Is it true there is a 99.9999% certainty that the tomb found by James Cameron is that of Jesus of Nazareth?
- 1 decade agoFavorite Answer
Hollywood director James Cameron and filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici garnered widespread publicity with their 2007 Discovery Channel documentary in which they said archaeologist had found ossuaries etched with names "Jesus, son of Joseph," Joseh, or Joseph, Maria, or Mary, Matia, or Matthew, Mariamne Mara, which they had claimed was Mary Magdalene, and "Judah, son of Jesus." DNA tests indicated that the individual buried in the Jesus and Mary Magdalene ossuaries were not related through the same mother; the documentary suggested they had been married and had at least one child, Judah.
In his book, however, even Tabor conceded that Amos Kloner, the archaeologist who oversaw the tomb's excavation, said that "the possibility of it being Jesus' family [is] very close to zero," and that Motti Neiger of Israeli Antiquities Authority agreed "that chances of these being the actual burials of the holy family are almost nil." Not even one archaeologists has concluded that these ossuaries belonged to the biblical Jesus and his family. They understood that nearly all of the names inscribed on the ossuaries were very common.
How common? It appears that Mary was the popular name during the time of Jesus. It's estimated that one out of every four or five women in Jerusalem was named Mary. Joseph was the second most common male being called that. One out of every eleven males was named Jesus, one out of ten was named Judah, and one in every twenty was name Matthew.
Well, certainly the potential for significance increases when you place together a specified combination of names, but when you add Ringo to the pool, you may have something. The problem, of course, is that when you really examine things, there's no equivalent of 'Ringo' in the Talpiot tomb.
According to calculations by physicist Randy Ingermanson, one out of every seventy-nine males in Jerusalem was "Jesus, son of Joseph." Hershel Shanks and Ben Witherington III estimated that during the ninety-year period in which ossuaries were used there were about eighty-thousand males in Jerusalem. That means there were approximately one-thousand men named Jesus who had a father named Joseph. Ingermanson then considers the other names in the Talpiot tomb and calculates there were probably eleven men in Jerusalem during that period who fit the profile of the Jesus in the Talpiot tomb.
So without taking anything else in consideration, there's roughly a one in a eleven, or nine percent, chance that the Talpiot tomb contained the biblical Jesus. But there's a whole lot more to consider. In order for Jesus to qualify as one of the eleven, we must see what the evidence there is that Jesus was married and had children or was single. And things get significantly worse for the Talpiot theorist when that is considered.
Is there any evidence that Jesus was, indeed, married to Mary Magdalene? The evidence in the documentary starts with the Acts of Philip, which is where Mary is supposedly first referred to as Mariamne. But the text doesn't actually say 'Mariamne' like the ossuary does; it refers to 'Mariamme.' Mariamme in the Acts of Philip is only identified as the sister of Philip, and there's no hint in the text whatsoever that she's married to Jesus or has a child. In fact, the text seems to demand celibacy. The main character, Philip, tells converts to Christianity to have their spouse and live a life of sexual abstinence.
Nobody thinks the Acts of Philip is historically reliable. The text dates from the fourth century. Even if some of its traditions go back to the second century, that's still long after the canonical Gospels. In their book The Jesus Family Tomb, Jacobovici and Charles Pellegrino cite both the Gospel of Phillip and Gospel of Mary as suggesting the Jesus may have been romantically involved with Mary Magdalene, but these writings post-date the New Testament. No widely respected scholar holds that they contain any historically reliable information about Jesus or his followers.
Is there evidence that Jesus was single? Absolutely! Even though there's no obvious reason why the Messiah needed to be single, our four earliest biographies of Jesus, written within seventy years of his life, present him that way. And Paul didn't mention Jesus as having been married when it certainly would have been to his advantage to do so.
For instance, when writing to the church of Corinth, he affirms he has the right to have a Christian wife accompany him, like the rest of the apostles, the Lord's brothers, and Peter. If Jesus had been married, surely Paul would have added his name as his primary example. Paul's silence is a deafening shout pertaining to Jesus' marital status.
It's extremely unlikely, since Mary Magdalene doesn't appear to have been referred to anywhere as 'Mariamne.' In addition, while 'Mara' could have possibly mean 'the great' or 'Lord,' it could easily be short for 'Martha.' Without a Mary Magdalene in the Talpiot tomb, Cameron's proposal c
- MoondoggyLv 71 decade ago
No, that is not true. Academic consensus, at this point, is the exact opposite - they are 99.9999% certain that the tomb in question is *not* that of Jesus of Nazareth.
There are only three names that are even superficially associated with Jesus of Nazareth, and one of those was Matthew (who was a disciple, but not a relative, of Jesus). The name interpreted as Mary Magdalene is actually a title that was applied to the Magdalene centuries after the time of Christ, and so cannot be the Mary of the New Testament.
"Joseph" and "Jesus" were two of the most popular names in the first century. It is the equivalent of finding the tomb of "George" and "George Jr." in Washington DC 2000 years from now claiming that it is presidents George Bush Sr. and George W. Bush.
- JeanmarieLv 71 decade ago
- The statistical analysis is not rigorous
- The name "Jesus" was a popular name at that time, appearing in 98 other tombs and on 21 other ossuaries
- There is no historical evidence that Jesus was ever married or had a child
- The earliest followers of Jesus never called him, "Jesus, son of Joseph"
- It's unlikely Joseph, who had died earlier in Galilee, would have been buried in Jerusalem
- The Talipot tomb and ossuaries probably would have belonged to a rich family, which is not a historical match for Jesus
- Fourth-century church historian Eusebius makes quite clear the body of James, brother of Jesus, was buried alone near the temple mount.
- The two Mary ossuaries do not mention anyone from Migdal, but just Mary, a common name
- By all ancient accounts, the tomb of Jesus was empty, making it unlikely that any body was moved, allowed to decay for a year, then be put into an ossuary.
- If Jesus had remained in the tomb, first-century opponents of Christianity would most certainly have found His body and put it on public display.
- Amos Kloner, the first archaeologist to examine the site, said the conclusions cannot be supported by the evidence but it's a way to make money on television. He would have nothing to do with supporting the movie's assertions. "It's nonsense," he said.
- James, the half-brother of Jesus and author of the book of James, the early leader of the church in Jerusalem, was martyred for his faith. Why does James make no mention in his letter that Jesus was not bodily resurrected? When he was about to die why didn't he just recant his beliefs and say, 'Okay, okay! My brother didn't rise from the dead. Here's where we took him. Here's where his bones are. Here's our family tomb. We made the whole thing up?' People will generally not die for a lie when they know it's a lie. Why would James die perpetuating a lie when it would have been so easy to disprove? In fact why would any of the apostles go to their deaths for something they knew to be false?
As I have expected, there has been **no scientific or historical find** that has ever been shown to disprove the authenticity of the bible's history or theology.
Kind of sad to see that all it takes is a press conference and a slick TV show for folks to form life-altering opinions versus taking the time to rationally examine all the issues and dig a little deeper. It is the Macdonald's generation: fast, superficial, and never satisfying.
- lainiebskyLv 71 decade ago
James Cameron is a film maker, not an archaeologist. He didn't find anything.
Archaeologists don't believe that is was the tomb of the Jesus of the New Testament. The names involved were too common at the time and it was not in a place one would expect to find a tomb for that family.
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- Anonymous1 decade ago
Probably about 50% chance that it is a tomb of a Jesus. If the biblical Jesus ever existed than I am quite certain it does not belong to him (chance alone would nearly preclude that).
- Citizen JustinLv 71 decade ago
It's the tomb of someone called Jesus - but Jesus (Yeshua) was a common name, as were Mary and Joseph.
- Jimbo SliceLv 51 decade ago
Dunno but I saw a thing on the national geographic channel on how they thought they found a cave where one of the disciples taught at. Pretty convincing evidence I wish I could remember.
"The Lost Tomb of Jesus," will premiere on the Discovery Channel on March 4 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
If its the Discovery Channel its probably not real though. National Geographic I'd watch it.
- McClocklinLv 51 decade ago
You can't be THAT certain. And then there's the evidence given for the case that Jesus never really existed in "The God Who Wasn't There."
- 1 decade ago
They certainly may have found a tomb, but there's definitely no body there, and never will they find His body, ever. Reason? Jesus isn't dead.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
The original story of the messiah is in the Dead Sea Scrolls. If God Yahweh made a covenant with Hebrew people who spoke Hebrew, Why would he send Latin and Greek speakers to give the story of the messiah. Its because he didn't. The Gospels are forgeries.