A model for the Talpiot Tomb’s inscriptions?

Bear with me here… First,

The picture of one of the ossuaries:


Okay… and now this one:

tomb model 1

You can get more of that here. Also, it mentions a Jonah mosaic from the Byzantine era of the guy reclining on the belly of a whale (or fish, for you KJV’ers).

Okay, so you can find various sites which show pictures of the inscription. Here and here and here, for starters.

At that last link, Rollston states that Bauckham at one time (and no more, actually) believes that the inscription, “DIOS IAIO UPSŌ AGB.”, could be read as “Belonging to Zeus IAIO.  I, Hagab, exalt (him/you)”  instead of who Simcha/Tabor see it, “Divine Jehovah Lift up, Lift up.” Simcha has stated that a Jew then or now wouldn’t dare write the divine name, YHWH, on a box of bones.

I really don’t care much about that, because as we have seen with Elkington, archaeology is something that can be faked using pieces from other real objects. I’m not saying that this is a forgery, by the way, but it got me to thinking. Which is why I went looking for this. Now, I don’t know if anyone else has covered this, and if they have, then read theirs. But…

Dr. David R. Jordon has a curse tablet which looks to be one which could be made into a model for the inscriptions,

tomb model 2

He notices YHWH -

Text III.c is addressed to plural “inscribed angels”. Are they the Adwnai>, Çabawq, Iaiow (i.e. Iaw = Yahweh), and Bhl and the magical vocables that appear earlier? We may compare instructions at PGM III 41ff. from a spell to be inscribed on a silver tablet: ….

…. “These are the names inscribed: IAô SA B AôTH ADôNAI ELôAI ABRASAX ABLANATHANALBA AKRAMMACHAMARI PEPHTHA PHôZA PHNEBENNOUNI, sovereign angels, give me . . .”

Among the “angels” we find, as in the new spell from Carthage, the familiar Yahweh, Sabaoth, Adonai, etc., but also the palindrome …. and three non-Greek words of magical power; the command in both spells is the same, …“give”. The verb of IV.b.1–3 is in the singular; is its command addressed to the … of IV.b.4?

See the pdf linked to above. He notes that often times, characters (nonsensical drawings) accompany words, and the such. Further, in one funerary inscription, a name is mentioned.

Now, what does this mean? I dunno; I just blog here.

But… it could be several things. It could be a forgery, not sure, not sure they would have the ability to do it. Or, it could be digital manipulation. It could be a magical inscription – something even Jews, yes Jews, would use and combined with other religions.

Okay, back into my hole now to write some more on the book.

Post By Joel Watts (9,925 Posts)

Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, working on the use of Deuteronomy in the Fourth Gospel. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Website: → Unsettled Christianity


1 thought on A model for the Talpiot Tomb’s inscriptions?

  1. The curse tablet seems to me, at first glance, to be a Gnostic inscription. Abrasax was a Gnostic archon/god/aeon. So it seems to me that it wouldn’t be all that related to Jewish ossuaries.

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