In early 2007, Simcha Jacobovici and Charles Pellegrino released their book, The Jesus Family Tomb, in conjunction with “The Lost Tomb of Jesus,” a film produced by Jacobovici and James Cameron. The topic of both book and film was a first-century tomb found in the Talpiot neighborhood of Jerusalem in 1980, and ten ossuaries (burial chests) associated with this tomb.
Their premise that the Talpiot tomb belonged to the family of Jesus of Nazareth was based on the ossuary inscriptions, especially three in particular, which they identified as belonging to “Jesus, son of Joseph,” Mary Magdalene, and “Judah, son of Jesus.” Naturally, the idea that Jesus was married and had a son garnered extensive media attention, but numerous archaeologists and statisticians. Prof. Mark Goodacre provides here his skeptic’s perspective, being one of many sober voices involved in thinking through this discovery. Click here to read his article. You may also visit his New Testament Blog here.
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While this blog is very important the decision to run something on the 2007 Discovery doc. which was thoroughly condemned by colleagues within a week or two is somewhat of a surprise.
Discovery in fact never showed it again, channel 4 in England bought it but never ran it, book was finished with it 2-3 weeks and that was it. Actually the film was but a ‘rehash for cash’ as it was copied from the 1996 doc done by Ray Bruce for the BBC. It too lasted but a week or so and the fact that James Cameron disappeared from this film maker speaks for itself in terms of their integrity.
Dear Joe, thank you for your note. I agree that their theory was not accepted by most colleagues, but so is the colleagues critic did not make it to the level of the lay people that heard about it (and continue to hear about it by the way). So I did judge it appropriate. Trust you are well. I sent you an invitation to get updates from this blog. If you like the idea, please, confirm it in the email. Usually the updates are about my writing on John’s Gospel. 🙂
These are my objections to the so called Jesus Discovery. 1) The religious establishment of Jesus’ day would have been the first to publish an account of His marriage to a former prostitute. 2) He would Not have been called Jesus by His followers or His parents or siblings. 3) His name was Joshua (Yeshua), and Jesus was the Greek translation of His name. 4) There is No mention from that time by anyone of a marriage or child. 5) He was one of the most popular and controversial individuals whose every move was scrutinized by both the establishment and the Romans. 6)Was the inscription on the ossuary in Hebrew? Then the name would have been Joshua. If it was in Hebrew, why insert a Greek name in the place of His real name? 7) If the tomb exists as stated, then it is a forgery carried out by the religious establishment to discredit the account of His resurrection.
There are many more salient points I could make, but for the sake of brevity I will just conclude with the fact that there would have been No way to keep such a secret.
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