Sunday, February 25, 2007

Was Jesus Buried in Jerusalem?

I was reading a post at Classical Values about the claim that the burial site of Jesus has been found. From Classical Values I got a link to Israelity Bites where a hot discussion is going on about the topic.

Digging for controversy, the Titanic filmmaker James Cameron and Simcha Jacobovici are about to stun Christians the world over with a docu-drama that claims archaeologists have located the casket of Jesus.

The inscribed box, with some human remains still inside, apparently was crammed into an old cave near Talpiyot, an industrial zone in Jerusalem, alongside nine other two thousand year-old sarcophagi allegedly containing the bodies of Mother Mary, the carpenter Joseph, a little-known brother called Jofah, Mary Magdalene, and, most surprisingly of all, Jesus's son Judah, who technically could be considered the grandson of God.
Supposedly they have DNA evidence, archeological evidence, and scholars who back up the claims. The DNA evidence seems far fetched since we don't have any sure way of proving anything except that the people buried in the tomb are related. Which would not be unusual.

Naturally I had a few words on the subject which I left at Israelity Bites. I start out with a reply to one of the commenters who said if there is no God (i.e. the find has solid evidence backing it) there will be no reason to be good. As if we must be good for God's sake and not for the sake of goodness.
If there is no God we are just going to have to be nice to each other for the hell of it.

Whether the story of Jesus is right in all details or is in part fiction has nothing to do with the quality of the philosophy.

However, may I suggest a return to the old time religion? If it was good enough for Jesus it is good enough for me.

BTW the divinity of Jesus was not definitively settled until the Council of Nicea in 325.

If Jesus was not divine as the Council insisted then Christianity is just another Jewish sect. Nothing wrong with that.

Except that male Christians will need to be circumcized. Which reduces AIDS transmission.
Man that is going to hurt. Especially the adults. Maybe there will be a grandfather clause, i.e. if you are old enough to be a grandfather you are excused.

Normally circumcision (the Jews call it a bris) is done a few days after a boy is born. Probably in the hope that he will forget. It hurts. The babies cry. They are given a few drops of wine to dull the pain. I'm sure that helps. However, I can say from my own experience that I do not remember.

Any way, however this turns out a lot of people are going to be upset.


Karridine said...

The Sonship and Divinity of Jesus are not something that rests on requiring that His holy mortal remains NOT be found.

We can (in English) talk about The Son, sent of God, but that Son promised to return "in the glory of the Father", and discussing "the Father of God" makes it sound like God had a Father or God had a Son...

Recognizing the Sonship of Jesus, however, in no way diminishes the Coming of One Like Unto the Son of Man, May 23, 1844.

So this 'archeological' find will be an INTERESTING catalyst, if nothing else...

some other guy said...

Jesus is turning in his grave.

Anonymous said...

Some Other Guy:

"Jesus is turning in His grave."


That is exceptional wordsmithing!


Joshua said...

...Mary Magdalene, and, most surprisingly of all, Jesus's son Judah, who technically could be considered the grandson of God.

Methinks Cameron's just trying to upstage Dan Brown and Ron Howard.

Dave Lankshear said...

The claim that the divinity of Jesus was not settled until the council of Nicea is another sad case of someone getting their misinformation and worldview from Dan Brown. The earliest scriptural manuscripts, pre-dating the council by centuries, are very clear on who Jesus was.

The Nicea argument is a cheeky attempt at re-writing church history, and fails the source document test I'm afraid.

M. Simon said...


I have studied the history a little. My understanding is that the Council was required to settle differences in church doctrine. The fact that the divinity of Jesus was on the agenda is some proof that it was in dispute, at least in some significant quarters.

The fact that you can find earlier documents that support the Council's decision is not proof that other opinions did not hold sway in some places.

M. Simon said...

The idea that Jesus is merely a mediator (homoousios) between God and humanity conflicted with the idea that Jesus is God (homoiousios) for nearly three hundred years after Christ's death on the cross. An early Christian priest named Arius led a faction who believed Christ was not God, while another faction who believed in Christ's divinity was led by Alexander the Patriarch of Alexandria. Alexander appointed his chief deacon Athanasius to refute Arius, and at a council of priests in 319 AD, Arius was deposed. However, Arius was very popular with the people and found refuge in Nicomedia under the protection of the bishop Eusbesius.

The debate between the two factions remained active for years, but was finally resolved at the Council of Nicea in 325 AD. There the two parties compromised and formulated the triune God made up of three personalities, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The trinity doctrine was written into the Nicene Creed which became the standard of Christian belief.

Arius remained popular after the Council of Nicea, and even though Arianism was descredited, all but one of the churchs in Constaninople were Arian in 379 AD.

From: Ancient Worlds