With Each New “Jonah Ossuary” Photo, Multiple New Problems

With each new photo released by the Jesus Discovery/Restoration Tomb Mystery team, we are presented with multiple new problems.

I’ve put most of the text of my argument into the graphic on this one, but click on the image for a larger version. I’ve listed the four main discrepancies below.

Comparing pictures of the bottom of the inscribed image on Ossuary 6 from the so-called "Patio Tomb" in Talpiot, Jerusalem.

Comparing pictures of the bottom of the inscribed image on Ossuary 6 from the so-called "Patio Tomb" in Talpiot, Jerusalem.

Comparing the original image of the bottom of the inscribed image on Ossuary 6 published on the thejesusdiscovery.org website, with the a newly released image captioned “Untouched Photo from HiDef Camera” on James Tabor’s blog, with Dr. Tabor’s drawing (from his blog) of his desired interpretation of the lines comprising the image, we are presented with a number of new discrepancies:

1. Supposed “Yod”
The lines appear about the same in Original and HiDef images, but for some strange reason, Dr. Tabor’s drawing shows a ‘looped’ area, while arbitrarily ignoring half of the remainder of the line.

2. Supposed “Waw”
The line in the Original appears to fade toward the right. However, the HiDef image now appears to extend all the way to the right border! But, Dr. Tabor’s drawing stops well short of right border. So which is it?

3. Supposed “Nun”
The Original image appears to be made with two strokes, with the top stroke extending down past the bottom stroke. However, the HiDef image shows the strokes connecting, the desired interpretation Dr. Tabor records in his drawing.

4. Several lines must be deliberately ignored to even make supposed “inscription” possible.

It’s becoming a case of one step forward, two steps back. And with each new image released by the Jesus Discovery/Resurrection Tomb Mystery team, the data gets more confusing, and the arguments change and change again. First no inscription, then suddenly an inscription. First stick man arms and legs, then suddenly they are letters. First the arms and legs are here, then they are here. First the letters are here, then they extend to here. First these lines aren’t connected, then suddenly they are connected. Which is it?

Once again I must reiterate the importance of the integrity and full transparency of digital imagery used in archaeology. Why weren’t these images released all at once at the outset? Why are they trickling out to the public one at a time?

10 Responses

  1. Bob, as you well know images are taken by three different cameras at once–the HiDef, the Normal Def, and the Snake camera probe. Each one has different lighting and shows different features at different angles. There is no trickling out of photos. This is ridiculous and once again implies, as you do so often, some kind of bad faith, manipulation, or playing of strategic games…like your assertion, equally ridiculous, that in despair over you proving your 3rd century BCE painted krater-vase matched our image (when it does not in any basic way) we were so crushed we “had to come up with something,” and lo and behold, we what–maybe paid off Charlesworth to say he saw YONAH…and I guess Deutsch as well. The truth is once the YONAH letters were identified we asked the techs to pull some others and the HiDef one you are talking about was “released” just as soon as I received it. What you are missing here is there are three things going on simultaneously in this image and taking both shots together you can see them clearly. One image is not superior to the other but each of them show different aspects. There are lines making up the fish, lines making up the letters YONAH, and lines making up the stick figure. Some overlap and some are distinct. The Nun is joined in both the photos, contrary to your assertion, as I wrote you privately this morning. You are confusing the white smudges on the lens as a break. The straight line of the mouth of the fish serves also as the body of the stick figure, etc. The eye of the fish is formed partly by the letters, but the loop in the Yod delineates it, as does the curse in the vav. Every mark in the “head” of the fish serves one of these purposes and a few serve more than one.

  2. Thanks for the helpful post, Bob. It’s good to have some of these difficulties illustrated so clearly. I am struck by the fact that in the newly released picture, each of the alleged letters is clearly attached to border of the “fish” head. That makes sense if these are the lines of the decorative motif, but it is odd if the one doing the inscribing is attempting to write letters.

    Incidentally, there is a higher-quality verison of this picture at http://js-kit.com/blob/YWzL6Spje3YdOcjYy4G90b.jpg

  3. In fact, the high-def version of the other image is also found there — see http://js-kit.com/blob/Noe2s85Ygt3AlLK7iq4qzt.jpg

  4. James,

    Absolutely NOWHERE in my post have I stated or implied manipulation. Nowhere.

    Please do not claim accusations that are not being made. I never said you’ve manipulated data in these images. No ‘bad faith’. No ‘manipulation’. No ‘playing of strategic games’. These are all ABSOLUTELY UNFOUNDED ACCUSATIONS on your part. (Hopefully you simply misread and are not attempting to distract, dodge, or divert.)

    I have, however, pointed out that different camera angles produce different results. Different lighting produces different results. And since the CGI composite shows something different than image 15, and since image 15 shows something different than the HiDef, and since the HiDef shows something different from your drawing, my question becomes: which data are we to believe? Where are the lines? Really. Where are they?

    I AM pointing out OBVIOUS discrepancies with your OWN images and asking the logical question: which one is the correct one? And if you say, “My drawing,” tell us why we should accept that when your drawing doesn’t match your own HiDef images???

    And good grief! How many times are you going to deliberately misinterpret and re-bring up the Greek krater vases??? It seems like you bring that up in every response when you KNOW that I used them to show that there had been HUNDREDS OF YEARS OF HISTORY of linear and geometric designs just above the bases of vases. Said so in the video. The fact that you keep bringing that up and keep deliberately misrepresenting what I said makes me think you’ve got absolutely nothing else in response. Nada. Or else you wouldn’t keep bringing up red herrings that have absolutely zero value regarding the conversation at hand.

    And good grief again! There you go accusing me of saying Charlesworth was paid off. When have *I* EVER written that? (Not someone else, somewhere else, me. Where?) And I’ve never ONCE even MENTIONED Dr. Deutsch. EVER! How many of these red herrings and non sequiturs are you going to lump into a single response? You can’t bring up what other people say in responses to me and act like I said them. It’s not even good rhetoric and it levitates somewhere between intentional distraction and dishonest. They are completely irrelevant. Once again, if all you’ve got are false accusations, red herrings, non sequiturs, and logical fallacies, then your responses do more damage than saying nothing at all.

    Seriously, James, the second half of your response (beginning with “The truth is once the YONAH…” at least attempts to address the issues I raise. I don’t agree of course, but at least you’re referring to things that I wrote and issues that I raised and not a) implying I accused you of something I didn’t, and b) not responding to me regarding what someone else may have written or said. No lumping. Seriously, I’m just going to start saying ‘NO LUMPING” every time you do this. The second half of your response at least addressed the issues I raised. Unfortunately, the second half of your response followed the first half (thereby relegating it to appearing secondary to the red herrings and non sequiturs), and never does explain the four main points I raised, which again are:

    1) Does the supposed ‘waw’ extend all the way to the right border (like in the HiDef image) or not (like in your diagram)??
    2) Does the supposed ‘yod’ have a ‘Herodian loop’ (like in your diagram), or does it more resemble the modern square script zayin, which is actually more akin to the yods we find in the Temple and War scrolls from Qumran? (this is a gimme btw ;-)
    3) How do you account for the quite obvious lines that do not fit your desired inscription??

    I base my claims and responses on the facts at hand, not what someone else said on some other blog. I’d appreciate it if you’d do the same.



  5. Mark,

    No kidding. I hadn’t noticed that. You showed me the supposed ‘waw’ now extending all the way up when it hadn’t before, and the supposed ‘yod’, but you’re right: the top of the supposed ‘nun’ now appears to reach the border, as well as the bottom of the supposed ‘heh’ (or is it a ‘taw’), which now extends down to the baseline.

    I’m telling you, they are going to try and claim they are intentional, deliberate letters while ignoring the lines that don’t fit, and we’re still not sure which lines are really lines, how long they really are, and where they really are.


  6. I must admit to some surprise at elements in your response, here, James, not least given the fact that Bob is attempting to understand and represent, as clearly as possible, how the new theory works.

    It occurs to me in reading your response why it may be that you find the “YONAH” letters theory more plausible than some others do. In order for it to work, one already has to accept the identification of the image as a “fish” and a “fish head”. If one accepts that theory, then the lines of the fish’s head are drawn here, including the “mouth” and the “eye”, and they can be relegated as background information. Those lines are background, and the “YONAH” letters can be superimposed over the top, and any further spares are either allocated to a tentative stick man or ignored. But for those of us who are already struggling to see the “fish”, we do not take as a given the lines of the supposed fish’s head, mouth, eye and so on. In other words, without the fish theory, we have a whole range of different lines and no luxury selectively to ignore certain ones.

    In other words, I am trying to understand how it is that you see something as “crystal clear” that we can’t see. I am training myself to try to ignore the “stick figure” that I had got used to seeing for six weeks and I am achieving some success with that, and it occurs to me now that we also need to ignore what I assume you see as just background information, the straight line in the middle that you interpret as the “mouth” of the fish, and the curved line at the top that is a general marker of the “head” area, both marked in black in your diagram.

  7. […] Among other things, it asks whether it is implausible that Jesus could have had a son named Judah.Bob Cargill opined that each new photo from the Talpiot tombs raises problems for recent claims abou…, and he satirically offered a “Jonah Ossuary Corporate Logo”:Jim Davila, Jim West, and […]

  8. […] connect, a problem for regarding these etchings as one letter, and Cargill has shown problems with each of the first three letters. To this, I will add one other problem I have yet to see mentioned: fourth letter, the supposed ה […]

  9. […] Bob Cargill talks about the most recent developments on the “Jonah Ossuary.” (KV8R Blog) […]

  10. […] far-fetched claim that the name “Jonah” is actually scribbled into that area (addressed here and here), with some of the lines of the name also functioning as part of the stick […]

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