Does The Jesus Family Tomb Disprove His Physical Resurrection? -- By: René A. López

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 165:660 (Oct 2008)
Article: Does The Jesus Family Tomb Disprove His Physical Resurrection?
Author: René A. López

Does The Jesus Family Tomb Disprove His Physical Resurrection?

René A. López

René A. López is Pastor, Iglesia Biblica Nuestra Fe, Dallas, Texas.

On February 26, 2007, a major press release given by two well-known figures in the film industry claimed to have possibly discovered the family tomb of Jesus of Nazareth. Oscar-winning James Cameron (of the Titanic [1997] and director and producer of other blockbusters including The Terminator [1984], True Lies [1984], Aliens [1986], The Abyss [1989], and Terminator 2 [1991]), and Emmy-award-winning Simcha Jacobovici together produced a documentary claiming Jesus’ family tomb had been found. This aired—not only nationally but worldwide—on the Discovery Channel on Sunday evening, March 4, 2007. The documentary drew millions of viewers. Related to the documentary is the book The Jesus Family Tomb: The Discovery, the Investigation, and the Evidence That Could Change History, by Simcha Jacobovici and Charles Pellegrino, which was published by HarperSanFrancisco on March 1, 2007.1 They have recently reworded the subtitle and revised and updated the book by adding comments by Jacobovici and answers to objections by James D. Tabor.2

Could this tomb near Jerusalem actually have contained the bones of Jesus? Does the cluster of names in the same tomb mean that this is Jesus of Nazareth’s family tomb? Could one of the

ossuaries discovered in the tomb be that of Mary Magdalene?

This tomb was discovered in 1980. Was it kept secret because the Israelis thought it might destroy their tourist economy if Christians realized Jesus did not rise physically from the dead? The documentary reported that DNA tests were used to see whether the person in the Jesus son of Joseph ossuary (bone box) and the person in the Mariamne—believed by some to be Mary Magdalene—ossuary were perhaps married. Also it was alleged that a tenth ossuary could be the controversial James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus ossuary that was perhaps stolen or concealed. Statistics were offered to show that this was Jesus’ family tomb and thus that Jesus probably rose spiritually, not physically.3 The purpose of this article is to expose pertinent matters not disclosed by The Lost Tomb of Jesus (LTJ) documentary and The Jesus Family Tomb (JFT) book and to examine whether the Jesus of Nazareth ossuary and His family’s tomb were actually discovered.

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