Documentary Displays Jesus' Family Tomb?

on March 3, 2007

National Geographic News: “Jesus’ Tomb Claim Slammed By Scholars

It’s the sort of news that could rock the world – and the faith of some unwary Christians. At least, that’s what Canadian journalist Simcha Jacobovici and famous Hollywood filmmaker James Cameron seem to be hoping for regarding their upcoming television special, which claims to reveal a tomb containing the ossuaries of Jesus and his family. The Lost Tomb of Jesus, to be broadcast this Sunday on the Discovery Channel, argues that the ossuaries found in a Jerusalem tomb in 1980 belong to Jesus, His mother Mary, and other family members, including Jesus’ alleged wife Mary Magdalene and one “Judah son of Jesus” who, the film says, is a son of Jesus and Mary Magdalene.

We are faced with a choice: accept the historical account given by the Bible, or try to trust fickle science that cannot give solid answers.

The news—which made waves earlier this week—elicited negative responses from both secular archaeologists and Bible-believing Christians, who have downplayed and rejected, respectively, the notion that Jesus’ bones have been found. The Associated Press reports comments by Amos Kloner, the first archaeologist to examine the tomb, who states that the film’s backers “just want to get money for it.”

We’ll be publishing a full commentary after this program airs, but in the meantime, it’s interesting to note the similarities between the debates surrounding the historicity and divinity of Christ and the debate over the origin of life. In each case, the argument is over historical events that are unrepeatable and were not observed by us humans living now in the present. In each case, we are faced with a choice: accept the historical account given by the Bible, or try to trust fickle science that cannot give solid answers. Apart from the Bible, there is nothing to prove the tomb isn’t that of Christ, just as it is impossible to prove the tomb is that of Christ. Apart from the Bible, no one can verify that Jesus’ miracles actually happened, nor can anyone prove they didn’t happen. Similarly, apart from God’s Word, we are left with mere conjecture and hypothetical guesses about what “might have happened” at the very beginning and before recorded history. In each case, the debate ultimately comes down to the presuppositional views one adopts.

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