My favorite NT scholar but more importantly one of the world’s most respected NT scholars, Bishop N.T. Wright, has weighed in lightly on the James Cameron documentary and accompanying book.
Dr Wright dismissed the claims, saying that every few years someone went through the Israeli ossuary sites and found similar names. “What we have to realise is that it is like looking through a London phone book, and seeing the names John and Mary Smith. There are lots of them, just as in Jewish history these other names were very common.”
Although film-makers said this pointed to the existence of Jesus, no serious historian ever supposed this to be the case, said Dr Wright.
Historians and archaeologists in Jerusalem have joined church leaders in dismissing the claims, saying that the film’s hypothesis holds little weight. Professor L. Michael White of the University of Texas told Reuters that the claims were archaeologically unsound.