Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Jesus Tomb

This is a duplicate of my post on a blog dedicated to our junior high staff:

Thanks to Erik for pointing this out! As it happens, one of my professors was supposed to be at the press conference and couldn't make it, but he's already seen the documentary and has some excellent comments here. Watch for more from him here. Seminary comes in handy!

For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, James Cameron (director of Titanic) is hosting a documentary on the Discovery Channel this Sunday. The promo asks, "If the bones of Jesus were found in Jerusalem, would that destroy the Christian faith?" They believe they have indeed found them, and those of his wife and son. Yes, that would pose quite a problem, since we believe in a BODILY resurrection and all!

Relax. They didn't find what they think they found. But there will be quite a bit of media attention on this in the next couple of days and you may even get some difficult questions from students. Remind them that we never need to fear a real search for truth.

Dr. Bock said this morning in class, "It's like a 21 slide PowerPoint presentation and each slide is contested. For the claim to be true, every slide must build from the one before." Take a peek at his blog or feel free to direct students there to read along with you. If you'd prefer a quick overview, here's a sampling of highlights:
1-It is almost untenable that a Jewish family from Galilee would purchase a family tomb in Jerusalem.
2-The names being used are not agreed upon--there are some significant difficulties with the equating of Mariamne with Mary Magdalene.
3-There is no agreement that this is actually a family tomb.
4-You'll have to see his post the rest, including some truth about DNA evidence. Be sure and go to the main blog as well for his updates. You'll hear him quoted quite a bit this week.

SO, since we're looking at Jesus and comparing him to who the culture thinks He is on Sundays, we're going to hit this head on in class on Sunday. I'll play some video from either CNN or Discovery and we'll let the kids try to help find solutions. As always, you're welcome to come (especially if you're on the Sunday Team)!

[staff meeting reminder removed]

UPDATE: There's a good article here, including an observation by a prominent Jewish scholar. AND, this blog (Ben Witherington, PhD.) is also full of excellent material for dealing with the claims. Be sure and look through the many comments and responses (Dr. Witherington is a friend of Dr. Bock).

FURTHER UPDATES: see www.crosstie.org