Jesus’ Tomb

This will be shot down quickly, I anticipate.

James Cameron, of Titanic fame, is promoting a documentary he produced. And in New York on Monday, he will hold a press conference where “he will reveal three coffins, supposedly those of Jesus of Nazareth, his mother Mary and Mary Magdalene.”

In a new documentary, Producer Cameron and his director, Simcha Jacobovici, make the starting 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.

Cameron *knows* all this through “DNA tests, archaeological evidence, and Biblical studies.”

Wait a minute. Don’t Christians say Jesus was resurrected? Isn’t that what Christianity hinges on? Is this The Da Vinci Code all over again?

If this is true… well… Wow.

If it’s not… then you’ll still hear about it anyway. According to the Time blog post, one prominent Israeli archaeologist has already said the crypt is not Jesus’. His family couldn’t have afforded the luxuries and the Jewish names on the tombs were common in that region.

The whole story sounds eerily similar to that of the James Ossuary from a few years back.

Maybe James Cameron is just trying to prove once again that he is the real King of the World.

[tags]James Cameron, Titanic, Jesus of Nazareth, Mary, Mary Magdalene, Simcha Jacobovici, Christian, atheist, atheism, Jerusalem, DNA, archaeology, Bible, The Da Vinci Code, Time blog, Israel, Jewish, James Ossuary[/tags]

  • Daldianus

    It’ll be amusing no matter what :)

    Pass the popcorn!

  • vjack

    I wonder if the documentary will involve Geraldo opening tombs?

  • QrazyQat

    The key problem here is that DNA tests would not tell anyone anything, unless you have some known DNA to compare it to. So for the Jesus-DNA claim, you need DNA known to be either from Mary or from God, or at least DNA known to be from a descendant of Mary, to compare it to. Naturally we don’t have that, so DNA tests are useless as any form of indentification. The fact that they are touting the use of DNA tests, or even considering them in the first place, without any DNA to compare it to, shows this is an enterprise being pursued either by very stupid, uninformed people, or people who don’t care about the truth, or some combination of both.

  • antiparazi

    Not exactly news. This find was published in a few other books, the best being in my opinion a thriller published last year- “The Bone Box” by Itamar Bernstein. Great read, whether you believe Jesus’ bones were found, or not.

  • Mike C

    Finding a 1st century Jewish tomb with the name “Yeshua” or “Miriam” on it is like finding a 20th century American grave with the name “John” or “Robert” on it – not all that astonishing. It was an extremely common name back then. In fact, at least two other would-be Messiah’s around the time of Yeshua of Nazareth had the same name.

  • Jennifer

    …Cause we all know James Cameron is an expert in ancient Eastern archaeology…

  • Siamang

    I’m Brian and so’s my wife!

  • Mike C

    Prof. Ben Witherington III, a New Testament scholar from Asbury Seminary has posted his reasons debunking this whole thing. You can read what he has to say here.

  • Mriana

    Yes, that DNA was what got me going on another board. They can’t prove anything unless they have that person’s DNA on file to compare the sample they got and match it. Personally, there is nothing in that article that is convincing of anything to me. The DNA bit was what told me it was bogus and these people are just out to grab people’s money, just like LaHaye who wrote all those fiction books. *rolling eyes*

  • Hazak

    LOL. Virtually all reputable Israeli (non-Christian) scholars believe that this entire “Jesus’ bones” thing is as absurd as a web-site devoted to an attempt to dismantel a belief in a God that one does not even believe exists. Pure genius!

  • Hazak

    Friendly athiest is a transendental genius! This entire web-site is genius in that is assumes to know all things hidden in all the mysterious crevices of the known and unknown universe. Just FYI, surely Yeshua, HaMashiach, hoo Adon

  • Siamang


    Welcome to the site. I think you don’t understand that we’re atheists not because we say that we know for a fact that there is no god. We’re atheists because we haven’t heard evidence sufficient to bring us to believe that there is one.

    We don’t know all things in the universe. We don’t claim to.

  • Mike C


    Try reading and actually listening to what Hemant and others here are saying before making ridiculous claims. Just because someone is an atheist doesn’t mean that their whole site is “devoted to an attempt to dismantel a belief in a God that one does not even believe exists.” Nor does it mean that they think they know everything. In fact, being an atheist is more about a lack of hard knowledge about the existence of God, not in a firm knowledge of his non-existence. If it’s arrogance and humility that you’re concerned about, many of the atheists here show a lot more of the latter and a lot less of the former than you just have with you comments.

  • Jeff

    I think it might actually be Jesus. You at least have to think it is possible. It would be close-minded to dismiss this without looking into it further. Anyone who does so most likely has an agenda.

  • TXatheist

    It probably was Jesus. Jesus is spelled Yeshua and that was quite a common name. It’s like finding a headstone today with the name Bob on it.

  • Rich G.

    I think some people miss the point of the DNA connection. A test of “Jesus” DNA alone would prove nothing, but tests of Jesus, Mary Magdalene and Judah (the son of Jesus?) could bring interesting results. Were they a family??
    Rich G.

  • Siamang

    All they have is mitocondrial DNA.

    So that can prove maternity but not paternity.

    All you can say is that A and B did or did not have the same mother, or that C is or is not the mother of D.

  • Mike C

    I think the most anyone will ever be able to say about this is “Well, it could be Jesus.” There’s no way of going beyond the level of remote possibility to hard evidence in this case. It’s just not there.

  • Chico

    Right, yeshua was a quite common name, but, what you all say about the perfect combination of names, i say, it might be common as well to discover a tomb with the name “bob” or “john”, but, bob that was son of john and brenda, brother of ted and mary, and was married with olga, with whom he had a child named phillip. what’s the real chance of coincidence at this level, i mean, assuming that the possible names for the era and place counts 1000 names for men and another 1000 for woman, damn, this counts a chance of 1/10000, not counting possibilities of having brothers with different sex, and i’m speaking just about 2000 names possible. i think coincidences must happen at levels of 1/10, 1/50. i know you all are atheists, but you may agree with me that coincidences are not common to happen at low chance levels, and it’s almost impossible to hapen with chances lower than 1/1000. it’s the same thing you say that all dice will show you a 6, you roll 10 dice and, voilá, 6666666666! it’s not coincidence or pure luck, it might be addicted dice! what you atheists say about that level of coincidence?
    P.S. i’m also an atheist (kinda), but one thing i can’t just believe is in coincidences.

  • Chico

    sorry, the chance is 1/(10^7) that is 1/10000000. wow!

  • Siamang

    Yeah, but the odds go down when you factor in the missing brothers and the unexpected sons.

    The only 3 names that match the stories of Jesus are Jesus son of Joseph, Mary and Mary.

    If those were the only 3 in there, you might have a case, albeit a weak one. But add 2 more we didn’t know about, and take away two that we did, and it’s probably somebody else.

    Heck, how many graves right now in Mexico city say “Jesus, son of Maria, married to another Maria?”

  • Siamang

    Odds go down further when you realize that this is a crypt of a family with a lot more wealth and status than Jesus had.

    And I don’t know my biblical archeology, but the location is wrong according to some too.

  • Mike C

    Not to mention that the names on the various ossuaries in the crypt are in three different languages: one is in Hebrew, several are in Aramaic, and one is in Greek. This suggests a multi-generation tomb spanning many generations, not of one family who all died around the same time.

  • Jesus

    Y’all need to get some facts straight. First of all, the fact that there are missing family members does nothing to the odds when a certain number of names in a family are present in one tomb. IE, just because they ONLY found the names Jesus, Mary, Mary and Jose (brother, not father and the borther was referred to as Jose in scripture) and did not find James and other famile members dioes nothing to the odds of those tombs being those of Jesus of nazareths family. If those other family names were present, the odds would go up, but their absence does not make the odds go down. That is statistical fact. Remember also that there were 4 uninscribed ossuaries which could have belonged to Jesus lesser known brothers, but that is irrelevant. I think the patina evidence that the James Ossuarry is from the same tomb is compelling and would make the odds go WAY up that that is the tomb of jesus of Nazareth. Another fact misstated here is that the accusations of forgery against Oded Golan, the one who brought the James Ossuary to light, only accuse the “brother of jesus” part of the inscription to be added, although the “James, son of Joseph” part is considered by all to be authentic, even by the Israeli Antiquities Authority.

    I agree that certainly there is a acceptable margin of doubt for christians, because let’s face even evolution theory lies within that margin of doubt, and no reasonable person can deny evolution theory anymore. So, yes, the “proof” that this is Jesus tomb is less compelling than the proof for evolution, so for the christian, it obviously is not good enough. But for the non christian, no matter how you slice it, even if you eliminate the “Mariamne” ossuary from the equation, the odds still favor, albeit slightly and certainly not beyond resonable doubt, that the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth has been found.

    I am not convinced either way mind you, but the arguments aginst the filmakers, even by normally respected news sources, reek of bias, dismissal and rhetoric, with the most quoted person being this Pfann guy who just comes off as completely ludicrous. “I think the name on that tomb is not Jesus, but Hunan or something” … well then, what about the 71 other tombs that archeologists agree say Jesus? Do they also say “Hunan” or something? He is laughable really. Anyway, all that the attacks against the film “prove” is that there are a lot of devout christians in the world. Was this something we were unaware of?

  • Sark

    What happens when a athiest dies?
    Ever think about that ? when you’re lookin up at the ceiling drawing your last futile breaths, do ya just let it go? or are ya gonna fight for it ?
    Something to think long and hard about ,cuz one day soon it’s gonna be right there in your face .The difference between an athiest and someone with faith in God is,you have no hope…….. tragic.

  • benj

    What happens when a athiest dies?
    Ever think about that ? when you’re lookin up at the ceiling drawing your last futile breaths, do ya just let it go? or are ya gonna fight for it ?
    Something to think long and hard about ,cuz one day soon it’s gonna be right there in your face .The difference between an athiest and someone with faith in God is,you have no hope…….. tragic.

    You make it sound like it’s a choice. :) Atheism for most people is not a conscious choice – it’s a predilection towards less esoteric beliefs. Having a conscious effort to have faith may not even be enough to overcome that ‘bias’ against esoteric things and mysticism.

  • Mriana

    Sigh. You know, after studying various religions, philosophies, and mythology you come to the point where you realize that what you were told isn’t necessarily truth. Of course, I never had a conception of a supernatural anthromorphic being either.

    The problems is, so a many people never research the religious beliefs they were taught. They just accept without question- mostly out of fear. Just look at your question, Sark, it’s full of fear.