Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Lost Tomb Controversy

A documentary directed by Titanic director James Cameron titled "The Lost Tomb of Jesus" will be aired by the Discovery Channel early this March. It has earned the ire of Christians due to its assumption that archaeologists have found ossuaries of Jesus' family. One even bears the inscription "Judah, son of Jesus," which implies that Jesus had a son.
Tradition and the Bible holds that Jesus rose from the grave before he ascended to Heaven. Christians are arguing that none of the bones could possibly belong to Jesus. Biblical scholar Stephen Pfann of the University of the Holy Land says the name "Jesus" may have been misread. He said the name is more likely "Hanun." He says ancient Semitic script is difficult to decipher.

Aside from the name, critics of the new find also say that the ossuaries were not found in the Church of the Ressurection, where Jesus was recorded to have been buried, not the typical middle-class Jerusalem burial place where the containers were found.
The news is reminiscent of a movie released in 2001 called "The Body" starring Antonio Banderas. In it, a crucified body is discovered in a cave in the Holy Land and puts the Church in a dilemma as all physical evidence suggests that it is that of the Christ. The movie, despite the subject matter, did not spark any public controversy. The inset photo is from:

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