Since, along with, most probably, the majority of archaeologists who deal with the ancient Levant, I have been asked about the question of the supposed tomb of Jesus and his family (that has been newly “rediscovered” in the Discovery Channel “documentary by Simcha Jacobovitz) scores of times in the last few days, by friends, students, the media, and even a couple of passing stray dogs, I thought that I should join the very clear message of the responsible archaeological communitee and say – this is HOGWASH!! (excuse my French!).
This is a completely regular, early Roman family burial, typical of Roman Judea during Herodian times. The names on the ossuarries are comletely typical of this period, and there is no connection between this and Jesus, and his family – asides from the fact that all parties were Jews.
Unfortunately, this is not the first documentary that Simcha has taken the liberty of combining archaeological/historical evidence with a very active imagination (and very good PR), so, I believe that we can keep it at this level.
In any case – it is good that it keeps the public interested in archaeology – now, we, responsible archaeologists have to be able to present our finds to the public in an exciting, but yet scientific manner.
And if on this topic, one can mention the old joke of how one knows that Jesus was Jewish:
What are the 4 theological proofs that Jesus was Jewish?
- He lived at home until he was 30.
- He went into his father’s business.
- He believed his mother was still a virgin.
- His mother thought he was God.
All the best,