|Terry Watkins, Th.D.||Dial-the-Truth Ministries|
Here we go again. . .
After the failure of the delusional Da Vinci Code to challenge the Lord Jesus Christ of the scriptures, the goofy Gospel of Judas was hastily "resurrected" to battle the solid rock of scriptures. And like a 900-ton hammer (Jeremiah 23:29) the scriptures crushed the challengers to smithereens.
So now, the defeated skeptics regroup enlisting the prestigious Emmy award-winning filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici and Oscar winning "Titanic" and "Terminator" director James Cameron. Surely this esteemed dream team will impress the celebrity crazed public. Surely the mighty "Titanic" can sink the lowly Lord Jesus Christ? Surely, the director of "Terminator" can, for once and for all, terminate the myth called Christianity? Don’t bet on it . . . The "silly boys" would have more success creating an Alaskan igloo on the sun.
THE ENTRANCE •
Ladies and gentleman, the next challenger to enter the ring is Discovery Channel’s "The Lost Tomb of Jesus."
Our latest contender was resurrected March,1980, when a construction crew building apartments in Talpiot, unearthed the challenger – an ancient family ossuary. (An ossuary is a tomb or grave or collection of tombs). The ossuary consisted of 10 tombs, believed to be that of a middle-class Jewish family. As with all ancient discoveries, archaeologists from the Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA) investigated the tombs. Israeli archaeologist Amos Kloner thoroughly examined the tombs and concluded they were another typical family of tombs. The discovery of such ossuaries is common in Talpiot, with over 900 such ossuaries discovered within a 2-mile radius of Talpiot. At this point the tombs revealed nothing unusual or special.
The first suggestion that the Talpiot tombs bore a potential link to Jesus Christ and family appeared in 1996 by the British Broadcast Company (BBC).
In the mid 1990s, the BBC re-discovered the Talpiot tombs while browsing an Israeli Antiquities Authority storage room while researching an Easter TV Special. During the 1996 Easter edition of BBC's Heart of the Matter newsmagazine, the BBC aired "The Body in Question" segment suggesting their incredible discovery was the actual tombs of Jesus Christ and His family. After an avalanche of conflicting facts erupted demolishing the BBC’s "Jesus Family Tomb" fable, the humiliated BBC very quickly re-buried the mysterious "tomb". . .
The next twist in the baffling "Jesus & Family Tomb" saga occurred in 2002. Popular filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici was employed by the Discovery Channel for the documentary called "James, Brother of Jesus." The documentary centered around the discovery of a tomb bearing the writing "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus." The "James Tomb" is also key evidence for the "Jesus Tomb". The case for the "Jesus Family Tomb" is built upon the validity of the "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus" tomb.
The "James Tomb" surfaced in 2002 from the hands of Israeli antiquities dealer Oded Golan. On June 18, 2003, the 15-member committee of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), in a unanimous decision, condemned the 'James Tomb' as forgery. The esteemed inscription, "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus," was proven fraud. And in 2005, Israeli authorities charged Golan and four others with forgery for their part in the "James Tomb" hoax.
Neither Discovery Channel, nor Jacobovici has yet to admit they were duped in the embarrassing "James Tomb" hoax. In fact, despite the evidence; despite the charges of forgery in the "James Tomb" hoax, Jacobovici still relentlessly defends the "James Tomb" and unashamedly builds his case for the "Jesus Tomb" on the proven fraud.
While filming the "James Tomb" documentary, Jacobovici stumbled upon the "Jesus Tombs". In an interview Jacobovici says, "In the course of that investigation [James Tomb], I came across a cluster of bone boxes that said, Jesus, son of Joseph, two Mary’s, a Matthew, and a Judas, son of Jesus. They were sitting on warehouse shelves like in ‘Indian Jones’ Raiders of the Lost Ark,’ just sitting there being ignored. And no one argued about their provenance. They were authentic."
Riding the trendy, but tempest (and wealthy) wave of anti-Christ propaganda, in 2005, Jacobovici along with director James Cameron began work on a $4 million dollar Discovery Channel documentary, challenging virtually everything the scriptures teach about the Lord Jesus Christ. The blasphemous mock-umentary claims Jesus Christ did not physically rise from the grave, Jesus Christ was married to Mary Magdalene and they had a son named "Judas". Note: Interesting name for Jesus’ son – Judas. The name of the man that betrayed Him and a link to the Antichrist! See our analysis of The Gospel of Judas.
Just in case you missed the message – this is the same garbage dumped out by the Da Vinci Code.
Despite the fact, the Da Vinci Code has been proven many times as nothing more than a fictional and delusional attack on the Lord Jesus Christ – Jacobovici says of the loony "Da Vinci Code":
"The Da Vinci Code": is actually well researched. It’s not necessary accurate in all places, but there are a few ideas in there that have significance. For instance, when I look at it as paving the way for some of these ideas that some people may consider to be quite radical, but were rather well researched in that movie.
THE EXCITEMENT ••
As usual, the news media gleefully airs (and airs and airs) on the incredible and amazing "Jesus Tomb" with little doubt, or research, that questions its reliability or accuracy.
Meredith Vieira and Matt Lauer on NBC’s The Today Show cheerfully informs their listeners:
Lauer: "A shocking new claim that an ancient burial place may have housed the bones of Christ and a son. This morning a Today exclusive that could rock Christianity to its core."
The Discovery Channel website says, "New scientific evidence suggests Jesus Family Tomb found". (http://www.discovery.com/)
Director Cameron proudly claims, "It doesn't get bigger than this. We've done our homework; we've made the case; and now it's time for the debate to begin."
Let us now examine the evidence Jacobovici, Cameron and The Discovery Channel collaborated to justify a major world-wide, earth-shattering announcement, tons of media appearances, a dedicated website, a major book release (The Jesus Family Tomb) and air a $4 million prime-time documentary.
THE EVIDENCE •••
Newsweek magazine summarizes the evidence Jacobovici and crew has collected.
"The filmmaker rests his case on four main points.
Point One: The name of Mary Magdalene allegedly appears on one of the tombs.
Discovery Channel writes on their web site:
"Five of the 10 discovered boxes in the Talpiot tomb were inscribed with names believed to be associated with key figures in the New Testament: Jesus, Mary, Matthew, Joseph and Mary Magdalene. A sixth inscription, written in Aramaic, translates to "Judah Son of Jesus.’"
And that is not true. "Mary Magdalene" does not appear on the tombs.
Later on the Discovery Channel web site, they try to cover up their lie:
"Only one of the inscriptions is written in Greek. It reads, "Mariamene e Mara," which can be translated as, "Mary known as the master."
According to The Discovery Channel and Jacobovici, the inscription Mariamene "was the actual name given to Mary Magdalene." Discovery Channel and Jacobovici claim the early Christians referred to Mary Magdalene as "Mariamene." And there is not one single shred of evidence on the planet earth to support their absurd claim. The greatest and definitive history of the early Christians is the Bible. And nowhere in the Bible is Mary Magdalene referred to as Mariamene. The writings of the early church historians never refer to Mary Magdalene as Mariamene. Never. . . No where. . . It is a dishonest deception by people to attack the Lord Jesus Christ of the scriptures!
Where did they dig up the lie that Mary Magdalene was the mysterious "Mariamene"?
The Discovery Channel web site writes:
"Francois Bovon, professor of the history of religion at Harvard University, told Discovery News, "Mariamene, or Mariamne, probably was the actual name given to Mary Magdalene."
Now how did Mr. Bovon dream up that nonsense? ". . .Mariamne, probably was the actual name given to Mary Magdalene"?
Discovery Channel explains:
And that piece of nonsense overrides the scriptures and 2,000 years of church history! That is the evidence concocted to claim that Mary Magdalene was Mariamne! One corrupt, unreliable piece of a manuscript that very few have ever heard of! And virtually no one considers as authentic. There are over 6,000 reliable New Testament manuscripts available – and not one ever refers to Mary Magdalene as Mariamne!
While we’re on the inscriptions, let us observe a few interesting facts.
Because of the age and poor quality of the inscriptions, it took them years to "decipher" the names! Director James Cameron confesses in an interview, "There are some inscriptions there that have not been translated yet. There are things that still need to be studied."
If the names are truly on the tombs, why do they need to "translate" the inscriptions? There are thousands of people who can read ancient Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew. What’s the big deal? Just simply read off the names. Why? Because the allegedly names are not there.
World famous Israeli archaeologist Amos Kloner was the first to examine the tombs. Dr. Kloner is the world’s leading authority on ancient Jewish tombs and has examined the "Jesus Tomb" more than any person alive. He claims the inscriptions on the tombs," was barely decipherable and therefore questionable." (http://www.abcnews.go.com/Technology/Entertainment/story?id=2905662&page=1)
Stephen Pfann, a biblical scholar at the University of the Holy Land in Jerusalem, says the "film's hypothesis holds little weight." Pfann even doubts the name of "Jesus" appears on the tombs. Pfann says, " it's more likely the name ‘Hanun’". Pfann also adds, "Ancient Semitic script is notoriously difficult to decipher."
Even if the name "Jesus" appears on the tomb, it’s no great discovery. Archeologist Kloner says of the tomb, "It was an ordinary middle-class Jerusalem burial cave. The names on the caskets are the most common names found among Jews at the time."
What Discovery Channel and Jacobovici don’t tell you is that "Jesus" was a very, very common name in those days. In fact, at least 98 tombs have been discovered in the same area that also bears the name of "Jesus". (http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=54446)
Boy these clowns make the "Da Vinci Code" look downright respectable.
Point Two: The DNA Evidence.
It amazes me how The Discovery Channel and the deceitful news media keep waving the impressive "DNA banner." The Discovery Channel web site reads:
"New scientific evidence, including DNA analysis conducted at one of the world's foremost molecular genetics laboratories, as well as studies by leading scholars, suggests a 2,000-year-old Jerusalem tomb could have once held the remains of Jesus of Nazareth and his family.
Now doesn’t that sound impressive? "New scientific evidence, including DNA analysis conducted at one of the world's foremost molecular genetics laboratories".
What DNA evidence could possibly "suggest" that Jesus Christ was in that tomb? Does The Discovery Channel really believe people are stupid enough to believe they possess a sample of Jesus Christ’ DNA? Apparently, they do. . .
Here’s what all the hip-hop-hoopla about the DNA is :
They tested some DNA from one tomb. They then tested some DNA from another tomb. And since the two DNA samples do not carry a family genetic link then – wowie-zowie! We’ve discovered the DNA of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene! And that "DNA analysis" suggests that Jesus Christ was in the tomb. And that suggests that Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene were married.
That’s the whole cotton-pickin’ evidence for the DNA! That’s it! Because two sets of DNA are not genetically linked that suggests Jesus Christ did not rise from the grave, Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene were married and they had a son! That’s it. For that dishonest and delusional DNA analysis The Discovery Channel is wiling to spend $4 million in an attempt to destroy the Bible. That’s unbelievable. Don’t believe me. Read the following excerpts:
The movie makes the case for Jesus and Mary Magdalene being "a couple," because their DNA results indicated people whose remains had been in two of the boxes were unrelated maternally.
Can you believe that? The Discovery Channel sunk $4 million into this monster of madness? Why in the world would people skew and ignore the facts? That answer is obvious as we’ll see later.
POINT THREE: The patina on the Talpiot ossuaries.
More specifically, the supposedly "patina" found on the "Jesus Tomb" matches the "patina" found on the "James Tomb." Note: Patina" is an impressive and deceitful way to say "dirt". Because the dirt found on the "Jesus Tomb" matches the dirt on the "James Tomb" and because James was Jesus brother, than that adds evidence that this is indeed the family of Jesus Christ.
"The filmmaker rests his case on four main points. . .
One little problem. . . The inscription on the "James Tomb" has been proven to be a fake!
Remember our previous investigation of the "James Tomb"? Here it is again.
The "James Tomb" surfaced in 2002 from the hands of Israeli antiquities dealer Oded Golan. On June 18, 2003, the 15-member committee of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), in a unanimous decision, condemned the 'James Tomb' as forgery. The esteemed inscription, "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus," was proven 100% fraud. And in 2005, Israel charged Golan and four others with forgery for their part in the "James Tomb" hoax.
It is a proven fake. No debate.
Remember the "Jesus Family Tomb" was discovered in 1980. And according to Jacobovic’s fantasy, the "James Tomb" was originally a part of that evacuation. Somehow, it was separated from the "Jesus Family Tomb." But there’s another little problem. . .
The Toronto Star writes that, "Former FBI agent Gerald Richard testified that a photo of the James ossuary, showing it in Golan's home, was taken in the 1970s, based on tests done by the FBI photo lab."
If there was a photo of the "James Tomb" in the 1970s, then it couldn’t have been discovered in March 1980. When The Toronto Star confronted Jacobovici with the above facts he admitted, "Jacobovici conceded in an interview that if the ossuary was photographed in the 1970s, it could not then have been found in a tomb in 1980."
Despite the archeologists unanimous agreement that the "James Tomb" was a fraud. Despite the fact that five men are on trial for forgery. And despite photos exist from the 1970s of the "James Tomb" - Jacobovic marches on with his fantasy-filled, $4 million dollar fairy tale.
Newsweek writes, "Jacobovici is not a quitter. He believed then, and still believes, in the authenticity of the James inscription ossuary," (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17328478/site/newsweek/page/4/)
This is the major piece of evidence for The Discovery Channel’s "Lost Tomb of Jesus" A proven fraud! The truth has nothing whatsoever to do with the Discovery Channel documentary.
Newsweek also writes that the highly acclaimed "patina fingerprinting" is an invention of Pellegrino (author of the The Jesus Family Tomb) invented to "prove" the tombs match! Newsweek comments:
The technique Jacobovici uses to "prove" the match between the James ossuary and the Talpiot tomb is a technology he calls "patina fingerprinting," which he and his coauthor Charles Pellegrino (a scientist who helped Cameron write "Ghosts of the Titanic") essentially invented for the purposes of this project.
Newsweek adds it was "invented" to prove the "Jesus Tomb" and the fraudulent "James Tomb" match. And Newsweek also adds, "But do they [match]? It's impossible to know for sure."
By comparing the mineral content of shards from the Talpiot ossuaries with shards from James, and by looking at them under an electron microscope with the help of a CSI specialist, Jacobovici and Pellegrino say they have a match. But do they? It's impossible to know for sure.
Let us understand what we just discovered.
The Discovery Channel is airing a $4 million dollar prime-time, documentary that "suggests" that Jesus Christ did not rise from the grave, that Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene were married and they had a son – based upon some dirt that supposedly match on two tombs – and one of the tombs is a proven fake!
Another major problem in the Discovery Channel’s mock-umentary is the location of the "Jesus Family Tomb." If this was indeed the Jesus Christ of the Bible then why were the tombs found in Jerusalem and not in Nazareth, where He lived?
Israeli Archeologist Koner pointed out this glaring blunder to Rueters:
"I don't accept that the family of Miriam and Yosef (Mary and Joseph), the parents of Jesus, had a family tomb in Jerusalem. They were a very poor family. They resided in Nazareth, they came to Bethlehem in order to have the birth done there so I don't accept it, not historically, not archeologically."
Not only that, but this was not the first ancient tomb discovered bearing the inscription "Jesus Son of Joseph. In 1926, Eleazar Sukenik of the Hebrew University, also discovered such a tomb. But they didn’t claim to have the tomb of Jesus Christ, or rush to make a documentary. During that time, people had enough sense to realize this was not the tomb of Jesus Christ.
Clearly, there exists no real evidence for The Discovery Channel’s $4 million dollar documentary on "The Lost Tomb of Jesus". The reason for the documentary like The Da Vinci Code and the Gospel of Judas is to deny and attack the Lord Jesus Christ of the Bible. Plain and simple.
THE EXPERTS ••••
Here is the opinion of some real experts about The Discovery Channel’s $4 million dollar fairy tale:
World renown archeologist and Bar-Ilan University Professor Amos Kloner, who led the original investigation of the tombs in 1980, and easily the world’s most knowledgeable person concerning the dubious tombs. Kloner remarked about The Discovery Channel:
Thomas Reese, senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University, recognizes the "money making" sham along with the severe lack of factual integrity as "letting the archaeologists devour these people."
Famed archeologist Joe Zias, who was the curator of anthropology and archeology for over 25 years at the prestigious Rockefeller Museum in Jerusalem and who personally numbered the questionable Talpiot ossuaries, leaves no doubt to filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici’s crazy documentary:
"Simcha has no credibility whatsoever. He's pimping off the Bible … He got this guy Cameron, who made 'Titanic' or something like that—what does this guy know about archeology? I am an archeologist, but if I were to write a book about brain surgery, you would say, 'Who is this guy?'. . . Projects like these make a mockery of the archeological profession."
Joe Zias says in another interview about The Discovery Channel documentary:
Incredible The Discovery Channel writes on their web site:
I could not find one "leading epigraphers" that agreed with the inscriptions. And every archaeologists who actually examined the tombs blasted The Discovery Channel assertions as nonsense.
As the archeologists and blistering facts began hammering The Discovery Channel insanity, director James Cameron defended his role in the documentary with the astonishing naïve and dim-witted statement:
"I don't profess to be an archeologist or a Biblical scholar. I'm a film producer. I found it compelling. I think we're on firm ground to say that much."So with that answer, he films, promotes and airs a $4 million dollar, prime-time attack on the Bible and the Lord Jesus Christ!
But perhaps the best argument against The Discovery Channel debacle came surprisingly from Newsweek:.
Good sense, and the Bible, still the best existing historical record of the life of Jesus of Nazareth, argue against Jacobovici's claims. All four Gospels say that Jesus was crucified on the eve of the Sabbath; all four say that the tomb was empty when the disciples woke on Sunday morning.
Amen and amen . . .
"Good sense and the Bible" are the best arguments against The Discovery Channel’s attack on the Lord Jesus Christ and the Bible.
THE ENIGMA •••••
After researching The Discovery Channel’s "The Lost Tomb of Jesus" and it's foundation of fraud, blatant dishonesty, deceptions and down right lies, I keep asking myself "Why did they do it?. . . Why do they spend years and millions of dollars to publish such outlandish fabrications? Why?"
Of course the answer is found in the Word of God:
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
According to John 7:7, the lost people (aka. The Discovery Channel, Cameron, Da Vinci Code, Ron Howard, Judas Gospel, evolution, et. al.) hate the Lord Jesus Christ of the Bible.
It has nothing to do with discoveries, facts, DNA, or truth – but hate.
A lost person’s life is centered around a hate and a compelling force to extinguish the "Light" that testifies against it. I know. I was there for 20 years. My mind was filled with hate for Jesus Christ that was fueled with the wild-fires of evolution, rock music, Marxism and the media.
Lost people do everything and anything to extinguish that Light. No expense is too great. No effort is too much. They spend millions flooding the courts to remove wholesome words found in The Ten Commandments; removing any mention of God from the schools or the public; they parade lies and theories to remove the "Creator," they even fight vehemently to remove the single word "Christ" from Christmas. Why" Why do they do it? They hate the Light.
What we’ve witnessed recently in the media frenzy madness fed by the Da Vinci Code, The Judas Gospel and now The Lost Tomb of Jesus, is a vicious and hate-filled attack against the Lord Jesus Christ of the Bible. And specifically the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
For if you can destroy or even introduce a hint of doubt about the resurrection of Jesus Christ – Christianity falls like a house of cards. And they know it!
If The Discovery Channel’s documentary, The Da Vinci Code or The Judas Gospel were true – the resurrection of Jesus Christ was a lie. And they all directly attack the resurrection.
Make no mistake -- the heart and soul of Christianity is built upon the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:13-17:
Friend, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most proved and verified fact in the history of the world. Nothing even comes close.Dr. Greenleaf, the Royal Professor of Law at Harvard University, was one of the greatest legal minds that ever lived. He wrote the famous legal volume entitled, A Treatise on the Law of Evidence, considered by many the greatest legal volume ever written. Dr. Simon Greenleaf believed the Resurrection of Jesus Christ was a hoax. And he determined, once and for all, to expose the "myth" of the Resurrection. After thoroughly examining the evidence for the resurrection — Dr. Greenleaf came to the exact opposite conclusion! He wrote a book entitled, An Examination of the Testimony of the Four Evangelists by the Rules of Evidence Administered in the Courts of Justice. In which he emphatically stated:
"it was IMPOSSIBLE that the apostles could have persisted in affirming the truths they had narrated, had not JESUS CHRIST ACTUALLY RISEN FROM THE DEAD, . . ."
For evidence on the resurrection of Jesus Christ read our article "The Resurrection of Jesus Christ: Did It Really Happen"