Today I would like briefly list and examine the archeological and historical evidence against the so-called Jesus tomb discovery. Not only are there good biblical reasons why this alleged discovery cannot be true, but science itself points to it being a falsehood and a hoax:
1. The tomb was actually discovered in 1980 and archeologists, including Israel’s best, did not consider it to be of special significance, nor did they believe that it had anything to do with Jesus of Nazareth
2. Jesus was from Nazareth. It doesn’t make any sense that his family would own a tomb in Jerusalem. Furthermore, Jesus’ family was poor, and could not have afforded the upper-middle-class tomb.
3. The names on the ossuaries (bone boxes) were all extremely common. Between 25 and 50% of the women of that day were named some variation of Mary. There are 98 other tombs and 21 ossuaries discovered in Jerusalem inscribed with the name Jesus.
4. Jesus’ followers never called him the “son of Joseph.” The only people who called him this did it by mistake.
5. The only thing the so-called DNA evidence proves is that some people in the tomb were related to each other while others were not blood relatives.
6. Not only Bible scholars, but scholars of archeology and ancient history are dismissing this theory as ridiculous and unlikely. It is not only the Christians that are debating the alleged findings.
7. The tomb is nowhere near the site that has been traditionally held as the burial place of Christ for the last two thousand years. It is also nowhere near where the Bible says he was buried, in a borrowed tomb in the garden on the hill where he was crucified (see John 19:38-42). This passage points out that they buried him so close to the crucifixion site because it was the day of preparation for the Passover, and they didn’t have time to prepare the body properly, let alone transport it through the city on foot. It was late in the day by the time the body was taken down from the cross, and the festival started at sundown.
8. It should be noted that, despite the claims of some, this is not the first historical “evidence” that Jesus of Nazareth actually lived. In fact, there is tons of evidence that indisputably proves this. No reputable scholar denies that Jesus of Nazareth walked this earth two thousand years ago. The questions have always surrounded his nature and ministry.
9. Another brief point of interest: Simcha Jacobovici, the filmmaker of the Discovery Channel documentary airing this weekend about these allegedy discoveries also made a documentary about the ossuary found a couple of years ago with the inscription “James, the son of Joseph, brother of Jesus” – which has since been proven a forgery. In fact, the owner of that ossuary, Oded Golan, is currently on trial in Isreal for the crime.
These are just some of the many holes in the theory this tomb discovered in 1980 belonged to the family of Jesus Christ. For more, see yesterday’s blog on the biblical evidence against such a claim.