I saw a disturbing news segment tonight that I want to write about. Apparently the Discovery Channel will be releasing a new documentary called the “Lost Tomb of Jesus.” This documentary is based on a tomb found near Jerusalem. The tomb contains boxes of bones with names such as “Joseph” and “Mary” inscribed on them. It was actually originally found in 1980 and at that time considered insignificant. Movie maker James Cameron and a group of “scientists” have decided to promote the theory that it is the “lost tomb” of Jesus Christ. The makers of this documentary have gone so far as to display what they believe is the casket of Jesus.
Just like the “Gospel of Judas,” this should not threaten our faith. I’ve done a little research and I want you to keep these things in mind:
Logical/Scientific Problems with this Documentary:
*There are over 900 ancient tombs surrounding Jerusalem—nothing special there.
*Jesus, Joseph, and Mary were extremely common names in ancient Israel. Almost half of the women during that time were named Mary, Mariam or the Hebrew name Shlomzion.
*The language which is inscribed on the “Jesus” casket is very hard to read and interpret. Some scholars believe it is another name altogether. Go to the Discovery channel website and see this for yourself. Since I first wrote this article I’ve learned that the “Jesus” inscription is likely a forgery–it appears that someone added letters to the casket’s original inscription.
*Even if they did properly translate the “Jesus” casket, there’s still a problem: they claim that the casket reads “Jesus, son of Joseph.” Jesus’ earliest followers never called him by this title.
*The documentary claims that one casket contains the bones of Mary Magdalene. This is based on the fact that “Mariamne” is carved on it. The theory that Mary Magdalene’s real name was “Mariamne” is based on a document (Acts of Philip) which has no authority because it was written about three hundred years after Jesus died.
*If Jesus’ family had enough money to buy a tomb (which they probably didn’t) why would they be buried near Jerusalem instead of Nazareth?
*The documentary claims that there is a 600 to 1 chance that all of these names could be together in one tomb. This is flawed logic, since all the names in the tomb were very common. It seems they did some strange “number crunching” to arrive at this conclusion.
You can read more about these facts here:
Evidence Which Supports the Resurrection:
*The entire New Testament supports the resurrection of Christ.
*The Disciples changed from cowards into fearless preachers. Would this have happened if Jesus simply died?
*Why would so many ancient Christians lay down their life if Jesus never rose from the dead?
*Christianity was considered a threat to the early Roman Empire. From then until now, Christianity was based upon the resurrection of Christ. If Jesus’ body could be found, the Romans would have found it and put it on display in order to stop this threat.
You can read more about evidences for the resurrection here:
So there you have it. You can believe God’s authoritative word or you can put your faith in a box of bones and one-sided television documentary.
And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.
-1st Corinthians 15:17-19
“There is enough light for those who desire only to see, and enough darkness for those of a contrary disposition.”
On a related note, I’ll be our speaker this Friday night at Full Cup Cafe. I’ll be talking about Jesus: The Resurrected One.
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