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Tomb of Jesus Found? February 27, 2007

Posted by Dan in Middle East, Must Read, Religion, Science, Video.

The truth is indisputable, 2000 year old tombs bearing the names of Jesus and his family have been found, and at least so far, are proving to be authentic. Scholars calculate the odds of this “family” being found together, and not being that of Jesus, to be around 600 to 1…. still within the realm of ‘random chance’ possibility. So ultimately, nothing is proven that can be interpreted as anything other than an article of faith.

Still, should the tomb prove to be genuinely that of the Biblical Jesus and his family, the fact that one of the other tombs bears the name of Jesus’ son would cast major doubt upon the accuracy of large portions of Biblical text. Such an error at the very heart of Christianity could potentially invalidate the entire religion in one fell swoop. If the New Testament is wrong about such a critical fact of Jesus’ progeny, and in actuality, claims the opposite to be true, then every other statement made within its text should be doubted; if not as historically accurate, than certainly not as the literal word of God (how could God make so many mistakes?)

It is through this chain of logic that the discovery gains so much meaning. But will Christians every truly accept that their most esteemed religious text could be flawed… and fatally so? Those who believe the literal truth of the Bible have managed to ignore things like Archeology, Astronomy, Biology, and Sociology in favor of things like Astrology and Alchemy (Don’t believe me? Read your Bible). So who are we to think that the addition of History into the mix would have any bearing on the minds of a true “believer”?

UPDATE: You can “explore the tomb” and the documentary at Discovery’s website.

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1. Farhan Mannan - March 1, 2007

bleh religion argh human condition messed up and emotional enough to believe anything or nothing; whether it’s right or not it’s too complicated I cannot arrrrgh

2. ganes - March 1, 2007

So if I write on my family’s gravestones that they are the Kennedy’s, people 2000 years from now will have to believe me. The doubt is not found in the claim that the remains came from family members. The doubt comes when critically examining the idea that everything written in 2000 year old stone must be true. If we are going to believe the inscriptions simply because they are old, then we must believe every ancient document. It’s not a documentary; it’s wishful thinking.

3. Dan - March 1, 2007

Well… I think the assumption is that people write the names of the deceased on the tombs containing their remains. Since these remains date to the time of Jesus, when he had less than two dozen followers and his movement was unknown by the world, no one would’ve written his name with those of his family on their own graves. With your Kennedy analogy, it would be like finding a tomb containing graves marked “John” “Bobby” “Jackie” “John Jr.” “Ted” and “Joseph”, all belonging to the same family, from the same area as the Kennedy’s, and from the same time as them, but not belonging to that family.

Besides, the documentary acknowledges the possibility of coincidence. Statistically, the odds are 600:1. That means…. if we found 600 tombs containing these names, only 1 of them would not be the authentic tomb of Jesus. The other 599 would be. (Obviously, there aren’t 600 tombs of Jesus, this is just the way odds work; they are significantly in favor of non-coincidence.)

In addition, something happened to the remains of Jesus and his family! So, their graves are somewhere… we just have to find them. In other words, I don’t know why their discovery would seem impossible or even improbable, especially to a believer… except for the fact that it would destroy the idea of Jesus as a deity, and reinforce the “he was just a human being who lived and died like the rest of us” idea.

4. David - March 1, 2007

Not really sure how finding an empty box with ‘Jesus’ carved on the side invalidates Christianity.

5. Dan - March 1, 2007

…. Not finding an empty box marked Jesus …. Finding Jesus!

The discovery of Jesus Christ’s remains would invalidate much of modern day Christianity as it would mean he did not ascend to Heaven, was not resurrected after the crucifixion, and consequently is no different from you or me (in other words… He’s not the son of God)

Get it?

6. noelwalker - March 1, 2007

Hey, I just made an amazing archaeological discovery! I just noticed John Smith in local phone book. I wonder if he still knows where Pocohontas is?

I guess it’s late so I’ll call him tomorrow. Does anyone have James Cameron’s email?


7. ganes - March 2, 2007

I’m not talking about coincidence. I’m talking about a well known movement of the time being deliberately drawn upon when “creating evidence.” There were plenty of white lies and outright deceptions in the ancient world. Early Chirstianity was not immune from this. It was a lightning rod. Christians and their opponents made up all kinds of stuff – deliberately or not.

Coincidence is not the issue at all. But by focusing on the improbability of coincidence, the documentary distracts from more substantial criticisms. It’s like a neocon steering the conversation or matador waving a cape.

8. FraudWasteAbuse - March 2, 2007

The discovery of Jesus Christ’s remains would invalidate much of modern day Christianity as it would mean he did not ascend to Heaven, was not resurrected after the crucifixion, and consequently is no different from you or me (in other words… He’s not the son of God)

Except that there was nothing in the box.

9. gabriel - March 3, 2007

All of this is one more argument for those who don’t want to believe and want to destroy the christian faith… Isn’t a secret that there are corporate interests to breakdown christianity by CNN, NatGeo, Discovery, etc.
In history we found more evidences that approves christianity than evidences who disapprove it. Science could not have verified christianity, but it could never have discarded it either…
Also other ” Jesus’ ” has appeared in the past.
It’s a matter of personal faith

10. Bill - April 4, 2007

When the Apostles of Jesus were proclaiming in the city of Jerusalem that they had all personally seen Jesus risen from the dead, it’s too bad none of the opponents of Christianity and officials of the city of Jerusalem didn’t go down the street and point out that tomb. Wow, it would have been so easy and none of those Apostles would have had to die for what they all knew was a lie. It is also too bad that it wasn’t until Dan Brown’s suggestions with the Da Vinci Code that people ever thought of Jesus being married to Mary Magdalene and having a child. Wow, if they had only gone to this tomb they would have known it centuries ago.

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