The Jesus Discovery: The New Archaeological Find That Reveals the Birth of Christianity

The Jesus Discovery: The New Archaeological Find That Reveals the Birth of Christianity


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The Jesus Discovery: The New Archaeological Find That Reveals the Birth of Christianity by James D. Tabor, Simcha Jacobovici, Jason Culp

The Jesus Discovery shows how a recent major archeological discovery in Jerusalem is revolutionizing our understanding of Jesus and the earliest years of Christianity.

The Jesus Discovery is the story of a stunning new discovery that provides the first physical evidence of Christians in Jerusalem during the time of Jesus and his apostles.

In 2010, using a specialized robotic camera, authors Tabor and Jacobovici explored a previously unexcavated tomb in Jerusalem from around the time of Jesus. They made a remarkable discovery—two ossuaries, or bone boxes, one carved with the earliest known image of Jonah; the other displaying a reference to resurrection. Since the newly discovered ossuaries can be reliably dated to before 70 AD, it is possible that whoever was buried in this tomb knew Jesus and heard him preach. In addition, the newly examined tomb is in close proximity to the so-called Jesus Family Tomb, and its discovery increases the likelihood that the “Jesus Family Tomb” is, indeed, the real tomb of Jesus of Nazareth.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781451651539
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 02/19/2013
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 254
Sales rank: 1,225,422
Product dimensions: 5.94(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.72(d)

About the Author

James D. Tabor is chair of the department of religious studies at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. He holds a PhD in biblical studies and is an expert on Christian origins. He is the author of several books, among them The Jesus Dynasty. Visit him online at

Simcha Jacobovici is a three-time Emmy winning filmmaker, author of The Jesus Family Tomb (with Charles Pellegrino), and host of the television series The Naked Archaeologist. He is also an adjunct professor of Religious Studies at Huntington University in Sudbury, Ontario. Visit him at and

Read an Excerpt

© 2012 James D. Tabor

Table of Contents

Map: Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus ix

Preface 1

Chapter 1 The Discovery 5

Chapter 2 Two Talpiot Tombs 39

Chapter 3 Decoding the Mysterious Sign of Jonah 73

Chapter 4 Returning to the Jesus Family Tomb 105

Chapter 5 Jesus and Mary Magdalene 129

Chapter 6 The Mystery of the James Ossuary 159

Chapter 7 Resurrection, Lost Bones, and Jesus' DNA 181

Conclusion: The First Christians and Christianity Today 203

Notes 213

Acknowledgments 237

Index 239

What People are Saying About This

Peter Lampe

“These newly discovered findings, revealed by a sophisticated robotic camera exploration, are extremely important for early Jewish-Christian archaeology.”

Barrie Wilson

“An exciting, extraordinary, exceptional discovery. See for yourself the first archeological evidence ever for early Christian belief in resurrection.”

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The Jesus Discovery: The New Archaeological Find That Reveals the Birth of Christianity 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Lit--Lover More than 1 year ago
This is a beautifully written book. It details a 1st Century Jewish/Christian tomb investigation that was carried out in the most professional manner by archeologists, historians, and technological experts using state-of-the-art cameras and robotic arms. The images on the ossuaries in the tomb were measured and photographed by drilling and dropping high tech equipment through pipes from above ground so as not disturb the burial tomb. That they were able to gain access to a tomb that lies many feet underground a 1980's condominium is simply amazing itself. These images captured during the exploration bring to light the earliest personal testimonies (to date) found on 1st Century bone boxes...and reveal the funeral art of early Christians/Jews. This archeological evidence documents a belief in resurrection, that predates existing resurrection art/evidence by about 200 years (in the Roman catacombs). Out of over 1000 recorded and examined ossuaries in Israel, this discovery is unique and the first of its kind. It's an amazing read for Bible students, art lovers and historians alike.
JB_Richards More than 1 year ago
This is THE Must-Read Authoritative Text on the Jesus Family Tomb “The Jesus Discovery” is one must-read for anyone researching the historical Jesus. Tabor and Jacobovici provide an exhaustively researched, impeccably documented accounting of the tombs at Talpiot. While their interpretation of the evidence is honest and insightful, they also maintain a sensitivity and high regard for Christian doctrine and belief. The tenacity and courage of Tabor and Jacobovici, along with their peers, to persevere and pursue their endeavors in opening the Talpiot tombs up to further study and uncovering the truth about the Jesus family tree – in particular his marital relationship to Mary Magdalene – despite great odds, shines a new light on the historical Jesus without diminishing the greatness of his teachings or his divine nature. Finding the bones of Jesus should not weaken one’s faith in him as a great teacher, prophet, or even in his divinity. Archaeological proof is exactly what is needed to bring the historical Jesus to light. That Jesus was a man who lived a predominantly normal life should no longer be refuted. The evidence for the historical Jesus lies in the Talpiot tombs and their ossuaries and is further supported by the gnostic gospels and other documents attesting to his life. Nor should evidence of Jesus’ corporeal remains dissuade anyone from believing in him or his Mission, for the key to finding Christ does not lie in the pile of dust from some ancient bones found in the bottom edges a stone box, but in the faith that each of us who follow “The Way” knows and feels in our heart of hearts. JB Richards Author of “Miriamne the Magdala – The First Chapter in the Yeshua and Miri Novel Series”
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
klbruenn More than 1 year ago
The authors have done their homework and present fascinating archeological evidence in an accessible manner. The re-evaluation of Mary Magdalen that they present is especially timely. The reader will come away with an increased appreciation of how Christianity started off as a messianic sect of Judaism. Unfortunately, the authors do not explore the source(s) of the belief that a corpse was re-animated, a belief that does not appear to be original to Early Christianity, yet which developed at the same time and later merged with Christianity. Arguably, this is out of the book's scope, and the book is challenging enough already.
JackDolby More than 1 year ago
I had read The Jesus Family Tomb and had seen the the TV programs dealing with each of the Talpiot tombs and felt that this book would probably not have much more to offer. I was wrong. This book presents strong arguments to support the hypothesis that the two tombs in the Talpiot suburb of Jerusalem are quite special.  When analyzed in tandem, they represent not just a clearly pre-70 BCE Christian burial area and a tomb that might have some interesting coincidence in name inscriptions, but instead two tombs that each held the bones of people we know from scripture. This is a book that deals with history, not theology. Indeed, the authors firmly point out that the findings they present in no way counter one's belief in resurrection. Indeed, their report includes the earliest yet discovered symbols of Christian resurrection. This is exciting stuff! Their research used techniques ranging from "good ole archeology" to the study of ancient scripts, to the most modern of techniques, including robotic cameras and advanced DNA analysis techniques. This book is perfect for three groups of people: those who are not at all familiar with this subject; those who are reasonably in agreement with the information presented in the earlier book and TV shows; and, perhaps most importantly, those who know something about these prior efforts and are in strong disagreement. Beside enjoying the results of all the research James Tabor & Simcha Jacobovici  presented here, I was highly impressed by the pace of the book and even more so by the logical progression of findings, building to the final conclusions. This book doesn't have to change your mind or your beliefs. Just read it with an open, historical rather than theological, mindset and I think you will find this intriguing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Gregor1066 More than 1 year ago
Informative with Support for Historical Facts. I found this book to be very interesting, well written and solid in reinforcement of the authors proposed conclusions. Although many will say this book is a fraud, it is well worth reading for anyone interested in history of religion, early Christianity and Holy Land archaeology. As explained in the book, what is found in the tomb provides strong support for the beliefs of the early Christians and the words of Paul. I believe that ones faith should be stronger after reading this book and recognizing what the early followers of Yeshua believed and understood. Reading this book was also very timely in that Oded Golan, that was on trial for alledged forgery regarding the James son of Joseph and brother of Jesus ossury trial was recently dismissed. The book provided some interesting additional questions to consider as well as illustrate how we can lose valuable information from neglect of artifacts, ignorance, resistance and adversion to change. In general, this book was was difficult for me to put down and I have ordered the Jesus Tomb to read as a follow up. As so well stated in the book, "good history is never the enemy of informed faith."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The other reviews are silly. They say they didn't even read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've had this pre-ordered forever. When will it be available?