Last year it was the gospel according to Judas and the Da Vinci Code; this year it is the bones of Jesus. Easter must be right around the corner. Most people will only see the sensationalist headlines: Jesus’ Family Tomb Found! (Never mind that this discovery is TWENTY- SEVEN YEARS old. Raises an interesting question in itself: why is it just making headlines today? I have my own theory; keep reading.) But let’s look at the actual claims, shall we?
The claim is that the coffin, with the bones of Jesus inside, has been found. Has a prominent archaeologist made this claim? No, as a matter of fact not. It is Titanic director James Cameron.
Archaeologists and biblical scholars have poured scorn on a Hollywood film director’s sensational claim that he has discovered the coffin of Jesus Christ.
Even a British archeologist who worked with Cameron, Dr. Shimon Gibson, admitted he’s "sceptical" about the claims that challenge some of the central tenets of Christianity.
Even Cameron, pushed to support his claims, said statisticians found "in the range of a couple of million to one in favor of it being them [Jesus Christ and his family]."
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. "It was an ordinary middle-class Jerusalem burial cave," he added. "The names on the caskets are the most common names found among Jews at the time."
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.
"How possible is it?" he added. "On a scale of one through ten, with ten 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 is more likely the name Hanun. Ancient Semitic script is notoriously difficult to decipher.
"I’m not a theologist. I’m not an archaeologist. I’m a documentary filmmaker," [Cameron] said.
He is two- thirds right with that statement. But I wouldn’t call a film with this much expert opinion against it a "documentary." How about TABLOID TELEVISION? Okay, so with all the evidence which blows Hollywood’s theory sky high, why all the hoopla now? The final paragraph in the news story gives us the answer.
Cameron spent two years working with a team of experts to make the controversial film. Director Simcha Jacobovici told the press conference: "For millions of readers, the Da Vinci Code was a fantasy, a fiction. Here is a Judah, son of Jesus, next to a Jesus and a Mariamne."
Yeah, I thought so.