Right now there is a deception going on that will fool millions. I teach English as a Second Language and my Japanese and Korean students had heard on CNN that the tomb of Jesus had been found. What are average uninformed Americans to think when CNN and Discovery Channel and James Cameron seem to be saying the bones of Jesus have been discovered and Christianity is based on a myth and a lie?
The story is set to air on the Discovery Channel Sunday, March 4 at 9 pm. It is a collaboration of James Cameron, director of Titanic has produced the documentary. It is called “The Lost Tomb of Jesus.”
What is this evidence that the tomb of Jesus has been found? In 1980, archaeologist Amos Kloner was called in to excavate a tomb discovered during construction. It turned out to be a middle class tomb from the first century, the right time for a tomb for Jesus if there was one.
The Talpiot tomb contained ossuaries, boxes used to hold the bones of the deceased which were gathered after decomposition in a cave. This was the common burial custom for those who could afford a tomb.
Inside they found an ossuary which said “Yeshua bar Yosef,” or “Jesus son of Joseph.” They also found other names such as “Judah son of Jesus.”
Why didn’t the news media trumpet the demise of faith in Jesus at that time? Because the archaeologist, Amos Kloner, and others argued that:
(1) There was no evidence this was the Jesus of the New Testament. In fact, three ossuaries have been discovered to date that have the name “Jesus son of Joseph.”
(2) This tomb was not a fit for the family of Jesus as it was from a family of greater wealth than they had according to the gospels. This was not a lower class tomb for a Galilean family, but a middle class Judean tomb.
You can read an interview with Professor Amos Kloner, who excavated this tomb and stringently denies the claims of the documentary: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1171894527185&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull.
What is happening is this, a famous director has a chance to make a big splash with a controversial documentary. Don’t believe everything you hear. Use your critical thinking ability and a healthy dose of skepticism as you watch. I will post a review of the documentary here after it happens.
In case the link to the article by Professor Kloner gets broken, here is the text:
Feb. 27, 2007 3:33
Kloner: A great story, but nonsense
By DAVID HOROVITZ
Prof. Amos Kloner oversaw the archeological work at the Talpiot tomb when it was discovered during construction in 1980.
What do you make of the assertion that Jesus and his family were buried there?
It makes a great story for a TV film. But it’s completely impossible. It’s nonsense. There is no likelihood that Jesus and his relatives had a family tomb. They were a Galilee family with no ties in Jerusalem. The Talpiot tomb belonged to a middle class family from the 1st century CE.
But there is apparently such a confluence of resonant names.
The name “Jesus son of Joseph” has been found on three or four ossuaries. These are common names. There were huge headlines in the 1940s surrounding another Jesus ossuary, cited as the first evidence of Christianity. There was another Jesus tomb. Months later it was dismissed. Give me scientific evidence, and I’ll grapple with it. But this is manufactured.
What of the assertion that the 10th ossuary disappeared from your care and may be none other than the “James” ossuary?
Nothing has disappeared. The 10th ossuary was on my list. The measurements were not the same (as the James ossuary). It was plain (without an inscription). We had no room under our roofs for all the ossuaries, so unmarked ones were sometimes kept in the courtyard (of the Rockefeller Museum).
Why, if you dismiss the claims, has the IAA loaned out ossuaries to the filmmakers?
I don’t care what the IAA gets up to. I don’t work for the IAA anymore. but it’s very foolish. The left hand there doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.”