even if you disagree with some or all of it. Also take a look at the comments at the end of the article. It would be helpful to know the Greek and Hebrew alphabets, although most, not all, of the words are transliterated, so if you do not make sure to take a look. Please read the whole article here.

John W. Martens

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