Thursday, March 01, 2007

Problems Multiply for Jesus' "Tomb" Theory

The following is a copy of the Leadership University e-mail I received today. In addition, there are numerous links to excellent scholarship articles that demonstrate how ridiculously false Cameron and Jacobovici's assumptions in the upcoming documentary really are!


The Jesus Family Tomb?

James Cameron, director of the movie Titanic, and his documentary director Simcha Jacobovici, claim they have found the “Jesus Family Tomb,” the tomb in which Jesus, his wife Mary Magdalene, and their son Judah were buried, along with other family members. This week amid much fanfare, they unveiled the ossuaries, or ancient “bone boxes,” where they believe Jesus’ and his family members’ bones were buried (but have since decayed). They have produced a special for the Discovery Channel, “The Jesus Family Tomb,” which airs Sunday night, March 4, at 9pm Eastern, and they’ve released a book to go with it, The Jesus Family Tomb. One thing is certain: if their theory is correct, the bodily resurrection of Jesus is false. He would have been just another man crucified by the Romans and entombed in an ossuary.

What are we to make of this? While Cameron and Jacobovici claim they have good evidence that this is indeed where Jesus was buried, there has been skepticism among archaeologists (especially the ones who excavated the gravesite in 1980), as well as Christian leaders who are frustrated at yet another attempt, Da Vinci style, to discredit the traditional faith. Even the secular media have been dubious. Newsweek writes, “Good sense, and the Bible, still the best existing historical record of Jesus of Nazareth, argue against Jacobovici’s claims.” Time magazine called the theory “problematic” and filled with “debatable conjecture.” They’re right. Here’s why.

First, there is too much historical evidence that we already have about Jesus which doesn’t fit with this tomb theory. For one thing, Amos Kloner, the archaeologist who originally excavated the site, knew that “Jesus,” “Mary” and “Joseph,” as well as “Mathew” were very common names at this time in Israel, so the fact that they’re in a tomb together is not surprising at all. Kloner still maintains there’s nothing special about the tomb.

Second, there are names on some of the ossuaries in the tombs that we don’t have any other historical record as being part of Jesus’ family: “Matthew,” and “Judah” (the latter whom Jacobovici claims is Jesus’ son).

Third, there are members of Jesus’ family that we do know about which are not buried in this tomb. Why would they be buried somewhere else? In fact, why would Joseph, Jesus’ father, be buried in Jerusalem at all, since he was born in Bethlehem and died in Nazareth?

Fourth, New Testament scholars (both secular and Christian) agree that the early Christian movement could not have began without some sort of belief in the Resurrection of Jesus. But how could such a belief have been maintained (and how could Jesus’ followers have risked their lives for it) if Jesus’ tomb was right there outside of Jerusalem for anyone to look at? Surely the Jewish authorities who wanted to shut down the burgeoning Christian movement would have produced Jesus’ body for all to see. See more detailed articles on this below.

Furthermore, critics and scholars alike are already attacking Jacobovici’s DNA evidence (allegedly showing Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married) as well as attacking the probability statistics that supposedly show a 600 to 1 chance that this is not Jesus’ family tomb. The articles we have collected below are mainly from some scholarly blog sites. As this is an ongoing saga, we will be adding new articles on this subject as they become available, so be sure to bookmark the page.

The Jesus' Family Tomb: Scholars Respond

Problems Multiply for Jesus Tomb Theory
Ben Witherington III
Ben Witherington, author of What Have They Done with Jesus?, outlines many problems with the book, The Jesus Family Tomb, co-released with the Discovery Channel special.

Hollywood Hype: The Oscars and Jesus Family Tomb, What Do They Share
Darrell Bock
Seminary professor and author Dr. Darrell Bock points out significant questions concerning the evidence and conclusions of "The Jesus Family Tomb."

The Jesus Tomb? Titanic Talpiot Tomb Sunk from the Start
Ben Witherington III
New Testament scholar Ben Witherington blogs on the "Jesus Family Tomb" theory on the day of the press conference announcing the discovery.

Related Articles: New Year's

The Historicity of the Empty Tomb of Jesus
William Lane Craig
In this scholarly article, Dr. Craig examines the evidence for the empty tomb from the New Testament, including Paul's narrative of the Resurrection and early traditions in the Gospel accounts. Craig does not presuppose the New Testament is historical, but sifts through the documents to argue for the historicity of each section of Scripture.

Contemporary Scholarship and the Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus
William Lane Craig
In this summary article, Craig recounts how in the last 25 years, a turn in contemporary scholarly study of Jesus has led to conclusions that tend to strengthen, rather than weaken, traditional interpretations of the Biblical accounts of the Resurrection.

Cruci-fiction and Resuscitation: The Greatest Hoax in the History of Humanity?
Russ Wise
Russ Wise from Probe Ministries examinesthe view liberal scholars have of the Resurrection: that there was no miracle, and that it is not central to Christianity. Also included is a discussion of the Gospels that did not make it into the Bible.

Jesus and DaVinci: Who Was Jesus Really?
The DaVinci Code is related to the controversy surrounding "The Jesus Family Tomb." Visit our sister website for articles related to the famous book and movie.

Huge Hat Tip: Leadership University

P.S. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this accurate, yet humorous conclusion in Ben Witherington's second article:

So my response to this is clear--- James Cameron, the producer of the movie Titanic, has now jumped on board another sinking ship full of holes, presumably in order to make a lot of money before the theory sinks into an early watery grave. Man the lifeboats and get out now.


ebsfwan said...

I wouldn't worry too much about this movie. He's just trying to get as much publicity as possible so he can make as much money as possible.

But apparently he found more evidence:

limpy99 said...

I hear the biggest problem is a fourth ossuary with the name "Billy-Joe-Bob" engraved on it.

Kingdom Advancer said...

Thank you so much, Christine, for the resources. I used them in my article. I also linked to your blog at the end of the article.

Christinewjc said...

Ha ha ha! Andrew...that was funny.

Hey...FYI, if you want to post a live link in the comment section, do this (Important! - When posting, keep the space between the a href, but take out the spaces elsewhere to create the live link!)

< a href= "http:// article. nationalreview. com/? q=NDIyZjZkZjUzOWNiY2IwYmVjYzcz NGE3NTZiMzdlODg" >National review article < / a>

Then, it will look like this:

National Review article

Perhaps you already know this. But it may help others who didn't know how to create links that way. It took me quite a while to find that out, and when I did, it was quite helpful.

Christinewjc said...

Ha ha! Mark!

So...even non-believers like you admit that Cameron's upcoming documentary is a bunch of hooey?

It's all about the money...just like the Da Vinci Code craze was.


Christinewjc said...

Hi Kingdom Advancer,

Thanks for the link.

I had the discovery channel on last night. My husband and I were watching a show called, "The dirtiest jobs." During the commercials an ad for Cameron's stupid, lying documentary would come on.


Some people would do anything...including blaspheming the Son of God...for money.

To me, THAT has to rank as the dirtiest job ever!

Jaded said...

I think it's possible that Cameron truly believes that he's "discovered" the "truth" about Jesus. The man seems to believe that he's more important and intelligent than he is, so it only makes sense that he thinks he's the one to reveal this "truth" to 2 thousand years worth of believers. Narcissistic is the word that comes to mind.

Again, how you enter a burrial site which contains the most common names of the time and assume it's THAT Jesus is beyond me. And all the DNA on the planet can't confirm it's Christ since we have nothing with which to compare it.

Even from a strictly scientific standpoint, this can't hold up.