Skip to comments.Tomb of Jesus doc uproar
Posted on 02/26/2007 8:07:03 AM PST by Clive
JERUSALEM (AP) — 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.
One of the caskets even bears the title, “Judah, son of Jesus,” hinting that Jesus may have had a son. And the very fact that Jesus had an ossuary would contradict the Christian belief that he was resurrected and ascended to heaven.
Most Christians believe Jesus’ body spent three days at the site of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem’s Old City. The burial site identified in Cameron’s documentary is in a southern Jerusalem neighborhood nowhere near the church.
In 1996, when the BBC aired a short documentary on the same subject, archaeologists challenged the claims. Amos Kloner, the first archaeologist to examine the site, said the idea fails to hold up by archaeological standards but makes for profitable television.
“They just want to get money for it,” Kloner said.
The claims have raised the ire of Christian leaders in the Holy Land.
“The historical, religious and archaeological evidence show that the place where Christ was buried is the Church of the Resurrection,” said Attallah Hana, a Greek Orthodox clergyman in Jerusalem. The documentary, he said, “contradicts the religious principles and the historic and spiritual principles that we hold tightly to.”
Stephen Pfann, a biblical scholar at the University of the Holy Land in Jerusalem who was interviewed in the documentary, said the film’s hypothesis holds little weight.
“I don’t think that Christians are going to buy into this,” Pfann said. “But skeptics, in general, would like to see something that pokes holes into the story that so many people hold dear.”
“How possible is it?” Pfann said. “On a scale of one through 10 — 10 being completely possible — it’s probably a one, maybe a one and a half.”
Pfann is even unsure that the name “Jesus” on the caskets was read correctly. He thinks it’s more likely the name “Hanun.”
Kloner also said the filmmakers’ assertions are false.
“It was an ordinary middle-class Jerusalem burial cave,” Kloner said. “The names on the caskets are the most common names found among Jews at the time.”
Archaeologists also balk at the filmmaker’s 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.
“I don’t think the James Ossuary came from the same cave,” said Dan Bahat, an archaeologist at Bar-Ilan University. “If it were found there, the man who made the forgery would have taken something better. He would have taken Jesus.”
Although the documentary makers claim to have found the tomb of Jesus, the British Broadcasting Corporation beat them to the punch by 11 years.
Osnat Goaz, a spokeswoman for the Israeli government agency responsible for archaeology, declined to comment before the documentary was aired.
James Cameron vs. Christianity...hmmm...somehow I think I know which side will win this argument.
When will the DNA results be published?
Well, then, that explains why the women, the disciples, the Jews, and the Romans ALL went to the wrong tomb when they looked for Jesus's body. They all thought he was buried at the site of the Holy Sepulcher, when in fact he was buried in a southern Jerusalem neighborhood nowhere near the church.
I've been monitoring the news for any signs of rioting and widespread disorder since this story broke....but then I remembered with which religion the story dealt.
Kind of like "An Inconvient Truth".....
Early favorite for next year's Oscar.
The Cameron Code.
Cameron isn't a theologian or an archaeologist.
They've already done Raiders of the Lost Ark -- so finding the Ark of the Covenant is passe'. Let's see, what's the biggest story we could come up with? How about finding the tomb of Jesus . . .
Cameron and Geraldo should team up.
because the common belief among skeptics is that the
story about the resurrection of Christ is just
a story....so why would they use the historical
documents that talk about Christs' work as a basis
for anything historical...?
I wonder if the mDNA they analyzed was not from a worker
on the bone box, or some bug, or eukaryotic plant material....
I would like to see the results.
no riots in the street,
no James Cameron becoming the room mate of Salmon Rushdie,
just atheists and hedonists who are being hypocritical when it comes to attacking christianity.
At best, if not and out right forgery, it might be A "Jesus"
But it's not THE "Jesus" who was THE "Christ"
Details about the documentary next week on the supposed Jesus Tomb.
Why am I not surprised that Jesus was married and had a son?
Second Tuesday of next week...
I wonder why christians aren't taking to the streets and threatening violence against this man and the channel for running this bunch of lies? The islamic radicals would have already been out there and the liberals would be championing their right to a supposed injustice. Let's get a lot more vocal about this kind of attack against the faith of millions of people around the world. Of course, we should not be surprised that a non-believer could supposedly provide proof of a tomb. Jesus said they would try to do that.
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