I started this several days ago but opted to catch up on things like housework and child rearing so I’m a little behind. In any case, here’s my take…
OK, some haven’t seen it. There are a lot of places to view and read synopses and rebuttal, science and theology, so I won’t go into a lot of that. For a general overview, I will quote The History Enthusiast who seems to represent a very similar opinion as mine. Why reinvent the wheel?
“To summarize some of the conclusions, Jacobovici claims that a first-century tomb discovered in the Talpiot neighborhood of Jerusalem is almost certainly the burial chamber of Jesus’s family. This conclusion is based in large part on archaeological evidence, interpretations of early Christian texts (such as the gospel of Phillip), and forensic science analysis of the six ossuaries (bone boxes) found within it in 1980. These six ossuaries are labeled as Mariamne e Mara, Yeshua bar Joseph, Yose, Matthew, Judah bar Yeshua, and Maria. There is also a disputed ossuary labeled James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus, that may be from this same tomb (there is currently an ongoing court case regarding its possible forgery). Furthermore, he speculates that Mariamne (who he identifies as Mary Magdalene) and Jesus, son of Joseph–names inscribed on two separate ossuaries–may have had a child named Judah, whose name appears on an ossuary as Judah, son of Jesus). This of course is a simplified version of a more complex tale.”
She goes on to give her opinions of the conclusions drawn and methodology used. Feel free to take a look here.
I reluctantly watched the documentary and post show because I generally don’t like the whole sensationalist spin many documentaries use nowadays. But, I figured I would be asked about it so I had to have a clue. I think the first comment by Jacobovici to Ted Koppel in the post show ended the discussion for me. (I am paraphrasing. If anyone can locate the actual quote feel free to comment.) He basically said that the suppositions in the film are speculative and he presents the information hoping that scholars and theologians will now dig in to it on their own. It is not the end result but the beginning. Really after that, I think the panelists just felt they needed to have their say. And they did.
I thought some of the reasoning in the film was a stretch. Lots of ifs and if-thens and those seemed a little silly. Similar to Monty Python’s witch test-if wood floats on water and the woman floats, she must be made of wood and therefore a witch. If she sinks, she’s innocent. But I’ll leave those with actual knowledge of scientific method to work it out. Not a faith shaker for me. Could the tomb actually be that of Jesus’ family? I don’t know. If it is, I don’t believe Jesus’ bones are in there. Was he irresponsible in making the film and presenting it as scientific fact? No more irresponsible than the makers of disaster shows like “It Could Happen Tomorrow” that send everyone into the center of the country living in cabins with private wells and stockpiling weapons. And then there’s Wolf Blitzer. So there you go.