Saturday, February 24, 2007

James Cameron backing documentary that claims remains of Jesus found

On Time magazine's Middle East blog, it's reported that James Cameron is producing a documentary directed by Simcha Jacobovici which "make[s] the start[l]ing claim that Jesus wasn't resurrected --the cornerstone of Christian faith-- and that his burial cave was discovered near Jerusalem. And, get this, Jesus sired a son with Mary Magdelene."

The blog claims that 27 years ago, while a new industrial park was being built in Jerusalem, a 2,000-year-old cave with ten caskets was discovered, and the names on the ten tombs included "Jesua, son of Joseph, Mary, Mary, Mathew, Jofa and Judah, son of Jesua" and that "film-makers Cameron and Jacobovici claim to have amassed evidence through DNA tests, archeological evidence and Biblical studies, that the 10 coffins belong to Jesus and his family."

It's not clear how DNA evidence could show anything about remains belonging to Jesus (as opposed to relationship between the individual remains), but the comments on the Time blog entry make it clear that we are in for some entertainment in the form of hysterical reactions to the documentary.

UPDATE (February 25, 2007): There's a bit more information at YNetNews.

UPDATE (February 27, 2007): And better coverage at CNN, where experts point out these claims were previously made back in 1996.

UPDATE (March 6, 2007): The Jacobovici/Cameron documentary claims that the James ossuary with the faked "brother of Jesus" inscription was the missing 10th ossuary from the site they claim to be the Jesus tomb. This, however, is definitely not the case, since the person who catalogued the ossuaries at the time of the original find says that the 10th ossuary was a plain, blank ossuary with no inscription at all.

Also, P.Z. Myers watched the documentary so that you don't have to...

UPDATE (April 12, 2007): The Jerusalem Post reports that scholars in the documentary are backing away from their statements made therein...


Hallq said...

Very amusing. If these guys turn out to be full of shit--and very likely they are full of shit--Christians have a right to say so. However, the counterarguments being given by Christians in the comments are patently silly.

Jim Lippard said...

I fully agree on both counts, Chris.

Dan Marvin said...

Don't forget his last adventure trying to disprove the Bible here

Sad to know the ones who believe it will perish with James Cameron.

Jim Lippard said...

Actually, where Cameron went wrong on his last documentary is taking the Exodus story seriously at all--there's no archaeological evidence that such an event ever happened, and it's better treated as myth than history (in contrast to the Babylonian captivity).

But thanks for the reminder.