Bible Archaeology

Simcha Jacobovici Defends himself

Remember Simcha Jacobovici and the whole nails of the cross of Christ pseudo-archaeology garble? Well, it seems that despite some great critique, he has decided to push on and defend his wild claims:

Simcha Jacobovici has written a 46 page defense of his “nails of the cross” discovery. Sad to say, his delivery mechanism was James Tabor’s blog. No doubt it will be filled with backtracking, denial, and otherwise hair-splitting parsing of what he “meant.” The person with casual interest will probably not even bother wading through it, allowing Simcha to say, “Hey, I responded in detail,” to the masses whose eyes will glaze over thinking he’s done due diligence. Those people will also never find or read the critiques of his defense that will surely follow.

Simcha, we already know why you went public with this and what you meant. You are an attention-seeker who needs to cash in so you can keep your film career going. It isn’t rocket science. Why not just ask James Cameron for some cash — maybe you can catch him when he’s not out bonding with cannibals.

Or, as Todd Bolen writes:

… That a moviemaker who makes millions would respond to bloggers with a 46-page document indicates just how much his reputation has been damaged by the criticism.

Expect Cargill and Zias to respond passionately.

Tabor’s blog? Well that says it all!

James Tabor for those of you who don’t know is the man behind the Jesus Dynasty trash and the Lost Tomb of Jesus (more trash) which, by the way, was produced with Jacobovici and that with James Cameron.

Bible Archaeology

Nails of the Cross of Christ?

… a week before Easter? No! Writes Dr Robert Cargill:

Tell me if you’ve heard this one before.

Everyone’s least favorite faketvarchaeologist“veteran investigator” presenter of ridiculous, sensationalistic trash σκύβαλα, Simcha Jacobovici, is releasing a documentary entitled, “The Nails Of The Cross,” which “investigates” whether the nails from the crucifixion of Jesus have been discovered. And completely coincidentally, Simcha’s press release machine is revving up a week before Easter. Shockerrrrr! (said with a high pitched voice and dripping with sarcasm.)

The South African Independent Onlinereports Mr. Jacobovici’s claims in a Reuters story by Ari Rabinovitch:

“What we are bringing to the world is the best archaeological argument ever made that two of the nails from the crucifixion of Jesus have been found,” he said in an interview, wearing his trademark traditional knitted cap.

(I love! that they mentioned his “trademark knitted cap!)

Jim West broke this story this morning. And the unwitting press is already sopping it up like vinegar in a sponge. The UK’s Telegraph is even running video. (Thank goodness Dan Bahat is there to talk some sense into folks.)

So let me ask: Why is it that Mr. Jacobovici continues to prey on an oft unwitting public so near to the Christian holy days? Is his greed for cash so great that he’s willing to jump to any conclusion just to get on TV? Has he been so far ostracized from anything resembling legitimacy among professional archaeological circles that he feels he has nothing to lose by using his own production company to create ridiculous documentaries about unsubstantiated claims?

The Israel Antiquities Authority knows Mr. Jacobovici is making this up. It said in a statement:

The Israel Antiquities Authority, which oversaw the Jerusalem excavation, said in reaction to the film’s release that it had never been proven beyond doubt that the tomb was the burial place of Caiaphas. It also said that nails are commonly found in tombs.

“There is no doubt that the talented director Simcha Jacobovici created an interesting film with a real archaeological find at its centre, but the interpretation presented in it has no basis in archaeological findings or research,” it said.

So once again, we have Simcha Jacobovici making unsubstantiated, fantastic claims a week before Easter with the sole purpose of getting people to watch his nonsensical documentary…

Yes, it’s total nonsense.  Pseudo-archaeology. These are not nails from the Cross of Christ, so don’t be fooled!

Do read the rest of Dr Cargill’s fine debunking post here.

UPDATE:  Highly respected archaeologist Dr Gabriel Barkay:

Gaby Barkay, an archeologist from Bar Ilan University in Tel Aviv, said Mr Jacobovinci’s claims lacked scientific proof.

“There is no proof whatsoever that those nails came from the cave of Caiaphas,” he said. “There is no proof that the nails are connected to any bones or any bone residue attached to the nails and no proof from textual data that Caiaphas had the nails for the crucifixion with him after the crucifixion took place and after Jesus was taken down from the cross.”