Monday, September 16, 2013

Can I read "Jonah"?

James Tabor has asked "Can You Read Jonah in Hebrew?" on the "nose" of the "fish" in one of the ossuaries he claims belonged to Jesus' family in a tomb near the one he claims belonged to Jesus' family.


Well, the big problem there is the yod, vav, and nun, when roughly inscribed, all pretty much look like squiggly lines. And vice versa. But what he reads an a yod could just as easily be a zayin, which would give us zonah, meaning "prostitute"!  And since "everybody knows" that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute (in the same way "everybody knows" she was married to Jesus), this is proof positive that this really is the Jesus family tomb!!!

There. Mystery solved. Do I get a TV show now?


  1. "Do I get a TV show now?"-Not quite yet. Maybe a brief TV appearance. :-)

  2. No cigar on that connection Jack. You just have to be more careful with your historical leaps on these things. :-) Seriously, several have suggested a Zayin, including one who thinks it does say "Whore," (Avrahaum Segol) though I have no idea why he thinks such would be written on an ossuary/fish/vase. More to the point, Haggai Misgav reads it as a rare name: ZILA/ZEILA or ZOLA (yod=zayin; nun=lamed), Ed Cook reads YEHUDAH. So there you go. If you take a look at other similar names on ossuary inscriptions they have the same kind of "squiggly line" appearance--the graffiti ones I mean.

    1. Indeed, which is why I would be cautious about drawing any major conclusions based on such ambiguous markings.


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