|The "Jonah inscription" with ignored lines in black|
and problem areas in pink.
(You'll have to excuse my brevity. I've caught a nasty cold and am trying to devote as much time as I can to relax and get rid of it.)
With interpreting this series of carvings as "Yonah" (יונה) there are some serious difficulties to overcome.
First, no fewer than eight lines need to be ignored or omitted. There are, of course, the the two lines on the outside (not arguably important) but the line that runs down the middle actually bisects the interpreted "Yonah" which is exceedingly problematic. Finally, there are lines beneath the "Vav" and lines actually connected to the "Yod" which are also exceedingly problematic.
Second, the serif of what is identified as "Yod" may not be there. Very much related to the first point, however, one would expect serifs on carved yods like this.
Third, the crook of the nun does not look like it is connected. This is the far more serious problem with this interpretation, which would mean that the two lines are not part of an intended "letter" at all.
All of this in mind, one cannot just pick and choose which lines are part of an inscription and which aren't. If that were the case, I could easily pull out "Jesus" and "three" and "days" from this set of squiggles (by using the "Four Rules" I mentioned in my last post) and then remark about how this couldn't be by chance and that it *must* relate to Jonah and the whale. However, I could also pull out any other number of unrelated words and weave a story together with them as well.
Unless, at the very least, the line below the "Vav" is accounted for in the "text," then this inscription (if does carry any semantic content) cannot be "Yonah."
Cherry-picking only works with fruit.
Labels: Charlesworth, james tabor, jonah, jonah inscription, simcha jacobovici, The Jesus Discovery, The Resurrection Tomb Mystery