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Publisher's Summary

The Jesus Family Tomb tells the story of what may very well be the greatest archaeological find of all time: the discovery and investigation of the tomb belonging to Jesus' family. The tomb in question houses ossuaries (bone boxes) with inscriptions bearing the names of Jesus of Nazareth, the Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene, and Judas, the son of Jesus. This crypt has been overlooked and ignored for years and exists today under a patio just outside of Jerusalem. The authors have tracked down the location and been granted unequaled access to inspect the findings within the tomb. The artifacts were found, recorded, and catalogued by professional archaeologists in a controlled setting. There is no question of their authenticity.

This is a story that is destined to grab international headlines and raise fundamental questions about the origins of Christianity. The question will undoubtedly arise: are these inscriptions referring to a Jesus and Mary other than the Jesus and Mary of the Gospels? To this end, the listener participates in one of the most controversial investigations of an archaeological find in history. Starting with critical DNA testing from the human remains, the authors, with the help of top scholars and industry leaders, walk us through the actual timeline of the discovery, including an interview with the man who stumbled across the original unearthing of the tomb in 1980. They also detail the paleographic analysis of the ossuaries; analyze the symbology of the tomb and the ossuaries; reveal the importance of the names, using both the New Testament and Apocrypha; and evaluate the patina residue and the statistical probabilities of the cluster of names in the specific location.

A fascinating combination of history, archaeology, and theology, the revelations in this audiobook will change the way we think about God, religion, and everything we have learned about the life and death of Jesus.

©2007 Simcha Jacobovici and Charles Pellegrino; (P)2007 HarperCollins Publishers

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  • Overall

Sure to stir up reactionaries

First, I am a Christian and inspite of the controversy over the book, my faith has not changed.Yes there is solid evidence presented here, but to me it just confirms Jesus lived and it fills in a lot of gaps. I think Science and Faith can work hand i hand.It's the reactionaries that can't see that. Although techchnically some of the info and facts presented were way over my head.Ultimately whether you believe in the resurection or not shouldn't change wit this book. I did like the voice of the reader..

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Bill
  • Greenville, SC, USA
  • 03-22-07

Wanting more at the end.

I had a great deal of trepadation, whin I first started "The Jesus Family Tomb". My fears subsided as I moved through the book. I Find the information as credible. It's a good read. The auther takes time to help the reader to keep ones fath in the face of a paradime shift. If this book is read of listen to in one session, you will find some information, at the end, to be a little redundant.
I would not recomend "The Jesus Family Tomb" for the Christan that is unwilling to face what unrefuitable evidance.
This documary is smart. It respects the reader sceptisem. It speaks to the reader through facts, and does not ask for the reader to except the information on the basis athority but through evedance.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Fascinating

Full disclosure: I'm an Episcopalian who has always doubted the divinity of Jesus. Call me irrational, but I find more inspiration in the historical Jeshua the Nazarene than the Jesus created by Paul, and later the Romans, to further personal agendas. Thus, this book amazed me. Told like a old-fashioned detective thriller, it presents its findings concisely and with conviction. As one reviewer notes, it is impossible to say whether or not the tomb in question held the remains of the actual Jeshua the Nazarene, but the theories are plausible, the evidence adds up, and for those of you who seek the Jesus of history, you may just find this title more inspiring than a church service.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • David
  • Colorado Springs, CO, USA
  • 03-05-07

Can It Really Be?

Let's get one thing straight, this aint the DaVinci Code. I have already heard a few of my friends refering to this tomb as a Dan Brown doppleganger! Dan Brown's work was fictional, you can still buy any of his books if you look in the fiction section of this or any other book store. Simcha Jacobovici and Charles Pelligreno have given us a documentary peice, which is, to say the least, 'Earth Shattering.' They claim to have found the Tomb of Jesus Christ, and his family. If anything else, these guys did thier homework! They spill out thier theory with astounding casework done by world reknown Archaeologists, Statistitions, Doctors, and Scientists. Because of the nature of the subject, Mr. Jacobovici gave his readers an accurate depiction of life during Jesus' time, and is respectful to Christianity, and sticks to theological fact. I could go into detail, but that would spoil the pleasure of discovering this for yourself. Add an introduction by James Cameron (Terminator & Titanic,) and 'The Jesus Family Tomb' becomes a must read! Can it really be that the Historical Jesus has been found, at last? Mosey on over to the Non-Fiction section and find out.

19 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Very Interesting

While you have to take their word on the "facts" in this book ( The Patina Fingerprinting results, the way the inscriptions are made, the special name of Mary Magdalen, etc...) They present one compelling story for the fact that they did find the tomb and that this tomb is what they say it is.

I would like to see someone actually redo all their work and either prove or disprove them.

I have no problems with the fact that Jesus was human, that he looked like a middle eastern male, that he was probably married, in fact all those things make their work even more credible. I've read one long article talking about how this entire work is a large farce, but it is far more believable that large portions of the literal interpretation of the bible. (Creation story, Noah's Ark, Tower of Babel, Moses and the Red Sea....)

These guys at least found a way to explain most of what they found. Some of it is far fetched (templars and skulls), but that is of little impact on the science they put into the excavation and the justification for their claims.

Keep your mind open enough to listen to the book, if you don't want to believe it, you don't have to, but if your faith is so shaky that it can't stand listening to the ideas, then maybe you need to ask yourself what your faith really is.....

13 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Jacobovici is an odd duck

What did you like best about The Jesus Family Tomb? What did you like least?

Best: The "possibilites" what it might be. I am Jewish and do not believe in the divinity of jesus but I do know the IAA would not bring something like that out in the open if they did find it. Everything has to be done so as not to offend SO MANY people that archaeological research in the area is fraught with politics and political considerations.

Would you be willing to try another book from Simcha Jacobovici? Why or why not?

Sure<br/><br/>He has a unique reputation. Some of his documentaries have been amazing and led to real changes. Some have been a bit off kilter. I have watched his documentaries and while I find them to often be lacking in real concrete evidence I also realize that in Israel, concrete evidence for many things is pretty hard to come by.

Have you listened to any of Michael Ciulla’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No I have never heard him before but would certainly listen to him again.

Could you see The Jesus Family Tomb being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Umm, no. It was made into a sort of documentary that was not that great but a movie??? NO

Any additional comments?

Interesting read. I would guess it might enrage some xians but it is really, in the end, just a theory. A good one I will say but just a theory.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Joey
  • Studio City, CA, USA
  • 11-25-07

Groundbreaking

First things first, you MUST have an open mind going into this book. Actually, that may even be unnecessary. "The Jesus Family Tomb" is so packed with both evidence AND statistics, if you do not finish this work convinced of the legitimacy of the findings presented, you are either inhumanly stubborn, a tree, or the Pope. Slam dunk for Simcha et al!

Additionally, this book should be read (or listened to) along with Dr. James Tabor's "The Jesus Dynasty." They really do go hand in hand, as Dr. Tabor was a key player in the Jesus Family Tomb. For a more in-depth historical analysis of Jesus, his family, and the early Church, please read "The Jesus Dynasty!"

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Interesting read.... but, weak on the science

The author paints an interesting senario, and I was certainly dazzled by the prose.... However, the science driving his hypothesis was actually quite weak. For one, DNA evidence can not be used to identify the remains found in the tomb as Jesus. That's just silly. It did not work for OJ and it certainly does not work for Jesus of Nazareth! All the DNA evidence proves is that person A and B were not related (okay so what), the rest is just story telling. Also, the names in the inscriptions were not quite as clear cut as the author would have the reader believe. Nothing in the tomb reads "Here rests Jesus of Nazareth." Rather the inscriptions on the ossuaries refered to a couple of women named Mary (not unusual), a guy named Joseph (also not unusual), a guy named Jesus (not unusual at all), and a guy named Judah (again not unusual). This assembly of names is less of a coincidence when one considers how the inscriptions are twisted to fit the pattern. The name Judah is used as evidence, despite the fact that there is no such person described in the Bible--(the author's attempts to slip him in there, but I am not convinced). The author seems to be trying too hard to get his hypothesis to work. Another thing to consider is how a simple carpenter from Nazareth could afford such a tomb anyway. Rock cut architecture is extremely expensive, even today.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Absolutely superb! Science illuminates truth

What an amazing book. I was so impressed with the care and research methods associated with the discoveries. Thank you

  • Overall

A mystery no longer

The book is an archeological adventure and provides compelling statistical evidence for the existence of Yeshua ben Yosef (JC).
The delivery is personal yet scientific and logical. The book is a scientific and personal adventure somewhere between the rigor of a scientific journal and a populist periodical. It takes us back 2000 years to the Realpolitik of the times, relates the customs and behaviours of Jews and raises a number of interesting questions, the least of which is whether JC would have been a follower of his own movement. Another would be: we found it, what next? I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in Biblical history, theology, archeology or sociology... or anyone who enjoys a jolly good read!
I am fairly convinced by the conclusion: the only problem is that a mystery is much more exciting when it remains a mystery with all of its possibilities.

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  • OL
  • 02-10-16

Headline grabbing sensationalism

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

As an amusing diversion, yes, but with caveats and warnings. Jacobovi is too eager to postulate radical theories than to actual prove them. Scholarship it ain't, entertainment it is.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

I wasn't surprised by the conclusions. Because Biblical archaeology is a battlefield to prove the historicity of scripture it gets twisted and distorted at every opportunity, and this book is an excellent example of the facts misrepresented to prove the unproven/unprovable.

What about Michael Ciulla’s performance did you like?

A good reading, but not edge of the seat stuff.

Do you think The Jesus Family Tomb needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Yes, if it is a factual, scientific analysis of the evidence without spectacular off the wall conclusions - but that won't happen.

Any additional comments?

Simcha Jacobovici is journalist first and foremost, who has an amateur's interest in the Bible and archaeology. He is NOT a scholar. So he goes for spectacular headline-grabbing conclusions. What is a possibility on one page becomes a fact by the next page to support his thesis.