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BenWitherington ^ | February 27, 2007 | Ben Witherington

Posted on 02/27/2007 12:40:42 PM PST by NYer

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1 posted on 02/27/2007 12:40:48 PM PST by NYer
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To: NYer

Cameron also announced he was aided by BigFoot and Judge Crater.

2 posted on 02/27/2007 12:43:34 PM PST by FormerACLUmember
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To: Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...

The Jesus/Talpiot Tomb: Around the Blogosphere

26th February 2007

The hype surrounding the forthcoming documentary The Lost Tomb of Jesus shows no signs of abating quite yet. The main website for the documentary and book has come on-line now (last time I checked it just had a brief text message): The Lost Family Tomb of Jesus

There is a lot of hype and knee-jerk reactions around the blogosphere, but there have also been some thoughtful responses as well. Here are a few that I think are worthy of reading:

OK, I guess it was more than a few! As you can see, there is a lot of discussion on this in the blogs, and most of it is very skeptical and negative. As with Jacobovici’s other documentaries, I imagine this one will be a slick production. While I don’t want to pre-judge it, it’s really too bad that the same amount of resources and skill can’t be marshaled for a documentary that is also academically sound. Such is life.

3 posted on 02/27/2007 12:44:14 PM PST by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: FormerACLUmember

What, no ManBearPig?

4 posted on 02/27/2007 12:44:52 PM PST by Catholic Canadian ( I love Stephen Harper!)
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To: NYer

This doesn't even make good Fiction.

Fiction at least should have some elements of truth in it.

5 posted on 02/27/2007 12:46:59 PM PST by Leatherneck_MT (Duncan Hunter in 2008)
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Bump for later

6 posted on 02/27/2007 12:49:07 PM PST by darkwing104 (Let's get dangerous)
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To: NYer

7 posted on 02/27/2007 12:49:52 PM PST by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: NYer

I'm surprised (or maybe not so surprised)that absolutely no one in the media has pointed out that "Judah" and "Judas" are the same name. Therefore, using the sort of logic employed by the "documentary" producers, we therefore know that since the ossuary said "Judah son of Jesus," it must mean that Judas Iscariot was actually the son of Jesus.

Alternatively, Jesus was obviously so grateful to Judas for turning him over to be crucified, and thus implementing God's plan, that he named his child for Judas after he was resurrected and lived his second life as the husband of Mary Magdalene.

Wow folks, another important validation for the authenticity of the "Gospel of Judas"!

8 posted on 02/27/2007 3:09:53 PM PST by kaehurowing
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To: NYer
And the Pope says last Sunday, that the inspiration for this year's Lenten message is a verse from John's Gospel "They shall look on him whom they have pierced (John 19:37)".

How appropriate!

9 posted on 02/27/2007 4:54:17 PM PST by right-wingin_It
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To: jude24; P-Marlowe; blue-duncan; Corin Stormhands; Revelation 911; Buggman; scripter; opus86; ...

Ben Witherington decimates the "Jesus' bones" mockumentary that's scheduled just in time for Easter.

Excellent article above.

10 posted on 02/27/2007 5:09:23 PM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who support the troops will pray for them to WIN!)
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To: xzins; right-wingin_It; Frank Sheed; sandyeggo; Alex Murphy; Kolokotronis; Huber
Normally stories such as the Ossuary of James or The DaVinci Code leave me annoyed but not surprised. However, it seems more and more of these 'stories' are making the news and with much greater frequency than ever before.

First of all, I have worked with Simcha. He is a practicing Jew, indeed he is an orthodox Jew so far as I can tell. He was the producer of the Discovery Channel special on the James ossuary which I was involved with. He is a good film maker, and he knows a good sensational story when he sees one.

One can't help but recall the vision of Pope Leo XIII in which he heard a conversation between Our Lord and satan. Satan was taunting Our Lord, in much the same way he taunted Him over Job.

"Oh, course, they're faithful, of course they love you - they don't know anything else, everyone listens to the priests. Everyone's obedient, everyone's quiet, no-one has a chance to find out, and explore for themselves." Satan ranted. He came very close to implying that mankind had no free will, because no one seemed to be interested in following evil.

"Stop," God said. "They follow Me and believe in me, because I love them. Do you think they would follow you if they heard you speak? Very well, then, I give you a century. A hundred years to turn my people away from Me. If you can."

Satan laughed. He thought that with the proper exposure and the proper preparation, he would finally have his chance to rule, to be equal to or greater than God. And so began our century, the century of World Wars, abortion, racial cleansing, pornography, contraceptives, and a multitude of opinions, voices, beliefs, theological reforms, liberalism, political and economic turmoil. Many, many souls confused by the Prince of Lies, have stumbled and fallen.

Pope Leo XIII greatly disturbed by what he had heard, or discerned, asked God for some protection, some weapon the world could use against the trickery, lies and snares of the devil. In response, he was inspired to compose the Saint Michael prayer, and to form cenacles - grassroot rosary groups.

Who needs any reminder of what we have personally witnessed in our own country, over the past 50 years! As a small child, I recall a nation with a fairly strict morale code of conduct. Yet look at us now!

On the morning of the most recent Papal Conclave, then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger delivered the Pro Eligendo homily. It was 3:30am when I awoke from a sound sleep, turned on the tv and heard him say:

"How many winds of doctrine have we known in recent decades, how many ideological currents, how many ways of thinking. The small boat of the thought of many Christians has often been tossed about by these waves - flung from one extreme to another: from Marxism to liberalism, even to libertinism; from collectivism to radical individualism; from atheism to a vague religious mysticism; from agnosticism to syncretism and so forth. Every day new sects spring up, and what St Paul says about human deception and the trickery that strives to entice people into error (cf. Eph 4: 14) comes true."

The enormity of those words left an indelible mark on my heart. He was describing the world in which we now live and the confusion that permeates the hearts and souls of mankind. He hit the nail on the head!

They say that in time of need, God raises up great saints to guide and direct us. Joseph Ratzinger is such a person. Recall his visit to Turkey last year; the warnings and admionitions not to go because there was a bounty on his head. He ignored all of them.

Who can forget the image of him standing side by side with the Imam, facing 'Mecca', hands crossed in prayer and the Pope so deeply immersed that the Imam now looked to him in amazement.

The silence, though short, extended through the millenia. As Christians, it matters not in which direction we face for God is Omnipresent and Joseph Ratzinger demonstrated that to us and the Muslims on that particular day.

Throughout history, everyone has believed that the time in which they lived was the most evil. Even so, our present time presents more evil choices than ever before. Abortion, euthanasia, human cloning .... selective reproduction .... the list grows daily as science progresses faster than we can keep track. Our only hope is faith - that our Lord will guide our small boat to His shore, where we can drop anchor forever.

Apologies for the rambling thoughts ... they have been overwhelming of late. May our Lord guide you home and to safe harbor!

11 posted on 02/27/2007 6:28:42 PM PST by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: NYer
The Forum: The Discovery Channel's shameless assault on faith (subscription)

by Phil Lawler
special to

Feb. 27, 2007 ( - The nonsense is starting early this year.

Every year now, as Easter approaches, the media lavish attention on some sensational new theory, advanced to undermine the claims of Christian faith. Sometimes these new theories come from writers with appropriate academic credentials, and sometimes the theorists themselves claim to be Christians, even while they contradict basic Christian beliefs.

Not this year. "The Lost Tomb of Christ," a television special to be aired by the Discovery Channel on March 4, has not a wisp of credibility. This is a blatant effort to generate publicity and profits by challenging fundamental Christian beliefs, using a preposterous argument that no respectable scholar will endorse.

The program (I cannot make myself call it a documentary) thrusts directly at the heart of Christian faith, questioning the Resurrection. The Discovery Channel will encourage credulous viewers to believe that archaeologists have discovered a tomb containing the physical remains of Jesus Christ and members of his family.

If this claim is true-- that Jesus did not rise from the dead-- then Christianity is a false religion. As St. Paul explained to the Corinthians (1 Cor 15: 17-19):

If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all men most to be pitied.

On what basis does the Discovery Channel ask us to believe that Christians-- who presumably will compose the greater part of the audience for this program-- are “of all men most to be pitied?”

Here are the facts:

In a burial vault in Jerusalem, archaeologists discovered ossuaries containing the remains of several people who apparently lived at the time of Christ. The boxes were marked with names, including Mary, Judah, and Joseph. On one box the name was illegible, but it might have read: “Jesus.”

When this burial vault was discovered in 1980-- that’s right, 27 years ago-- the discovery drew no particular attention. There was no reason to believe that this tomb contained the remains of the Lord’s family. Indeed there were several excellent reasons to believe that it did not.

The names on the ossuaries were extremely common ones; the tomb might have belonged to any affluent family living in Jerusalem. But Jesus was born into a poor family from Nazareth, not an affluent family from Jerusalem.

Moreover, historians confirm that from the earliest days of the faith, Christians honored a site near Calvary-- at the spot where the Church of the Holy Sepulchre now stands-- as the place where Jesus was interred after the Crucifixion. The tomb that is the focus of the Discovery special is located in an entirely different part of the city.

Are self-proclaimed experts of the 21st century more likely to identify the spot of Christ’s tomb accurately than those who witnessed the burial? That’s what we would have to believe, to take this argument seriously.

The Discovery Channel special adorns the bare, unpromising facts about the tomb in Jerusalem with a complex network of unproven theories. Thus producers speculate that one ossuary, labeled “Mariamene,” could contain the remains of Mary Magdalene. This ossuary was buried with the one that might have been labeled “Jesus.” Since DNA tests reportedly showed that the two people were not blood relatives, the producers draw the conclusion that they were married. Based on this long series of fanciful assumptions, the program determines that The Da Vinci Code was right, and Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene.

Who is responsible for such a stunning leap of logic?

"The Lost Tomb of Christ” is the work of two men: James Cameron and Simcha Jacobovici. Let’s take a glance at their credentials.

Cameron is a successful film director, who gave us Titanic and The Terminator. He is also a fan of science fiction, a member of the Mars Society (dedicated to colonization of that planet), and a man who admits that he cannot properly weigh the claims of his own program. “I’m not a theologist,” Cameron told reporters. The word is “theologian,” but Cameron isn’t someone who worries about details. In making this film, Cameron relied on Jacobovici.

“Simcha has no credibility whatsoever,” the curator of Jerusalem’s Rockefeller Museum told Newsweek. Unlike Cameron, Jacobovici is not entirely new to the business of archeological discovery; he has a track record. In 2002, he was instrumental in preparing another Discovery special, about what was alleged to be the tomb of “James, the brother of Jesus.”

Then as now, legitimate archaeologists were skeptical about the discovery that Jacobovici touted. Finally in 2005, Israeli authorities exposed the “tomb of James” as a fraud, and indicted five people on charges of forgery.

Somehow these two men-- one with no expertise whatever, the other with a history of promoting an antiquities scam-- convinced the Discovery Channel to invest $3.5 million in their program. Do you suppose that you and I could convince Discovery to invest a similar sum in a project to undermine public belief in, say, global warming?

It’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that the Discovery Channel knew what it would be getting: not credibility, but public attention. Television sheds heat, not light, and in this case producers are hoping to generate controversy, not to advance the cause of knowledge and understanding.
12 posted on 02/27/2007 7:01:15 PM PST by Frank Sheed ("Shakespeare the Papist" by Fr. Peter Milward, S.J.)
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To: NYer

Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights

February 26, 2007


“Titanic” director James Cameron and TV-director Simcha Jacobovici are claiming they have evidence of a Jerusalem tomb that allegedly houses the remains of Jesus and his family. Commenting on this is Catholic League president Bill Donohue:

“Not a Lenten season goes by without some author or TV program seeking to cast doubt on the divinity of Jesus and/or the Resurrection. Last April, NBC’s ‘Dateline’ featured the wholly discredited and downright laughable claims of Michael Baigent, and two years ago ABC treated us to a special that questioned every aspect of the Resurrection. Now we have the Cameron-Jacobovici thesis.

“Israeli archeologist Amos Kloner was in charge of the 1980 investigation of the tomb that Cameron-Jacobovici have seized on 27 years later to make their allegations. ‘The claim that the burial site has been found is not based on any proof, and is only an attempt to sell,’ Kloner says. He adds, ‘I refute all claims and efforts to waken a renewed interest in the findings. With all due respect, they are not archeologists.’ Indeed, Kloner has branded their claims ‘impossible’ and ‘nonsense.’ Moreover, he says there is ‘no likelihood’ that Jesus and his relatives had a family tomb. ‘It makes a great story for a TV film,’ he concludes.

“Joe Zias, who spent a quarter-century as an archeologist at the Rockefeller University in Jerusalem, said that ‘Simcha has no credibility whatsoever.’ Zias isn’t shooting from the hip: Jacobovici’s credibility explodes when one considers that he still believes the 2002 tale about an ossuary with the inscription, ‘James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.’ On June 18, 2003, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) condemned this claim as a modern forgery—this was the unanimous decision of a 15-member IAA committee. Agreeing with this decision were Harvard’s Frank Cross and Tel Aviv University professor Edward Greenstein.

“The Discovery Channel aired the 2002 hoax and now it’s back with the Titanic fraud. It’s time the Discovery Channel discovered ethics and stopped with the sensationalism.”

13 posted on 02/27/2007 7:16:44 PM PST by Frank Sheed ("Shakespeare the Papist" by Fr. Peter Milward, S.J.)
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To: Frank Sheed; NYer

Rejoice and be glad for great is your reward in heaven.

The Good News: For such spurious attacks to be made is evidence of satanic assault, yet, that is cause for hope. The attacks themselves are proof of the veracity of our faith.

Only Trust Him. Only Trust Him. He will save you.

14 posted on 02/27/2007 7:33:18 PM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who support the troops will pray for them to WIN!)
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To: Alamo-Girl; AnalogReigns; AnAmericanMother; Angelas; AniGrrl; annyokie; Aquinasfan; aruanan; ...
Good exposition on the problems with the Jesus Tomb scenario. Thanks to GregoTX for the heads up. Thanks to NYer for finding the article.

If you want on or off the Shroud of Turin Ping List, Freepmail me.

15 posted on 02/27/2007 7:58:07 PM PST by Swordmaker (Remember, the proper pronunciation of IE is "AAAAIIIIIEEEEEEE)
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To: Swordmaker

Stayed up very late last night to listen to C2C ... Noory had four guests all of whom dismissed the Cameron scam as ridiculous. The last place the Bible says Jesus went (following His resurrection) was to Galilee ... I think he was going to see His Mother before ascension.

16 posted on 02/27/2007 8:07:47 PM PST by MHGinTN (If you've had life support. Promote life support for others.)
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To: xzins

I wonder if they will be talking about all the mexicans,who have named their sons,JESUS.....After all,they might number in the millions...Think about it...Not only was Jesus just a human but he was cloned at least millions of times....I bet some of them even have family members named maria or joseph....WOW!!!!!we are talking startling news here..

17 posted on 02/27/2007 8:11:24 PM PST by fishbabe
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When Jesus was resurrected, didn't His body go to heaven? Jesus wouldn't have any earthly remains would He?
18 posted on 02/27/2007 8:28:10 PM PST by bushinohio
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To: bushinohio

Not according to the witnesses!

19 posted on 02/27/2007 8:29:15 PM PST by MHGinTN (If you've had life support. Promote life support for others.)
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The disciples found the tomb empty, implying that His BODY was gone. Jesus allowed Thomas to touch the wound where the sword pierced His BODY. After rising from the dead and walking around in His BODY did Jesus just chuck it off and then float to heaven?

20 posted on 02/27/2007 8:38:39 PM PST by bushinohio
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