the talpiot tomb and jesus: it’s come to this

The whole Simcha Jacobovici / Talpiot Tomb / Jesus Family Tomb / Jonah Ossuary / Resurrection Tomb Mystery / Jesus Discovery circus has finally (and perhaps not unexpectedly) completed its descent into absurdity.

It’s come to this:

The Talpiot Tomb: It's Come to This

For background, see "Representative from Simcha Jacobovici’s Associated Producers, Ltd. Claims to Have Discovered the FACE OF JESUS in Talpiot Tomb Ossuary!" at

HT: Every Jesus Sighting Ever

15 Responses

  1. Good grief! And on a Good Friday, I had to see this?
    Okay, okay. There are no accidents. But a dog’s butt? I mean…

    I’ll stick with Akiane’s version myself. Have a beautiful Easter morn’!

    Hanging with the Prince Of Peace, I am.
    Uncle Tree :)

  2. Kol tuv uv’racha…STEPHAN PICKERING / Chofetz Chayim benAvraham

  3. Morton Smith, writing in 1969:

    “An excavation of which the results ‘confirm the Bible’ will certainly get large publicity, and the enormous expense of archaeology — a most important difference from other methods of biblical research — has made it far more dependent than the others on public interest and support. Men with a flair for raising money of course had better chances in the field; they attracted their like, and a sort of Barnum tradition grew up, exploiting public interest in the OT. Books announcing the great discovery that there had once been a big flood in ancient Mesopotamia, or describing ‘the’ tower of Babel, titles like ‘Gibeon, Where the Sun Stood Still,’ or ‘The Bible is True’ are symptomatic.”

    I think it would be fair to add Simcha’s programs to this list, too.

  4. To my untrained, it looks more like “King Neptune” from the “Little Mermaid”

  5. Your obsession with this is becoming unhealthy. And I’m sure SJ doesn’t mind all the free publicity. Without your help no one would have heard of this find. Now you’ve managed to turn this into the must see documentary of the year. Are you on his payroll?

  6. I have a strong suspicion Dr Jacobovici’s surface response will be “I don’t give a tinker’s cuss – any publicity is good publicity!”

    However, I hope some of this gets needling him, to the point where he has to prove himself and go one step farther… oops, he’s just done it.

    I try hard not to post hyper-nasty or über-sarcastic thoughts just for the sake of it (which doesn’t always work, I admit I have a *long* way to go!).So I was a bit… concerned… at first about calling Dr J a ‘crackpot’ when this mess started bubbling up.

    Now? After the flurry of backpedalling, the rumble of a cascade of learned people peppering the finds with impossible-to-answer questions, and the frantic and desperate grabbing of the spotlight?

    Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Dr ‘Crackpot’ Jacobovicci and his Magical Pen!
    Backed by the “OverFertile Imagination” orchestra, conducted by I.C. Dedpeeple.
    With special ‘appearances’ by Iesou Xhristos, the ‘Dancing Fish’, and the Not A Whale illusionists!

    My tongue is so firmly planted in my cheek that I’m having difficulty swallowing.

  7. […] took Mark Goodacre’s spoof about spotting the face of Jesus in the Talpiot tomb seriously. In response, Bob Cargill posted this:There is a blog and Twitter account focused on the documentary. Bob […]

  8. Oh Well…Happy Easter to all.


  9. I disagree. Simcha is all about the publicity, so if he wants to credit me with increasing viewership and promoting book sales, then I’m happy to do my part to increase the fiscal benefit to our favorite filmmaker. (I really do like some of his early stuff. The non-archaeological documentaries for which he and his partners were awarded Emmys were actually quite good.)

    As long as the public sees me as a benefit (and not a detriment) to Mr. Jacobovici’s bottom line, then we all win. He gets increased sales and viewership, and we scholars get to educate the public about real archaeology. Everyone wins. :)

  10. Bob this is obviously a spoof by all, and Mark Goodacre’s observation was clearly cited. Clearly way way tongue-in-cheek. See my comment on the YouTube site about not only Jesus but a lamb, donkey, or even a rabbit–think Easter Bunny! You can’t think surely any of us took this seriously or that it would be in the film or book! Just goes to show you if you stare long enough at these photos you see all sorts of things–even handles on a fish! :-)

  11. lol James. Hope you had safe travels.

    1) You and I know Mark’s post was a spoof, but since John McGinley provided no link back to Dr. Goodacre’s obviously satirical post, viewers have no way of knowing it was a joke. Additionally, I had no idea you had actual footage of the very source of what Goodacre was joking about!! It’s one thing for Mark Goodacre to joke about it. It’s quite another to say something to the effect of, “You think it’s a joke? We saw it too and we even have footage of it!”

    This means that those not in on Mark’s original joke are going to see Associated Producers and Jesus Discovery and footage from the as of yet unaired The Resurrection Tomb Mystery, and hear Simcha’s (or whoever’s) voice, and then see the spotlight and think that The Resurrection Tomb Mystery is actually going to have footage of you finding the FACE OF JESUS.

    McGinley’s ‘joke’ backfires to anyone who doesn’t know Mark’s joke. And because McGinley never provides a link back to Mark’s initial post, viewers are going to legitimately think that Associated Producers, Simcha, James Tabor, The Jesus Discovery website, etc., actually found the face of Jesus in an ossuary. They can see it right there in McGinley’s video from Simcha’s documentary, The Resurrection Tomb Mystery.

    That’s what I’m pointing out in my post: We know Mark’s post was a joke. But by posting that video, and then by posting it on the Jesus Discovery website (which also doesn’t include the link back to Mark’s facetious post), while one might assume it is just John McGinley trying to mock Mark Goodacre a little, the rest of the world thinks Associated Producers (even though he attributes it to Mark, he offers no citation) have included it in its movie. (At least, that’s what the YouTube video says.)

    Which means, unfortunately, the ‘joke’ McGinley has attempted to play appears to place the documentary the ranks of Cheesus and the face of Jesus in bread, etc.

    2) I don’t know if the footage is in the film. It hasn’t aired. BUT, in the video an Associated Producers employee posted to YouTube, there is footage from the movie, Simcha’s (or some other team member’s) voice, background sound, the sounds of the robotic arm, and people yelling, “All right, go back!”, and cuts to spotlights and highlights from different angles. Is that in the film? From what we see from the video, it appears to be. We can at least say there is a reasonable expectation of such based upon the footage, because there’s the footage, uploaded by an Associated Producers representative, claiming to have taken it ‘from their original footage.’ And, there is certainly no claim that this is a joke in the YouTube video, and the description of the video quite clearly reads:

    “This amazing video made available by Associated Producers taken from their original footage”

    which seems to imply that this footage was ‘taken from their original footage.’ I mean, there it is in black and white AND video WITH sound.

    An Associated Producers employee (McGinley) says this was taken from the movie. Case closed. No mention that this is all a joke, and certainly no link back to Goodacre’s post that viewers can follow to decide for themselves. As far as I or anyone else knows, Associated Producers has discovered the face of Jesus in an ossuary, and has placed a promo on YouTube using footage ‘taken from their original footage.’

    3) I do indeed see handles, but not on a fish ;-)



    PS: Here are screencaps of the images I talk about:

  12. You know, James, you came down hard on me for this comment:

    “This is simply nothing more than a case of pareidolia. Tabor is seeing Jesus in a burnt piece of toast and calling it the ‘find of a lifetime’.”

    …which is from my blog post on the iconography of the ossuary. (See here:

    You were ‘hurt’ you said, and thought I was being unfair. Now I have to wonder just how unfair I was being, since as it seems, it turns out it was nothing if not prescient.

  13. Dr. Tabor,

    I think that it’s time to do the right thing and pull the “Duke Professor finds Jesus Image on Ossuary” down from the website as it’s very obviously misleading.

    At first glance to anyone not familiar with the issue, it looks as if Mark is endorsing the documentary when he wholeheartedly does not, and this is enough to open up some serious liability for the production team (as I’m sure you must have contemplated to at least some degree).

    So, please, show us some good faith effort and have them pull it down.


  14. I note with interest that John McGinley appears to have added a link that says “As Seen on: NT Blog” to his video. You can see it in the screen cap from this morning. The problem, of course, is that the link is broken, and points to a YouTube channel, not Dr. Goodacre’s blog. Nice try, but good to know you’re paying attention.

    Cheers, bc

  15. […] It should come as no surprise, then, when people see the faces of Jesus, Mary and devils in objects as disparate as a Cheeto, a banana skin, an ancient shroud, or even a dog’s bum. Miraculous? No, […]

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