Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Jesus’ Tomb: What’s all the Fu$$ about?

We are coming up on Easter. Every year, like clockwork, another conspiracy theory hits the media that seeks to cast doubt upon the claims of Jesus Christ. Last year it was the DaVinci Code. In years prior, the Jesus Seminar annually published their latest doubts about Christ. This year, it’s a blockbuster. They claim to have found the bones of Christ. None other than famed producer of ‘The Titanic’ who proclaimed to be ‘the king of the world’ James Cameron, is producing the film with the Discovery Channel behind him.

If you happen to run across anyone who actually believes the documentary that will be airing shortly, please keep these facts handy. (I cobbled these points together quickly from a perusal of various news agencies and blogs).

Ten Top Reasons This Can’t be the Jesus We Know

1. Joseph and Mary were from Nazareth, not Jerusalem. They would likely not have been buried in Jerusalem.
2. It is very doubtful Joseph and Mary had a tomb. They were poor peasants. Normally poor peasants don't get these kinds of tombs.
3. The names, Mary, Joseph AND Jesus (read Joshua) were as common as our names Tom, Dick and Jane. One scholar says that in Jesus’ day, over 40% of the women were named Mary or some derivative of it. Among the about 1,000 ossuaries from biblical times unearthed in Jerusalem, six carry the inscription ''Yeshua,'' or Jesus. Of those, two are engraved with the words ''Jesus, son of Joseph.''
4. The archaeological establishment is labeling this claim as ‘bunk’.
5. The DNA evidence can only tell them if those who are represented in these ossuaries are related to one another.
6. There was a swirl of controversy surrounding the ossuary supposedly containing the bones of James. It is now considered a modern forgery. It was purported in this new documentary to have been stolen from this tomb. Yet it has been considered a forgery, putting the authenticity of this whole group of ossuaries in doubt.
7. Esteemed academics like William Dever says, “Specialists have known about these ossuaries for years. The fact that it's been ignored tells you something. It would be amusing if it didn't mislead so many people."
8. Another blogger asks this question. “How likely is it that the early Christians built and sustained a tomb of Jesus if they — at the same time — were declaring his resurrection and ascension, and were undergoing persecution for the following him? What this tomb requires is a long-term preservation of the remains of the members of Jesus’ so-called family. Unlikely to the extreme.”
9. Hollywood. Need we $ay more?
10. And the final reason this can’t be Jesus’ tomb… He is risen!!

For further reading:
Ben Witherington
Bock's Blog
James White
Andreas Kostenberger