At the end of a day where James Cameron (JC) presented his best case for finding “Jesus’ tomb,” it can once more be clearly stated that Jesus Christ (JC) is in no particular danger of being dethroned as the King of Kings.
The Jerusalem Post quotes Amos Kloner, a former Jerusalem District archaeologist who compiled the official report on the site after its discover 27 years ago, who “lambasted the documentary as ‘brain confusion’ which mixed fact with fiction and ‘dressed up facts’ in a Hollywood-like manner which could easily lead laymen astray.
Kloner, who had previously dismissed the documentary’s claims as “impossible” and “nonsense,” said Monday that having now viewed the film he had previously taken it “too seriously,” and stood by every word of his stinging criticism.
David Van Biema at Time.com consolidates a few of the other problems nicely:
— If “Jesus” and “Mariamene” weren’t related matrilineally, why jump to the conclusion that they were husband and wife, rather than being related through their fathers?
— The first use of “Mariamene” for Magdalene dates to a scholar who was born in 185, suggesting that Magdalene wouldn’t have been called that at her death.
— St. Andrews’ Bauckham defends his probabilities, noting that Jacobovici was comparing his name-cluster to the rather small sampling of names known to have been found on bone boxes, while his own basis for comparison, which adds names from contemporary literature and other sources, makes the combo far less unusual.
— Asbury Theological Seminary professor Ben Witherington, a 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.
Darrell Bock, a professor at the conservative Protestant Dallas Seminary, whom the Discovery Channel had vet the film two weeks ago, adds another objection: why would Jesus’s 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?” If that objection smacks secular readers as relying too heavily on scripture, then Bock’s larger point is still trenchant: “I told them that there were too many assumptions being claimed as discoveries, and that they were trying to connect dots that didn’t belong together.”
This case is as closed now as it was in 1996 when the very same accusations first appeared. Game over.