Bock

New Attempt to Resurrect Jesus Tomb Discussion Sept 8

James Tabor sent me an email this week to note a new study on the statistics for the Jesus Tomb. The study is Probability, Statistics, and the Talpiot Tomb,” authored by Profs. Kevin Kilty and Mark Elliot.

James Tabor sent me an email this week to note a new study on the statistics for the Jesus Tomb. The study is Probability, Statistics, and the Talpiot Tomb,” authored by Profs. Kevin Kilty and Mark Elliot. I gave it a quick read this morning and see two major issues already. The first is not so significant, other than to make an effort to discredit Amos Kloner. They critique a quote where he makes an observation that Jesus, Mary and Joseph did not live in Jerusalem and so would not have a family tomb there. They twist this citation by appeal to all of Jesus’ family, not just Mary, Joseph, and Jesus and including the time after Jesus” execution. Kloner’s point was that AT THE TIME OF JESUS’ execution, they did not live in Jerusalem and so would not have had a family tomb there to bury Jesus in if they had been able to procure the body AND move it from the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. This move should send a signal that this piece is not quite so neutral.

 

A second, and by far more important, element in the paper is the decision to separate the name Yose[h] (a variant of Joseph) from the frequency of the name Joseph in the stats. This makes the name rare and inflates the numbers (although I am not a statistician and do not know exactly how much this influences the numbers). The problem here is that this variant is directly related to the fact that two Josephs in the same family would cause the second to be given an alternative name. In other words, two Josephs in a family would yield a nickname in the family to distinguish them, which means we have in effect two Josephs in the list. To not count it as such skews the numbers.

 

So this new attempt to discuss the matter also has its problems. Hopefully a statistician can let us know how much this throws off the numbers.

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3 Comments

  • Avatar

    Nehemias Monteiro

    Yoseh, the new “ringo”
    Dr. Bock:

    ” Hopefully a statistician can let us know how much this throws off the numbers.”

    In that paper, the authors said (page. 24):

    (Kilty and Elliot): “If we consider Yoseh as meaning more than merely finding the inscription Joseph” on a ossuary, how does this change arguments based on probability? (…) the name Yoseh is so rare that it changes probabilities and expectations by a factor of about 29. if we repeat the calculation using Bayes’ Theorem
    that we made in Equations 4 through 6 using the name Joseph rather than
    Yoseh, the probability P(B) becomes 0.0010025 and the a posteriori proba-
    bility falls to around 6%. This is only one-eighth the value (49%) obtained
    using Yoseh in the calculation”

    So, Kilty and Elliot freely admit that using Yoseh as a rare name (like mariamenou’mara), rather than a equivalent to the much more common name Joseph/Yehosef, increase (or inflates) the probabilities by a factor of 8 (“probability falls to around 6%”).

    But, I think that great majotity of scholars agree with Stephen Pfann that: “Yoseh” (Hebrew) with its equivalent “Iose” (Greek) is by far the most common shortened name for Yehoseph/Joseph from the second century BCE until the first century CE”
    (For e.g: Yoseh the Gallilean, Yoseh b. Yo’ezer, Yoseh b. Yohanan, and many others), and NT provides both Yose and Joseph for Jesus’ brother.

    Nehemias

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  • Avatar

    bock

    Yoseh, the New Ringo Sept 10 dlb

    Nehemias:

     

    Thanks for this. I know other responses are coming. They all are following your track.

     

    dlb

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  • Avatar

    Nehemias

    Yoseh
    Some time ago, Randy Ingermanson and Jay Cost stated “Talpiot, does not provide all that unique a clue at all. Why is this the case? It is for the reason that historians, archeologists and New Testament scholars have been stating since the day the film was announced: these names are common”. “Common names mean that the names themselves do not take us very far in terms of identifying the owner of the tomb” .

    They are right, and Kilty and Elliot actually have confirmed that, because if Talpiot names (like Yoseh) are considered as common names, the output falls below 6 % . So, a cluster of common names is not enough to prove Jacobivici’s case.

    So, only a unique, rare, distinctive name, which improves probabilities significantly (like mariamenou’mara or Yoseh), could make Talpiot thesis work. However, both Yoseh and Mariamenou’mara, are not, I am afraid, the hoped for “Ringo”.

    Nehemias

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