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Jesus Tomb Misnomer
Atheists attempt again to disprove Jesus’ Resurrection with non-scientific “research.”By: David Deschesne
In light of James Cameron’s recent anti-resurrection hit piece against the Lord Jesus, many Christians are up in arms to once again defend the position of their Lord and Savior.
The recently aired Discovery Channel documentary The Lost Tomb of Jesus is about a tomb containing ossuaries - burial boxes - discovered by Israeli archaeologist, Amos Kloner in 1980 and how it is purported to be the tomb where the bones of Jesus have been found - a claim that would refute the resurrection of Christ.
“In their movie they are billing it as ‘never before reported information,’” Kloner told the Catholic News Service (CNS). “But it is not new. I published all the details in the Antiqot Journal in 1996, and I didn’t say it was the tomb of Jesus’ family.”
Kloner is now a professor of archaeology at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University. Of the Discovery Channel documentary he said, “I think it is very unserious work. I only do scholarly work, based on other studies.”
According to Judith Sudilovsky’s report filed with CNS1, “Dominican Father Jerome Murphy-O’Conner, a biblical archaeologist and expert in the New Testament at the French Biblical and Archaeological School in Jerusalem, who was interviewed for the film two years ago, said he did not believe there was any truth to the claim.”
“It is a commercial ploy that all the media is playing into,” O’Conner told CNS on February 27.
Sudilovsky writes, “Father Murphy-O’Conner said the names found on the ossuaries ‘are a combination of very common names. ‘Fifty percent of all Jewish women in the first century were called either Mary or Salome. ‘It doesn’t mean much at all,’ he said. ‘You can prove anything with statistics. The DNA tests could ‘only prove that they are human’ but ‘certainly did not prove’ any familial connection,’ he said. Father Murphy-O’Conner noted that Kloner had written about the findings a decade ago, and though it was all public domain nobody had been interested.”
“Kloner noted that Jesus’ family was from Galilee and had no ties to Jerusalem,” Sudilovsky continues, “casting serious doubt that they would have had a burial cave in Jerusalem. He said the tomb belonged to a middle- or upper-middle-class Jewish family during the first century and the cave was in use for 70-100 years by the family.”
Basilian Father Thomas Rosica, a Biblical scholar and head of Toronto’s Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation, told CNS , “James Cameron is far better off making movies about the Titanic rather than dabbling in areas of religious history of which he knows nothing.”
Attempts to discredit the resurrection are as old as Christianity. Satan can’t afford to have people know Jesus was Lord and died, then raised in order to pay for all their sins as the Lamb slain from the Foundation of the World.
There are several mainstream theories that attempt to negate the resurrection and attempt to cast a mythological light upon.
The first theory is that the disciples stole the body - which means they lied. Certainly, a few people can get together and concoct a lie. But, in the days of the disciples, after the resurrection, they were spread over the land to various countries where they were ultimately martyred in horrible deaths for the supposed lie that they were espousing. Psychologists who study group dynamics agree that it is inconceivable that someone participating in a lie would stick to the lie when there is no possible way any of the other group members would find out that he, under pain of torture and death gave in and told the truth. All of the disciples, separated from each other and unable to communicate, one not knowing if the other was “sticking to the story” chose to die painful, horrible deaths rather than admit the resurrection wasn't true. The only conceivable reason all disciples stuck to their stories under such conditions is that they knew they were telling the truth and feared the consequences to their souls if they said the resurrection was a hoax.
Another theory is the Jewish Leaders took the body. If the resurrection was proven to be true, the Jewish leaders would have had to admit that Jesus was who he said he was - God. That would have caused them to lose all credibility with their followers and thus they would be out of a job. If the Jewish Leaders had actually taken Jesus' body, all they would have to do to prove the resurrection didn't occur was to show the body to the people. Along the same lines is the theory that the Roman leaders took the body. Well, at that time, the Jewish leaders were on pretty good terms with the Roman officials and would have been able to request them to produce the body so it could be shown to everyone and thus disprove the resurrection. The body was never produced by either Jewish or Roman leaders.
What about if the women went to the wrong tomb? It was a known, accessible tomb. All the Jewish leaders would have had to do was take the people to the right tomb and show the body was still there. The fact is, they went to the right tomb and the body wasn't there.
Resuscitation? Some have said that Jesus wasn't really dead, and that in the cool of the cave, Jesus resuscitated. You don't resuscitate from a Roman crucifixion.
A final theory was that there was mass hallucinations of seeing Jesus come back. Hallucinations can not occur to many different people at different times in different places and have them all see the exact same thing. Also, the disciples' minds weren't in a state or condition that would have been conducive to hallucinations. Besides, hallucinations don't explain where the body went.
Other evidences of the resurrection are: 1.) there was a cataclysmic change in the disciples. Each of their personalities changed dramatically after the event compared to before. Undependable Peter became the “rock” the church was built on; James and John - the ‘sons of thunder,’ rebellious and selfish became the epitome of love and understanding; Thomas - the doubter became an unequivocal believer.
2.) There is intrinsic evidence in the gospels since they were all written by different people at different times, and in different places and still confirmed each other's facts and accounting of events.
3.) It's inconceivable that the disciples would pay the price they did by dying for a supposed lie, and dying alone in the midst of great pain and torture if they knew none of the others in the group would find out they didn't continue the supposed 'lie' - if it was a lie. As St. Thomas Aquinas noted, it is impossible that not one of these people wouldn't break if the resurrection story was a lie.2
As for Jesus’ actual burial tomb, Christians today remain divided between the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Golgotha and a cave just north of the old city wall, found in 1867 by a German missionary that had been used for burials as early as 800 B.C.
1. see: www.catholicexplorer.com/explore4325/nationworld/biblical-scholars-reject-.shtml
2. This resurrection research a synopsis of the teaching on the subject by Dr. Gene Scott, Ph. D. (Stanford University)