See update here.

This is indeed very sad news. I really did not expect this at all. It has blind sided me. Just when Reclaiming the Mind Ministries was moving forward with such affectiveness. Just when I was getting settled in my faith. Just when my prayer life was taking a turn. I can’t believe that they actually found Christ’s remains. All this time we thought He was in heaven–the God-Man. Go figure that I would get this wrong. I guess I will be sending out my resume. Not sure what good a Th.M. does anymore though.

 Sorry, enough with the sarcasm.

As many of you may already know, on March 4th the Discovery Channel will be airing a documentary that alleges to possibly have found Jesus’ family tomb. In short, the Discovery special will argue that a certian tomb contains the remains of Jesus Christ, Mary and Joseph (His parents), Mary Magdelene (His wife), Matthew (His brother), and Judas (His son). You can read more about it here. The producer of this special is Oscar-winning director James Cameron (director of largest grossing movie of all time, The Titanic).

As well, there is also a book called The Jesus Family Tomb: The Discovery, the Investigation, and the Evidence That Could Change History that will complement the Discovery Channel special. Interestingly, this book was only released today but is already #5 on the Amazon best seller list. Sadly, I have to recommend that you get this book to be prepared. (Hey, you got the Da Vinci Code didn’t you?)

The Christian blog world has been set a blaze with those attempting to respond to this. Ben Witherington has already written extensively on this with more to come.

Let me just give you a couple of words of caution as we move forward on this:

This is an opportunity. Let’s not have a knee-jerk reaction to this. I know it is very easy for Christians to get angered and emotional about such claims when they are presented to the public as truth, but think about the opportunity we have here. This is going to put the resurrection of Christ, the very cornerstone of our faith (1Cor 15) in the public eye. There is no single greater apologetic that Christians have for our faith than the historicity of the resurrection. Too often the media and tabloids are focused upon peripheral issues concerning our faith. Not this time. This has the opportunity for Christians to take the light that shines the brightest and carries the most weight and air it for all the world to see. There is nothing that I would like to see more than this. Pray for all the Christians who will be called on by the media to discuss these claims. Pray that the media treats them fairly. Pray that the media connects with the right people who are able to discuss this intelligently (like getting William Craig not Pat Robertson to discuss this).

Don’t respond to quickly or rashly. Right now, the forthcoming theories are still forthcoming. Let’s wait to see what they have to say and then respond to it in a calm and precise way. Often we can get so defensive that we emotionally engage with the evidence before we intellecually engage. My feelings are that classic resurrection apologetics will take care of these claims, but I want to wait and see what they are first.

On the lighter side, I am going to paraphrase Jay Leno tonight concerning this. “They say that they have discovered the remains of Jesus and His family tomb. They say that they know through DNA testing that Jesus had a son who was also in this tomb . . . Yeah right! They cannot even tell who the father of Anna Nicole Smith’s child is yet they can tell us this is Jesus’ child?”

Ed Komozewski and I talked about what scholars we could bring in to discuss this on Converse with Scholars. We have a few in mind. We will keep you up to date. (Athough, Ed Komozewski could handle this as well as anyone).

More to come on this soon.


C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo House Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Find him everywhere: Find him everywhere

    5 replies to "Jesus’ burial site discovered!"

    • Chad Winters

      Having a basic understanding of genetics and DNA testing, I don’t see how you
      could possibly genetically prove that someone is Jesus or related to Jesus. To
      use DNA to confirm relationship even in living persons requires DNA known to
      be from both individuals. Granted they found a tomb with some DNA in it I don’t
      see how they can confirm that it is Jesus’ DNA or his family. You would have to
      compare it to a known living descendant of Jesus or his family and even then
      after 2000 of diffusion it would be impossible to link.

      Even granted that they could confirm the crypt was Jesus’ family (Mary and
      Joseph and offspring) how could they prove that one of the offspring was
      Jesus and not one of his brothers. Granted if you are catholic and don’t believe
      Jesus had brothers, this may be easier, but no more scientifically accurate.

      It would be just as difficult to find a body in a desert cave and determine that
      it is Isaac. While it may be possible to find Isaac’s body, no DNA testing will
      determine that it is Isaac. DNA testing just doesn’t work that way.

      The only wacky way they could get away with it would be to say they tested
      against DNA from the Shroud of Turin and it was the same (ROFL!!)

    • johndelliott

      To quote Philip Schaff, “Christianity stands on a book, a Person, and a
      day. Destroy any one of those and you will destroy the faith.”

      I agree with Michael’s comment that is provides another excellent
      opportunity for us to engage our culture in the tenets of our faith.

      I do find it interesting that throughout history few seem particularly
      interested in archaeological studies and/or textual criticisms related to
      the Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness, or Muslim faiths.

      John

    • Kathy

      I have two questions for the individuals involved in this find:

      1. Since the remaining Disicples and St. Paul teaching that Jesus had
      resurrected, why would He be placed in a tomb with human remains
      with his name on it?

      2. Why was this family tomb in Jerusalem? The family ancestral home was
      Bethlehem and the family lived in Nazareth?

    • bpratico

      Rats`. I’m really ticked that Jim beat me to the punch. I was just about to unveil my “Ten Newly Discovered Evidences that Jesus Did Not Rise From the Dead

      Bob

    • Hawke

      I agree with Michael that we should not become too emotional over the tabloids on this find, the book, or the theories involved since the ossuary finds in 1980. This is a classic example for the Intro to Theology students to engage and define tabloid theology. It also shows how some skeptics may misinterpret (or not fully represent) data based upon their worldviews (sunglasses). James Cameron sees the earning potential ($$$) that can be found from such conspiracy theories; Christians see the potential not in dollar signs, but as a way to reach/respond to the skeptics on an intellectual level.

      In light of the over-hyped DaVinci code over the last several years, we now see Dan

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