The Tomb of Jesus? (Updated 2.28)

The headliner of today's news is the announcement of Simcha Jacobovici that the tomb of Jesus and "his family" has been discovered... with their remains inside. Read the article for yourself, if you can't imagine why this would be the most revolutionary discovery of the last 2,000 years. Liberal "Christian" scholars say this should be no problem for Christians, that Jesus could have raised spiritually from the dead, and not physically. But this is merely hypothetical.

As Scot McKnight points out, there is no way to prove that the DNA of the bones in the tomb is the DNA of Jesus, without comparing it to another sample which has been proven to be of Jesus. And, well, that's impossible, because it is impossible for such a sample to exist. But let's say all the rest of the "evidence" points to this being the remains of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and "their son Judah"...

This proves to be wholly incompatible with Christian belief. Why? Because the Christian scriptures, along with the most reputed non-Christian Jewish and Roman historians, clearly delineate that Jesus was missing from the tomb when Mary, mother of Jesus, and Mary Magdalene went looking for him. If Jesus' physical body remained, the entire story of the angel appearing to the guards, the guards fleeing to report to the chief priests, and the chief priests ordering the guards to spread lies that the disciples stole Jesus' body would be a complete farce. These events are precisely recorded in the Biblical Gospels and confirmed by 4th century historian Eusebius.

On to the issue of Jesus being married and so forth, such as is ridiculously proposed in The DaVinci Code (I thought it was a great movie, by the way). The fact that the Bible omits any mention of this reality demands reckoning. The only explanation of how and why the New Testament authors omitted these "minor details" is just as Dan Brown and others have proposed it: they wanted to hide this fact in order to "build their dynasty". But why would they want to hide it? Because it would disprove the deity of Jesus, that's why. Regardless of this, however, we must see if it is at all likely that the authors would do this.

It is historical fact that every one of the Biblical authors were martyred, along with all but one of the 11 disciples (Judas Iscariot the traitor omitted, and the 11th disciple died in exile because of his insistence that Jesus had risen). This begs the question, Why would these men, knowing that Jesus lied to them about being raised from the dead (thus invalidating his claims of righteousness and deity), proceed to spend their lives propagating the Gospel message, and indeed laying down their lives as martyrs for this cause? Not one, not two, but eleven of them(including Paul), not to mention the countless other martyrs of the early Church. And why did Saul of Tarsus, the fiercest persecutor of Christians, end up being the foremost advocate of Jesus Christ and the author of the vast majority of the New Testament? Why, on his way to Damascus to expand his persecution of Christians, did Saul arrive at Damascus a follower of Jesus?

In conclusion, to put the pieces together, the disciples would not have (a) stolen Jesus' body and proceeded to tell people that he was resurrected, or (b) omitted any reference to Jesus' marriage or romantic relationship, as neither of these would be characteristic of people who believed what they were preaching and writing about enough to die for it. And while none of these facts or reasons prove that Christianity according to the New Testament canon is true, they do provide seemingly insurmountable evidence contrary to any notion that the disciples stole Jesus' body or that Jesus was married. The Bible's silence on the issue of Jesus' supposed marriage speaks volumes.

For a more credible, thorough and scholarly treatment of this "news" (yet completely accessible to non-scholars), read today's entry on Ben Witherington's blog.

Christianity Today finally did something with the story.

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