Skip to comments.The Lost Tomb Of Christ–Believable or Baloney?
Posted on 02/26/2007 3:11:23 PM PST by Billy Jacks blog
JERUSALEM - Archaeologists and clergymen in the Holy Land derided claims in a new documentary produced by the Oscar-winning director James Cameron that contradict major Christian tenets. "The Lost Tomb of Christ," which the Discovery Channel will run on March 4, argues that 10 ancient ossuaries small caskets used to store bones discovered in a suburb of Jerusalem in 1980 may have contained the bones of Jesus and his family, according to a press release issued by the Discovery Channel.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
That same report goes on to say that claims made in the documentary have come under fire from experts in both religion and archaeology. James Cameron (a director of hollywood fame) is the Executive Producer of this film.
A report in the February 26, 2007 issue of the Jerusalem Post offers a little more detail about the claims of the Discovery Channel special by saying, According to the website of the Discovery Channel, for whom the Lost Tomb of Jesus documentary was produced, Israeli-born filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici and his colleagues have gathered scientific evidence, including DNA analysis conducted at one of the worlds foremost molecular genetics laboratories, as well as expert scholarship, to bolster their staggering claim that a 2,000-year-old cave in the Talpiot neighborhood once held the remains of Jesus of Nazareth, his mother Mary, Mary Magdalene and, possibly, their son Judah.
DNA analysis was done on samples taken from the bones by the Paleo-DNA Laboratory at Lakehead University in Ontario, Canada. Their conclusion was that the person called Jesus and the person called Mariamene (supposedly Mary Magdalene) were not blood relatives. Since only blood relatives and spouses were traditionally buried in family tombs, they conclude that these two people were married.
Clearly, religious and theological experts object to these things. Rob Schenck is President of the National Clergy Council. Schenck holds degrees in Bible and Theology, Christian Ministry and has completed postgraduate work in the area of church history. In a report filed by Religion & Spirituality.com (http://religionandspirituality.com/currentEvents/view.php?StoryID=20070226-095606-2198r) Mr. Schenck says, Over the years, Hollywood has attacked and mocked Christianity, providing only negative portrayals of people of faith. It has produced films that undermine moral culture. Hollywoods production of The Da Vinci Code sensationalized a conspiracy theory that the Catholic Church engaged in a cover up of the real story of Jesus operating in the manner of a crime syndicate. According to Cameron, his film is no mere speculation, but historical fact. By claiming the remains of Jesus returned to dust along with other members of his family, the Hollywood filmmaker is denying the divinity of the Son of God and his victory over death. Cameron clearly intended to drive a stake into the heart of Christianity, since without the Resurrection, Jesus was only a mortal man. Mr. Schenck continues, Media outlets should exercise restraint in reporting Camerons Hollywood fiction masquerading as scientific fact. All of Jesus contemporaries recorded Christ rose after being dead for three days and ascended into Heaven. For 2,000 years people of faith along and countless scholars have pored over the Scriptures, confirming their veracity. A Hollywood director is the least qualified to render any determination of Biblical truth. Not only so, but the people Mr. Cameron has partnered with completely lack credibility. One has been discredited by experts as a charlatan. This is nothing more than a modern day circus sideshow. At best it is pure presumption. At worst, it is pure chicanery. According to the Jerusalme Post article referenced eariler in this report, some archaeological experts agree with Mr. Schenck. The Post says, Prof. Amos Kloner, the Jerusalem District archeologist who oversaw work at the tomb when it was uncovered in 1980, told The Jerusalem Post on Saturday that the documentarys claims were impossible and nonsense, and that there was no likelihood that Jesus and his relatives had a family tomb.
The Associated Press report by Marshall Thompson cited in the beginning of this report also references a 1996 BBC special that was done on the same subject. Asked what he thought about it at that time, Mr. Kloner replied, The idea fails to hold up by archaeological standards but makes for profitable television.They just want to get money for it. The Associated Press report goes on to say, Kloner also said the filmmakers assertions are false. It was an ordinary middle-class Jerusalem burial cave. The names on the caskets are the most common names found among Jews at the time. Archaeologists also balk at the filmmakers claim that the James Ossuary the center of a famous antiquities fraud in Israel might have originated from the same cave. In 2005, Israel charged five suspects with forgery in connection with the infamous bone box.
So, there you have it. As usual, there are experts on both sides of this issue. We are left to sort through the facts for ourselves and determine what we believe. One thing is for certain. If the find turns out to be a genuine discovery of the tomb of Jesus Christ, it not only revolutionizes the Christian faith, but it calls into question the entire science of determining the veracity of all ancient documents. An interesting notion, but dont hold your breath. This will eventually go the way of the Piltdown Man and the James Ossuary as one of the biggest frauds of the archaelogical profession. Peace! Out!
Reminds me of Global Warming(tm) in the fact that those who are proposing it have everything to gain by its acceptance as a theory, and nothing to lose.
It's the Lenten season.
Can anyone venture as guess as to how many people in first-century Judaea would have been called "Judah, son of Jesus?"
That's what's happening here, I think. Is it possible? Certainly. Have they "definitely" found it? Not by a long shot.
19 posts and counting...
"...may have contained the bones of Jesus...."
"...may have contained the bones of Chewbacca the Wookiee..."
It's advertising for a Hollywood TV special.
Uh...yeah...just one little problem with that - Jesus rose from the tomb. His bones ain't here anymore!
"...may have contained the bones of Jesus...."
This reminds me of Don Novello as Father Guido Sarducci on Saturday Night Live. In one segment, he had journeyed to the Holy Land where "some guy on the street was selling real pieces of the Cross!"
As you say. "Jesus" is a variant of "Joshua," and naturally there were plenty of people named after this heroic figure.
The same with "Judah," the name of the head of that tribe after whom the Jews are named.
Sort of like "Smith, son of Jones," or "Tom, son of Bill."
Geraldo Rivera alert!
Good point (LOL)
Did they also find an autographed 8x10 glossy photograph? ;)
>>At best it is pure presumption.<<
That was my reaction when I first read of this.
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