Thursday, November 8, 2007

Evaluating the Talpiot Tomb in Context

In case you haven't heard yet, Professor Charlesworth, for the Third Princeton Symposium on Judaism and Christian Origins, is holding a three-day conference in Jerusalem called "Evaluating the Talpiot Tomb in Context." Dates are Jan 13-16, 2008. The provisional agenda that I was sent looks outstanding in terms of coverage and folks involved. Actually amazing might be closer to the mark.

Topics to be covered in special sessions:
Ancient Beliefs about the Afterlife and Burial Customs
Tombs, Ossuaries, and Burial Practices: The Archaeological Evidence
Burial Beliefs and Practices: The Textual Evidence
Onomastics and Prosopography in Second Temple Judaism
The Talpiot Ossuaries and their Epigraphy
Paleo-DNA and its Archaeological Applications
Patina Testing and its Archaeological Applications
The Talpiot Tomb in March 1980
Mary Magdalene in Early Christian Tradition
Relating Tomb Archaeology with Historical Figures: Possibilities and Problem Discoveries
The Palestinian Jesus Movement: Correlating Textual and Archaeological Evidence for Jewish Christianity
The Burial of Jesus, the Empty Tomb, and the Jesus Family
Statistics and the Talpiot Tomb

This is exactly the kind of academic forum that I suggested (on this blog) was needed when all the media hoopla engaged the Talpiot Tomb. I am looking forward to participating in the Jerusalem conference, and want to thank Professor Charlesworth for organizing it.


Peter Nathan said...

Thanks April. Any chance of a list of speakers and their assigned subjects?

April DeConick said...


We will know this information in early December. The speaker and assigned subjects are provisional. We won't know who is coming until all the invitees have responded. said...

I find the phrase the 'Palestinian Jesus Movement' a large assumption. It's a little bit like the the expression the 'Qumran Community' which assumes a community of Essenes at Kh. Qumran. There is no reliable evidence for a Palestinian Jesus movement, unless you believe the extant New Testament. And it seems that scholars assume the existence of several New Testament communities.

Unknown said...

Rats! I'm going to be in Israel two weeks too late!

Unknown said...

Dr. DeConick:

I see that you mention that there should be more info regarding this Symposium early Dec. Do you know if it will be open to the general public? If so, where do I get more information about attending?


Anonymous said...

"A large assumption"? The nature of the New Testament evidence, all by itself, is compelling -- and that is not all the evidence there is by a long shot!

A scholar's conclusions are only as good as his data and his assumptions -- as the controversy over the Talpiot Tomb proves. Only a failure to apply Occam's Razor to what evidence we have (and anti-supernaturalistic bias works against such application) would lead anyone to conclude that we can't know whether the New Testament is reliable -- or that the Talpiot Tomb has any direct relationship to Jesus and his family and students. I hope that this conference will make the latter point clear.

Anyway, God willing I WILL be in Jerusalem at that time. I am primarily attending a conference on ancient music at the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem, January 7-9 (including optional tour). I hope that the location and any costs of the Talpiot Tomb conference will be made public soon.