Digging for controversy, the Titanic filmmaker James Cameron and Simcha Jacobovici are about to stun Christians the world over with a docu-drama that claims archaeologists have located the casket of Jesus.
The inscribed box, with some human remains still inside, apparently was crammed into an old cave near Talpiyot, an industrial zone in Jerusalem, alongside nine other two thousand year-old sarcophagi allegedly containing the bodies of Mother Mary, the carpenter Joseph, a little-known brother called Jofah, Mary Magdalene, and, most surprisingly of all, Jesus's son Judah, who technically could be considered the grandson of God.
To read more, click here.
It sounds like a sequel to a Da Vinci Code sequel. And just as profitable. The filmmakers express aim is to cross the excitement of Indiana Jones-style tomb raiding with Dan Brown's bold approach to modern theology, all in a 90 minute video.
A couple of these mysterious bone boxes are about to be unveiled in New York City, in good time to promote Cameron's latest made-for-television movie, which will be broadcast on Discovery Channel in the US, Channel 8 in Israel, and Channel 4 in Britain before Easter.
Devout Christian congregations will abhor Cameron's publicity stunt as absolute heresy. Some 27 years after archaeologists first uncovered this unprepossessing family tomb containing half a dozen inscribed caskets and four unmarked ones, the sensational scientific claims now threaten to debunk belief in the Resurrection, a cornerstone of the Christian faith. The New Testament recounts how three days after crucifixion, Jesus arose from the grave (which is now supposedly the site of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre at the heart of Jerusalem's old walled city.) But scientists, archaeologists, DNA experts, statisticians,and antiquities specialists are suggesting that Jesus's burial site was on a hill rather far away from the old rugged cross.
Repercussions of the initial discovery were minimized, even after Israeli professor Amos Kloner deciphered the inscriptions containing such profoundly familiar Biblical names a decade ago, because the Israeli Antiquities Authority stored the caskets in their Beit Shemesh archive. Little publicity leaked out. Biblical archaeology has proven to be a minefield, albeit with a certain sects' appeal. Who could have foreseen that forensic tests could be made on Jesus' bones in a New York crime lab? If you thought that the Israeli archaeologists' salvage tunnel close to the Al Aqsa mosque ignited some religious fury, get ready for another white hot fight. Remember the Spanish Inquisition? Or the fuss over teaching Darwin's theory of Evolution? After Monday's press conference, Izzy imagines it won't be long before an intelligent design component emerges for the holy caskets in the cave. "King of the World", eh?
Here is the inscription that started all the speculation, from the webpage of savvy Simcha Jacobovici, who dubbed himself the "Naked Archaeologist"