"Lost Tomb of Jesus": The Talmud Makes its Way 2 D

Topics should range on anything like Shroud of Turin, Noahs Ark, Ark of the Covenant, Exodus Red Sea crossing, locations of newly found digs, Dead Sea Scrolls etc...
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"Lost Tomb of Jesus": The Talmud Makes its Way 2 D

Post#1 » Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:31 pm

The latest garbage of lies from sabbatianjew-zionazis and Judeo-Mason goys...

Tuesday, February 27, 2007
"Lost Tomb of Jesus": The Talmud Makes its Way to the Discovery Channel
http://revisionistreview.blogspot.com/2 ... s-way.html
by Michael A. Hoffman II


The Discovery Channel's documentary, "The Lost Tomb of Jesus," is the latest predictable bigotry from the usual suspects. Though Hollywood director James Cameron is the visible spokesman, according to the New York Times, Simcha Jacobovici, an Israeli, is "the documentary's director and its driving force." For obvious reasons the media are not emphasizing that fact.

Zionist reporter Laurie Goodstein, writing in the Feb. 27 edition of the New York Times, treats the alleged discovery of the "grave of Jesus" as worthy of serious contemplation, while regarding any Christian outrage as slightly comical: "It's going to get a lot of Christians with their knickers in a knot unnecessarily."

No such laisssez-faire insouciance from the Laurie Goodsteins of the world greeted Prof. Ariel Toaff of Bar-Ilan University earlier this month, when he asserted in his Italian-language book, "Pasque di Sangue" (Bloody Passovers) that medieval and Renaissance Judaic ritual murder of Christian children was in some cases factual. The Zionist media and the ADL had more than their knickers in a knot over Toaff. They responded with one mighty voice of howling wrath: this was fantasy, not history; anti-semitic racism from a self-hating Judiac opposed by every historian on earth and despised by every right-thinking human on the planet. Serious contemplation of a new discovery? Fuggetaboutit!

To learn the extent to which Judaic supremacy is triumphant in our time, all one has to do is compare the treatment accorded to each of these 'discoveries.' The Jacobovici/Cameron hoax is presented by the media as a thoughtful alternative to uptight fundamentalist orthodoxy. Pros and cons are debated in an atmosphere of civility and reason. Criticism is entertained, mainly in order to appear balanced amid ample shades of gray. But any vehement, sustained outrage against the claim that Jesus Christ's tomb has been found, with the suggestion that he was buried next to his sex partner, Mary Magdalene, is scornfully dismissed as nutjob religious fanaticism.

In the disparity between the treatment of the two controversies, we find the strength of Judaism and the anemia of a Christianity which, in American society, is little more than Churchianity, in spite of the fact that the President of the United States is alleged to be a "devout Christian," along with a sizable portion of his Republican party, who will no doubt blow off ineffectual steam over "The Lost Tomb of Jesus," just as they did with "The Da Vinci Code," even as the producers' cash registers ring a merry tune. After all, Martin Scorcese, the director of "The Last Tempation of Christ," a movie that portrayed Jesus as a demented sex freak and coward, has just won the Academy Award.

Far from being courageous heretics, Jacobovici and Cameron are conformist front men for the dictates of dogmatic Orthodox Judaism, just as Dan Brown and Hollywood director Ron Howard with their "Da Vinci Code" book and movie vomit, were fronting for the Kabbalistic gnosis of the western secret societies.

The Establishment will deflate the impact of the Israeli origins of this grotesque insult to Christ by trotting out a few Orthodox rabbis who will say they side with Christians against it. These "good rabbis" are part of the charade, necessary to successfully deflect attention away from the Talmudic nature of the production. How many of the handful of supposed "Orthodox Judaics of good will" will come forward to condemn the film as having been inspired by traditional Judaic teachings about Jesus? Rather, they will indict the "The Lost Tomb of Jesus" as a "liberal" rather than a Talmudic evil.

This writer would be more than happy to have Jerry Falwell, Franklin Graham and John Hagee condemn an English translation of Ariel Toaff's "Pasque di Sangue" even as it was published from coast to coast. Their condemnation wouldn't faze me in the least; neither will any window-dressing theatrics from those token "good Orthodox rabbis" detract one iota from the success of "The Lost Tomb of Jesus" and the fact that the hidden hand of rotten rabbinic tradition is all over this degenerate project.

In the run-up to the publication of his book, Prof. Toaff started out defiant: "The author of a book on the use of blood by Jews in Ashkenazi communities in the Middle Ages said... in the face of the furor its publication aroused, 'I will not give up my devotion to the truth and academic freedom even if the world crucifies me." Within a week of Toaff announcing the book's publication, he did just that, under threat of expulsion from his university, arrest by Israeli authorities and credible death threats.

While the infantilized goyim are told it would be racist "anti-Semitism" for us to give Toaff's thesis a hearing, to defend him or demand that his book go forward, it is noble, adventurous and truly adult of us to give thoughtful consideration to Jacobovici and Cameron's "Lost Tomb of Jesus."

If America were really a "Christian country" the sponsors of this subversive, antichrist filth would face fiscal bankruptcy from an iron-clad Christian boycott of the cable TV network associated with the film, and every corporate sponsor connected with it; and moral bankruptcy due to near-universal revulsion and social ostracism. But nothing like that happened to the influential Ron Howard, the fantastically wealthy Dan Brown or Academy Award winner Scorcese. Surely Jacobovici and Cameron are emboldened by the fact that America is the place to score against Christ while stuffing one's pockets with cash.

Jesus Christ, the New Adam, never suffered physical disintegration on earth. That was God's curse on the old Adam. But the Talmud, Kabbalah and Toledot Yeshu have always accused Jesus of being a con-man and sorcerer who learned his magician's trade in Egypt, and who is even now being cooked in hell in his own feces. From hell, the Talmud has Jesus advising we the living to obey the Judaic authorities in all things.

In our misdirection and paralysis, it appears Americans are dutiful followers of that hell-bound, faux Talmudic "Jesus." After all, lots of money (perish the thought, says Cameron) is going to be made off the Tomb of Jesus scam, and when did any red-blooded, rabbi-fearing American ever interfere with a guy's ability to make a buck? It's the American way!

The truth is, Jesus Christ rose from the dead and ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father, from whence He shall come again to judge the living and the dead, and of His kingdom there will be no end.

Are you listening, proud, arrogant, profit-loving "Christian America," facilitators of "The Da Vinci Code" and now "The Lost Tomb of Jesus"? Are you listening Hollywood? Are you listening, all of you who make common cause with Talmudic rabbis and Israeli Zionists? His day, the Day of Judgment by the Jesus you allow Hollywood to say lies moldering in dust for the TV cameras to ogle and the DNA ghouls to sample, is coming, and when it does, all those who tolerated or -- God forbid -- promoted this diabolical charade, will have their fateful appointment with eternity.

In the meantime, a kind of ritual murder of the reputation of Jesus Christ is unfolding before our very eyes, scandalizing millions, including our children. It's legal. It's profitable, its Talmudic, and it's all happening right here in "Christian" America, light unto the nations and bosom buddy of God's Chosen People, of whom Simcha Jacobovici is a sterling example.

Copyright ©2007 by RevisionistHistory.org


Labels: antichrist, Discovery channel, Israeli lies, James Cameron, Mary Magdalene, Orthodox Judaism, rabbinic tradition, Simcha Jacobovici, Talmud, The Lost Tomb of Jesus

posted by Michael A. Hoffman II at 2/27/2007 06:44:00 AM

Anonymous said...

Isn't it interesting how the Da Vinci Code anticipated this new documentary? The similarities are a little too strong for this to be a coincidence. It seems that the Da Vinci Code was simply the first instalment of a multipart psy-op. That would certain explain why such a crappy book became a tremendous success overnight and was instantly translated into an equally crappy film.
4:43 AM
Dave K. said...

It's no surprise that this zionist "archeologist" is spearheading this anti-Christian attack. Visit the entry for him on Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simcha_Jacobovici

You'll see how entrenched he is within the international zionist oppressors. His list of affiliations and associations are enough to make any true Christian sick to their stomach. He's made other such "documentaries" about Christianity that usually end in some dismissive attitude towards the beliefs held dear by us.

He is the typical jew that works under the guise of intellectual interest. Of course, this is only applied to Christianity. He typically presents his so-called findings in a very benign manner and maintains that he does not wish to undermine Christian beliefs. Hard to find any truth in that statement when you consider he once held court with Menachem Begin.

Any amount of Christian protest will be muted by the media that is pushing this pseudo-science. They will dismiss it as radical Christianity and lump us in with Muslim extremists. They will ridicule us publicly and try to make us ashamed to be Christian. This is a long process that is now ramping up with a militant ferocity unseen previously.

If you are a Christian believer, these current events are predicted in the Bible in many instances by Christ and noted in Revelations. His people will be reviled and their faith under attack. Grab a Bible and start reading. If you want the truth, it's all in there. Jesus was the anti-Jew, and they know it. Now they're moving forward with their attack on God's only Son in some perverse revenge.

Watch for more attacks. We can be sure they will increase.
8:34 AM
Steve in Vista said...

All of these lies about Jesus not being Resurrected and the equally spurious nonsense about Him and Mary Magdalene have been told before by Jews and Gnostics.

For any one interested, go to this site and download the Church Fathers, for free, by clicking on the ECF Early Church Fathers icon on the left side, third icon from the top. Then go to the HTML download or zipped download.


Look up two of the Anti-Nicene (means pre-Nicene era) Fathers, St. Irenaeus and St. Hippolytus. The pertinent books respectively are in Vol. I: “Against Heresies” and in Vol. V: all the works of St. Hippolytus. The history recorded by the Church Fathers of Gnosticism is contained therein. The roots of Gnosticism are Babylonian Qabbalah and Jewish Satanism derived therefrom as practiced by the Naaseni (naas, Hebrew for serpent) which were Jewish serpent worshippers and the other main root, Simon the Magician (see Acts Chapter 8) of Samaria. Other ancillary roots of Gnosticism were every other form of paganism of the time. Concerning the Jewish serpent worshippers, they are one of the main roots for Talmudic Lurianic Cabbalism and it’s utterly blasphemous idea of actually worshipping Satan instead of God. The Gnostics, both Jewish and Gentile, were seen by the Fathers as the types of the antichrists that would lead to the final Antichrist at the end of the eschaton, which appears to be approaching with increasing rapidity. Today, the Jewish Gnostics are the Talmudists, and the Gentile Gnostics are the Ecumenists. Both of these are headed for hell.
1:09 PM
Anonymous said...

If I were a Jew, I would not dream of touching this subject.

Simcha Jacobovici is very foolish to attempt to make money with Cameron propagating this.

There is enough hate in the world and this will not serve to improve Jewish popularity, I am sure.
2:40 PM
Alan Cabal said...

Perhaps the mythical Nazi gas chambers are hidden under the tomb, with the ballpoint pen used to forge Ann Frank's "diary" and Ernst Zundel's right to speak his mind freely. Who knows? There could be 5,650,000 Jews hidden under there.

I'd say dig a little deeper.
12:58 AM
Anonymous said...

I myself am waiting for a dig in Srinigar, Kashmir at the tomb of a certain alleged travelling prophet of God, who reportedly arrived there some time after the crucifixion, with wounds in both his hands *and* feet, it is also reported.

And this is not concocted by rabbis this time but by the locals, bearing a strong semitic appearance and custom! Is Michael or any other reader on top of this story of Jesus in India?
10:13 PM
Anonymous said...

Did any copies of Toaff's book make it out to the public?

Michael, did you get a copy?
10:12 PM
Anonymous said...

I agree with your article and much of your views Mr. Hoffman.

But why is there a link to David Duke's site?

We oppose Judaism because it is an AntiChristian religion. You and I both know we are not antiSemites, because we don't preach any race as superior or inferior to any other. We oppose an evil religion.

But David Duke... he's talking about white supremacy. I'd erase the link to that racist protestant's site. He hates Jews, but you and I want to convert them.

Fight the New World Order! Vive Christus Rex! Down with Modernism!

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Resurrection-Deniers Invent "Tomb of Christ"

Post#2 » Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:34 pm

I Love it, a new term to use....

The Sabbatian Jews and Judeo MASONS HAte the Fact that Christ lived, Christ died, Christ rose again...

But denying Father in the flesh isnt good enough for these satanic bastards. The are trying to make their holohaux as the replacement for Christs death at calvary, at the hands of the Sabbatian Jews, whose leader was CAIPHAS. Same satanic group of yesterday, infects our culture, our society today.

Maurice Pinay
Resurrection-Deniers Invent "Tomb of Christ"
http://maurice-pinay.blogspot.com/2007/ ... mb-of.html
Resurrection-Deniers Invent "Tomb of Christ"

Resurrection-Deniers Invent "Tomb of Christ"Jews genuinely interested in the wonderful discoveries of biblical archaeology could do worse than start by researching recent finds like those made by Ron Wyatt. Anything rather than merely indulging their hatred of Christ by inventing for Him a "Lost Tomb" based on a few dubious scratch marks on an ossuary discovered in Jerusalem 27 years ago! But no such chance. Mentally destabilised by their psychotic detestation of their assassinated Messiah, we find these fanatical Judaics once again, just as Easter approaches, attacking Our Lord's Resurrection from the dead.
According to them, these ossuary scratch marks read Yeshua bar Yosef, but, even were this the case, it would not amount to a row of beans. The fact is that Jesus was only called Yeshua by His enemies who could not bear to pronounce His real name. The Hebrew Ieschua stood for the first letters of Immach SCHemo Vezikro, which means "May his name and memory be blotted out." The Jews even altered the name of Moses' adjutant, Jesus, the son of Nun, in their Masoretic Text to provide an ostensible justification for their malevolent renaming trick. The Greek Septuagint records clearly that the translators of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek in the 3rd century BC understood the name of the prophet to be Jesus, not Joshua or Yeshua.
Read Michael Hoffman's article on how the Discovery Channel are promoting this antichrist deception.

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Israëlische archeloog zet vraagtekens bij 'graf van Jezus'

Post#3 » Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:50 pm

Gehaakte Beddesprei
http://gehaaktebeddesprei.blogspot.com/ ... ekens.html

01 maart 2007
Israëlische archeloog zet vraagtekens bij 'graf van Jezus'

De Stentor

27 Februari 2007

TEL AVIV (GPD) – ,,Een geweldige film, maar wat erin wordt beweerd is totaal onmogelijk. Het is nonsens." Zo reageert de Israëlische archeoloog Amos Kloner op de Canadese documentaire 'The Lost Tomb of Jesus'.

Kloner had in 1980 de leiding bij opgravingswerk in de Jeruzalemse wijk Oost-Talpiot. Een van de graftombes die het archeologenteam er aantrof is onderwerp van de nu al omstreden documentaire. De makers beweren dat het graf de laatste rustplaats was van onder anderen Jezus, diens geliefde Maria Magdalena en hun beider zoon Juda. Dat zou op zijn zachtst gezegd een bijzonder licht werpen op wat de bijbel vertelt. In het Nieuwe Testament staat dat Jezus werd gekruisigd op Golgotha en daar vlakbij werd begraven in de Hof van Arimathea. Op de derde dag vonden zijn discipelen het graf leeg. Later verscheen hij aan hen en voer vervolgens ten hemel. Van een liefdesrelatie met Maria Magdalena maakt de bijbel geen melding, laat staan van een zoon.

Wat Kloner betreft behoeven bijbelgetrouwe christenen zich geen zorgen te maken. ,,Het is volstrekt onwaarschijnlijk dat Jezus en zijn verwanten een familiegraf hadden", vertelt hij de Jerusalem Post. ,,De familie kwam uit Galilea en had geen banden met Jeruzalem. De graftombe in Talpiot was eigendom van een gegoede familie uit de eerste eeuw na Christus." 'The Lost Tomb of Jesus' is gemaakt door de in Israël geboren en in Canada wonende journalist Simcha Jacobovici, met regie van James Cameron (bekend van 'Titanic'). De tombe in Talpiot was in 1996 al onderwerp van een korte BBC-documentaire, die weinig reacties losmaakte.

Jacobovici maakte eerder een documentaire over een ossuarium (een stenen kist met beenderen) die volgens het opschrift de stoffelijke resten bevatte van Jacobus, de broer van Jezus. Een Israëlische handelaar in oudheden had de kist gekocht van Arabische inwoner van Jeruzalems oude stad. Volgens de Israëlische oudheidkundige dienst is er met de inscriptie geknoeid en behoort de handelaar tot een vervalsersbende.

De in Tapiot ontdekte grafkamer bevatte tien identieke beenderkisten, waarvan er nu negen staan opgeslagen in en pakhuis van de archeologische dienst. De beenderen zijn lang geleden onder toezicht van het rabbinaat elders begraven. Vijf kisten zouden de resten hebben bevat van 'Jezus, zoon van Jozef', Maria (mogelijk zijn moeder), Matheus (een onbekend familielid), Mariamne e Mara (mogelijk Maria Magdalena) en een kind genaamd 'Juda, zoon van Jezus'. Volgens Jacobovici is de tiende, ontbrekende kist die van Jacobus. Dat zou statistisch de kans vergroten dat het inderdaad gaat om de heilige familie. Kloner vindt het allemaal ver gezocht. Het team dat in 1980 onder zijn leiding de kisten uit de grafkamer haalde zag weinig bijzonders aan de inscripties omdat het ging om alledaagse namen in het Jeruzalem van de eerste eeuw. ,,Het opschrift 'Jezus, zoon van Jozef' is op drie of vier andere beenderkisten in aangetroffen. Niets bijzonders. In de jaren veertig verschenen er al koppen in de kranten bij de vondst van een andere kist van Jezus, waarvan werd gezegd dat die het bewijs vormde dat hij echt had bestaan."

De tiende kist, waarvan in de documentaire sprake is, is volgens Kloner helemaal niet verdwenen. ,,Ik had hem op mijn lijst staan. De afmetingen waren anders dan die van de kist van Jacobus en er stond geen inscriptie op. We hadden gebrek aan ruimte en daarom werden ongemerkte kisten soms opgeslagen op het erf van het Rockefeller Museum." Kloner heeft ook zijn twijfels aan de ontcijfering van het opschrift op 'de kist van Jezus'. Volgens hem heb je veel fantasie nodig om er 'Jezus, zoon van Jozef' van te kunnen maken.

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“Lost Tomb of Jesus”: The Talmud Makes its Way to the Discov

Post#4 » Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:53 pm

“Lost Tomb of Jesus”: The Talmud Makes its Way to the Discovery Channel

Here is a pic of the zionazi-anti-CHRIST Khazar

Simcha Jacobovici, the Jewish extremist who continues the many Jewish efforts to undermine Christian beliefs.

Here is an excerpt of the excellent article by researcher Michael A. Hoffman II on the latest Jewish attack on the fundamentals of the Christian religion. Mr. Hoffman has an excellent website, and I am sure that davidduke.com readers will find it extremely valuable. I wrote about Jacobovici’s boastful documentary on the Jewish takeover of Hollywood and the transformation of America from traditional values to Jewish ones in my book, Jewish Supremacism. Here is an article about his latest attack on the religious sensibilities of millions of Gentiles. –David Duke

“Lost Tomb of Jesus”: The Talmud Makes its Way to the Discovery Channel
by Michael A. Hoffman II

The Discovery Channel’s documentary, “The Lost Tomb of Jesus,” is the latest predictable bigotry from the usual suspects. Though Hollywood director James Cameron is the visible spokesman, according to the New York Times, Simcha Jacobovici, an Israeli, is “the documentary’s director and its driving force.” For obvious reasons the media are not emphasizing that fact.

Zionist reporter Laurie Goodstein, writing in the Feb. 27 edition of the New York Times, treats the alleged discovery of the “grave of Jesus” as worthy of serious contemplation, while regarding any Christian outrage as slightly comical: “It’s going to get a lot of Christians with their knickers in a knot unnecessarily.”

No such laissez-faire insouciance from the Laurie Goodsteins of the world greeted Prof. Ariel Toaff of Bar-Ilan University earlier this month, when he asserted in his Italian-language book, “Pasque di Sangue” (Bloody Passovers) that medieval and Renaissance Judaic ritual murder of Christian children was in some cases factual. The Zionist media and the ADL had more than their knickers in a knot over Toaff. They responded with one mighty voice of howling wrath: this was fantasy, not history; anti-semitic racism from a self-hating Judiac opposed by every historian on earth and despised by every right-thinking human on the planet. Serious contemplation of a new discovery? Fuggetaboutit!

Click this link to conitinue the article!

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Post#5 » Wed Mar 14, 2007 5:58 pm

Oh man!!! Another term for the PF Lexicon - archaeoporn

Jonathan Gray, one of my favored archaeo-authors, details how the tomb that Jesus WAS buried in was one intended for a man of great wealth. He had purchased it for himself, but, voluntarily relinquished it for the body of Christ. I'll have to dig out his response from his email list and post it here.



http://www.nbc10.com/entertainment/1124 ... ml?taf=phi


Scholar Claims Key Error In Jesus Documentary
Filmmakers Stand Behind Original Conclusions

POSTED: 3:55 pm EDT March 13, 2007
UPDATED: 6:42 pm EDT March 13, 2007

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JERUSALEM -- A scholar looking into the factual basis of a popular but widely criticized documentary that claims to have located the tomb of Jesus said Tuesday that a crucial piece of evidence filmmakers used to support their claim is a mistake.

Stephen Pfann, a textual scholar and paleographer at the University of the Holy Land in Jerusalem, said he has released a paper claiming the makers of "The Lost Tomb of Jesus" were mistaken when they identified an ancient ossuary from the cave as belonging to the New Testament's Mary Magdalene.

The film's director, Simcha Jacobovici, responded that other researchers agreed with the documentary's conclusions.

Produced by Oscar-winning director James Cameron, the documentary has drawn intense media coverage for its claims challenging accepted Christian dogma.

Despite widespread ridicule from scholars, "The Lost Tomb of Jesus" drew more than 4 million viewers when it aired on the Discovery Channel on March 4. A companion book, "The Jesus Family Tomb," has rocketed to sixth place on The New York Times nonfiction best-seller list.

The film and book suggest that a first-century ossuary found in a south Jerusalem cave in 1980 contained the remains of Jesus, contradicting the Christian belief that he was resurrected and ascended to heaven. Ossuaries are stone boxes used at the time to store the bones of the dead.

The filmmakers also suggest that Mary Magdalene was buried in the tomb, that she and Jesus were married, and that an ossuary labeled "Judah son of Jesus" belonged to their son.

The scholars who analyzed the Greek inscription on one of the ossuaries after its discovery read it as "Mariamene e Mara," meaning "Mary the teacher" or "Mary the master."

Before the movie was screened, Jacobovici said that particular inscription provided crucial support for his claim. The name Mariamene is rare, and in some early Christian texts it is believed to refer to Mary Magdalene.

But having analyzed the inscription, Pfann published a detailed article on his university's Web site asserting that it doesn't read "Mariamene" at all.

The inscription, Pfann said, is made up of two names inscribed by two different hands: the first, "Mariame," was inscribed in a formal Greek script, and later, when the bones of another woman were added to the box, another scribe using a different cursive script added the words "kai Mara," meaning "and Mara." Mara is a different form of the name Martha.

According to Pfann's reading, the ossuary did not house the bones of "Mary the teacher," but rather of two women, "Mary and Martha."

"In view of the above, there is no longer any reason to be tempted to link this ossuary ... to Mary Magdalene or any other person in biblical, non-biblical or church tradition," Pfann wrote.

In the interest of telling a good story, Pfann said, the documentary engaged in some "fudging" of the facts.

"James Cameron is a great guru of science fiction, and he's taking it to a new level with Simcha Jacobovici. You take a little bit of science, spin a good yarn out of it and you get another 'Terminator' or 'Life of Brian,"' said Pfann, who briefly appeared as an ossuary expert in the documentary.

In Israel on Tuesday for a screening of the film, the Toronto-based Jacobovici welcomed Pfann's criticism, saying "every inscription should be re-examined."

But Jacobovici said scholars who researched the ossuary in the past agreed with the film's reading. "Anyone who looks at it can see that the script was written by the same hand," he added.

Jacobovici has faced criticism much tougher than Pfann's academic critique. The film has been termed "archaeo-porn," and Jacobovici has been accused of "pimping the Bible."

Jacobovici attributes most of the criticism to scholars' discomfort with journalists "casting light into their ossuary monopoly."

"What we're doing is democratizing this knowledge, and this is driving some people crazy," he said.

Posts: 437

Jesus tomb film scholars backtrack

Post#6 » Thu Apr 12, 2007 12:23 pm

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite? ... 2FShowFull

Apr. 11, 2007 0:58 | Updated Apr. 11, 2007 8:35

Jesus tomb film scholars backtrack

Several prominent scholars who were interviewed in a bitterly contested documentary that suggests that Jesus and his family members were buried in a nondescript ancient Jerusalem burial cave have now revised their conclusions, including the statistician who claimed that the odds were 600:1 in favor of the tomb being the family burial cave of Jesus of Nazareth, a new study on the fallout from the popular documentary shows.

The dramatic clarifications, compiled by epigrapher Stephen Pfann of the University of the Holy Land in Jerusalem in a paper titled "Cracks in the Foundation: How the Lost Tomb of Jesus story is losing its scholarly support," come two months after the screening of The Lost Tomb of Christ that attracted widespread public interest, despite the concomitant scholarly ridicule.

The film, made by Oscar-winning director James Cameron and Emmy-winning Canadian filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici, prompted major criticism from both a leading Israeli archeologist involved in the original dig at the site as well as Christian leaders, who were angered over the documentary's contradictions of main tenets of Christianity.

But now, even some of the scholars who were interviewed for and appeared in the film are questioning some of its basic claims.

The most startling change of opinion featured in the 16-page paper is that of University of Toronto statistician Professor Andrey Feuerverger, who stated those 600 to one odds in the film. Feuerverger now says that these referred to the probability of a cluster of such names appearing together.

Pfann's paper reported that a statement on the Discovery Channel's Web site, which previously read "a statistical study commissioned by the broadcasters...concludes that the probability factor is 600 to 1 in favor of this being the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth and his family," in keeping with Feuerverger's statement, has been altered and now reads, "a statistical study commissioned by the broadcasters... concludes that the probability factor is in the order of 600 to 1 that an equally 'surprising' cluster of names would arise purely by chance under given assumptions."

Another sentence on the same Web site stating that Feuerverger had concluded it was highly probable that the tomb, located in the southeastern residential Jerusalem neighborhood of Talpiot, was the Jesus family tomb - the central point of the film - has also been changed. It now reads: "It is unlikely that an equally surprising cluster of names would have arisen by chance under purely random sampling."

Israeli archeologists have said that the similarity of the names found inscribed on the ossuaries in the cave to the members of Jesus's family was coincidental, since many of those names were commonplace in the first century CE.

The film argues that 10 ancient ossuaries - burial boxes used to store bones - that were discovered in Talpiot in 1980 contained the bones of Jesus and his family. The filmmakers attempt to explain some of the inscriptions on the ossuaries by suggesting that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, and that the couple had a son, Judah.

One of the ossuaries bears an inscription reading "Yeshua son of Yehosef" or "Jesus son of Joseph;" a second reads "Mary;" a third is a Greek inscription apparently read by one scholar as "Mary Magdalene;" while a fourth bears the inscription, "Judah, son of Jesus." The inscriptions are in Hebrew or Aramaic, except for the one in Greek.

But Shimon Gibson, who was part of the team that excavated the tomb two and half decades ago and who appeared in the film, is quoted in Pfann's report as saying he doubted the site was the tomb of Jesus and his family.

"Personally, I'm skeptical that this is the tomb of Jesus and I made this point very clear to the filmmakers," Gibson is quoted as saying.

"We need much more evidence before we can say that the Talpiot tomb might be the family tomb of Jesus," he added.

In the film, renowned epigrapher Prof. Frank Moore Cross, professor emeritus of Hebrew and oriental languages at Harvard University, is seen reading one of the ossuaries and stating that he has "no real doubt" that it reads "Jesus son of Joseph." But according to Pfann, Cross said in an e-mail that he was skeptical about the film's claims, not because of a misreading of the ossuary, but because of the ubiquity of Biblical names in that period in Jerusalem.

"It has been reckoned that 25 percent of feminine names in this period were Maria/Miriam, etc. - that is, variants of 'Mary.' So the cited statistics are unpersuasive. You know the saying: lies, damned lies, and statistics," Cross is quoted as saying.

The paper also notes that DNA scientist Dr. Carney Matheson, who supervised DNA testing carried out for the film from the supposed Jesus and Mary Magdalene ossuaries, and who said in the documentary that "these two individuals, if they were unrelated, would most likely be husband and wife," later said that "the only conclusions we made were that these two sets were not maternally related. To me, it sounds like absolutely nothing."

Furthermore, Pfann also says that a specialist in ancient apocryphal text, Professor Francois Bovon, who is quoted in the film as saying the enigmatic ossuary inscription "Mariamne" is the same woman known as Mary Magdalene - one of the filmmakers' critical arguments - issued a disclaimer stating that he did not believe that "Mariamne" stood for Mary of Magdalene at all.

Pfann has already argued that the controversial inscription does not read "Mariamne" at all.

The burial site, which has been contested from the start by scholars and church officials alike, is some distance from the Church of the Holy Sepulchrr in the Old City, where many Christians believe Jesus's body lay for three days after he was crucified.

According to the New Testament, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion, and an ossuary containing Jesus's bones - the explanations of the movie director notwithstanding - would contradict the core Christian belief that he was resurrected and then ascended to heaven.

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