A Christian leader and activist said an upcoming television special that claims archeologists may have found the tomb of Jesus Christ may mock the Christian faith and the work of archeologists. The comments by Christian clergy leader Rob Schneck were reported today on the website, www.onenewsnow.com. Schneck said the show is full of misleading and incorrect information.
Claims in the movie by the Canadian filmmaker that not only was the tomb of Christ found, but also DNA evidence that Jesus had a son and may have been married to Mary Magdalene were also dismissed by other church leaders and archeologists, according to the Toronto Star. Such claims were called “fanciful and absurd.”
The television special, “The Lost Tomb of Jesus,” is scheduled to air Sunday. It was produced by Hollywood director James Cameron (Titanic, the Terminator) and directed by filmmaker Simcha Jacobovichi (The Exodus Decoded, James: Brother of Jesus).
Amos Kloner, professor at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University said the story in the television special is a “beautiful story” “without any proof whatever.” Kloner argued that the names found on the tomb, such as Jesus and Mary, were extremely common in the days of Christ. He even noted those were the most common names in those days, so saying the tomb belonged to Jesus and Mary Magdalene, and a supposed son, Judah, is pure speculation.
Whether or not the film mocks Christians and archeologists, National Clergy Council President Schneck said a Hollywood director is one of the least qualified people to make such a movie. He noted that Cameron is known for fiction and turning it into something believable. He said Jacobovichi is considered by scholars to be only a “modern day Indiana Jones.” Jacobovichi is noted for a number of films about controversies in Jewish history.
Schneck said that while the documentary claims to present scientific analysis of limestone ossuaries (bone boxes) and physical evidence found in a 2000 year old tomb, there is “nothing of substance.” He noted that the name Jesus or Yeshua was quite common in the days of Christ. He also said 30 percent of women in those days had the name Mary or Miriam, so claims the tomb had the names Mary and Jesus mean nothing.
The tomb actually had the name, Mariamene, which some believe was Mary Magdalene’s original name, but that name was as common as Jill or Sally in today’s culture. He said that would be like finding an artifact today with the name Bill Smith on it and trying to figure out which Bill Smith it had belonged to.
Schneck noted that through the years Hollywood has mocked the faith of Christians, and he believes this television special might not do that only but also will mock archeologists. He noted that facts in the special are contrary to Biblical accounts of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.