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This letter is in response to Response to Reed by James D. Tabor.

I wrote about these ossuaries on pages 19-20 of the revised edition of Dom Crossan's and my Excavating Jesus (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2003), and dismiss them as coincidental. My letter to the SBL Forum attacks the documentary, which, along with the book, the producers' statements at the press conference and in subsequent interviews, make the misleading claim that no one ever thought through the issue. The Talpiot ossuaries were allegedly forgotten and buried deep inside the bowels of the IAA. My point is that all serious scholars who know about ossuaries knew about this discovery. Many scholars had read Kloner's report and Rachmani's catalogue. Why is there no lengthy bibliography? No one, including fine New Testament scholars like Evans and McCane, thought that denying the tomb's connection to Jesus of Nazareth merited a serious, in-depth article. Based on the inscriptions, the use statistics, the DNA, and the patina analysis, in short, every bit of evidence that the documentary and book produce, I still do not think a lengthy article is warranted. I am sorry, but the documentary's suggestion relies on too much speculation to be historically plausible.

Jonathan L. Reed, University of La Verne.

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Citation: Jonathan L. Reed, " In Response to Tabor," SBL Forum , n.p. [cited March 2007]. Online:


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