'The Lost Tomb of Jesus': Lame Facts, Great Fiction
By Harvest House Publishers
CBN.com Eugene, Oregon—March 26, 2007—Citing severe historical errors and many factual problems, scholars, archaeologists, and scientists have voiced their doubts about the validity of James Cameron’s The Lost Tomb of Jesus, the so-called “documentary” which aired recently on the Discovery Channel.
Notable authors are speaking up as well. One Harvest House novelist covered the very premise of The Lost Tomb of Jesus in a recent spot-on suspense-thriller.
“There are numerous first century ossuaries (bone burial boxes) unearthed in Jerusalem on a regular basis,” says Craig Parshall, author of The Resurrection File (2002).
“It was just a matter of time before someone claimed that one of them once contained the remains of Jesus of Nazareth. It is unfortunate that the climate of opinion in our culture today is so quick to try to use so-called ‘science’ to reduce Jesus to a mere mortal, rather than a risen Savior,” says Parshall.
In a classic case of fiction setting the stage for real life events, The Resurrection File scenario reveals what would happen if a brilliant scientist indeed had discovered, in Jerusalem, the definitive archaeological proof that Jesus was never resurrected.
Parshall, a Washington D.C. lawyer, says The Lost Tomb of Jesus falls flat on its face in that attempt.
“If the ‘evidence’ upon which The Lost Tomb of Jesus is based on were presented to a court in a full-blown trial, as was the case hypothesized in my novel,” Parshall says, “the verdict seems clear: Cameron’s case would sink faster than the Titanic.”
Others point out that exciting Hollywood story lines are often more unbelievable than the truth.
“What's ironic about sensational claims like this one, Dan Brown's ‘Holy Grail’ story, or even a lot of ‘serious’ scholarship, is that what the skeptics offer in the end is neither historically believable, nor so interesting as the Gospels themselves,” says David Marshall, founder and director of the Kuai Mu Institute for Christianity and World Cultures, and author of The Truth About Jesus and the 'Lost Gospels' (April).
“There are all kinds of problems with the claims of The Lost Tomb of Jesus,” Marshall adds. “For one, the names were common during that time, and remain so to this day. Nor does the tomb match 1st Century history. It's in the wrong city. The ‘James, the brother of Jesus’ box was found somewhere else. Why would a thief steal the bones of Jesus' brother, and not Jesus himself?”
Commenting on The Lost Tomb of Jesus idea that, while the church was growing like wildfire with the news of Jesus' resurrection and the conquest of death itself, Jesus himself was quietly living with his wife and two children in a Jerusalem suburb, is “an amusing premise for a sit-com, but hard to conceive historically,” Marshall adds.
Another author weighs in on how believers can and should respond to sensational claims such as those made in Cameron’s project.
“Christians need to respond thoughtfully and with the facts, in grace and truth,” says Richard Abanes, who wrote The Truth Behind The Da Vinci Code. “Usually the truth speaks for itself and is enough to dispel falsehoods -- that is, for anyone who truly wishes to know the truth. For people who WANT To believe Jesus' bones have been discovered, or that he was married to Mary Magdalene, there is really nothing to do except wish them well after you've showed them why their views do not line up with well documented, ancient history, and the facts.”
News story links challenging The Lost Tomb of Jesus:
Israeli Archaeologists Call 'Jesus Tomb' a Fake
Scholars Slam 'Jesus Tomb'
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