Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Tomb of "Jesus?"

So, have you heard the big news? They've discovered the tomb of "Jesus" and guess what? Despite the published reports by eyewitness to his resurrection and the fact that the tomb was empty, James Cameron will offer proof that it's the tomb of Jesus, his mother, Mary, Mary Magdalene and Jesus' son, Judah:

The cave in which Jesus Christ was buried has been found in Jerusalem, claim the makers of a new documentary film.

If it proves true, the discovery, which will be revealed at a press conference in New York Monday, could shake up the Christian world as one of the most significant archeological finds in history.

The coffins which, according to the filmmakers held the remains of Jesus of Nazareth, his mother Mary and Mary Magdalene will be displayed for the first timeon Monday in New York.

Jointly produced by Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici and Oscar winning director James Cameron, the film tells the exciting and tortuous story of the archeological discovery.

The story starts in 1980 in Jerusalem’s Talpiyot neighborhood, with the discovery of a 2,000 year old cave containing ten coffins. Six of the ten coffins were carved with inscriptions reading the names: Jesua son of Joseph, Mary, Mary, Matthew, Jofa (Joseph, identified as Jesus’ brother), Judah son of Jesua (Jesus’ son - the filmmakers claim).


According to the filmmakers, the film’s claim is based on close work with world-famous scientists, archeologists, statisticians, DNA specialists and antiquities experts.
"If it proves true?" How in the world could it be proved true? There is no way that this can be proved true because there is nothing of Christ that can be tested, DNA or otherwise.

How will this impact Christianity? I'm sure that people will probably use this as yet one more lame excuse not to believe in Christ but those of us who know that Jesus is the Son of God and came to die on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins, will not be swayed by this attempt to destroy Christianity. Greater men than Cameron have tried and have failed to destroy it because Christians believe for a reason. There is a reason for the hope that is within us and that can't be destroyed by a tomb containing the remains of those who bear similar names to those of Jesus and others mentioned in the Bible.

Even the guy involved in the discovery isn't buying this and views it as a publicity stunt:
Excitement over the discovery of Jesus’ burial site is premature, Israeli archeologist Professor Amos Kloner said.


“The claim that the burial site has been found is not based on any proof, and is only an attempt to sell,” Kloner said.


“I refute all their claims and efforts to waken a renewed interest in the findings. With all due respect, they are not archeologists,” Kloner said, referring to the filmmakers.

According to him, the names inscribed on the coffins were very common in the Second Temple era, and as such were not sufficient proof that the cave was the burial site of Jesus' family.
I blogged about the commonness of the names at Reformed Chicks and gave some examples from the Bible.

I have no fear of what will be said tomorrow because my faith is built on the word of God:
Matthew 7:24-27 "Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it."
I think P.O.D. says, it best "Is that all you got? Take your best shot!" I'm ready for the "proof," bring it on!


  1. Moonshadow said...
    This ought to make Spong happy.

    IOW, those within probably do more damage than those without.
    Rachelle said...
    Luckily, most people, even in the media, aren't buying it. Only the diehard "de-bunk Christianity" fanatics really even care.

    And people will always try to discredit our faith, won't they? It never ends.
    michele said...
    Though, Rachelle someone came to Reformed Chicks quoting the odds that it was Christ. That's going to be what most people believe, the statics and that's why I focused on the commonness of the names.

    Did you see the filmmakers' interview on the Today Show? The way that Vera sounded when she interviewed them was like "Whoa, what if this is true? It sounds like it could be true?"
    Moonshadow said...
    "Whoa, what if this is true? It sounds like it could be true?"

    Well, in this case, they have nothing. It isn't even worth asking ourselves "what if?" There's no need ... in fact, no way ... for the Christian faith to accommodate the discovery.

    But, in the past, the Christian faith, at least in some quarters, has made adjustments in light of scholarship, although not always from the field of archeology.

    I'm thinking of the issues raised by those quests for the historical Jesus in the 19th and 20th centuries.

    Now, I say some Christians clarified their articulation in response to liberal criticism, but not all did. I'm thinking of the fundamentalists of the last century who rejected biblical criticism out of hand.

    This particular case is too extreme to be a fair indicator, but the tendency on this blog and at RCB is in line with a fundamentalist reaction.

    No doubt, my theological training was different from yours; it taught me to read sympathetically and follow propositions to conclusions. I exploit Rodney Olsen's pun about placing Christ in a box by endeavoring to think outside the box. ( I want to listen to the interview he plugs. )

    True, there can be no compromise on this topic: the very veracity of the Bible, the creeds and the Church's constant confession across the centuries is at stake.

    But "the only constant is change." Sooner or later, we'll have to roll with it.
    Moonshadow said...
    the Christian faith ... has made adjustments in light of scholarship

    I'm prepared to give examples.

    Anybody care? Tacet qui consentire videtur.

    From easy to hard:

    (1) Redating Jesus' birth from year 0 to between years 6 and 4 BC: near-universal acceptance, although some must fudge their end-time calculations a bit more.

    (2) Taking the Letter to the Hebrews away from St. Paul: general acceptance although the Lectionary reflected the change only a few years ago.

    (3) Greek New Testament textual redaction over the past 100 years or so, resulting in the expurgation of spurious passages: Matthew 17:21, 18:11; Mark 7:16, 9:46, usw. Implicitly accepted by anyone not using a King James Bible. "Hey, if it has a verse number, it belongs in my Bible!"

    (4) The Garden Tomb, pace Holy Sepulchre - uh, not.

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