The Jesus Family Tomb: Fact or Fiction?

If It Really Was Jesus’ Tomb–

1. Why don’t Cameron and Jacobovici cite scholars who disagree with their conclusions? For example, in 1996, when the British Broadcasting Corp. aired a short documentary on the same subject, archaeologists challenged the claims. In fact, the vast majority of archaeologists dispute their claim.

2. Since the custom was to bury the dead in their home town, why would Mary and Joseph’s family tomb be in Jerusalem instead of Nazareth? Middle East researcher and biblical anthropologist Joe Zias states, “It has nothing whatsoever to do with Jesus, he was known as Jesus of Nazareth, not Jesus of Jerusalem, and if the family was wealthy enough to afford a tomb, which they probably weren’t, it would have been in Nazareth, not here in Jerusalem.” Zias dismisses Cameron’s claims as “dishonest”.

3. Why didn’t Jesus’ enemies, the Jewish leaders, expose the tomb? They searched unsuccessfully throughout Jerusalem for any evidence of Jesus’ body, claiming that Jesus’ disciples had stolen it. They hated Jesus enough to want him crucified, and would have been elated to discover his tomb, if it indeed existed.

4. Why didn’t the Romans expose the inscriptions as belonging to Jesus? Roman soldiers controlled the entire city of Jerusalem, and they knew his body was missing from a tomb they had been guarding.

5. Why didn’t contemporary Roman or Jewish historians write about the tomb? Not one single contemporary historian mentions the tomb in question.

6. Why was the James Ossuary, which has been labeled a forgery, cited by Cameron and Jacobovici as one of the reasons for the tomb’s validity? CBS News correspondent Mark Philips reports “the archeological establishment has lined up to label this claim as bunk. This is the second time The Discovery Channel has been involved in a disputed claim about an ancient tomb,” reports Phillips. The man at the center of the previous case is now facing trial for forgery.” Ben Witherington, an early Christianity expert who was deeply involved with the James Ossuary, says “there are physical reasons to believe it couldn’t have originated in the Talpiot plot.”

7. Why are Jacobovici and Cameron waiting until just prior to Easter to launch both the book and documentary? 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.

8. Why would Jesus’ disciples endure torture for claiming he was resurrected, if they knew it was a hoax? New Testament scholar Darrell Bock asks, “why would Jesus’ family or followers bury his bones in a family plot and then turn around and preach that he had been physically raised from the dead?”

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