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Guide The Jesus Family Tomb: The Evidence Behind the Discovery No One Wanted to Find

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Jesus living right there in Jerusalem…. We know about [the wives of religion founders] because they were honored figures as wives of The Founder, and if Jesus had a wife then a we would know about it and b the whole Church-as-the-Bride-of-Christ metaphor would never have come into existence. Muhammad's daughter Fatima comes to mind. It would be much harder to sneak a forgotten son by the eyes of history…. It's not just hard to sneak sons past because patriarchal cultures focus more on sons; it's also because of this: In traditional societies, the son is looked on as the father's natural successor.

The filmmakers denied that the claims made in the film contradicted key teachings of Christianity , such as the resurrection and ascension. Finding someone's remains in Jesus' tomb conforms to the Muslim belief that a substitute for him was crucified, while he was raised bodily to heaven. The Islamic view of his disappearance , as mentioned in the Qur'an, states: That they said in boast , "We killed Al-Masih 'Isa the son of Maryam, the Messenger of Allah"; but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them.

Accordingly, the discovered remains in his tomb would then actually belong to Judas, a Roman guard, or a volunteering disciple. Alan Cooperman, writer of The Washington Post article also states this: Kloner told the Jerusalem Post that the documentary is "nonsense. Israeli archaeologist Amos Kloner, who was among the first to examine the tomb when it was first discovered, said the names marked on the coffins were very common at the time.

The archaeologist William Dever summed it up when he stated on Koppel's critical analysis, The Lost Tomb of Jesus—A Critical Look , that Jacobovici's and Cameron's "conclusions were already drawn in the beginning" of the inquiry and that their "argument goes far beyond any reasonable interpretation. Three skulls were found on the floor of the tomb in which the film makers assert was usual but others disagree: In ancient Jerusalem, the dead were placed inside tombs; in tombs, the dead were placed inside ossuaries. If anything was left behind, it was a lamp or a bottle of perfume, not skulls.

Early Christianity scholar R. Joseph Hoffmann , chair of the Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion, says the film alerts the public to the fact that there are no secure conclusions when it comes to the foundational history of a religious tradition. But he charges that the film "is all about bad assumptions," beginning with the assumption that the boxes contain Jesus of Nazareth and his family.

From his view as a historian specializing in the social history of earliest Christianity, he found it "amazing how evidence falls into place when you begin with the conclusion—and a hammer. When interviewed about the upcoming documentary, Amos Kloner , who oversaw the original archaeological dig of this tomb in said:. Newsweek reports that the archaeologist who personally numbered the ossuaries dismissed any potential connection:. The aforementioned Joe Zias has published in his own site a "viewers' guide" to the Talpiot Tomb documentary, in which he systematically rebuts the film's argumentation and gives much background information about the people involved in it.

Stephen Pfann, president of Jerusalem's University of the Holy Land and an expert in Semitic languages, who was interviewed in the documentary, also said the film's hypothesis holds little weight:. Pfann also thinks the inscription read as "Jesus" has been misread and suggests that the name "Hanun" might be a more accurate rendering. The Washington Post reports that William G. Dever mentioned above as excavating ancient sites in Israel for 50 years offered the following:.

The Archaeological Institute of America , self-described on their website as "North America's oldest and largest organization devoted to the world of archeology," has published online their own criticism of the "Jesus tomb" claim:. This claim is also inconsistent with all of the available information—historical and archaeological—about how Jews in the time of Jesus buried their dead, and specifically the evidence we have about poor, non-Judean families like that of Jesus.

It is a sensationalistic claim without any scientific basis or support. Darrell Bock , a New Testament scholar and research professor of New Testament studies at Dallas Theological Seminary points out some of the inconsistencies, including: Ben Witherington points out an inconsistency related to the James Ossuary. He points out that the James Ossuary came from Silwan , not Talpiot. In addition, the James Ossuary had dirt on it that "matched up with the soil in that particular spot in Jerusalem. In addition, during the trial of antiquities dealer Oded Golan there has been testimony from former FBI agent Gerald Richard that a photo of the James ossuary, showing it in Golan's home, was taken in the s, based on tests done by the FBI photo lab.

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This would make it impossible for the James Ossuary to have been discovered with the rest of the Talpiot ossuaries in the s. With reference to the DNA tests, Witherington wrote in his blog: We would need an independent control sample from some member of Jesus' family to confirm that these were members of Jesus' family. We do not have that at all. They simply used DNA testing to prove that the "Jesus son of Joseph" and the "Mariamne" in this tomb were not maternally related i. The film asserted that this DNA evidence suggests they were probably spouses.

Critics contend they could have been paternally related e. Mariamne could just as well have been the wife of one of the other two males in the ossuary. The New York Times article of February 27, , reprinted in full on many websites states:. The documentary's director and its driving force, Simcha Jacobovici…, said there was enough mitochondrial DNA for a laboratory in Ontario to conclude that the bodies in the "Jesus" and "Mary Magdalene" ossuaries were not related on their mothers' side.

Jacobovici deduced that they were a couple, because otherwise they would not have been buried together in a family tomb. In an interview, Mr. Jacobovici was asked why the filmmakers did not conduct DNA testing on the other ossuaries to determine whether the one inscribed Judah, son of Jesus was genetically related to either the Jesus or Mary Magdalene boxes; or whether the Jesus remains were actually the offspring of Mary.

At the end of the day we can't wait till every ossuary is tested for DNA," he said. At some point you have to say, I've done my job as a journalist. In the televised debate following the airing of the film, Ted Koppel pressed Jacobovici on the same question and received the same response. According to the authors of one blog , "the response is manifestly disingenuous. The question, in fact, necessarily arises whether the team or one of its members decided not to proceed with any further DNA tests.

Such tests may have revealed that none of the ossuaries are related—hence defeating the underlying presupposition that the crypt was in fact a family tomb, and thereby eliminating any valid basis at all for producing and showing the film. Dever said that some of the inscriptions on the ossuaries are unclear, but that all of the names are common.

It's a publicity stunt, and it will make these guys very rich, and it will upset millions of innocent people because they don't know enough to separate fact from fiction. Jodi Magness, an archaeologist at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, notes that at the time of Jesus, wealthy families buried their dead in tombs cut by hand from solid rock, putting the bones in niches in the walls and then, later, transferring them to ossuaries. According to Magness, the names on the Talpiot ossuaries indicate that the tomb belonged to a family from Judea, the area around Jerusalem, where people were known by their first name and father's name.

As Galileans, Jesus and his family members would have used their first name and hometown. There is no information on analyzing relation of "Mary" and "Jesus son of Joseph" or any other tomb occupants. In Jewish tradition of the time, after one year, when bodies in rock-cut tombs were decomposed, bones were collected, cleaned and then finally placed in an ossuary. Due to this conduct there is no real assurance that what scientists have really examined are remnants of "Mariamne e Mara" and "Jesus son of Joseph. David Mavorah, a curator of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, points out that the names on the ossuaries were extremely common.

To start with all these names being together in a single tomb and leap from there to say this is the tomb of Jesus is a little far-fetched, to put it politely. However, Andrey Feuerverger, the statistician cited by the makers of the documentary, has said that determination of the identity of those in the tomb was the purview of biblical historians, and not statisticians. For another interpretation of the statistics see the statistics section above.

Professor Amos Kloner, former Jerusalem district archaeologist of the Israel Antiquities Authority and the first archaeologist to examine the tomb in , [43] told the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper that the name Jesus had been found 71 times in burial caves at around that time. The preliminary DNA testing done on material in the ossuaries is compelling enough to delve deeper. One chapter was pure speculation. Thankfully, the authors stated that it was speculation. Throughout the book there are plenty of "if", "could be", "is possible" statements, which take away from the validity of the evidence but a find like this should be investigated to the full extent of the science available.

If this tomb is truly the tomb of Jesus and his family, this could change many views, through many factions. Wouldn't we all like to know the truth of these ossuaries and bones? This was an interesting read but not one of solid evidence. It did, though, have interesting facts and history of ossuaries, Jerusalem and early Christianity and pre-Christianity. Apr 01, jcg rated it really liked it. I was pleasantly surprised by this book.

The Lost Tomb of Jesus - Wikipedia

I thought it was going to be one of those books that sensationalizes a trivial discovery, but the evidence and the arguments, admittedly a little rough around the edges, are quite compelling. Is this the Jesus family tomb? I have no idea. It would be great fun if it was. But the discovery will never be taken seriously because, as the authors document, of political intrigues. Christians don't want anything to do with it because it fundamentally challenges I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Christians don't want anything to do with it because it fundamentally challenges belief in the resurrection.

I hope that some serious scholars take on the investigation and treat this as an important archaeological and historical discovery. Mar 13, Keith Akers rated it really liked it. They talk about the James ossuary, discovered separately in but now connected to the "Jesus Family Tomb" through the patina, which to me is actually one of the most convincing arguments in favor of the tomb's authenticity.

The book just published, The Jesus Discovery: The New Archaeological Find That Reveals the Birth of Christianity now gives some additional interesting details about this tomb, in connection with another tomb discovered nearby with early Christian symbols. The thing I like about this book is the awareness of the key controversies which surround the whole idea of a tomb of Jesus. They cut to the chase; it's pretty well written. To me, the Jesus tomb is quite plausible not because it is shocking but because it actually doesn't add that much to our knowledge, but confirms what we already knew.

The main controversial implication is that Jesus had a son! The early Christians believed in the resurrection, but had a different concept than that of the orthodox. This book is well written and intelligent. Jan 19, Patricia Walker rated it it was amazing. I'm not into orthodox religion but even I found the evidence given here clear and concise.

It amazes me how people can hold onto a dream against tremendous odds and hostility and still come out with evidence that would appear to be irrefutable. A definite read for anyone who has a passing interest in the story of a man who was remarkable for his time.

A man who would still be causing huge eruptions across many of our academic disciplines yrs after his time. Far from being dull and boring th I'm not into orthodox religion but even I found the evidence given here clear and concise. Far from being dull and boring the authors have brought the evidence and factual findings down to a laymans level in the hope that anyone who wants to know will find their answers here.

I would heartily reccomend this read to everyone from serious scholar to the interested bystander Aug 16, Shannon added it. It would have been a bit less annoying had it been better written. Curse my obsessive need to finish any book I start!!! The problem with this kind of book nowadays, post-Dan Brown anyway, is that many people will dismiss them out of hand as being Da Vinci Code -like. Still, even if the 'real' Jesus turned up nowadays, most Christians wouldn't believe he was the real Jesus.

A bit like how Christianity became after Paul. More on that sort of thing at a later date. So, to come from another background than dusty academia, you better have all your scholarly ducks in a row. So, that is what a lot of this book is about. There is the premise, that they have found the tomb of the family of Jesus and then there is the background for that reasoning.

To try and head critics off at the pass, they basically play devil's advocate with themselves, the whole time, to try and back up their findings before others try and tear them down. It works very well, all in all.

The Jesus Family Tomb

I'm not sure how respected James Cameron is in these circles, but I maybe would have left him as a shadowy backer, I'd suspect 'the director of Titanic' wouldn't carry much weight in scholarly circles. That the majority of objections come from Jewish scholars, is also good, as I'd assume they'd be more objective I can't recall, but I think that Simcha is Jewish as well.

I think too, that the title, second part, would refer to the fact that it would have been easier, less disruptive to their lives, if they had 'overlooked' the discovery. There is of course, a lot of background to the times when they say the tomb is from and about current Jewish laws and feelings, which is fascinating and equally as strong as the actual arguments for their hypothesis for me. I used to and have read a lot of 'this sort of thing' in the past and this is perhaps one of the best, most open and non-sensational books I've read on the subjects. The only book blog you need: Speesh Reads Now a Facebook Page: Aug 08, Dorene rated it it was amazing.

It blew my mind!!! Dec 23, Lesley Webb added it. Mind blowing to me was how they stumbled on it in the first place Apr 04, Aaron added it. This book is not written for serious scholars of religion or history. In fact, there is very little in the way of citation in the book.

In order to examine the manuscript claims of the book, you would have to have a good bit of knowledge of the field already, since the book gives no direction for those who wish to interact with the material at a reasonable level. If, for example, you were already familiar with the provenance of the "Acts of Phillip" or had read the work, you would know that usin This book is not written for serious scholars of religion or history. If, for example, you were already familiar with the provenance of the "Acts of Phillip" or had read the work, you would know that using it to discover the "real" name of Mary Magdalene is an exercise in crypto-archaeology.

There is no point at which the Acts of Phillip mentions Mary Magdalene, nor is there any point at which Mary Magdalene is called "Mariamne" in ancient texts. Plus, the idea that a fourteenth century manuscript can tell us the real name of someone testified to in first-century documents is the acme of silliness.

Ancient texts are mishandled throughout the book. Take, for example, this citation from page As recorded in the Gospel of Thomas, Simon and [sic] Peter, in sayings 22 and , eventually rose and spoke out against Mary Magdalene… And jesus replied, with more than a hint of wry humor, "Behold! I shall guide her as to make her male, that she too may become a living spirit like you men Let's catalogue the errors in this very brief example: There is no "eventuality" to be inferred.

The authors read humor into the text. Factual errors are actually the least of the problems. The claims about the facts are worse, for here, the authors treat their wild fancies as necessary conclusions. Speculations about the Knights Templar become "explanations" of the "facts" of the Talpiot tomb. The Biblical gospels are dismissed in favor of speculation when their contents are inconvenient , but paraded as evidence wherever they can provide support.

A plain ossuary which was catalogued but subsequently lost is claimed to have been the so-called "James ossuary," a magnificently-ornate box whose measurements do not match those of the plain one. The claims of experts appear without context so that they cannot be examined. On top of that, several of the experts have revealed that their statements were taken out of context and that their work does not allow for the conclusions of the authors!

The book identifies two groups, the Ebionites and the Nazarenes, as early Jewish followers of Jesus, citing Irenaeus for the name, but supplying an invented history of the groups. Suddenly, they are "the original [Jesus] movement" who "lost its power base and disappeared from official histories" when a new group, the Gentile Christians, took over p.

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No shred of evidence is supplied. All of this occurs without even the slightest hint that there might be contrary evidence. The authors completely neglect the testimony of Amos Kloner, who actually discovered and catalogued the tomb in favor of his erstwhile colleague, James Tabor. Jacobovici has said in interviews that he's just presenting the facts for others to evaluate, but you'd never know it by reading the book-- you'd think he had an agenda. I have no doubt that this book will sell well in the current market, which is a shame, but don't let "true believers" try to convince you that these men have proven anything aside from the fact that they have no case at all.

Apr 11, Todd rated it liked it Recommends it for: Imagine stumbling upon the final resting place of Jesus the Christ and his family. This seems something out of speculative fiction or mythology yet that is what the authors purport to have found. A construction crew working in the Talipot suburb of Jerusalem in the 's accidently uncovered a tomb that has been dubbed the tomb of 10 ossuaries, which in and of itself is not miraclous as this occurs frequently.


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But what is unsuual were the names inscribed on the ossuaries. The grouping would ind Imagine stumbling upon the final resting place of Jesus the Christ and his family. The grouping would indicate that this was the final resting place of Jesus, Joseph, Mary, at least one of his brothers and a mysterous Mirianne, who later would be potentially identified as Mary Magedelene she was known by her Greek name, Mirrianne.

There is even a mysterious box of bones containing a Judas or Judah son of Jesus. In all fairness Charles, the statistician does admit it is a 2. Certainly Israeli archeologists dismissed such a connection due to the commonality of the names. One researher remarked you could shout the name, "Mary" in a 1st century Palestinian marketplace and a thousand women would turn their heads so common was the name.

However, our stalwart statistician will tell us that as common as the names were the grouping they are found in at Talipot is rare. In fact it would take the populations of 4 Jerusalems before that pattern would be repeated. The story told in this book, a companion piece for the Discovery Channel documentary, is interesting and fun only the very credulous of readers would conclude that this is the final resting place of Jesus and company.

Yet it is still a pretty compelling argument and one that will challenge traditional concepts of Jesus death and ressurection. Perhaps he was nothing more than a local messianic teacher a failed one at that by Jewish standards upon which later generations would overlay a story of the resurected God-Man The authors touch upon the short lived practice of secondary burial in 1st century Jerusalem and the significance of ossuary usage.

They also give some insight into the Israeli Antiquities Authority and the antiguties business in general.

Vatican researcher discovers Jesus death certificate on Holy Shroud

The book is destined to be contriversial given the large number of people that believe in the physical or bodily ressurection of Jesus and his ascension into heaven as well as the bodily assumption of the Virgin Mary. The finding of mortal remains would cast doubt over many long time cherished traditions. The writing is lively Interesting account of the discovery and rediscovery of a tomb in Jerusalem containing remains that indicate a family with remarkable similarity to the genealogy described and further hinted at in canonical and non-canonical Christian gospels regarding Jesus Christ, was laid to rest within it.


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Neither of the authors are writers foremost, nor especially unbiased in the beliefs, and the book suffers somewhat as a result. Despite this the investigation and evidence is a mix of the compelling, e Interesting account of the discovery and rediscovery of a tomb in Jerusalem containing remains that indicate a family with remarkable similarity to the genealogy described and further hinted at in canonical and non-canonical Christian gospels regarding Jesus Christ, was laid to rest within it. Despite this the investigation and evidence is a mix of the compelling, entertaining, informative, statistically awful and admittedly wildly speculative.

The schedule of the documentary or perhaps it's bureacratic obstacles from Israeli authorities seems to negatively impact the study of the tomb: It would surely be more compelling to prove that any remains in the ossuary marked "Judah, son of Jesus" are also related to Mariamne! Taken at any level, the book documents an important discovery that has the potential to as the cover suggests "change history forever".

Whether this is change is on a personal scale, or a global one, is a matter not yet determined by this book. In while blasting the hills of Talpiot in preparation for development, an ancient tomb was discovered. Archaeologists entered and discovered 10 ossuaries bone boxes in a traditional burial chamber.

These ossuaries were catalogued, photographed and measured before being moved to the Israel Antiquities Authorities storeroom. These inscriptions included 'Jesus, son of Joseph," "Maria" and "Mariamne. This prompt the idea that Mary, Magdalene would have had to be related to Jesus to be buried in the family tomb. Was she his sister or wife?

DNA was used to test the patine of the ossuaries and any bone fragments in the bone boxes. DNA indicated that Jesus and Mary, Magdalene were not related, therefore the idea of marriage was strong. Another interesting factor in this idea is the inscription of an ossuary found that contained "Judah, son of Jesus. Jan 18, Steve Congdon rated it really liked it. The book chronicles the discovery of a tomb in the southeast section of Jerusalem called Talpiot in which 10 ossuaries were found. An ossuary is a stone box that contained the bones of a deceased family member.

When someone died, the body was place in a tomb on a stone bench then a year or so later after the body had decomposed, the bones were collected and placed in a small stone box. If nothing else the discovery validates the New Testament reference to Christ being placed in a tomb belonging to Joseph of Arimathea which support the Jewish law that the deceased must be put into the ground before sunset and a stone tomb was acceptable as being underground. A fascinating read backed by some very technical, modern technology.

Aug 20, Erik Graff rated it really liked it Recommends it for: I give this book four stars for being a page-turner, not as an endorsement of its credibility. This is the third book I've read about the discovery in of a first century tomb in Jerusalem containing ossuaries ascribed to Yeshua bar Yosef; Mariamne, also known as Mara; Maria; Yosa; Yehuda bar Yeshua; Matiah and Yaakov ben Yosef akhui diYeshua.