Now there is a story circulating in the mainstream media about a book and film entitled, "The Jesus Family Tomb" and "The Lost Tomb of Jesus," respectively.1 We will intersperse commentary below with quotations from the article cited in the footnote.
Has the DNA of Jesus Christ been found?
That tantalizing question underpins The Lost Tomb of Jesus — a new book and feature documentary film with potentially profound implications for Christianity.
The two provocative works suggest that ossuaries once containing the bones of Jesus of Nazareth and his family are now stored in a warehouse belonging to the Israel Antiquity Authority in Bet Shemesh, outside Jerusalem.
Although the evidence contained in the film and book is hardly definitive, it is compelling. Inscribed in Hebrew, Latin or Greek, six boxes
An ossuary is a vault or box or the like to contain the bones of the dead.
— taken from a 2,000-year-old cave
Casting no aspersions, do the authors of the book and creators of the film explain how they dated the tomb or is this just an assumption on the part of the articles author?
discovered in March, 1980, during excavation for a housing project in Talpiyot, south of Jerusalem — bear the names: Yeshua (Jesus) bar Yosef (son of Joseph); Maria (the Latin version of Miriam, which is the English Mary); Matia (the Hebrew equivalent of Matthew, a name common in the lineage of both Mary and Joseph); Yose; (the Gospel of Mark refers to Yose as a brother of Jesus); Yehuda bar Yeshua, or Judah, son of Jesus; and in Greek, Mariamne e mara — meaning 'Mariamne, known as the master.' According to Harvard professor Francois Bovon, interviewed in the film, Mariamne was Mary Magdalene's real name.
The bones once contained in the boxes have long since been reburied, according to Jewish custom — in unmarked graves in Israel.
It is our understanding that an ossuary was used to hold the bones for one year. Then at one year, the bones were removed from the box and buried.
If the evidence adduced is correct, the bone boxes — and microscopic remains of DNA still contained inside — would constitute the first archaeological evidence of the existence of the Christian saviour and his family.
Tests on mitochondrial DNA obtained from the Jesus and Mariamne boxes and conducted at Lakehead University's Paleo-DNA laboratory, in Thunder Bay, Ont., show conclusively that the two individuals were not maternally related. According to Dr. Carney Matheson, the lab's head, this likely means they were related by marriage.
Thus, the book and film raise seminal questions, not only about the early movement of Judeo-Christians that Jesus led, but about whether, as some scholars believe, he might have been married to Mary Magdalene and fathered a family.
Nothing in the film or book challenges traditional Christian dogma regarding the resurrection. But it could pose a problem for those that believe Jesus' ascension, 40 days after the resurrection, was both physical and spiritual. And, if further DNA testing were to link Jesus and Yose with Mary, it would call into question the entire doctrine of the Virgin Birth.
The $4-million documentary is the work [of] two Canadians — Emmy-award winner director Simcha Jacobovici and his executive producer, Oscar-award winning filmmaker James Cameron. It will air on Canada's Vision TV on March 6th and later next month on Discovery US and Britain's Channel 4. A companion book, The Jesus Family Tomb, by Mr. Jacobovici and Dr. Charles Pellegrino, has just been released (Harper Collins).
Mr. Jacobovici and Mr. Cameron are scheduled to hold a press conference Monday morning at the New York Public Library, with the Jesus and Mary Magdelene ossuaries, flown in from Israel, on display.
Meanwhile, security agents have been hired to stand guard outside the Talpiyot apartments beneath which the tomb lies, covered by a large cement plate.
"I don't think this changes the fundamentals of faith," Mr. Cameron said in an interview this week. "But the evidence is pretty darn compelling and it definitely bears further study."
If Jesus was not born of a virgin and was not ascended physically with the same but transformed flesh, it most certainly would change "the fundamentals of" the "faith" of Roman Catholicism. We'll speak more to that below.
Not everyone agrees. "It's a beautiful story, but without any proof whatsoever," archaeologist Dr. Amos Kloner, who wrote the original report on the Talpiyot cave findings, told an Israeli reporter last week. "The names...found on the tombs are names that are similar to the names of the family of Jesus. But those were the most common names found among Jews in the first centuries BCE and CE."
Yet if the individual names were common, the film and book ask: what is the likelihood that this particular group of names, so resonant of the Jesus story, would appear together, contained in the same family tomb?
"There are really only two possibilities," says director Jacobovici. "Either this cluster of names represents the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth and his family. Or some other family, with this very same constellation of names, existed at precisely the same time in history in Jerusalem."
To calculate the odds, Mr. Jacobovici took the data to University of Toronto mathematician Dr. Andrey Feuerverger. Factoring in the commonality of these names in first-Century Israel, Dr. Feuerverger puts the odds of this tomb not belonging to Jesus and his family at one in 600.
Another estimate, commissioned by Dr. James Tabor, chair of the department of religion studies at the University of North Carolina, puts the odds at one in 42 million. "If you took the entire population of Jerusalem at the time," says Dr. Taber, "and put it in a stadium, and asked everyone named Jesus to stand up, you'd have about 2,700 men. Then you'd ask only those with a father named Joseph and a mother named Mary to remain standing. And then those with a brother named Yose and a brother named James. Statistically, you end up with one person."
Barring a set-up or hoax, the odds are not calculable. The names are based upon the Gospels called into question by the very act of speculation. Everything is a relative and moving target. The variables are not fixed. Everything is subject to shifting conceptualizations.
Also, why would this book and film be put out without the DNA work being complete, or is it? Above, the article's author stated, "if further DNA testing were to link Jesus and Yose with Mary, it would call into question the entire doctrine of the Virgin Birth." Well, why come forth with this without first having completed that DNA testing? It isn't very thoughtful. It is suspect, because so much money is involved.
Judge and condemn not, but rather discern and disseminate to lead and save
We wrote above, "Casting no aspersions." What we mean by that is we are not judging or condemning souls. Most people get swept up in the pursuit of self-provisioning. Because of the current societal bent, everyone's mind has this nasty habit to overcome. It takes self-patience to wean oneself from the evil habit. No matter how long it takes, it's worth it.
They don't stop to consider the degree to which what they are doing is infinitely right or wrong. They don't get to the point where self-interest and principle are understood as being one and the same. It is in one's best interest to see to the best interests of everyone.
Conditioning, socialization, by the wealthiest financiers
Most people today are acting on automatic pilot that takes them in the direction of their conditioning, the socialization process they've been under since their conception. That socialization process is the propaganda treatment of crafted history written by those who hired out to foundations and institutes the goal of which is the entire world ruled by the wealthiest financiers (the greatest hoarders; the greatest thieves of the inheritance of others) who control the self-styled intellectual elite they hire as managers. It is not democracy. The plan is not democracy, whether pure, direct, representative, or pluralistic. The plan is not the kingdom of heaven on earth.
Not pluralism, per se, but the single vision of self-censorship and non-coercion
To be clear, again, we are not pluralist but we are against coercion; meaning, among other things, we don't agree with anything but self-censorship (movement by the Holy Spirit; conscience; the moral compass) of the truly harmful, which censorship we advocate strongly. It also means that we believe, we know, the single vision of which Jesus Christ spoke in his Sermon on the Mount is the path that explains the whole of reality. We believe in "live and let live," but openly defining real life is freedom. Those who wish to shut down that defining process have truly harmful motives no matter how ignorant they are of that.
One day, the wealthiest financiers and their self-styled intellectual elite hope that they will be so powerful that they will be able to dispense with the current mundane illusion that the grassroots (common) people are the primary source of political power. They hope to disabuse those people of any sentimentality concerning the (unfortunately hypocritically applied) notions expressed in the US Declaration of Independence for instance.
Nevertheless, we are not judging or condemning souls, because we are looking for universal repentance, not punishment. We are looking for mercy, not sacrifice. We are looking for people to know right from wrong and to do right rather than wrong for everyone's sake.
To what degree do people stop to consider what is driving them? How much are they twisted without realizing it by the motivation to get for self? How can that cause hoaxes and being taken in no matter how long ago an applicable hoax was perpetrated? Whom do you trust and why?
There is no doubt that there are megalomaniacs, kleptomaniacs, and a runaway military-industrial complex with roots in what is known as the satanic spirit. It is the definition of the satanic complex.
The thing for human kind to do is change the entire direction from selfishness to unselfishness. No matter what is ultimately revealed concerning the exact details, the minutest specifics, of Jesus's time on this earth in the flesh and of all of our lives, the truth is that unselfish love in action (the spirit of oneness in service and friendship) is the ultimate reality. We know enough of the details of things to realize that.
It is usual for people to string out others so that money may be made while a story is deliberately unfolded a little at a time even though those who are stringing along others already know that the story leaves an unsatisfactory position and that had they simply gotten to the point, the story would not have been such a money producer. It is all in the presentation, the manipulation of people who want answers and the truth. Like it or not, the authors of "The Lost Tomb of Jesus" are swept up in the money-making aspects of their whole project.
The James reference is significant because of the 10 ossuaries found at Talpiyot, one later disappeared. Many experts believe that coffin is the now infamous 'James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus' ossuary that turned up a few years ago and was put on public display at the Royal Ontario Museum.
Although many scholars have called the inscription 'brother of Jesus' a modern-day forgery, at least as many academics continue to believe in its authenticity.
Moreover, tests conducted for The Lost Tomb of Jesus show that the patina encrusted on the James ossuary bears precisely the same chemical thumbprint as the other ossuaries found at Talpiyot.
Neither the provenance nor the age of the ossuaries is not in dispute. The boxes, never out of the control of professional archaeologists, are effectively self-dating, since the practice of re-interring the bones of the dead in limestone boxes a year after death was conducted by Jews in the Holy Land for a period of only 100 years. Prominent families stored the boxes in family tombs.
The author meant to say, "Neither the provenance nor the age of the ossuaries is in dispute." Nevertheless, "the practice of re-interring the bones of the dead in limestone boxes a year after death was conducted by Jews in the Holy Land for a period of only 100 years" is not effective "self-dating." Rather, what does carbon dating tell the scientists? Even if carbon dating could place the boxes within that 100-year period, there are other possibilities for explaining the whole "find" that must be considered.
The alleged fact that "the patina encrusted on the James ossuary bears precisely the same chemical thumbprint as the other ossuaries found at Talpiyot" could mean that all the boxes are fraudulent. Also, how rare is this "chemical thumbprint"?
Moreover, all the inscriptions have been corroborated by some of the world's leading epigraphers, including Harvard's Frank Moore Cross.
The 'Jesus, son of Joseph' marking is considered rare; of thousands of inscriptions so far catalogued, only one other bone coffin contained the same construction.
No Christian tradition suggests that Jesus had a son, but the Gospel of John does refer to "the beloved disciple" who rests on Jesus' lap at the last supper.
And perhaps, says Mr. Jacobovici, "although this is pure speculation, when Jesus on the cross says 'mother, behold thy son,' he's not referring to himself or to his mother, but to his son, who is there with Mary Magdalene".
The book of Mark, he adds, also contains a passage that might allude to a son — a reference to a young man, wearing nothing but linen who follows Jesus after his arrest and, when guards try to apprehend him, slips out of his clothes and escapes naked.
"That's a very odd story," says Mr. Jacobovici. "There's no name is [strikethrough added] given for the young lad, but the gospel writer obviously thought it was important to tell it."
"None of us," maintains Dr. Tabor, "are gleefully presenting this as though we've trumped Christianity. If anything, it might help clarify and refine it a bit. Some people will immediately say this is sensationalism. I don't agree with that. I know enough about it to say this is a subject that deserves serious and continued investigation."
Indeed, it's likely that there will be [a] sequel to The Lost Tomb of Jesus. While searching for the original Talpiyot cave, the filmmakers stumbled upon a second crypt, only 20 meters away that has never been explored by archaeologists. A miniature camera inserted into the tomb revealed three ossuaries.
The powers that be at the time, according to the Gospels, stationed guards at the tomb of Jesus in an attempt to keep from happening exactly what the Gospels say happened, namely that Jesus's body left the tomb. According to the Gospels, the powers that be were completely self-absorb, selfish, determined to hold onto their positions of power and wealth, and corrupted justice and committed murder against Jesus in an attempt to perpetuate that power and wealth. That much of the Gospels has certainly not been sufficiently twisted by the worldly Empire spirit to cover it up, for it is a condemnation of that very spirit.
There is nothing revealed in this overall ossuary and DNA find so far to rule out that this isn't an elaborate hoax conjured up in the era, or afterward, to support the powers denial of the message of Jesus Christ. Remember all the wicked things said about Jesus by the Jews in the Gospels and then in their Talmud all because Jesus was speaking truth. They didn't want, and don't want, to live by the new commandment or that upon which it is based and that which it so beautifully summarizes.
This current effort is undertaken by antichrist spirits, whether those involved take offense at that characterization or not. Christ is not the spirit of scientific testing. Christ is the spirit of God who is beyond science, since God created phenomena. God is before phenomena.
Do we trust their findings? We do not trust them. We do not trust their ultimate judgment, because they are not motivated by unselfish love. Their ultimate characterizations are invariably misleading regardless of specific details. It is the ends that matter. It is the ends that must guide the characterizations and interpretations and the questioning process. The means and the ends must both be right for either to be right. This is the divine logic that leads to the kingdom and that brings forth the kingdom.
Disproving the dogma of the Roman Empire is not disproving Christianity
Are we saying don't investigate, don't ask questions, don't speculate, etc.? No. We are saying that all the dogma of the church of Rome is not operative when it comes to real Christianity. Disproving the dogma of that church is not disproving Christianity at all. That church went down the wide path of apostasy. It was misled and has been misled ever since. That is obvious by the fact that it never brought forth. In fact it did the opposite: Brought forth more worldly empire of satanic spirit. That church hunted down all dissident voices. It hunted down all scripture that didn't conform to its worldly empiric ambitions. It was co-opted by the spirit of the liar from the beginning. It made subtle and not so subtle changes to scripture to effectuate its worldly ambitions. Now we are left with sorting out the real message of what is the path of salvation from the falsehood spewed out by the imperial church of the Roman Empire.
The authors of "The Lost Tomb of Jesus" certainly don't want the Jesus of the Gospels to be even remotely real, the way, the truth, and the life. They are adamantly against the implications of his teachings and exemplary life. They don't want to be required by their consciences to repent, atone, and to give and share all, to be unselfish, pacifistic, and sexually pure. Therefore, at some point in their investigations, they lead others down the wrong road. One must realize when to diverge from those who are on the wide path to hell, greed, violence, and depravity.
In addition, families name their children after famous people, famous families. Neither can it be ruled out at this time (based upon the scant details of this article) that that is what is reflected in this story.
If though it can be proven that Jesus was not born of a virgin and that his bones did not ascend, then 1) the virgin birth story was tacked onto the gospel to make it appealing to pagans looking for similarities with their hopeful myths and 2) those who believe that the spirit (the ghost) can manifest as tangible flesh (a second, new body) will take center stage in the faith from the churches that perpetrated any misdirecting redactions, corrupting the scripture.
These do not pose a take-all-or-leave-all proposition concerning the Gospels. These two points (virgin birth and fleshly ascension) are not operative conditions in the covenant with God. Jesus made clear that different souls are given to accept different things and that that does not preclude the divergent from entering heaven. It becomes a matter of the degree of heaven, the closeness to God. As we have written elsewhere, Jesus was, and is, both a relativist and an absolutist.
We said above, "If Jesus was not born of a virgin and was not ascended physically with the same but transformed flesh, it most certainly would change 'the fundamentals of' the 'faith' of Roman Catholicism." We've written extensively about how paganism was used by the church of Rome to build up the worldly Empire of the particular gentiles concerning whom Jesus said they lord it over one another. At the same time, we've written about half-truths that overlap the real.
The whole point of existence is to become closer and closer to God to the point where one is one and the same—no usurpation, no taking credit for having done anything alone, just having finally joined in God's preexisting perfection. This is a process revealed by God as worthiness grows.
Was the church of Rome co-opted by the evil worldly empire spirit? Yes, of course it was. That's plain to see, since they have never brought forth the kingdom on earth but rather brought forth much hellishness (greed, violence, and depravity). Where though is the truth now to be found, since a church capable of caving into Constantine's worldly ambitions is capable of faking versions of scripture, just as certain Jews obviously were, and remain, capable of corruption as seen by virtue of the difference between the Dead Sea scrolls and the Talmudic Torah.
Only the Holy Spirit can move a soul in the right direction, move a soul to put faith in the right direction. One does not have to know all in the mundane sense to know the direction from here. Jesus said he did not know everything; yet, he trusted in God's love as the truth, as salvation.
Did Jesus ascend? Yes. Did he ascend in resurrected, purified substance? Yes. Was his dead, flesh body left behind by his spirit substance? We don't believe it.
Of course, DNA revelations open the door for some to question everything except that Jesus would then be a scientifically proven person. What would then be the truth? Pontius Pilate asked, "What is truth?"
In the end (which is every moment within a given context), we get what we deserve
We all should want the truth no matter what. Understand though that, in the end (despite the tribulations of the innocent), we get what we deserve. Within context, Jesus did and did not deserve to go to the cross.
We get what we want, which is what we deserve. You want something. It's wrong to want it. You get what you deserve for wanting what you should not have wanted. That leads to the unreal (into darkness, falsehood, greater hell). Perfection, on the other hand, is the state of wanting what is exactly right to want, where wanting it brings nothing but positive consequences, eternally (the long-term; gratification isn't yet instant in this here and now). Wanting what is exactly right is truth, is real, and is God. What we ought to want is the right kind and degree of love (that Jesus showed). Only that love can bring eternally positive consequences.
God has the power to rewrite history. By "rewrite" here, we mean make what happened after the supposed fact. This is exceedingly difficult for our human minds to grasp. It seems at first to run contrary to cause and effect. However, it doesn't. The cause and effect are what we deserve.
Also, heaven, hell, and this earth are all in that realm together even as they are wholly separate, they are intermingled. None of this is truly paradoxical. We go into all this type of thinking and understanding in much greater detail in the work There Is No Such Thing as a Conservative-Republican Christian: Jesus is a small-c communist.
We ought to want God not to hide from us (be hidden from us, imperceptible to us by virtue of our unworthiness). We ought to want to be such that God isn't hidden from us. The truth is God. Do we deserve the absolute truth? Can we be trusted with that power or would we prolong harm to the innocent?
Look at the spirits (the CIA and al Qaeda) that colluded in bringing the world 9-11 and the rest of their plan that they have unfolded. Look at what the world deserved because it has received it.
If we want love, we must love. If we want to deserve a good spirit eternally over our present moment, we must love.
We change the seeds of history
The past will be the seeds of the future harvest. If we repent and convert to peace, the past will be the seeds of that peaceful future. The past will be changed, because the stream of conscience and consciousness bringing forth a world of love, peace, that real truth, will be that within the past that is magnified. We make it signify. Otherwise, we ignore it, thereby making it something different, less important. Then we receive from that seed made different by our outlook and belief. We make the past the seed that it is. We make all three: Future, present, and past from all three. We are in all three all the time, all subject to our spirit choice. God is within. We are, or are not, children of God as ourselves by our freewill choice given to us by that self-same God, one in all, all in one, and one separate and eternal.
That is the truth Pontius Pilate was looking at when he was looking at Jesus Christ.
This is difficult thinking, because it runs contrary to the conditioning to which we have been subjected by evil spirits determined selfishly to lord it over all and to which they have subjected themselves. It runs contrary to the current limited understanding of science. The current religion of science (for all but the most radical theoretical scientists) cannot create a world where all futures and all pasts are always for the choosing by virtue of the power of God over all time, space, and things as one.
The question for humanity and for each human soul and every being in existence is what do you really want and how ultimately deserving is it.
What is the most significant moment? Jesus said, "It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost." (John 19:30). If one fails to magnify this and all that is implied by it within the full context of Jesus's real-Christian life leading up to that moment, then the seeds sowed will be a bitter harvest. That one will be revising the past, viewing it through dumbed-down outlook and belief. Salvation will be missed. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13). This is not laying down his life in violence but in peace. Jesus went to the cross in peace, for peace, sowing the seeds of the ultimate division of evil away from good, bringing the ultimate salvation of those who freely choose righteousness for its sake.
That is not the message of the atheists or the capitalists or any but the real Christians.
In looking at the article again, I saw the first line of "Latest Comments" posted on the Globe and Mail site concerning Michael Posner's article. That comment's line was "Just another HOAX to make MONEY from the credulous public, trying...." The entire comment says, "John Williams from Ajax, Canada writes: Just another HOAX to make MONEY from the credulous public, trying to get some DaVinci Code money. Ya think?"2
Capitalism is being confused with something good.
Many comments were posted. Some people feel threatened that the DNA of a historical Jesus Christ may have been found. Some even suspect the Roman Catholics are behind the "find." Actually, the Roman Catholics, as we've said, have more to lose by finding DNA from the dead bones of Jesus.
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And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)