More attacks on the Christian faith?
Could this turn out to be the awaited "Great Delusion"?

Documentary claim - tomb of
Jesus and the entire (postulated) Holy
Family found in Jerusalem cave
Then one of the ossuaries went missing. The human remains inside
were destroyed or buried before any DNA testing could be carried ou
by Steve Keohane,

The discovery of such ossuaries is common in Talpiot, with over 900 such ossuaries discovered within a 2-mile radius of Talpiot.

Brace yourself. James Cameron, the director of 'The Titanic' is back with another blockbuster. This time, the good "ship" he and the Jewish film maker Simcha Jacobovici are trying to sink is Christianity.  Their documentary which they are hoping will make them rich, suggests Jesus did not ascend into heaven as the Gospels say; instead he married Mary Magdalene, had a son named Judas, and his bones lie somewhere decomposed in the earth.

Just in case you missed it – this is the same basic garbage spewed out by the Da Vinci Code.

More proof Christianity is the way, and the devil's time is short, is that it seems that every godless atheist and disciple of Satan is out there trying to disprove Christianity and make a buck on it right now. Why is it, nobody seems to have any interest in doing the same thing to Islam, rabbinic Judaism, Hinduism or Buddhism

First get over this... "Five hundred people saw the risen Jesus Christ on one occasion and up to 3,000 people on several occasions."

The fact remains, Jesus Christ's tomb was empty, he physically appeared to thousands of people and ate with and spoke to them, the Romans and Jews who opposed Jesus and His followers at the time could not find his bones, and cowards like Peter, skeptics like Thomas, and vicious persecutors like Paul became extraordinarily brave men who underwent painful torture and death rather than deny that they had witnessed the resurrected Jesus Christ.

After having done an extensive investigated into the Resurrection of Jesus, the former atheist and award winning reporter for the Chicago Tribune,  Lee Strobel says; "People need to understand that the Resurrection isn't the product of wishful thinking but is an actual historical event for which there is compelling and convincing evidence".

It was the historical evidence that brought Strobel to a turning point in his life.  Strobel explained: "They (people) need to understand that apart from the truth of the Resurrection, there's no hope for humankind because it was Jesus' atoning work on the cross and His triumphant return from the dead that enables us to receive the free gift of forgiveness and eternal life that we could never merit or earn on our own."

The Apostle Paul explained it best in I Corinthians 15:12-22.  Verses 12 & 17 sum it up: "Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? ... And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins."

In other words both the Apostle Paul and Lee Strobel are telling us is, if the Resurrection is false then we have no hope.  But since it is true, the door to heaven is unlocked for all those who put their trust in Jesus the Christ.

The Israeli-born, Canadian-based film maker Simcha Jacobovici is reigniting claims, first made over a decade ago, and long debunked, that a burial cave uncovered 27 years ago in Talpiot, Jerusalem, is the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth and his family.

Talpiot, Jerusalem
The Tomb in Question - Talpiot, Jerusalem
East Talpiot, just south of Jerusalem’s Old City
in a Mt of Olives neighborhood

The story starts in March 1980, in Jerusalem’s Talpiot neighborhood, with the discovery by the late Yosef Gat (Joseph Gath) of a 2,000 year old cave containing ten coffins. The tomb had been initially uncovered when TNT was detonated by a construction crew putting up a new apartment complex. Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA) archaeologist Gath excavated it quickly, so the construction could proceed.The Talpiot tomb contained ten ossuaries, three with no inscriptions, but six with an interesting, but not a so amazing cluster of names.  Six of the ten coffins were carved with inscriptions reading the names: Jesua son of Joseph, Mary, Mary, Matthew, Jofa (Joseph, film makers identified as Jesus’ brother), Judah son of Jesua (Jesus’ son - the film makers claim).   The inscription "Jesus son of Joseph" is not very remarkable for the period.  Of the thousand or more ossuaries stored and catalogued in various Israeli collections, six bore the name “Jesus” (Yeshu, Yeshua, or Yehoshua in Hebrew), and of those six, two were inscribed with the designation “Jesus son of Joseph.” Mary was the most common female name in the period and the name Joseph the second most common male name, after Simon. Naturally, the film makers would never bring up this question.  instead of Mary Magdalene.  Might Jesus of had a sister named Mary? What an interesting name for Jesus’ son – Judah (Judas). The name of the man that betrayed Him to Jewish authorities.

James Ossuary

above picture - the James Ossuary

The mysterious 10th Coffin:  Shimon Gibson assisted Joseph Gath in the original excavations.  As the surveyor, Gibson also did all the official drawings.  Gibson's original drawing of the excavation of the Talpiot tomb clearly shows a total of ten ossuaries. In the official publication of the excavation in 1996, written 16 years after the excavation, Israeli archeologist Amos Kloner also confirms that ten ossuaries were recovered and retained by the IAA.  Kloner carefully goes through them one by one in his report and describes them in detail as to size, decoration, and inscriptions. When he comes to the last, the tenth, he offers a single-word description: plain. Nothing more. Apparently he had nothing in his files regarding this tenth ossuary other than its dimensions: 60 by 26 by 30 centimeters. That's roughly 24 x 10 x 12 inches. With each description he includes a photo of the ossuary under discussion — all except the tenth.

James Ossuary Connection?

But the official catalogue of ossuaries in the State of Israel collection, published by Rahmani in 1994, also includes just nine ossuaries from this tomb. And yet we know that the tenth was definitely given a catalogue number by the IAA: 80.509.  The IAA are usually very thorough in documenting and protecting objects.  Yet surprise.  This is gone. What is even more amazing, is that the dimensions of the missing 10th ossuary are exactly the same (
to the centimeter) as the controversial James Ossuary.

The Apostle Paul explained it best in I Corinthians 15:12-22.  Verses 12 & 17 sum it up: "Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? ... And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins."

Christians believe that Jesus ascended into heaven in front of a large group of witnesses. The event is mentioned briefly by the Evangelist Mark (16:19) and Luke (24:50-53). A more detailed account is given by Luke in the Acts of the Apostles (1:1-12).  In Christianity there are 4 complete separate Gospels.  There are over 80,000 quotations in the works of early Christian writers.  There are thousands of letters written from the 1st century still in existence.  No mention has ever been made of Jesus if Nazareth either ever having been married, or having a son. 
Acts 1 9-11: while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

Considering how the Jewish authorities were desperately trying to stamp out Christianity.  What's the likelihood they would allow a neat little shrine/family plot of Jesus' family, right there in their "backyard"?

amos kloner

Bar-Ilan University Prof. Amos Kloner, is the Jerusalem District archeologist wrote a detailed report on the Talpiot cave findings, but he did not publish them until 1996, 16 years after their discovery, and the same year all the publicity broke.  The Talpiot tomb itself is lost, because an apartment building was built over it in 1980.

Amos Kloner, "A Tomb with Inscribed Ossuaries in the East Talpiot," Atiqot 29 (1996): 15?22. Kloner writes, "The bones within these ossuaries were in an advanced stage of disintegration" (page 16). He says nothing about the human skulls that Gibson saw and put in his drawing. In a final note in his article he says, "After the completion of the excavation, the bones were reburied" (page 22). Amos Kloner apparently was not involved in the excavation and writes his report based on the information compiled by the excavator, the late Joseph Gath.

Kloner casts serious doubt that this is the bones of Jesus and His family.  This senior Israeli archeologist  said;

"It's a beautiful story but without any proof whatsoever,"

Professor Amos Kloner, who had published the findings of his research in the IAA's in-house magazine Atiquot  in 1996, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa: 

"The names that are found on the tombs are names that are similar to the names of the family of Jesus," he conceded. "But those were the most common names found among Jews in the first centuries BCE and CE," he added.

Kloner dismissed the combination of names found in the cave as a "coincidence."  Doctor Kloner is a Bar Ilan University – archaeologist, expert on burials and burial customs during Second Temple period Jerusalem.

Kloner said that "Jesus son of Joseph" inscriptions had been found on several other ossuaries over the years"  and "At least three other ossuaries have been found inscribed with the name Jesus and countless others with Joseph and Mary".

"There is no likelihood that Jesus and his relatives had a family tomb," Kloner said. "They were a Galilee family with no ties in Jerusalem. The Talpiot tomb belonged to a middle-class family from the 1st century CE."

"At the time, one of Israel's most prominent archaeologists (Professor Amos Kloner) didn't associate the crypt with Jesus. He rightly argued that the father of Jesus was a humble carpenter who couldn't afford a luxury crypt for his family. Moreover, the names on the crypt were common Jewish names," Anderson said.

He noted that Joseph probably had died earlier in Galilee and his family would not have had funds for such a tomb. Also, if this was the tomb of Jesus' family, "why do we have the name of Matthew listed?" And this name from out of the blue -

On Saturday, 24 Feb 2007,  Doctor Kloner dismissed the claims. "It makes a great story for a TV film," he told The Jerusalem Post. "But it's impossible. It's nonsense."

Yet, these atheists, book and film makers will all "run" with this. Some because of greed. Many, just doing Satan's bidding -by trying to hurt Christianity. Like Dan Brown's lies in the Da Vinci Code, this too will manage to cause the weakest among us to lose their faith.

I wonder why we don't have the same discussions of patina and forged engravings that we had in the James Ossuary, by Jewish archeologists? Because the James Ossuary just tended to help the case for the historical Jesus - that's why.

AND, why hasn't the Israeli Antiquities authority not even bothered to do any research on this ossuary found over 25 years ago, when they rushed to disprove the James Ossuary within months?  Did the IAA destroy or bury the contents of the ossuaries? 

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), which is keeping the caskets in its archive in the town of Beit Shemesh near Jerusalem, declined to comment on the documentary, saying it had not researched the caskets and that its duty was only to safeguard them.

The IAA nevertheless sent two of the caskets to the news conference in New York.

Dominus Flevit
click picture to enlarge

Tomb nearby on Mt of Olives' Dominus Flevit, Jerusalem

Several of the ossuaries found here from the 1st half of the 1st century bear inscriptions such as, "Jesus, have mercy," and "Jesus, remember me in the resurrection," indicating the presence in Jerusalem from a fairly early date of a community that believed in resurrection and in the power of Jesus to see the believer safely through death and beyond.

Let's look further into these ossuary finds. Regarding the numerous bone-boxes found in the Tombs at Dominus Flevit (situated on the upper western slope of the Mount of Olives), which contained "122 ossuaries of the usual type [square]," common names included Jeshua or Yeshua (Jesus) and Maria (Mary). (EAEHL, II, 636.) In one of the surviving family tombs in Jerusalem are 18 ossuaries with Greek inscriptions, one of which contains the names "Joseph" (twice) and "Maria." (EAEHL, II, 635.) By the typical media and religious standards this tomb should have also been exalted as that of Jesus's family. But this would not make for a great Canadian film maker's documentary.

Matthew 13:55, wherein the people listening to Jesus ask: "Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us?" This is repeated in Mark 6:3.

The Apostle Paul specifically refers to his meeting in Jerusalem with "James, the Lord's brother" (Galatians 1:19). We know that James was in Jerusalem presiding over the famous Circumcision Debate (Galatians 2:1-10 and Acts 15:4-34). He was then serving  as the head of his brother's new Church at that time. Also, the writings of the 1st-century historian, and Jewish traitor Flavius Josephus relates to "the brother of Jesus - who was called Christ - whose name was James" (Antiquities of the Jews 20:9:1).

Matthew 13:56 and Mark 6:3 both indicate that Jesus also had sisters, who are named in the Panarion and Ancoratus (treatises on heresies) by Epiphanius of Salamis (375 A.D.)  - as being Mary, Salome and Anna (Joanna). The sisters of Jesus are also mentioned in the Protevangelion of James (aka: Gospel of James), in the Gospel of Philip, and in the Church's Apostolic Constitutions. In the New Testament Gospels, they appear at the cross and the tomb of Jesus, along with Mary Magdalene. Three Marys stood watching Jesus suffer and die at the crucifixion. Mary and Salome appear, for example, in Mark 15:47, while Joanna and Mary appear in Luke 24:10, and Mary features again in Matthew 28:1.  The Protevangelion of James, dating to about 150 A.D., may be the earliest surviving document attesting the veneration of Mary and claiming her continuing virginity.  There is a question about the authenticity of this non-canonical Gospel of James.  Most scholars think someone other than James the Just wrote this document.  Scholars are reluctant to attribute it to James, because they question the writer's awareness (or lack of it) of Jewish customs in Jerusalem during the mid 1st century. Biblical scholars also question the documents language style.  Of interest to this discussion, the text of the Gospel of James claims this James is a son of Joseph from a prior marriage, and thus a step-brother of Jesus. 

What if this tomb does have some significance?  What if it held the prepuce of Jesus?  Jesus and His family were devout Jews.  Jesus would have had his ritual circumcision on the 8th day after his birth. Maybe his family buried Jesus' prepuce in a ritual box.

Christians were warned about these end time attacks on our faith, and the resulting End Time 'Apostasy'.

Timothy 4:1-2, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.” 


Also consider how the film's producers misused scholars in a deceitful way in this film.  Simcha did it in this film, just the same way he did it in his TV special "The Exodus Decoded".  The two very prominent Egyptologists, Manfred Bietak and Donald Redford claimed that they were quoted out of context by Simcha in his "The Exodus Decoded". 

In this latest Simcha ploy, he got the distinguished epigrapher Frank Moore Cross to read the script of the ossuary inscribed "Jesus son of Joseph".  The film leaves the impression that Cross supported the view that this was Jesus' tomb.  Cross has since spoken out saying he was "upset" at his appearance in Simcha's latest film.  Simcha knew that Cross felt that this was not Jesus' tomb.  But he only used the reading of the inscription by Cross in the film, and not his view that this is not the tomb of Jesus.  Israeli scholar Tal Ilan expressed similar outrage at the use of her interview in Simcha's film.

The highly respected chairman of the symposium, James Charlesworth, professor of New Testament language and literature at Princeton Theological Seminary, rejected the idea that Jesus had been buried at the tomb, but said, "We have to be open to the possibility that [the tomb] is related to the Jesus clan."

Among his objections to the notion that an ossuary from the Talpiot tomb bearing the apparent inscription "Yeshua son of Yehosef" was that of the founder of Christianity, Charlesworth said, was that the inscription was "graffiti, just scratching," and that the ossuary was "lousy." He found it unthinkable that the followers of Jesus would have put "the remains of 'the messiah' in such a horrible ossuary."

Gat died soon after excavating the Talpiot tomb in 1980, and left only minimal notes of what had been found there. The findings were only written up 16 years later by the former Jerusalem District archeologist Amos Kloner, who has consistently ridiculed the notion that the First-Century tomb was related to Jesus in any way. Kloner restated that position to the Post after Mrs. Gat spoke, and said the idea that Gat had believed he had found Jesus's tomb was "absolutely not the case."

Kloner, who called Jacobovici "a liar" at an earlier session of the symposium, last year branded the documentary "brain confusion" that mixed fact with fiction and "dressed up facts" in a Hollywood-like manner that could easily lead laymen astray.

Kloner also told the Jerusalem Post in 2007 that when the ossuaries were found nearly three decades ago, most of the bones inside had been badly decomposed. Due to haredi pressures put on the Israeli government, no anthropological tests were ever carried out on the remains, he said, and the bones were transferred to the Religious Affairs Ministry for immediate reburial along with assorted other remains found in various construction projects and digs. The location of the bones, which were then interred by the Jewish burial society, is not known.


Further reading: The Jesus Dynasty, by James D. Tabor