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Has Jesus' tomb been uncovered? - Jennifer Green

 
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Dr. Shabbir
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 5:28 am    Post subject: Has Jesus' tomb been uncovered? - Jennifer Green Reply with quote

Has Jesus' tomb been uncovered?

Jennifer Green
CanWest News Service

Monday, February 26, 2007

A Canadian filmmaker claims he has found ossuaries, or limestone tombs, that in all likelihood contained the remains of Jesus, His mother Mary, Mary Magdalene, the woman some say was His wife, and -- most shockingly -- their son Judah.

Publicity agents for Simcha Jacobovici and executive producer James Cameron, of Titanic fame, have scrambled to bring at least two of the ossuaries to New York City where they are to unveil them at a news conference today. However, they won't reveal the exact location for fear the public will swarm in for a glimpse of a tomb that may have once held holy bones.

"They are worried about a mob scene," said Alberta Nokes, Vision TV's representative on the project. "They have lots of security there." Apparently, security guards have also been posted at the Jerusalem site where the ossuaries were found.

The frenzy is expected to be so intense that the producers held a rehearsal Sunday evening for today's news conference launching the book The Jesus Family Tomb by Jacobovici and Charles Pellegrino, and the film The Lost Tomb of Jesus to be aired March 4 on the Discovery Channel in the U.S. and March 6 on Vision TV in Canada.

The film's title is particularly apt considering the tomb has not been so much unearthed as rediscovered -- for the third time.

It first came to light in 1980 as construction crews blasted for new apartments in Talpiot, a suburb south of Jerusalem. In the rubble, neighbourhood children discovered a low door with an unusual symbol over it, an inverted "V" with a circle at its base.

Construction stopped for a few days while archeologists explored the burial cave, finding a courtyard, an antechamber, and then the tomb chamber itself with two death niches, where bodies would have been laid out. Radiating from the chamber were six fingers or cul de sacs carved deep into the soft limestone. Tucked into these fingers were 10 ossuaries. These small limestone coffins were removed, catalogued and stored at the warehouses of the Israeli Antiquities Authority with thousands of similar ossuaries.

The cave was easily dated at about 2,000 years old, a time during the First Century when bodies were wrapped in shrouds and allowed to decompose for a year. The families would then return to re-inter the remaining bones in one of these ossuaries. The custom stopped abruptly when the Romans destroyed the city of Jerusalem around 70 CE.

During the 1980s, dozens of similar tombs were uncovered so archeologists were blase about this one. They sealed it with a slab of concrete and construction resumed.

Then, in 1996, a week before Easter, the Times of London screamed: "An archeological discovery in Israel challenges the very basis of Christianity." Two British television reporters had examined the Catalogue of Jewish Ossuaries, published in 1994, and found one of the Talpiot ossuaries bore the inscription "Jesus, son of Joseph" on a box 65 by 25 by 30 centimetres.

Would this "electrify the centuries-old debate: did Jesus's body really rise from the dead on Easter morning?" the newspaper headline asked.

Jacobovici was tipped to the sleeping story after researching a similar coffin that came to light in 2002.

Experts originally said its inscription indicated that it had been the ossuary of James, the brother of Jesus. Thousands went to see it on display at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. But within a few weeks it was denounced as a forgery. The case is still before the courts.

Amos Kloner, an expert on Israeli tombs, told the filmmaker: "Why don't you concentrate on the ossuary of the man himself -- Jesus, son of Joseph?" In the following months, Jacobovici's team discovered that, of the 10 ossuaries in the Talpiot burial chamber, six were inscribed with names linked to the Holy Family: n Yeshua bar Yosef, Hebrew for 'Jesus son of Joseph;' n Maria, or Marya; Mary; n Matthew, or Matya, understood to be another relative, probably on Mary's side; n Yose, understood to be a brother of Jesus; n Mariamene e Mara, written in Greek, interpreted by the filmmakers as Mary Magdalene. "Mara" could have meant "master," a common appellation for preachers; and n Finally, the bomb: "Yehuda bar Yeshua" or Judah, son of Jesus.

Over the years, archeologists and other experts have pooh-poohed the idea that this could be the Holy Family, and the film is careful to include their point of view.

David Mevorach, curator of the Israel Museum says on camera: "All . . . we have is a cluster of names that resemble many of the names that we find in the New Testament. The other fact is we find these names in many other places, so suggesting that this tomb is the family tomb of Jesus is far-fetched and we need to be careful with it." "We don't have Mary (Magdalene) in that tomb," he says.

James Tabor, author of The Jesus Dynasty: The Hidden History of Jesus, His Royal Family, and the Birth of Christianity, is chair of religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

"You know, it can happen," he says. "We have to consider it." But realistically, what are the odds? The researchers took the problem to Andrey Feuerverger, a professor of statistics at the University of Toronto. Even though all the names were common in those days, the odds of them appearing together are roughly 600 to one.

Jacobovici took samples from the bottom of the ossuaries to Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ont., where specialists in ancient DNA found there was no blood link between whoever occupied the "Jesus" ossuary and the "Mary Magdalene" box. That means the occupants were likely husband and wife, even if they were not necessarily the progenitors of the Christian faith.

The film speculates: "Perhaps they were married and perhaps it was kept secret to protect a potential dynasty, a secret hidden through the ages, a secret we just may be able to uncover in the holy family tomb." The secret, of course, is their son Judah. If Jesus and Mary Magdalene did have a child, they may have hidden his existence as he would have been a target of Roman persecution.

After all, the family had not fared well: John the Baptist, Jesus's cousin, was beheaded, his brother, James, was stoned to death and his friend and founder of the church, Simon Peter, was crucified head down, some say.

A third scientific test, on the patinas, or residue on the outside of the ossuaries, determined that the infamous James ossuary, in fact appears to come from this cave, and may have held the bones of Jesus's brother James after all.

Nobody has said the entire piece is a forgery, suggesting only the words "brother of Jesus" were added after the fact to boost its value.

Although 10 ossuaries were found at Talpiot, only nine were in the warehouse when Jacobovici began his research. It seems one had gone missing.

The evidence suggests the James ossuary was spirited away, perhaps sold on the black market.

Cameron, who wrote the forward to the book, said in a news release: "It doesn't get bigger than this. We've done our homework; we've made the case and now it's time for the debate to begin." As to the Christian faith, it looks like it will stand firm.

John Dominic Crossan, professor emeritus of religious studies at Chicago's DePaul University, says, "If the bones were found tomorrow, would it destroy Christian faith? It certainly would not destroy my Christian faith. I leave what happens to bodies up to God."
The Calgary Herald 2007
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Brian aka Reverted1



Joined: 30 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I watched the Discovery Channel's documentary "The Lost Tomb of Jesus" last night. I find the evidence supporting the claim that the tomb in question holds the remains of Isa to be "compelling". Specifically, the fact that the tomb found in Jerusalem contains first century oussuaries with the inscriptions, "Jesus son of Joseph", "James son of Joseph" (Isa had a brother named James), "Jose" (Isa had a brother named Jose), and "Mary" (the name of Isa's mother) cannot be ignored. I think the documentary's claim is supported by the Qur'an.

These claims obviously rock the foundations of Christianity. What, if any, impact do they have on Islam?

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Harry & Louise Guggen
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brian,

It destroys/demolishes the "virgin birth" theory Smile- Dr. Shabbir is right on in his tafsir of Koran in QXP, and so is Arnold Yassin in his excellent followup articles.

May Allah Bless Them Both and Keep On Keepin On Increasing Their Knowledge!

Harry & Louise Guggenheim
Ann Arbor, Michigan
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