Tuesday, February 27, 2007

My Museum Visit and the New Jesus Tomb Film

Last Tuesday, I got to see firsthand some ossuaries from 1st century Holy Land, ossuaries with "Jesus son of Joseph" and "Mary" on them. The point? How very common these names were.

Note: Anyone who reads the New Testament will get a clue as to how common Maryam/Mary was as a name. Seems every woman around Jesus was a Mary of some sort, his mom, Magdalene, Lazarus' sister. Martha was there for slight contrast. :)

Judas and Joseph and Jesus were not unique or special names, anymore than having a host of folks named Jose or Jesus or Maria in Latin America is surprising. Shoot, you have to give them middle names to differentiate between Maria Antonia, Maria Elena, Maria Teresa, and Maria Luisa.

So, it's nice to see the Jerusalem District archeologist say pretty much the same.

From the Jerusalem Post:
But Bar-Ilan University Prof. Amos Kloner, the Jerusalem District archeologist who officially oversaw the work at the tomb in 1980 and has published detailed findings on its contents, on Saturday night dismissed the claims. "It makes a great story for a TV film," he told The Jerusalem Post. "But it's impossible. It's nonsense."

Kloner, who said he was interviewed for the new film but has not seen it, said the names found on the ossuaries were common, and the fact that such apparently resonant names had been found together was of no significance. He added that "Jesus son of Joseph" inscriptions had been found on several other ossuaries over the years.

"There is no likelihood that Jesus and his relatives had a family tomb," Kloner said. "They were a Galilee family with no ties in Jerusalem. The Talpiot tomb belonged to a middle-class family from the 1st century CE."


Making claims about Jesus makes for press, makes for dollars. So, Jacobovici and Cameron will do all right off this, no doubt. (And I like plenty of Cameron's movies and find Jacobovici a fun and sometimes silly watch on television.) We won't put out a fatwa for unjustified claims and overbroad theorizing sure to offend a couple billion folks of a certain religion. We're used to having folks make up lies about Christ. Been that way since the beginning. Ho-hum.

Jesus is used to it, too.

I hope their next project is a wildly theorizing expose on Mohammed, the Islamic prophet. If they're out to casually offend for the fun of it and for publicity, there's a good way to do it...

1 comment:

Deanna said...

Very good points, Mir. I hadn't stopped by for a while, but I knew you'd have something worthwhile to say about this.

Cameron said even if this find did prove Jesus's remains were still buried, it wouldn't necessarily upset the foundations of Christianity. He's wrong, certainly, and we don't need to be arrogant or defensive. The empty tomb must be a fact for our belief to mean anything. Your attitude makes sense in light of a reasonable confidence.