tombofjesus a Forgery

March 3, 2007

Christians don’t riot over ‘Tomb of Jesus’ documentary-Lost Tomb of Jesus is old news

Christians don’t riot over ‘Tomb of Jesus’ documentary

 Despite the fact that the cardinal doctrine of the Christian faith, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, has been challenged (again) this week, Christians did not riot in the street or burn effigies or make death threats. A new Discovery Channel ocumentary called “The Lost Tomb of Jesus” is set to run Sunday. It resurrects an already-debunked discovery from 1980 of a tomb bearing the inscriptions of the names Mary, Jesus and Judah, “son of Jesus.” Aside from the very common names of the period (Jesus and Mary), the tomb was in Jerusalem, not Nazareth, where Jesus and his family lived.Archaeologists have reacted with disgust. William Dever has been excavating in Israel for 50 years and said, “I’m not a Christian. I’m not a believer. I don’t have a dog in this fight. I just think it’s a shame the way this story is being hyped and manipulated.” In fact, the man who originally found the tomb, Amos Kloner, says the documentary is “nonsense.” Then again, it is about time for the annual Lenten attack on Christianity.Still no word on when the Discovery Channel plans to run a documentary on the murderous exploits of the most Blessed Prophet Mohammed.

‘Lost Tomb of Jesus’ is old news 

The names Jesus, Joseph and Mary were common among ancient Jews, for example, and finding them in an ancient tomb is like going to Cave Hill Cemetery and seeing names like “John” and “Smith,” said Joel Drinkard, professor of Old Testament, Hebrew and archaeology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville.  Drinkard, who directs the seminary’s museum of biblical-era artifacts, has been on his share of archaeological digs in the Middle East. The painstaking work of archaeologists, he said, is to sort through often ordinary artifacts and slowly build a picture of what life was like then. “We have a culture in America that likes the sensational,” Drinkard said. “The Indiana Jones-type movies are wonderful as thrillers, but they’re horrible at showing archaeology as it really is.” Even so, Trafton and other religion scholars say their field gets a boost from media extravaganzas announcing new or not-so-new claims. Before this latest documentary produced by Oscar-winning director James Cameron, there was the long-lost “Gospel of Judas.” There was a burial box allegedly linked to Jesus’ brother James. And there were claims in “The Da Vinci Code” of a church conspiracy to hide Jesus’ true life as a mortal who married and had a family. “These kinds of claims and specials and books can make a connection that most of us academics fail at,” said Roy Fuller, who teaches at Indiana University Southeast and other area schools.  

‘Lost Tomb of Jesus’ is making a mockery of Archaeology & DNA Analysis

Archaeology is a scientific and academic discipline and there are proper fora for these discussions–if you’re a scholar and you have something you want to present to the larger world, there are proper ways of doing that, specifically publishing papers in peer reviewed journals or at meetings, so your colleageus can respond to it.Carney Matheson, whose titles include everything from mortuary archaeologist to forensic examiner, conducted the DNA examination the film cites. Basically, the filmmakers scraped a tiny amount of biological material out of the ossuary (or bone box) labeled Jesus, and a tiny amount out of the one that they think belonged to Mary Magdalene. Matheson then sequenced the mitochondrial DNA in both samples in order to establish that whoever those two boxes once contained was not related on their mother’s side–in other words, they’re not family. It’s a negative result that doesn’t say much (and it begs the question – if you were gathering material for testing, why not test the boxes that you believed belonged to related people, such as Jesus and his mother.

‘Lost Tomb of Jesus’ A Conspiracy Lore

I have a feeling this will become a permanent part of the our culture’s conspiracy lore, like the JFK conspiracy, the staging of the moon landing, the Turin Shroud, and all the rest before it.   ‘Lost Tomb of Jesus’ A case of  Forgery 

In December 2004, four Israelis and a Palestinian (led by antiques dealer Oded Golan of Tel-Aviv) were indicted by the Israel State authorities on charges of having run a lucrative forgery ring for several decades. The Israel Antiquities Authority and the Israeli police claimed that the defendants had created a series of biblically-related fakes, some of which had been bought for very high prices and placed in the prestigious Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Since then, numerous well-known items have now been officially declared as fakes, and among those under current investigation (since it originated with Oded Golan and features in the ongoing court case) is the James ossuary. It is fully expected that the Jesus tomb ossuaries (which have absolutely no archaeological provenance) will also fall into the same Golan team category.

It is astonishing to see so many press entries which relate to ‘bones’ and/or ‘disintegrated bones’ in the ossuaries. There are no bones. There never were any bones. It is a felony under Israel State law to own or keep ossuaries containing bones or bone residue (even for museums). Any ossuary unearthed containing bone remnants must be thoroughly emptied and brushed out, with the items and residue re-buried in precisely the same location as the discovery. Only after that, and a sanctification of the site, can the ossuary be removed. We saw on TV back in 1996 that all of these ossuaries were completely empty and inwardly cleaned. So, if there are any bone remnants there now, then someone has put them there for the sake of the documentary and the supposed DNA testing by Simcha Jacobovici and James Cameron 

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