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Ten Reasons Why The Jesus Tomb Claim is Bogus

Leading Scholars Say Discovery Channel 'Documentary' Makes for Good TV, Bad History and Bad Science

 

Contacts:  See List Below

 

MEDIA ADVISORY, Feb. 26 /Christian Newswire/ -- The claim of James Cameron and the Discovery Channel that a tomb contains the bones of Jesus is bogus, said leading Biblical and archeological scholars today.

 

"Unfortunately, this is a story full of holes, conjectures and problems," said Dr. Ben Witherington, author of What Have They Done With Jesus? and New Testament professor at Asbury Theological Seminary. "It will make good TV and involves a bad critical reading of history. Basically, this is old news with a new interpretation. We have known about this tomb since it was discovered in 1980. There are all sorts of reasons to see this as much ado about nothing much."

 

Witherington and other leading biblical scholars and archeologists say there are at least 10 reasons why the "Jesus Tomb" claim is completely bogus:

 

  1. There is no DNA evidence that this is the historical Jesus of Nazareth
  2. The statistical analysis is untrustworthy
  3. The name "Jesus" was a popular name in the first century, appearing in 98 other tombs and on 21 other ossuaries
  4. There is no historical evidence that Jesus was ever married or had a child
  5. The earliest followers of Jesus never called him "Jesus, son of Joseph"
  6. It is highly unlikely that Joseph, who died earlier in Galilee, was buried in Jerusalem, since the historical record connects him only to Nazareth or Bethlehem
  7. The Talpiot tomb and ossuaries are such that they would have belonged to a rich family, which does not match the historical record for Jesus
  8. Fourth-century church historian Eusebius makes quite clear that the body of James, the brother of Jesus, was buried alone near the temple mount and that his tomb was visited in the early centuries, making very unlikely that the Talpiot tomb was Jesus' "family tomb"
  9. The two Mary ossuaries do not mention anyone from Migdal, but simply has the name Mary, one of the most common of all ancient Jewish female names
  10. By all ancient accounts, the tomb of Jesus was empty, making it highly unlikely that it was moved to another tomb, decayed for one year's time, and then the bones put in an ossuary

 

"In light of all the incredible number of problems with the recent claim that Jesus' grave has been found, the time-honored, multi-faceted evidence for the bodily resurrection of Jesus is more convincing than ever," said Dr. Gary Habermas, an expert on the resurrection of Jesus and author of The Case for the Resurrection.  "Even the early opponents of the Christian message acknowledged that Jesus' tomb was empty. And the evidence for Jesus' bodily resurrection appearances has never been refuted."

 

These leading Biblical and archeological experts are available for media interviews:

 

Dr. Ben Witherington

Bible scholar, speaker, author of 30 books including What Have They Done With Jesus? and The Jesus Quest

Professor of New Testament Interpretation

Asbury Theological Seminary

Wilmore, Kentucky

859-223-6308

benw333@hotmail.com

curriculum vitae

 

Dr. Darrell Bock

Media spokesman / Editor-at-large for Christianity Today /Author, Breaking the Da Vinci Code and Jesus in Context

Professor of New Testament Studies

Dallas Theological Seminary

Dallas, Texas

214-824-3094 x3715

DBockDTS@aol.com

website

 

Dr. Craig Evans

Author, Jesus and the Ossuaries and Fabricating Jesus: How Modern Scholars Distort the Gospels

Professor of New Testament

Acadia Divinity College

Wolfville, Nova Scotia

902-585-2221

craig.evans@acadiau.ca

curriculum vitae

 

Dr. Gary Habermas

Shroud of Turin expert / Author of 27 books including The Case for the Resurrection

Chair, Department of Philosophy and Theology

Liberty University

Lynchburg, Virginia

434-582-2577

website

 

Dr. Paul Maier

Bible scholar / author of more than 15 books including The Da Vinci Code – Fact or Fiction?, More Than a Skeleton and Josephus – The Essential Works

Professor of Ancient History

Western Michigan University

Kalamazoo, Michigan

(269) 387-4816

maier@wmich.edu

faculty profile

 

Joe Zias

- Thirty years professional experience in the field of Medical/ Physical anthropology

- Over 80 articles in peer reviewed medical and scientific journals

- Science and Archaeology Group at Hebrew University. Former senior curator of Archaeology and Anthropology at the Israel Antiquities Authority for which he was responsible for the curation of the antiquities stored in the Israel Antiquities Authority, ranging from the Pre-historic periods up to the 18th Century AD. These objects, numbering over 75,000, included the Dead Sea Scrolls, pre-historic human skeletal remains as well as artifacts from the regions premier archaeological sites such as Jericho, Megiddo, and Gezer.

972-2-588-2811 Hebrew University (from United States first dial 011)

joezias@yahoo.com

website

 

Dr. Amos Kloner

Officially oversaw the work at the tomb in 1980 and has published detailed findings on its contents

Professor, Department of Land of Israel Studies

Bar-Ilan University

Jerusalem, Israel

klonera@mail.biu.ac.il

972-3-531-7283 (from United States first dial 011)