Monday, March 05, 2007

"our tomb is empty"

Sunday night, I was watching the "unveiling" of the Family Tomb of Jesus. In case you haven’t heard, there is a pseudo-archeologist who claims to have discovered the Tomb that Jesus was buried in with his family. Now I didn't realize a few things #1 Jesus had a family and #2 that he was still in the ground, but this is what the program said was the case.

26 years ago, a construction crew unearthed a family tomb. They called archeologists and when they arrived they found an ossuary (or a burial box, that holds the bones of a dead person) with the name “Jesus son of Joseph” written on the side. Also in the tomb were 9 other ossuaries, four (4) others with names.

Along with the name “Jesus son of Joseph,” archeologists found inscriptions that they claim to be that of Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Matthew (supposedly a relative of Mary), and Jude (here’s the kicker-Jesus son). Now these names are all from long chains of assumption and bad interpretations of both Biblical texts and extra-Biblical texts (specifically a 4th century Gnostic Gospel).

Needless to say, as I watched this program I was shocked by the claims that they made. They said that

1.) Jesus body in all probability was not resurrected.
2.) This find also gives strong evidence that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married.
3.) Jesus and Mary had a son – and that this son was the disciple that Jesus loved.
4.) That this find is where the James ossuary is from.

The theological reprocussions are limitless as everything that they claim is against the greater tradition of the church, and contests the Biblical account. You have to force your way into the text to find what they are trying to prove.

The show was about as unscientific as you can get, as everything was done halfway. One of the guys that I watched it with made the observation that he could have done more with the evidence than they did. Literally, it was almost comical to see how many errors and poor assumptions (which we all know what assuming does) that the team made during the course of their work.

The show was a 2-hour special and it could have been cut down to about 30 minutes, and we would have learned the same amount of information. The majority of the documentary (if you can call it that) was spent on tasks, conversations, and entire scenes that had almost no relevance to the findings. It was that poorly put together.

All of the actual archeologists that were interviewed during the show, and in the hour-long critical conversation afterwards were highly critical of the findings. Taking turns they all pointed out the flaws in the process, the statistics, and the assumptions that were so confidently made.

In one of the scenes, the crew was trying to look into an enclosed tomb by looking down an air pipe, (placed their by order of rabbis, so that the souls of the people in the tomb would not be trapped) when they discovered that it was in fact the wrong tomb. The tomb that they were looking had all the bone boxes removed, and this one was still full of the ossuaries.

When the crew learned that this tomb was still full, one of the crewmembers made the remark, "Our tomb is empty!" To which I replied, "So is ours."

Peace be with you