Carpenter says about Cameron's discovery, "It is
strange to me that over 500 eye witnesses saw Jesus Christ after the
resurrection at one time (I Corinthians 15:6) and yet so many reject
Plato mentions a place called Atlantis one time and all of the world
believe him. By the way, the box that Mr. Cameron found with the name
it was EMPTY! Hollywoods faith is based on movie contracts. There
faith there in plastic surgeons than in creation."
Scorn poured on James Cameron's
'Coffin of Christ' theory
ossuaries found, six were inscribed with the names of Jesus, Mary,
Joseph and Mary Magdalene, as well as Judah, Son of Jesus, and a
Matthew, of which there were many in Mary's family, according to Luke
Critics said all the names were commonplace in Biblical times.
Apparently surprised at the hostility over his 'discovery', the director who famously claimed to be 'the king of the world' when he won an Oscar for Titanic, insisted it was not a publicity stunt and said his critics should wait and see the film.
"I'm not a theologist. I'm not an archaeologist. I'm a documentary filmmaker," he said.
Dr. Gibson, who was one of the first people to examine the caskets 27 years ago, now says: "Entering the tomb in 1980 I didn't imagine this would become such an international focus.
"These are typical stone caskets from the first century. There are a lot of aspects that need to be looked at. A lot of new research has to be done. I'm skeptical."
Even Cameron, pushed to support his claims, said statisticians found "in the range of a couple of million to one in favor of it being them."
Most Christians believe Jesus' body spent three days at the site of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem's Old City. The burial site identified in Cameron's documentary is in a southern Jerusalem neighborhood nowhere near the church.
Amos Kloner, the first archaeologist to examine the site, said the idea fails to hold up by archaeological standards but makes for profitable television.
"They just want to get money for it," Kloner said. "It was an ordinary middle-class Jerusalem burial cave," he added. "The names on the caskets are the most common names found among Jews at the time."
"The historical, religious and archaeological evidence show that the place where Christ was buried is the Church of the Resurrection," said Attallah Hana, a Greek Orthodox clergyman in Jerusalem.
Stephen Pfann, a biblical scholar at the University of the Holy Land in Jerusalem who was interviewed in the documentary, said the film's hypothesis holds little weight.
"I don't think that Christians are going to buy into this," he said. "But sceptics, in general, would like to see something that pokes holes into the story that so many people hold dear."
"How possible is it?" he added. "On a scale of one through ten, with ten being completely possible, it's probably a one, maybe a one and a half."
Pfann is even unsure that the name Jesus on the caskets was read correctly. He thinks it is more likely the name Hanun. Ancient Semitic script is notoriously difficult to decipher.
Cameron spent two years working with a team of experts to make the controversial film. Director Simcha Jacobovici told the press conference: "For millions of readers, the Da Vinci Code was a fantasy, a fiction. Here is a Judah, son of Jesus, next to a Jesus and a Mariamne."
copyright News and Current Affairs, London, Monday Feb 26, 2007
Published: February 27, 2007
The claims were met with
skepticism by several archaeologists and New Testament scholars, as
well as outrage by some Christian
leaders. The contention that Jesus was married, had a child and
left behind his bones . suggesting he was not bodily resurrected
contradicts core Christian doctrine. See
Additional at: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/27/us/27jesus.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin