Lost Tomb Of Jesus Found
What is the scientific likelihood that the tomb of Jesus and his family is in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Talpiot? Is it possible that the original nails used in the crucifixion have been discovered in another cave, in the capital’s Abu Tor neighborhood? The question may be decided in a court in Israel.
Journalist and filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici is suing anthropologist Joe Zias, who in recent years has been doing his utmost to disprove his provocative theories on early Christianity.
Jacobovici, known for his TV series “The Naked Archaeologist,” became famous in recent years for three films he made about the earliest days of Christianity.
Joseph E. Zias, most commonly cited as Joe Zias, was the Curator of Archaeology and Anthropology for the Israel Antiquities Authority from 1972 until his retirement in 1997, with responsibility for items such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, pre-historic human skeletal remains, and artifacts from archaeological sites such as Jericho, Megiddo, and Gezer. He has appeared often in film and television documentaries regarding such artifacts and the subject of the Historical Jesus, including The Shroud of Turin for CBS, Who Killed Jesus on BBC in 1997 and Son of God on BBC in 2001, and is a frequent lecturer.
Jacobovici completed a film a year ago, in which he revealed that ossuaries found in a cave near the first one in Talpiot bore unusual engravings, which according to him are the first symbols of Christianity.
In all, he believes that those buried in the tomb were Jesus’ first followers, which strengthens his theory that the burial cave of Jesus was nearby.
Israeli Petah Tikva District Court Judge Jacob Shienman is presiding over a libel suit brought by journalist and filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici, who is suing anthropologist Joe Zias, formerly of the Israel Antiquities Authority, who in recent years has been doing his utmost to disprove Jacobovici’s theories.
Regarding the Discovery Channel program The Lost Tomb of Jesus, produced by director James Cameron and created by Simcha Jacobovici, which proposed that the Talpiot Tomb site was the actual tomb of Jesus and his family, Zias has said, “Projects like these make a mockery of the archeological profession.” Zias also claims that Jacobovici’s good name could not have been harmed, because he does not have a good name, at least not in the scientific community.
Jacobovici says “I am not surprised by the quick and personal attacks by various scholars i.e., accusing us of “hijacking” archaeology, “sensationalism” etc. We’ve heard it all before and I guess some people can’t get off that track, including the accusation that we released our book to coincide with Easter–never mind that it was released in February and Easter is in April. Frankly, what surprises me is how quickly the negative tone was diffused and how the discussion is veering towards scholarly debate instead of ad hominem slander. The reason I’m surprised is because, generally, there is an iron rule that applies to Jesus related archaeology: everyone is wrong, about everything, all the time. Some would like to portray the controversy over the “Jesus Family Tomb” in Talpiot as one between serious scholars and sensationalists such as myself. But let’s put this into a historical context.
He further says, “Prof. Tabor and I are not the first people to connect Jesus to Talpiot. In 1945, Eleazer Sukenik, who was the first to identify the Dead Sea Scrolls as being authentically from the Second Temple Period, discovered a tomb off Hebron Road in Talpiot, approximately 1,000 meters from the now famous “Jesus Family Tomb.” In the tomb, there were two ossuaries with the word “Jesus” inscribed on them in charcoal. According to Sukenik, one inscription read “Jesus Woe” and the other “Jesus Aloth,” which Sukenik interpreted as lamentations for the crucifixion of Jesus. Immediately, the scholarly and Christian community was up in arms. It turns out that Sukenik was wrong on both counts. The ossuaries were not referring to Jesus of Nazareth. Rather, there were two guys named Jesus buried right next to each other. And the first ossuary did not say “Woe,” it said “Ju” which was an unfinished version of “Judah.” Moreover, “Aloth” did not refer to lamentation but to “Aloe.” Maybe the person interred in the box was in the Aloe distribution business. As for why a scholar of Sukenik’s stature got it so wrong, just recently I heard a top scholar say in a room full of other scholars “Sukenik’s wife needed a refrigerator.” So I guess he just sensationalized for the purpose of making money.” More here
About ten years ago, the Biblical Archaeology Society announced the oldest known object relating to the life of Jesus Christ. A 2,000 year old ossuary, or “bone box,” turned up in an antiquities shop on the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem. This “James Ossuary” carried these words, in ancient Aramaic, on its side: James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus. The find led to a criminal investigation, charges of forgery, and a sensational trial in Israel. A court ruled there was no forgery and the James Ossuary was genuine.
The James ossuary was on display at the Royal Ontario Museum from November 15, 2002 to January 5, 2003.
The existence of the ossuary was announced at an October 21, 2002 Washington press conference co-hosted by the Discovery Channel and the Biblical Archaeology Society. The initial translation of the inscription was done by André Lemaire, a Semitic epigrapher, whose article claiming that the ossuary and its inscription were authentic was published in the November/December 2002 Biblical Archaeology Review. Authenticity of the inscription has been challenged. The Israeli Antiquities Authority determined in 2003 that the inscriptions were forged at a much later date.
The owner of the ossuary is Oded Golan, an Israeli engineer and antiquities collector. In December 2004, Golan was charged with 44 counts of forgery, fraud and deception, including forgery of the Ossuary inscription. On October 3, 2010 court proceedings for the trial of Golan and a co-defendant concluded. Numerous expert witnesses were subpoenaed to testify and the outcome of this trial is considered important by many Biblical scholars, including James Tabor, of UNC-Charlotte, who discusses the case in his book “The Jesus Dynasty.”
On March 14, 2012, Golan was acquitted of the forgery charges but convicted of illegal trading in antiquities. The judge said this acquittal “does not mean that the inscription on the ossuary is authentic or that it was written 2,000 years ago.
Four guests in this DiscloseTruth TV episode reacted to the claim that Jesus’ tomb may have been found. During the first 90 minutes, ancient language scholar Mike Heiser and theological researcher Darrell Bock shared their thoughts. The finding of ossuary boxes from a 1st century tomb is actually “old news,” dating back to a 1980 discovery, Heiser pointed out. Bock concurred, calling it old evidence being given a fresh spin. The theory that the boxes once contained the bones of Jesus, Mary and Joseph is “a lot of hype,” he said, and though their names were inscribed on the boxes, those names were very common in the population of that era. If it was truly Jesus’ family tomb wouldn’t it be found in Galilee, he asked. Heiser noted that even the archeologist who made the original discovery was skeptical of the current claims.
In the second 90 minutes, Glenn Kimball, an expert on ancient manuscripts, and investigative mythologist William Henry appeared. Such tomb claims are prolific, Kimball declared, citing Japan, Kashmir, Africa, and Western Europe as other places where Jesus has been said to be buried. Henry mentioned FDR’s interest in finding Christ’s casket in China. He commended James Cameron and his crew for putting together an interesting investigation, but he believes the real issue worth exploring is the resurrection, the bodily transformation/ascension that is within us all. Kimball noted the story of resurrection dates back much earlier than Jesus, and was, for example, described in the ancient Sumerian records.
Mike Heiser received his Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible and ancient Semitic Languages from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is currently Academic Editor for Logos Bible Software, a company that creates ancient language research software and digital resources for studying the ancient and biblical world. Mike is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, the Institute for Biblical Research, the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies, the American Academy of Religion, and the Evangelical Theological Society. In 2005, Mike was named by Fate Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Ufology.
Glenn Kimball has a B.A. in Journalism and an M.A. in Communications. In addition he has successfully completed all course work for a Ph.D. in Communications and passed his doctoral exams, lacking his dissertation. He was the former president of International Exchange School and vice president of two cellular phone companies. Glenn has taught school at Southern Illinois University and was ranked by student evaluations in the top ten instructors at the university. He has been collecting ancient texts since the age of fifteen and is famous for being able to integrate very diverse texts into a contiguous story line.
Due to the censorship of time and doubt, most of the documents and oral stories chronicling the early life of Jesus were destroyed, lost, or forgotten. After 25 years of research, during which Kimball visited museums, Indian tribes, medicine men, and universities, he assembled some of the missing links and unsolved mysteries of Christianity.
William Henry is an investigative mythologist and author of ten books on ancient mythology and neo-archaeology with a Stargate twist. By applying the latest theories in science and consciousness to ancient myths of the gates of the illumined gods, including Sumerian, Egyptian and Holy Grail gateway myths, he hopes to uncover the secrets of the guarded, by such groups as the Illuminati. His latest book, Oracle of the Illuminati, states that we are on the verge of rediscovering the sacred science of creating peace on Earth.
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