the lost tomb of jesus: discovery channel

This discovery channel documentary is going to be interesting to watch, 6 PM this Sunday, West Coast time. But I suggest you read the Talpiot Tomb WikiPedia article prior to watching.  Other skeptics raise doubts, we will see how the documentary addresses them. 

Me, i like to hover on the cusp between truth and belief.  I think that  belief makes the pursuit of truth difficult and somtimes  impossible.  If you accept the statical analysis, (that there is a 600 to 1 chance that this is the tomb of Jesus Christ), then does that translate into virtual certainty in your mind?  If it does, how do you reconcile his resurrection to the proposition that his bones were found in Jerusalem.  If you are a devout Christian, then you will listen only to the skeptics.  If, however, your interest in archaeological truth overweights your belief in the actuality of the resurrection, then you will want to delve into the facts of the case unvarnished by the discovery channel hype.  Perhaps we can use this item as a magnet for the latter.

Here is a pdf file of evidence that went into making of the film.


  1. discovery channel
  2. jesus
  3. jesus tomb
  4. talpiot tomb


Seth says
M 2007-03-02 14:50:02 [item 6250]
Just for example imagine that some other such scientific expedition were to go look for the tomb of Mohamed or validate that his bones were really there.

According to mainstream Islam, The Mosque of the Prophet in Medina is where Muhammad is buried.  Since his death happened more than 6 centuries later,  there is far less controversy. Not to mention the fact that he was not supposed to have resurrected leaving no corpse. 

But yes, me thinks it would make quite a stur should anyone try to validate his bones.  It might be fun to  match his DNA to those claiming to be imams (decendents of the profit's family) and watch them squirm.

Seth says
Apparently my interpertation  that "there is a 600 to 1 chance that this is the tomb of Jesus Christ" in wrong.  According to the Scientific American  ...
source: Aleks Jakulin, a statistician at Columbia University
... Instead  one should say that one in 600 families (on the conservative side) would have that particular combination of names purely by chance, based on the distribution of individual names in the population."
I stand corrected.

Seth says
James Tabor of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, the primary historical advisor on the production team, has a blog here.

Mark de LA says
It would amuse me if this would prove the foundation for the Anthroposophical viewpoint of the two Jesus children - mentioned in this lecture.  Unfortunately, I don't think there is any proof going on here nor any real truth being sought after. Rather what is likely to come out of this is not science fiction (like global warming), but biblical fiction!

Seth says
M 2007-03-03 09:22:21 6250
It would amuse me if this would prove the foundation for the Anthroposophical viewpoint of the two Jesus children -
Well it might tend to indicate, assuming that these are the bones of JC, that his resurrection was a spiritual event rather than a physical one.  Which would make more sense anyway ... afterall the vision of a cadaver comming alive and rising to the sky is more akin to a Hollywood horror movie than a serious spirituality.

Seth says
M 2007-03-06 06:18:56 6250
I only watched a little bit, missed the beginning, was it convincing or just hype?
Well the "documentary" tied the threads of the "evidence" together fairly well.   I doubt that it will convince anybody, least of all devout Christians.  It is a long chain of interpretations all of which need to be correct to arrive at the conclusion that Talpiot was JC's tumb.  The problem with this kind of presentation is that it apparently must cherry pick evidence ... a better truth can be found by presenting both sides of all arguments ... but of course that is less entertaining.

For some reason the Israel Antiquities Authority obstructed the inquiry at every turn.  Me thinks somewhere in there is another story.  For me there are some burning questions that now cannot be answered:  (1) were the bones thoroughly photographed prior to burial in an unmarked grave, if so why are these not available for scolors to examine (2) did they show evidence of a crusificition ?

Seth says
M 2007-03-06 09:37:23 6250
For me the interpretation of the markings on the ossuaries & the names just seemed like voodoo with an interesting story being woven - somewhat like the DaVinci Code. I'll probably watch it later for my amusement when it rolls around again.   
Well there should be a large enough body of Aramaic around for archelogists to form a consensus of what these markings mean.   Which begs the question: What were the marking in Aramaic that were used to refer to Jesus of Nazerith during or shortly after his life?  Have no other examples ever been found?  Why do we need to wait a whole century for him to make his written mark on history? 

The other side of this story is understanding why the Jewish culture seems to want to bury the past.  What is it that requires ancient scriptures to actually be buried.  Are we to assume that for Jewish culture oral traditions of reinterpertation are preferable to the original markings? 

Onik Khan says
Imam? decendants,,no one can say they are the lost decendents of the Prophet Mohammed (P.B.U.H) i think theres a confusion his children had all died and did not carry on the generation. seth!

Seth says
Onik Khan 2007-03-12 19:36:08 6250
Imam? decendants,,no one can say they are the lost decendents of the Prophet Mohammed (P.B.U.H) i think theres a confusion his children had all died and did not carry on the generation. seth!
Sorry i got the "Imam" term wrong.  But, at least according to some histories, the Prophet, peace be upon him, had a daughter named Fatimah by his wife Khadijah.  Fatimah had a son named al-Hasan who begat decendants.   Is this perhaps a sectarian dispute ... or just my own confusion?

Evelyn Mauratt says
I want to thank you for presenting the educational, interesting and controversial documentary "The Tomb." I enjoyed it so much. I wanted to watch it again but every time it was scheduled to rerun, it was replaced by another show.

I am personally a disbeliever in God, feeling God was conceived during a period in history when people had no explanation for natural disasters, birth defects, etc., thinking instead they were being punished by a god. We now know that natural disasters are in fact caused in part by the temperature of the sea, or earthquakes, and birth defects by genetic or abnormal development of the embryo.

Please continue to show The Tomb and if possible, encourage deeper non-biased investigation. No matter what the outcome, the truth is the truth and should be known.

Mark de LA says
Apparently in this article some of the people referenced in movie have recanted or changed their findings.

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Good article - plenty of food for thought.

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Thanks for sharing. His music will continue to rock!

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