Family Tomb in Jerusalem is That of Jesus and His Family-Disputed!

Family Tomb in Jerusalem is That of Jesus and His Family-Disputed!

Summary of eRumor:

The story says that according to film-maker James Cameron, a tomb in Jerusalem discovered in 1980 is that of Jesus and his family and that he and Mary Magdalene were probably buried as a couple.  The eRumor says that Cameron has teamed with director Simcha Jacobovici to produce a documentary that says that not only was Jesus not resurrected from the dead and was teamed with Mary Magdalene, but father a son with her. They claim to have DNA studies that support their conclusions.

The Truth:

The article in the eRumor is from the February 26, 2007 issue of Time Magazine and was written by Tim McGirk.  It describes Cameron’s conclusions and his documentary accurately.  It is to be titled The Lost Tomb of Jesus and will air on the Discovery channel.  A Discovery Channel release says that film-maker Simcha Jacobovici has gathered scientific evidence to support his claim that a 2,000-year-old cave in Jerusalem’s East Talpiot neighborhood once held the remains of Jesus, his mother Mary, Mary Magdalene, and possibly the son born to Jesus and Mary Magdalene, Judah.  Jacobovici is Israeli-born but lives in Canada. Also on February 26 Cameron and his colleagues held a news conference in New York about the documentary.

The tomb was found in 1980 during construction of the neighborhood.  Ten ossuaries (a container for holding the bones of the dead) were found inside. It has been sealed by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) but the film-makers said they found it with the help of people in the neighborhood, opened the cave, and were able to collect some evidence and do filming before a representative of the IAA asked them to leave and re-seal the entrance.  Cameron says he hopes there can be further official excavation of the cave.  Cameron and Jacobovici claim that six of ossuaries have inscriptions that thread them to “Jesus son of Joseph,” “Mary,” “Jose”, “Matia”, Mariamne” and a child named “Judah son of Jesus.”  They say that the Jesus ossuary is that of Jesus of Nazareth, the Mary is that of his mother, the Matia is another relative of the family, that Mariamne is Mary Magdalene, and that Judah is the son of Jesus and Mary Magdalene.  Their claim is based largely on statistical evidence, not direct forensic proof.  The team has a statistician who feels that the odds of their theory is right are very high. They did say that they were able to get enough of what they wanted from the “Jesus” and “Mariamne” boxes to determine that they were not blood relatives.  They theorize that Jesus and “Mariamne” were a couple and that “Judah” could have been their child, but they have no proof of it.  

In Jerusalem, however, Israeli archeologists have not reserved their words of criticism of the documentary.  Professor Amos Kloner, who led the excavation of the Talpiot cave, told the Jerusalem Post that in his view the documentary was “…’brain confusion’ that mixed fact with fiction and ‘dressed up facts’ in a Hollywood-like manner which could easily lead laymen astray.”  He dismissed the documentary’s claims as “impossible” and “nonsense.”

Updated 2-26-07