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Forget the Tomb: Find Your Own Personal Jesus

posted by Esther Kustanowitz

If you’ve been reading or watching the news this week, you’ve likely heard about James Cameron’s press conference about his latest project: the supposed unearthing of Jesus’ crypt.

What’s that? Isn’t it the Christian tradition that Jesus was resurrected? Well, forget all that Sunday School education. Because Cameron and director Simcha Jacobovici (who also hosted “The Exodus Decoded,” which featured narration from Cameron) “claim to have amassed evidence through DNA tests, archeological evidence and Biblical studies, that the 10 coffins [or, more accurately, "ossuaries," found during the excavation of Jerusalem's Talpiyot neighborhood] belong to Jesus and his family.” They’ve also concluded from the find that Jesus had a kid with Mary Magdalene. And they’ve made a movie about it, which will be shown soon on Discovery Channel, Britain’s Channel 4, Canada’s Vision, and Israel’s Channel 8. The Discovery Channel has a more complete account of the film, “The Lost Tomb of Jesus.”

Time gets the award for best headline: “Tales from the Crypt,” but loses points for including too many Titanic references (“this time, the ship he’s sinking is Christianity” and “stir up titanic debate”) and yet not taking advantage of the chance to refer to either Cameron or Jacobovici as “the Cryptkeeper.” (I mean, if you’re going to go with Tales from the Crypt as your header and beat the Titanic thing to death, then go all the way.)

And now, this Jewess will offer some literary and cinematic recommendations (aside from “The Da Vinci Code,” which I found interesting content- and mythology-wise, but amateurish and pedestrian in execution) for those of you who love to ponder Jesus and his mysteries from a less-than-traditional perspective:

“The Body” (movie, 2000): Antonio Banderas in a clerical collar is hot. “Ordered to investigate a dead body that could call Christianity’s fundamental beliefs into question, Father Gutierrez (Antonio Banderas) travels to Jerusalem and meets archaeologist Sharon Golban (Olivia Williams). Together, they analyze the body and look for clues that could give them definitive answers to its origins. But events take a dangerous turn when a Palestinian terrorist group confronts Father Gutierrez and threatens to steal the body.” (description: Netflix)

“The Last Temptation of Christ” (book, then film, 1988): Scorsese directs, and Peter Gabriel’s haunting, sometimes painful score is itself a reason to experience this film. “At his execution, Jesus is tempted by an alluring image of a peaceful and pleasant life with Mary Magdelene to try to get him to refuse the sacrifice he must make.” (description: IMDB)

“Cross Bones,” by Kathy Reichs (book): If the characters sound familiar, it’s likely because this popular series of “Bones” novels was recently transformed into the FOX procedural of the same name. “Forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance “Tempe” Brennan gets caught in mysteries past and present when she’s called in to determine if illegal antiquities dealer Avram Ferris’s gunshot death is murder or suicide. An acquaintance of Avram suggests the former: he hands Tempe a photograph of a skeleton, taken in Israel in 1963, and insists it’s the reason Avram is dead. Tempe’s longtime boyfriend, Quebecois detective Andrew Ryan, is also involved with the case, so the duo head to Israel where they attempt to solve the murder and a mystery revolving around a first-century tomb that may contain the remains of the family of Jesus Christ. This find threatens the worldwide Christian community, the Israeli and Jewish hierarchy and numerous illegal antiquity dealers, any of whom might be out to kill Tempe and Ryan.” (description: Publishers Weekly)

“Jesus Christ Superstar” (show, then film, 1973): Listen to the opening song, and then try to get its infectious melody out of your head. Just try. “Based on a concept album project written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, and the subsequent long-running Broadway performance, this film tells the story of the final 6 days in the life of Jesus Christ through the troubled eyes of Judas Iscariot. Too often mis-labeled a musical, this film is a ‘rock opera.’ There are no spoken lines, everything is sung. ” (description: IMDB)

“Godspell” (1973): “An adaption of the musical, in a modern-day song-and-dance recreation of the Gospel of St. Matthew.” (description: IMDB)

And my nearly-out-of-print favorite, “Act of God,” by Charles Templeton (book, 1977): As a teenager, I was obsessed with this book’s analysis of religion, the potential upheaval of faith, and the conspiracy theories involved. “A secret so momentous it threatens to change the course of history… The most important archaeological discovery of all time sets irresistible forces in motion and alters forever the lives of three men and a woman: a celebrated Cardinal in the Roman Catholic church and the probable next pope, who is compelled against all his principles to plan the ultimate crime; a world-renowned archaeologist whose lust for fame carries him into the Israeli desert on a quest that promises immortality but threatens to destroy him; a beautiful but vulnerable young woman who is driven by events to make the agonizing choice between her faith and the first man she has ever loved; and a detective with the New York County District Attorney’s Office who relentlessly investigates an international crime in the knowledge that the solution may shatter his own happiness.”

Open mind. Read, see, think, and enjoy…



  • http://www.drblt.net Dr BLT

    Speaking of a Personal Jesus, have you heard this Dr BLT cover of Depeche Mode’s Personal Jesus: http://www.drblt.net/music/PJ.mp3

  • Joyce Brundage

    Jesus was, indeed, resurrected, so there could not possibly be any “evidence” of Him in that tomb–it was empty. This is the foundation of the Christianity–a Risen Saviour!!
    Yes, I watched “Exodus Decoded” and even purchased the DVD from the web site, but the more I watched it, the more I became convinced that what Cameron and Jacobovici are trying to do is take the mystery, wonder, and awesomeness away from God! These were supposed to be miracles, remember?
    Blessings,
    Joyce

  • K. Sean Proudler

    Speaking of a Personal Jesus,what if Jesus found himself :
    http://www.outersecrets.com/real/biblecode2.htm

  • annafata

    Assuming the tomb is real it dosent change the fact that jesus is the anointed one!

  • michael gentry

    I Recommend this site for a simply reason that its easily navigated and self explanatory very useful tips overall a user friendly site highly recommended,Pagans are among the newest and oldest of religions.,
    ———————–
    michael.gentry
    “http://www.legalx.net”"dofollow”>Lucknow BPO>

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