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Not too long ago it was “The Da Vinci Code” that took a swipe at Jesus, His divinity, and Christianity in general. Numerous books, as well as articles on this and other web sites, have been published that expose the lies and deceptions contained in the book and movie of the same name. And just as the Easter is approaching, once again we have an attack on Christ and His church.
Movie director James Cameron, an Israeli-born Canadian named Simcha Jacobovici and friends have released a “docu-drama” entitled “The Lost Tomb of Jesus”, (see the web site www.jesusfamilytomb.com for more). A book by Simcha and Charles Pellegrino entitled “The Jesus Family Tomb: The Discovery, the Investigation, and the Evidence That Could Change History” was released by Harper-Collins to coincide with the release of the movie.
The “Lost Tomb of Jesus” movie played on the Discovery Channel in March 4th, and was one of the most watched programs due to the nature of the attack on Christian beliefs, the carefully orchestrated build up, the press release, James Cameron’s “Titanic” reputation, and the sensational claims the movie made about Christ, and Christianity.
Does this attack on Christian beliefs sound familiar? (can you say “The Last Temptation of Christ”, “Jesis Christ Superstar”, and the latest fantasy – “The Da Vinci Code”?). Do the claims stand up to scrutiny, and a careful examination of the evidence?
A Re-Discovery of an Old Discovery
First of all, this discovery of a tomb outside Jerusalem was nothing new.
The “Lost Tomb of Jesus” is actually referred to in archaeology circles as the “Talpiot Tomb”. It was actually discovered in 1980, when construction workers stumbled upon an old tomb at a construction site just outside Jerusalem. Archaeologists were called in, and they removed 10 ossuaries, or small stone boxes, that were used to stone the bones of the deceased after their bodies had decomposed.
The “Lost Tomb of Jesus” Claims
No doubt observant of the money “The Da Vinci Code” garnished, James Cameron,Simcha Jacobovici and friends organized seized this old find and re-cast it as an exciting, “new” discovery – “one that might rock the foundations of Christianity”. Ignoring the scholarly community, and even the archaeologists who made the discovery, they concocted a Hollywood “docu-drama” that relies more on “smoke and mirrors” than the real facts.
Here are a few of the key claims of the movie (and book and CD, by the way):
1) That one of the stone boxes stored the bones of Jesus Christ. Cameron and friends claim the Aramaic inscription on one of the boxes reads ‘Jesus, son of Joseph’, and that this is the ossuary that contained the remains of Jesus. The implications that the movie makes:
a) Jesus was not known or referred to as the Son of God, or Messiah, but as a “son of Joseph” – like any other son would be
b) Jesus therefore was not raised from the dead as Christians claim, and the Bible documents, but that rather He died, decomposed, and His bones were delivered to a stone ossuary along with His followers
2) That Mary Magdalene was buried in one of the stone boxes. The movie notes that another reads in Greek ‘Mariamene e Mara’, which filmmakers by a wild stretch of imagination claim translates to Mary Magdalene’s real name. The claim of the film is that since the remains of Jesus and Mary Magdalene are in the same tomb, they must have been a pair.
3) That DNA “evidence” proves Jesus and Mary Magdalene were a couple. Filmmakers also claim DNA obtained from human remains in the coffins suggests Jesus and Mary Magdalene were a couple. By using the term “DNA”, the film attempts to legitimize this fanciful claim made popular by “The Da Vinci Code” and other books. Lets look at the facts (see below).
4) That the odds are “600-1” in favor of the tomb belonging to Jesus’ family. Its common knowledge that with statistics you can “prove” almost anything. In this case, the numbers rest on a flimsy foundation, and a very questionable set of assumptions. See the “statistics” discussion below.
5) That one of the stone boxes held the remain of the son of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Once of the boxes is labeled “Judas, son of Jesus”. Hence the claim is made that this once held the remains of the son of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Is there any other corroborating evidence for such a claim? Lets consider the facts (see below).
6) That a 10th “missing” ossuary is the famous James Ossuary, previously discovered. The film claims a missing ossuary is the previously discovered “James Ossuary”, which is purported to have once held the remains of James, the brother of Jesus (see our article on the James Ossuary). The 10th ossuary went missing before it could be checked.
Before we get into considering each of these claims in detail, let me make an observation.
One of the problems of the “Lost Tomb of Jesus” is that it starts with some key assumptions that it sets out to prove – rather than exercising a careful and unbiased consideration of the evidence, then drawing conclusions from the facts. Examples:
- Naturalism, precluding the possibility of the miraculous. Its normal for most people to have had a natural father and mother, therefore Jesus must have been the product of Joseph and Mary – ie., we cannot rationally consider that God had a part in the birth of Jesus, we cannot seriously consider the miracle of the Virgin birth. But look, science confirms the fact of a “Big Bang” – essentially a “creation event”, when all matter, space and time arose from literally nothings. If the Creator pulled this off, would it be too difficult for him to cause Mary to have His child Jesus?
- Denial of the possibility of a miraculous resurrection. Jesus must have died and been buried, since resurrection from the dead is not “natural”. He couldn’t have possible risen from the dead (that would require a miracle, and we know that miracles can’t happen). Therefore His bones must have been lying somewhere – “and we think we have discovered them!”. Could these possibly be someone else’s remains?
- The movie and book starts with the assumption that there must have been a Jesus family tomb, since Jesus died, was buried, and must have ended up in a box; that He must have been married (since Rabbis in that day most often did); and that He had a family. It then interprets all of the evidence to try to support this theory, and discards anything that contradicts these assertions.
What Do the Original Discoverers of the “Lost Tomb of Jesus ” Say?
For starters, what do the original archaeologists say about the “Lost Tomb of Jesus”? Archaeologist Amos Kloner, one of the archaeologists who carried out excavations at the tomb, is not convinced concerning Cameron’s claims. Says Kloner:
“I can say positively that I don’t accept the identification as belonging to the family of Jesus in Jerusalem. I don’t accept that the family of Miriam and Yosef (Mary and Joseph), parents of Jesus, had a family tomb in Jerusalem.”
“They were a very poor family. They resided in Nazareth, they came to Bethlehem in order to have the birth done there, so I don’t accept it, not historically, not archaeologically.” (Source – ITV – Link for more info: http://www.itv.com/news/entertainment_b396ce64db2748aede0aee6dcb629d2b.html)
Joe Zias, who was the curator at Jerusalem’s Rockefeller Museum for 25 years, and personally numbered the now controversial boxes, has said this of the “Lost Tomb of Jesus”: “He’s pimping off the Bible… Projects like this make a mockery of the archaeological profession” (USA Today, March 12, 2007 – p 9a)
Let's Look at the Facts
Let’s take a look at the facts, and the claims of the “Lost Tomb of Jesus” – one by one, and examine the evidence to see if the claims stand up to scrutiny:
First, what was “discovered”:
- A carved stone tomb was discovered 1980 just outside Jerusalem, at a construction site. It is commonly referred to by archaeologists and other experts as the “Talpiot Tomb”.
- 10 ossuraries were removed by the archaeologists who originally discovered the tomb
- James Cameron and friends produced a movie that documents their “re-discovery” of this 27 year old find, due to supposedly important “new” insights about the contents
- Nine stone ossuaries are listed and described in the movie (the 10th one originally discovered in 1980 was referred to as “missing”, and could not be accounted for)
- Six of the ten ossuaries had names on them:“Jesus, son of Joseph”“Maria”“Mariamene e Mara””Matthew””Judas, son of Jesus”
- The other 3 boxes were “blank”
- A 10th box “was reported missing”
Examining the Evidence vs. the Claims
The key allegation is that this is the Jesus family tomb: that Jesua is Jesus, one of the Maries is his mother, the second is his wife, Mariamene e Mara, is Mary Magdalene, that Matthew is a disciple, and Judas is Jesus’ son.
1) If this is a family tomb, then why the inconsistencies in the inscriptions on the outsides of the boxes? The names on the ossuaries are in three languages - Aramaic, Hebrew, and one is in Greek : that of the supposed Mary Magdalene box. The earliest Jewish Christians in Jerusalem, including the members of Jesus’ family and Mary Magdalene, did not speak Greek. They spoke Aramaic. We have absolutely no historical evidence to suggest Mary Magdalene would have been called by a Greek name before A.D. 70. She grew up in a Jewish fishing village called Migdal, not a Greek city at all. It makes no sense that her ossuary would have a Greek inscription and that of her alleged husband an Aramaic inscription1.
If these are all from one family, during the same period of time, one would expect them to all be in the same language at least! Perhaps a better explanation is that these boxes are from different families living outside Jerusalem over the course of several generations. Such stone caves were expensive, and often extended family members over several generations might be buried in one cave.
2) If there was a Jesus family tomb, it would not have been ornately carved into the side of a mountain just outside Jerusalem. Jesus' mother, sisters and brothers were from up north in Nazareth, and rarely came down to Jerusalem. Besides, after Jesus rose and Christianity started, the young religion was attacked and persecuted. James, Jesus' brother, was stoned in 65 AD (See the works of Josephus). Steven was as well. The Apostles were all martryed during this time, including Peter and Paul. If they had tried dig and place a family tomb right there near Jerusalem, where all this started, it would have been destroyed. And certainly the Romans and Jewish leaders would have love to have produced the bones of Jesus as evidence that He never rose. However the NT records say that they did inspect the tomb (apparently the real tomb), and the body was not there.
It was also very expensive to have a rock hewn tomb, with ornately carved ossuaries. Jesus family was very poor, living up north. This was an expensive tomb, and far outside the means of Jesus' family. A more reasonable conclusion is that this expensive, rock carded tomb is most likely the tomb of a wealthy artisan family living outside Jerusalem. Not likely the tomb of a poor family such as Jesus'.
Finally, there an interesting rosette or symbol over the Talpiot tomb, and from the pictures in the book inside the tomb as well. This is very interesting and it tells us one thing. This was a highly unusual and ornamental tomb meant to be recognized by the symbol. It is not, and indeed was not a secret tomb where a despised split off sect of Jesus following Jews could have hidden the bodies of Jesus or James or other family members. The ornamental decoration is meant to attract attention and draw people to the tomb. Indeed it is meant to distinguish the tomb from others. This is the opposite of what we would expect if this is a pre-70 A.D. Jesus family tomb. Remember we have clear historical evidence that Saul of Tarsus, from his own letters and from Acts was a persecutor of Christians. By the 40s this persecution got so bad that some Christians fled the city (see the sweep and trajectory of the story in Act 3-9). Under no circumstances would these beleaguered early Jewish Christians have been advertising where the bones of Jesus laid, if they knew.1
2) Why are the other key family members missing, and why are non-family members in the tomb? Why is there a box labeled "Matthew" when no such family members is recorded anywhere else (notwithstanding that there was a disciple named Mathew). The "tomb' contains boxes with Jesus, son of Joseph, Mary, and a “Mariamene e Mara". But where is Joseph's box(the dad)? And the other sisters of Jesus, and brothers? And the "James Ossuary" - why wasn't that in the tomb? James was Jesus immediately younger brother, and the leader of the Jerusalem church. Surely his box should have been there. But no. In fact, the James Ossuary was discovered in the 1970's, dug out of a tomb far away from this one. If this was the Jesus family tomb, surely we would have expected the closest brother to have been buried there as well! But he was not.
3) Why would ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ be interred in a box marked 'Jesus, son of Joseph'? No one at that time believed Jesus was the son of Joseph! The Jews believed Jesus was illegitimate - they did not accept that Mary had conceived as a miracle. And the Christians all of course did believe that Jesus was the Chosen One, the Messiah. IF we had discovered a box with the bones of Jesus of Nazareth, we would expect it to be labeled "Jesus of Nazareth" , or "Jesus, son of Mary", or "Jesus the Messiah" - or have some other extra ordinary inscription. But not "Jesus, son of Joseph".
Richard Bauckham, an expert in New Testament studies, explains: “Jesus is never called ‘son of Joseph’ by anyone who knew him intimately in the NT— not by his family members, and not by his disciples. Indeed where this idea arises, for example, in John 6.42 the Jewish officials who are accosting Jesus call him ‘son of Joseph’ (cf. Jn. 8.41). These can only be called hostile witnesses, not those who were likely to have known the actual case. It is telling that in Nazareth itself, in our account in Mk. 6.1-6 in our earliest Gospel Jesus is called “the carpenter, the son of Mary”. Now in that patriarchal culture you don’t call a person a ‘son of their mother’ even if the father has died. That is a pejorative way of addressing a person, rather like calling them an S.O. you know what today.
Did the people in Nazareth know there was something unusual about Jesus’ origins, and it disconnected him from Joseph? Yes they did, which is why they were angry and did not think Jesus had any right to teach them. He was probably viewed as a mamzer, as Dr. Bruce Chilton has argued—an illegitimate child. And this is precisely what James Tabor argues in his Jesus Dynasty book, claiming he was the son of a Roman soldier named Pantera. But of course now, he has reversed himself to support the Jesus Family Tomb theory!
You can’t have it both ways, and in fact neither are correct. Jesus was not the physical descendent of Joseph, was known not to be by his hometown folks. The uncharitable suggested he was illegitimate but Mary claimed his conception was a miracle. Those are the two opposing explanations we have from the first century about Jesus’ origins. What we do not have is a tradition that Jesus would have been called ‘son of Joseph’ by members of his own family or his disciples—and that is what is required if the Talpiot tomb is a family tomb.1
4) That the Maria box was that of Mary, Jesus’ mother. Mary was the most common name among women (see statistics discussion below). A better explanation is that this was a Mary of the artisan family that owned this tomb. Mary, Jesus mother, was from up north (as was the rest of Jesus family), and it is more likely that she would be buried in the vicinity of her home town.
5) What is the evidence for the box labeled “Mariamene e Mara” to be that of Mary Magdalene? The producers have to go to a lot of pain to try to make this point. Here is some additional data from expert Richard Bauckham on the names on the so-called ‘Mary Magdalene’ ossuary:
“Mary Magdalene is called ‘Maria’ constantly in first century Christian literature, and indeed well into the second century as well. She is never called Mariamene or the like. It is anachronistic and inappropriate to bring in later Gnostic document evidence from the Acts of Philip or the Gospel of Mary, neither of which date before the end of the second century A.D. to make your case when you have perfectly good first century data to help you. In fact, in regard to the former manuscript what we have is a 14th century manuscript which is theorized to go back to the fourth century A.D. It does not identify Mariamene as Mary Magdalene, rather it identifies her as the sister of Philip the apostle. It is the unproven theory of Francis Bovon, without real supporting evidence that Mariamene refers to Mary Magdalene.
There are two other problems with this claim:
a) we have both Mary Magdalene, and Philip in the NT, and the two are never connected at all. Indeed they are from different cities it seems clear. In terms of historical methodology you cannot use later Gnostic documents filled with wild fictional accounts, indeed fairy tales, about talking animals (yes we have that in the Acts of Philip) and like and be taken seriously when you want to make historical claims on the basis of such later and non-historically oriented evidence;
b) the accounts in the Acts of Philip have Maramene evangelizing foreign countries , yet on the argument of the film producers of this Discovery Channel special, she stayed in Jerusalem and was buried there with Jesus. In other words, we have no good historical connection between the sister of Philip, and Mary Magdalene. None.”1
Another key point: The second word on the Mariamene ossuary is “Mara” which is short for Martha, another female name. It is NOT a reference to her being a “master” or teacher as the film producers would have you believe. You need to remember that the inscriptions on these ossuaries are very different in character to the one on the James ossuary. The latter has an honorific or monumental inscription on the side of the ossuary in a clear steady hand. The former all have what I call toe tag inscriptions scrawled hastily on the boxes as they are interred in order to distinguish the ossuaries. All that was required then was names, just names. No honorific additions like we find on monumental inscriptions would be used. So either we have two women in this ossuary, perhaps sisters, or we have one woman neither of which names match up with the first century naming of Mary Magdalene.2
6) What is the evidence for the ossuary labeled "Matthew" to be that of a brother of Jesus? However, there is no mention in the Bible, or in any of the ancient extra-biblical works, of a family member named Matthew! Grasping at straws, the producers claim this is the ossuary belonging to the apostle Mathew (who was somehow included with the family)
7) Why should we believe that the box labeled "Jude, son of Jesus" is that of Jesus' offspring? Slight problem. There is no other evidence anywhere of Jesus ever being married or having a son. It is far more likely that this is the tomb of some artisan family living outside Jerusalem in the 1st century, and Jude being the the son of another Jesus.
8) What evidence is there that a missing ossuary is the previously discovered “James Ossuary”? There are a couple of problems with this fanciful claim:
First, the 10th box was in fact “blank”, according to the archeologist who discovered and labeled all of the bone boxes. The mysterious “10th” box was in fact not labeled at all!
Second, similar “patina” doesn’t prove the James box came from the same cave! Much is made of the fact that the chemical analysis of the patina on the James ossuary and some of the ossuaries in the Talpiot tomb match up. This is not actually surprising at all since you can find terra rosa in various locales in and around Jerusalem. This analysis cannot prove that these ossuaries all came from the same place or were interred in the same spot. Terra rosa is not a soil specific to the Talpiot region!1
Third, the James ossuary, according to the report of the antiquities dealer that Oded Golan got the ossuary from, said that the ossuary came from Silwan, not Talpiot. It was also found to have dirt in it that matched up with the soil in that particular spot in Jerusalem. To theorize that there was a Jesus family tomb, and yet the one member of Jesus’ family who we know was buried in Jerusalem for a long time did not come out of the ground from that locale contradicts this theory.
Fourth, Eusebius reports that the tomb marker for James’ burial was close to where James was martyred near the temple mount, indeed near the famous tombs in the Kidron valley such as the so-called tomb of Absalom. Talpiot is nowhere near this locale.2
James “was buried on the spot, by the Sanctuary, and his inscribed stone (stele) is still there by the sanctuary.” (Hist. Eccles. 2.23.18).
9) What evidence is there for the statistical claim that there are "600 to1" odds that this is the Lost Tomb of Jesus. Their claims about statistics are also wrong. They make apriori assumptions, then includes these in their calculation, which are also in error. There are over 200 instances where you could have had a tomb with Mary, Jesus son of Joseph, and another Marium.
Richard Bauckham provides the following statistics to explain how common the names Jesus, Mary and Joseph were:1
Out of a total number of 2625 males, these are the figures for the ten most popular male names among Palestinian Jews. the first figure is the total number of occurrences (from this number, with 2625 as the total for all names, you could calculate percentages), while the second is the number of occurrences specifically on ossuaries.
1 Simon/Simeon 243 59
2 Joseph 218 45
3 Eleazar 166 29
4 Judah 164 44
5 John/Yohanan 122 25
6 Jesus 99 22
7 Hananiah 82 18
8 Jonathan 71 14
9 Matthew 62 17
10 Manaen/Menahem 42 4
For women, there are a total of 328 occurrences (women’s names are much less often recorded than men’s), and figures for the 4 most popular names are thus:
Mary/Mariamne 70 42
Salome 58 41
Shelamzion 24 19
Martha 20 17
You can see at once that all the names you’re interested were extremely popular. 21% of Jewish women were called Mariamne (Mary). The chances of the people in the ossuaries being the Jesus and Mary Magdalene of the New Testament must be very small indeed.
The other point about arriving at the “600 to 1 odds”: this calculation stands or falls on the set of assumptions that the statistician made when he ran the numbers.
One of the key assumptions: that the ossuary labeled “Mariamene e Mara” is that of Mary Magdalene. If it is NOT (as we have shown above), then the calculation is way off, and in fact, the odds are this is not the tomb of Jesus family at all - but more than likely the tomb of wealthy artisan family living out side Jerusalem, or the tomb of early Christians who lived during the 1st century.
FLASH update: the chances of this being the tomb of Jesus amount to 2%. Hardly overwhelming. Read the expert’s report that refines the statistical probabilities:: http://www.ingermanson.com/jesus/art/stats3.php
10) That the DNA evidence proves that “Jesus, son of Joseph”, and “Mariamene e Mara” were a couple. There is no independent DNA control sample to compare to what was garnered from the bones in this tomb. By this I mean that the most the DNA evidence can show is that several of these folks are inter-related. And the most that it can show concerning “Jesus, son of Joseph”, and “Mariamene e Mara” is that they were not related. Which of course does not mean they were a “couple”. To conclude that requires a wild stretch of the imagination..
We would need an independent control sample from some member of Jesus’ family to confirm that Maria, Jude and others were members of Jesus’ family. We do not have that at all. In addition mitacondrial DNA does not reveal genetic coding or XY chromosome make up anyway. They would need nuclear DNA for that in any case. The DNA stuff is thrown in to make this look more like a real scientific fact. Not so much.2
Other Problems With the “Lost Tomb of Jesus”
By all ancient accounts, the tomb of Jesus was empty– even the Jewish and Roman authorities acknowledged this. Now it takes a year for the flesh to desiccate, and then you put the man’s bones in an ossuary. But Jesus’ body was long gone from Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb well before then. Are we really to believe it was moved to another tomb, decayed, and then was put in an ossuary? Its not likely.
Implicitly you must accuse James, Peter and John (mentioned in Gal. 1-2– in our earliest NT document from 49 A.D.) of fraud and cover-up. Are we really to believe that they knew Jesus didn’t rise bodily from the dead but perpetrated a fraudulent religion, for which they and others were prepared to die? Did they really hide the body of Jesus in another tomb? We need to remember that the James in question is Jesus’ brother, who certainly would have known about a family tomb. This is not a reasoned conclusion, based on the historical evidence.2
Conclusions Regarding the “Lost Tomb of Jesus”
The introduction of this “discovery” was not done in a professional scholarly way. No peer review was conducted of the claims, no review process. Instead, the Discovery Channel was enlisted, and movie was developed over several months time, in secret. A few so-called “experts” were drafted to give the claims an air of credibility. To complete the show, a web site was developed with a lot of smoke and mirrors, and a companion book and CD were fleshed out. The players were sworn to secrecy, while Cameron and friends planned the big press conference that was timed to occur just before Easter, in concert with the Oscars.
Experts who should have been involved were cast aside during this whole debacle – the archeologists who originally discovered the boxes, the Biblical Archeological Society, as well as experts in ancient languages, ossuaries, etc.
This is work is not about a search for truth. Its about hype, sensationalism, and a carefully planned grab for money – all at the expense of shamelessly attacking the dearly held beliefs of millions of Christians.
A Better Explanation
An alterative explanation is offered by Richard Bauckham1: “It is incumbent on any historian who wants to dispute a theory about the Jesus tomb to provide some other explanation for the Talpiot tomb. Clearly it is an important tomb, and it may be a Christian one. It would be interesting to know about the Greek inscriptions on the ossuaries or at least in the adjacent tomb which are pictured in the book The Jesus Family Tomb. Since they are in Greek it suggests to me they are not from early Aramaic speaking followers of Jesus, but they could be from later Christian ones, after the profile of who was Christian had broadened considerably with many Gentile Godfearers as converts even within Israel.
It is therefore my tentative suggestion that the Talpiot tomb may well be an early Jewish tomb not connected with the followers of Jesus, but it could also be an early Christian tomb from a generation subsequent to the time of Jesus. And what we know about those Christians is that they related to each other as family, even when they were not physically related, and were in some cases buried together, not in clan tombs, because their religious families were more important to them than their physical ones. This tomb may reflect that later Christian practice and reality. It would be nice if the other ossuaries from the Talpiot tomb could be DNA tested so we could find out if any of the folks in this tomb were related. We do not know. But it would not surprise me if none of them were. The practice of osslegium, or burial in ossuaries, continued on after A.D. 70 until the Bar Kokhba revolt at least. There is no reason why this Talpiot tomb might not reflect the period between A.D. 70 and 125 or so.”1
- Richard Bauckham: http://benwitherington.blogspot.com/2007/02/problems-multiple-for-jesus-tomb-theory.html
- Ben Witherington’s Blog: http://benwitherington.blogspot.com/2007/02/problems-multiple-for-jesus-tomb-theory.html
Sources and Links:
- Jesus Family Tomb Move web site: http://www.jesusfamilytomb.com/movie_overview.html
- Biblical Archeological Society: Noted archeologist Jodi Magness speaks out. Full story athttp://www.bib-arch.org/bswbKCtombmagness.html
- Washington Post: “Lost Tomb of Jesus Called a Publicity Stunt” Link to Washington Post article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/26/AR2007022600442.html
- Wall Street Journal: “Odds of ‘Lost Tomb’ Being Jesus’ Family Rest on Assumptions” – March 9, 2007 Link: http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB117338464249431351-ygXzEk0erHU_d3oR6lQUpe2ZhVE_20070407.html?mod=tff_main_tff_top
- BBC: “Jesus Tomb Found, Says Film Maker” Feb 27, 2007 –Link:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6397373.stm
- USA Today: “Scene 1: Discredit religion; Scene 2: See Scene 1″http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/on_religion_column/index.html
- Dr. Darrell F. Bock – Blog “Hollywood Hype – The Oscars and Jesus Family Tomb – What Do They Share?” Link: http://dev.bible.org/bock/node/106
- Matt Slick – “Has the Tomb of Jesus Been Found?”. Link: www.carm.org