That is how I summarize my thoughts about the upcoming Discovery Channel “documentary” “The Lost Tomb of Jesus”. If you’ve missed all the hoopla over this, here’s the story in brief:
- Archeologists discover a tomb near Jerusalem.
- People who are buried there have names such as Yeshua (Jesus), Maria, and Joseph.
- Movie producer James Cameron produces a documentary saying this is the Jesus and his family.
Some reasons why this is absurd:
- These were all common names in 1st century Jewish names.
- Jesus and his family lived in Galilee, not Jerusalem.
- Jesus and his family were poor, and would not have been able to afford a fancy tomb. His followers were poor as well.
- This tomb has been known since 1980, and the archeologists who worked on the site came up with no ridiculous story about this being Jesus and his family.
- None of Jesus’ enemies at the time could produce a body. It wasn’t in any tomb.
- And finally, Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. His body isn’t in a tomb.
Gene Edward Veith says:
Not that I accept the ludicrous claims of the documentary to have any scholarly merit. As someone said, it’s like finding a gravestone of two people named John and Paul and thinking to have discovered the Beatles.
There are probably a thousand sites out there that have something to say about this. Here are a few good ones:
- Stand to Reason — Who’s Writing the Fiction Here
- Darrell Bock — The Jesus Dynasty
- Christianity Today — Interview with James Cameron (satire)
A few of my observations:
- It is not just Christians who are calling this a bunch of baloney. Secular scholars are highly critical of the documentary as well.
- This underlines the need for clear thinking in Christian circles. The arguments of Cameron in his documentary will be easy to counter by those who have a basic foundation in the Bible and history.
- Most who see this, just as most who read or saw The Davinci Code will have no idea that the arguments are absurd.
- We should expect that the world will attack the center and foundation of our faith: the person and work of Jesus Christ. We should not lose heart even if the attacks become relentless.
- I wonder if “The Lost Tomb of Jesus” will be shown between Discovery Channel programs about parapsychology and alien abductions. The Discovery Channel is often more concerned about making a buck than about presenting good science.
Don’t let your faith be weakened.
Grace and Peace
Update 3 March 2007:
This whole “Tomb of Jesus” argument is easy to pick apart, and many are doing so. Still, many in the world will buy into it. Why? Because we often analyze information like this not based on the soundness of logical arguments, but by how the information is presented, who presents it, and how it fits our preconceived notions.
Here are a couple more good analyses of “The Lost Tomb of Jesus” :