Re: [asa] The Lost Tomb of Jesus

From: Rich Blinne <>
Date: Mon Feb 26 2007 - 12:45:04 EST

On 2/26/07, <> wrote:
> None of us may really be able to say anything intelligent
> about this until March 4, when the documentary premiers on
> the Discovery Channel.
> Nevertheless, we all need to be aware of this.
> To unsubscribe, send a message to with
> "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.

From here:

> Robert Genna, director of the Suffolk County Crime Laboratory in New York,
> analyzed both the patina taken from the Talpiot Tomb and chemical residue
> obtained from the "James" ossuary, which was also found around 1980, but
> subsequently disappeared and resurfaced in the antiquities market. Although
> controversy surrounds this burial box, Genna found that the two patinas
> matched.

What isn't mentioned here was the Israeili Antiquities Association in 2003
found the chemicals in the patina in the James Ossuary to correspond to a
modern-day forgery. So, if the patinas match then it is likely that the
inscriptions are forged here also. It's the inscriptions that give force to
the DNA analysis because it otherwise would be just an ordinary group of
middle-class 1st centuries ossuaries where some but not all of the bones are

Note also the following AP story:

 Scholars, clergy slam Jesus documentary MARSHALL THOMPSON Associated Press

*JERUSALEM - *Archaeologists and clergymen in the Holy Land derided claims
in a new documentary produced by the Oscar-winning director James Cameron
that contradict major Christian tenets. "The Lost Tomb of Christ," which the
Discovery Channel will run on March 4, argues that 10 ancient ossuaries -
small caskets used to store bones - discovered in a suburb of Jerusalem in
1980 may have contained the bones of Jesus and his family, according to a
press release issued by the Discovery Channel.

One of the caskets even bears the title, "Judah, son of Jesus," hinting that
Jesus may have had a son. And the very fact that Jesus had an ossuary would
contradict the Christian belief that he was resurrected and ascended to

Most Christians believe Jesus' body spent three days at the site of the
Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem's Old City. The burial site
identified in Cameron's documentary is in a southern Jerusalem neighborhood
nowhere near the church.

In 1996, when the BBC aired a short documentary on the same subject,
archaeologists challenged the claims. Amos Kloner, the first archaeologist
to examine the site, said the idea fails to hold up by archaeological
standards but makes for profitable television.

"They just want to get money for it," Kloner said.

The claims have raised the ire of Christian leaders in the Holy Land.

"The historical, religious and archaeological evidence show that the place
where Christ was buried is the Church of the Resurrection," said Attallah
Hana, a Greek Orthodox clergyman in Jerusalem. The documentary, he said,
"contradicts the religious principles and the historic and spiritual
principles that we hold tightly to."

Stephen Pfann, a biblical scholar at the University of the Holy Land in
Jerusalem who was interviewed in the documentary, said the film's hypothesis
holds little weight.

"I don't think that Christians are going to buy into this," Pfann said. "But
skeptics, in general, would like to see something that pokes holes into the
story that so many people hold dear."

"How possible is it?" Pfann said. "On a scale of one through 10 - 10 being
completely possible - it's probably a one, maybe a one and a half."

Pfann is even unsure that the name "Jesus" on the caskets was read
correctly. He thinks it's more likely the name "Hanun."

Kloner also said the filmmakers' assertions are false.

"It was an ordinary middle-class Jerusalem burial cave," Kloner said. "The
names on the caskets are the most common names found among Jews at the

Archaeologists also balk at the filmmaker's claim that the James Ossuary -
the center of a famous antiquities fraud in Israel - might have originated
from the same cave. In 2005, Israel charged five suspects with forgery in
connection with the infamous bone box.

"I don't think the James Ossuary came from the same cave," said Dan Bahat,
an archaeologist at Bar-Ilan University. "If it were found there, the man
who made the forgery would have taken something better. He would have taken

Although the documentary makers claim to have found the tomb of Jesus, the
British Broadcasting Corporation beat them to the punch by 11 years.

Osnat Goaz, a spokeswoman for the Israeli government agency responsible for
archaeology, declined to comment before the documentary was aired.

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Received on Mon, 26 Feb 2007 10:45:04 -0700

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