Is this Christian belief of Christ's empty tomb and an ascent to Heaven precluded by scientific evidence? Click here to view a video clip.
(this undated photo of Talpiyot tomb comes from Vision TV, Canada, and was tagged with the working title for the new docu-drama, "The Lost Tomb of Jesus.) The entrance is now sealed and lies between two apartment houses in a southern Jerusalem suburb.
AFP photo of press NY Press conference to kick off Discovery Channel's Sunday broadcast based on "The Jesus Family Tomb".
Out of all the news updates following Cameron's high profile press conference in New York's Public Library about the discovery of a Jesus Family Tomb, Time Magazine's seems to be the least hysterical, weighing up evidence as well as motive.
No librarian dared to shush James Cameron and his cohorts at the New York City Public Library on Monday when they unveiled two of their ancient ossuaries to a rapt crowd of mostly show-biz journalists, along with a few more staid religious reporters. The setting lent a rather academic feel to the presentation, which in a more standard press conference room would have been unmistakable as Hollywood heavy-hitting aimed for a ratings war. Cross CSI NY with Tomb Raider, Da Vinci Code, and a bit of 'Holy' Ghost, and you have a guaranteed audience of Bible belt viewers and cynics alike.
(Just a mention of Cameron's latest project on this Jerusalem-based blog sent hits skyrocketing to over 85,000 in a single day. The comments have been thoughtful, cynical, faithful, or playful. Izzy welcomes the extra voices.)
It is interesting to note that archaeologists in Jerusalem are rolling their eyes at the crypt craze just unleashed in the US, and even the British tabloid press has been rather lukewarm. After all, the same evidence was examined on the BBC eleven years ago. The hypothesis was dismissed as conjecture by Amos Kloner, a top Israeli scholar who pointed out that a poor family from Nazareth would be very unlikely to be buried in this style. These compelling New Testament names were so popular at the time of burial that the Israeli Antiquities Authority suggests that this cluster is only "coincidence", rather like finding Tom, Dick, and Harry together in an American family tomb of the 1940s. Cameron countered this assertion at his press conference by quipping: "If you found a John, a Paul and a George, you're not going to leap to any conclusions... unless you found a Ringo." The sticking point is whether this purported Mary Magdalene bone box is equivalent to finding a Ringo. The show will be broadcast on Sunday if you want to look at the "evidence" for yourself. The authorities in Jerusalem are mulling over opening the tomb up to visitors, according to the Jerusalem Post. Newsweek posts a preview clip from the show. Click here.