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geo

Our beliefs become our own reality...however our beliefs may not be reality...only our perception of it! The gospels all state that Jesus
appeared to them after the crucifixion. Based on 21st century logic...this means that Jesus DID NOT DIE ON THE CROSS! He survived.
He fled to Galilee where other witnesses saw Jesus. Again, 21st century logic says that if a man survives a brutal punishment and numerous eye witness testimony is given that Jesus appeared after the crucifixion in the flesh then that means he survived. Why is this hard to believe that Jesus survived. In 325 A.D. The Council Of Nicea led by a Roman Emperor Constatine and 250-318 Bishops (The count varies)decided to make Christianity the religion of the Roman Empire. They decided by vote that Jesus was not the son of man but God himself! Question if the President of the U.S.A said to members of Congress we are going to vote on a state religion and we are going to vote on the divinity of a man who lived 300 years in the early 1700's who was persecuted for his beliefs and began a religious movement, and we will base our vote on 4 different 'eye witnesses 'testimony which in reality have conflicting testimony and we will throw out several other testimonies including a woman's who may have been the closest companion of the persecuted one who began this movement...I'm sure anyone would say that the President has lost his marbles and so has congress and U.S.A would be on the verge of anarchy like protests. The Roman Empire however did just that and the rest is history as they say! Jesus was a mortal man...a great prophet who survived a brutal beating and crucifixion and fled his homeland to go teach in other parts of the ancient world. There have been over 90 billion people who have walked the face of the earth. Are we to believe that one man in over 90 billion became divine by birth from a 'virgin' who later had mortal children and they were not born divine. Are we to trust the motives of misogynist hypocritical leaders of the declining Roman Empire who voted to outlaw judaism and lay the foundation for centuries of continued persecution of the jewish faith. The tragically sad irony is that it was roman tradition to crucify people not jewish and yet the Romans blamed the jews at the Council of Nicea for the crucifixion of Jesus when in fact it was both Jews and Romans who decicded
the fate of Jesus. The best way to deflect blame is to of course blame the jews for the crucifixion of Jesus and thus create the ultimate scapegoat. It was Jesus who was leading a movement against the Roman Empire's occupation of the Holy Land. In what is the saddest twist of faith in history...the Roman Empire's version of Christianity creates the greatest persecution of a people in all of mankind...the jews. Based on the New Testament's accounts of Jesus appearing after the crucifixion one can only logically surmise that he survived and that neither Jews or Romans succeeded in crucifying him to his death. Instead a greater story exists. A mortal man spoke
and taught in parables of what we now know as Christian values. If we live by those values taught by Jesus Christ himself and ignore the
wolves in sheeps clothing who over centuries corrupted the very values being taught by Jesus then we would live in a different world today. The world was never flat or the center of the universe yet Galileo who had the audacity to present this concept to the all powerful Roman Catholic church was basically sentenced to house arrest for the rest of his life. This is only one of countless blunders of the Roman Catholic church. Truth exists independantly of what the all to powerful brainwashing institutions of history tell us and want us to believe. Communism and Nazi's proved the costly human price of brainwashing. Where were
the Christian values of the Vatican when the Jews were being slaughtered? The sad reality is that power is intoxicating to those who posses it. For centuries the brutality of some of the Vatican's Pope's were despicable. If Jesus was able to see these atrocities being commited in his name he would certainly be beyond belief. The true Christians are those who live their lives according to the values that he taught. Pope John Paul II embodied these values and although one may disagree he ressurected the Vatican to a respectable institution. He traveled the world for a quarter century
to re-establish people's faith in Christianity. He played a vital role in the fall of communism a brutal suppressive regime. We must of course move on and forgive but not forget the brutality of Pope's
from centuries past. However no institution is capable of convincing me and hundreds of millions of other people that Jesus is a god when he was a mere mortal man albeit the most powerful influential man who has walked the face of the earth! Divinity is not determined by powerful institutions with bishops voting on such a matter and or an Apostle's belief! WHY NOT? Because...Our beliefs become our own reality...however our beliefs may not be reality only our perception of it! Truth exists independantly of what a man's opinion is of it. In 2008 if a person has a near death experience, or suffers an injury from which that person is knocked out and then later recovers fully are we to assume that person is divine! Obviously not! The brain for all its marvels is a complex entity that we still don't fully understand. The search for truth is as old as man itself. Common sense should always prevail over opinions and opinions should never be hailed as truth. The Apostle's according to the New Testament witnessed JESUS after the crucifixion. What is truth? Did Jesus survive the crucifixion or did something that has happened to only one person out of about 90 billion that have walked the face of the earth happen to Jesus. Did God just give up after Jesus, never to send another son of god? Are Christian values any less if he was a mortal man with great wisdom? Are other teachings from other world religions any less because they came from mortal men? Its taken me a lifetime to accept that Jesus was a mortal man, however that does not diminish in my eyes that he was, is and will always be the most influential, powerful man that ever walked the face the earth! If Jesus can survive the persecution of his fellow man for teaching what we now know as Christian values then that in itself should be the greatest inspirational story ever told!

bubu

Fundamental error with the original article... the guy's name was NOT "jesus" it was Yehoshua (aramaic for G is salvation) with an english accent that would be Joseph; nothing like jesus.
jesus is a mistranslation from the latin iesu, that is a mistranslation from greek iesous, that was a mistranslation from Yehoshua. Just because the greeks and latins had no Y nor Sh sound in their languages/alphabets is not valid to change the name of Christ.

But then again, since more than half the nt is written by people that never saw nor heard Yeshua's teachings first hand, it is understandable most of "christianity" is saul's dogma, rather than actual teachings of Christ. Obviously modern "christanity" teaches jesus (ge greek "earth" + sus latin "pig") is salvation, no place explaining what 'G is salvation' means nor how the religion has strayed from that fact.

Heidi Sue

Bubu seems to have come to pick a fight, and he brings up so many questionable arguments, it wouldn't be worth replying in this venue, but the "earth pig" comment is so incredibly vile and simply wrong, I would feel dirty if I did not respond.

The etymology of the name "Jesus" is correctly tracked back through the Latin "Iesu" and the Greek Ιησους to the Hebrew/Aramaic ישוה. However, this so-called "name change" is just a shift from one language to another, such as from the German Johannes to the English John. It doesn't change the meaning, and it certainly doesn't change the character of the referent.

For the "earth pig" comment to have any application whatsoever, first you would have to combine two different languages, and then you would have to respell Ιησους as Γησους. Somehow I doubt the entire NT would have accidentally replaced a gamma with an iota. If you want an "earth pig", try looking for someone named Γησχοιρος--don't play around with supposed knowledge of language.

And in case there's any doubt about how יהוה saves through the man called Jesus/Iesu/Ιησους/ישוה, the Bible even defines the name for us in Matthew 1.21: "And you shall call his name Ιησουν, for he will save his people from their sins." And guess who's the one saving... the One Triune God!

ady anktrlighe

I think this article is very interesting, but let me say something:
i didn't know Jeseus had any brothers. if he did, will some one say were we learn of them?? the names of the brothers look like that of his apostles.
(%)%#-##$#%)

Francesca Thomas

After reading this I realize how false this film is and that my faith in Jesus is not in vain.

It's obvious it is the work of demons to plant seeds of doubt.

This movie is just another repeat of Dan Brown's Da Vinci code: and uses the same old tricks. Find old, outdated evidence, and then make something "new" and "exciting" out of it.

All Simcha And Cameron is trying to do is lead gods people away to make them turn christians against there faith.

--------------------------------------------

Christians can be REALLY REALLY nasty people with their vicious comments such as those above. Whatever happened to christians who are supposed to love their enemies? Their enemies being those who do not beleive as they do.

We (non-belivers) do have a right to beleive as we choose. We also have a right (free-will) to not be forced to accept christian religious dogma (and it is dogma) as the actual and ONLY truth. It is NOT the only truth. It never was and it never will be.

Christians also beleive in demons and devils and satan. They have no proof that demons exist, but they beleive in the little devils.

But the christians actually do beleive in this - Ever since Christ rose from the dead, people have been trying to prove it didn't happen, and this is just yet another failed attempt.

It is HUMANLY and physically impossible for any human to rise from the dead. Is there ANY RECORD of ANYONE else in the last 2000 years (other than Jesus & Lazarus) ever rising from the dead? Anyone at all?

No of course not. Because it never happened.

Jesus survived the crucifixion and probably was married and probably had children, and probably went to Kashmir in Northern India - but there is no definitive proof.

Jesus promised to come back. Christians have been waiting 2000 years and he still has not returned. Common sense and logic tells me he is not coming back. That's what I beleive.

Common sense should always prevail over opinions and opinions should never be hailed as truth.
Geo (February 8, 2008) your post was FANTASTIC.

Ishanka

I'm a medical scientist and I'd rather believe in facts rather than superstitions. So far it takes a penis and a vagina to produce a fetus in the womb. It has never been otherwise. If God or whosoever supreme being wanted us to believe otherwise (in superstitions) he wouldn't have given us the most superior brain on this planet and then tell us to believe in nonsense. I see no logical reason for God or whatever supreme alien being out there or evolution to have created such a brain like what we humans have and then make us believe in superstitions.

I'm not bothered whether this film is true or not. I know for a fact that there has never been a person who rose from the dead (clinically dead) or flew (ascended) into the skies without advanced mechanical contraptions like what we have now.

On another line there are discoveries that the Bible (like many other religious books) was put together by early church bishops using only the books (gospels, etc.) they wanted so that it may serve their purpose. I do not wish to expound more on this as they are for debate on another topic I guess.

I hope people will study very well Evolution, Medicine, Scientific Method, Statistics, etc. before they start believing in things that are handed down from the past whether they be true or false. We are in a new age of discoveries and understanding. Let us use education and common sense to interpret the world around us, and work for the good of all instead of fighting with each other on Religion, Theology, Philosophy and superstitions like little children without proper education and understanding.

I'd rather debate with a thousand scientists than with one religious fanatic or my grandmother.

Ishanka

My statement above on penis and vagina simple means sperm and egg as nowadays we could produce fetuses via artificial insemination. Maybe Mary was artificially inseminated by a super alien being instead of some affair she had with a Roman soldier as some historians speculate...who knows. Until facts are discovered and evidences proven let us spend our time more wisely than arguing baselessly.

Mhar

People please... Don't use the Bible as if it was the absolute teachings of "God." The Bible is no more the "Word of God" than the Bhagavad-Gita or the Koran or other holy books. The books of the Bible were compiled around 300 AD into what we now know as the Bible. During that time the early church leaders (such as Bishop Irenaeus) threw away important books such as the Gospel of Mary, Gospel of Judas, Gospel of Phillip, etc. because they were too contradictory to the books they liked and wanted the Christians to follow. Nowadays we call these "thrown away" books as Gnostic texts. The Bible we now so faithfully defend is a collection of carefully chosen books that suited the early church leaders that time with a lot of bias.

It is now known that Mary Magdalene was the greatest disciple Jesus had and the best teacher of Jesus' teachings but her gospel was one of those thrown away by the early bishops when compiling the Bible because they refused to have a woman leader of the early church. In fact they secretly started labelling her as a prostitute just so Peter would shine as the greatest disciple. It was only in 1969 that they announced that Mary was not a prostitute.

Also the so called "miracles" that Jesus performed in the Bible all could be explained with simple science. Remember Jesus was "lost" for nearly 20 years (the so called "Hidden Years" of Jesus). He may have gone far away to great learning institutions that time such as those that were in Tibet (Himalayas) from where he got the science to perform these so caled "miracles" in a small undereducated town such as Jerusalem that time.

May I direct you all reading these to my references:
1. Bible Mysteries from BBC Active
2. Who was Moses (Discovery Channel)?
3. Secret Bible (Discovery Channel)
4. Jesus in the Himalayas (Discovery Channel)
5. Eyewitness to Jesus (Discovery Channel)

Allen

You did a great job on doing all that research but you looked at the other side with no chance at all. Now look at the other way and try to disprove that it isnt the tomb.

Allen

You did a great job on doing all that research but you looked at the other side with no chance at all. Now look at the other way and try to disprove that it isnt the tomb.

Itamar Bernstein

I’ve been studying this find for years, long before it became public knowledge following the mass media exposure. I believe that it’s a serious find, which warrants further study.

The critics of this find’s magnitude basically argue:

1. That the Jesus family would be buried in Nazareth, not Talpiot;
2. That the ‘Jesus’ ossuary would have been inscribed ‘of Nazareth’;
3. That the Jesus family couldn’t have afforded a tomb like the Talpiot tomb;
4. That the “Jesus son of Joseph” ossuary is not inscribed “Yeshua” (Jesus) at all;
5. That the names inscribed on these ossuaries were supposedly common;
6. That the “Mariamne” ossuary didn’t contain the remains of Mary Magdalene, but of two other women;

I believe the first five of these allegations against the book’s premise don’t carry much water. The sixth argument actually supports the conclusion that this is the real thing. My comments:

1. Talpiot is the right place for Jesus’ family tomb- Per Luke, 2:3-4, the family’s LEGAL residence was Bethlehem, not Nazareth. The fact that Joseph and the pregnant Mary could not take the census in Nazareth but had to take it in Bethlehem indicates that Bethlehem was their DOMICILIUM under Roman Law. That basically means that they had no intention to reside in Nazareth permanently. Therefore it would have made little sense for them to have a family tomb in Nazareth, that they wouldn’t be able to frequently visit at a later stage in their lives. They would have wanted a family tomb close to Bethlehem and Jerusalem, easily accessible also to future generations of the family. The fact is indeed that Mary and her children moved to Jerusalem around 30 AD.

2. The traditional name of Jesus in Hebrew, as reflected also in the Talmud, is “Yeshu Hanotzri.” This appellation stems from “Netzer” (Shoot or Branch). It alludes clearly to Isaiah 11:1, indicating the Royal birth of Jesus, to substantiate his claim for Jewish messiahship. Not to indicate the place he comes from.

There’s actually no evidence in Jewish sources, such as the Old Testament or the Mishna and Talmud, that a place called “Nazareth” even existed in or before the first century. I’m not disputing the evidence per the NT, that there was indeed a place called Nazareth. But to the best of my knowledge, there’s no mention of Nazareth at all in any ancient writings outside the New Testament. So the place existed, but nobody knew about it. And those in close proximity in Galilee who did know about it, obviously thought derogatorily of it , cf. “can anything good come from Nazareth?” (John 1:46.) Therefore there was no reason to call Jesus “of Nazareth.” Either in life or on an ossuary. He was called “Jesus the Branch” (of David) in Hebrew/Aramaic.

The line of argumentation detracting this discovery around the supposed Nazareth origin of Jesus’ family may therefore be based on a very shaky foundation.

3. Talpiot is located about 2.5 miles North of Bethlehem. Jesus’ family, of Davidic descent according to the New Testament, could have held the burial cave there even before it moved to Nazareth. Davidic birth was absolutely the most exalted in Judaism, always. The suggestion that any person of Davidic descent could be of the lowest social echelon, that couldn’t fund or get funding for a burial cave, doesn’t make much sense, if any. There’s substantial evidence to the contrary, e.g. 1. Jesus had some very wealthy active supporters like Joseph of Arimatea and Nicodemus (known as Nakdimon ben Gorion in post biblical Jewish sources-one of the richest Jews in Judea;) 2. Josephus, A.J. XX, 9:1. Note the prominence of James, brother of Jesus.

4. The inscription on the Jesus ossuary does say “Yeshua bar Yehosef” (”Jesus son of Joseph”)to my eye. All letters but one are quite clearly there. The only letter which is somewhat more difficult to discern at first blush is the second letter- “Shin”. That’s because it’s written in a somewhat irregular form (in a regular Shin there are three teeth in the fork, pointing upwards. Here there are two teeth, pointing sideways to the right.) But that particular irregularity appears also on other ossuaries- notably numbers 9 (this one has two “Shin”- one with three teeth pointing to the right, and one with TWO teeth pointing to the right. Exactly like the subject inscription) and 121 in the Rahmani catalogue, which both feature also a “Yeshua.”

Still, the name “Yeshua” on this ossuary is among the most, if not the most, difficult to read names of all ossuaries listed in Rahmani’s catalogue of Jewish ossuaries. It is almost written as a person’s complex signature on a check. Contrast that with the patronymic following the first name. This is written in a simple straightforward fashion, which is very easy to read. There’s no other example in Rahmani’s catalogue of a first name that has to be deciphered, and a patronymic that’s so plain and clear. Is this merely a coincidence?

5. Some critics make the following comment to my post:

“The inscription, Pfann said, is made up of two names inscribed by two different hands: the first, “Mariame,” was inscribed in a formal Greek script, and later, when the bones of another woman were added to the box, another scribe using a different cursive script added the words “kai Mara,” meaning “and Mara.” Mara is a different form of the name Martha.

According to Pfann’s reading, the ossuary did not house the bones of “Mary the teacher,” but rather of two women, “Mary and Martha.’”

Here’s my thought about that:
If the Mariamne ossuary indeed housed the bones of Mary and Martha, these are two sisters of NT fame. One of them could have been married to “Jesus son of Joseph.” -Whether or not she was Mary Magdalene (Maybe the Mary who anointed Jesus’ feet and then dried them with her hair- very intimate scene.) The other sister would than also automatically belong in the family. It still fits. Actually it increases the statistical odds that this is the real thing quite substantially.
This is a very intriguing possibility indeed, fitting perfectly with John 12:3. Intimate contact with a man, as described in this NT passage, was allowed only to a woman who was an immediate blood relative of that man, his wife (…or a working woman.) That’s all. Therefore Mary of Bethany was quite possibly by elimination Jesus’ wife or in the process of becoming his wife. In that context, Margaret Starbird already theorized that similar anointing with spikenard oil was part of pre marriage ritual of a Davidic king, per certain passages in the Song of Songs. Note also that intercourse by itself was sufficient under Jewish Law in certain circumstances to constitute valid marriage. That practice, termed Bi’ah marriage, was abolished in the 6th century, but it was lawful in Jesus’ time.

Mary of Bethany could have become pregnant by Jesus while he stayed at her house, shortly before his crucifixion. In that case it’s quite possible that she bore Jesus’ son posthumously and named him “Judah.” And in that case both she and her sister Martha would have become part of Jesus’ family, which earned them a place in the Talpiot family tomb..

Reminds me of the reaction to this find of a BBC reporter in 1996- It seems like all balls in the national lottery coming one by one.

I have no knowledge of Greek, so I can only discuss the two propositions. Assuming that the ossuary does say “Mary and Martha”, here’s what I think the names are:
* 1.”Jesus son of Joseph”(”Yeshua bar Yehosef” in Hebrew/Aramaic script;)
* 2. “Mary” (”Marya” in Hebrew/Aramaic script);
* 3. “Joseph” (”Yose” in Hebrew/Aramaic script. Precise nickname of Jesus’ second brother- cf. Mark 6:3);
* 4. “Mary and Martha” (”Mariame kai Mara” in Greek)-they must have been sisters because Jewish law didn’t allow burial together of two unrelated women;
* 5. “Matthew” (”Matya” in Hebrew/Aramaic script)- Name of Jesus’ first cousin, son of his father’s brother Alphaeus/Clophas. As James Tabor suggests in a different context, Matya could also well have been Jesus’ half brother, considering a certain specific rule of the Torah (Deuteronomy 25:5-10.) This rule was applied in Jesus time- see Matthew 22:24-28;
* 6. “Judah son of Jesus”(”Yehuda bar Yeshua” in Hebrew/Aramaic script.)
* Therefore out of eight names actually inscribed on these ossuaries (including the “Joseph” father of Jesus on the first ossuary) four names undoubtedly relate to Jesus’ immediate family, and three other names relate to the same with a somewhat lower probability. In any event, they all relate to Jesus’ extended family. Note that first century Jewish family tombs were usually a clan thing.
* The eighth name is “Yehuda bar Yeshua”- must have been the son of Jesus and one of the sisters Mary or Martha. More likely Mary, as explained above.

6. While the full versions of all these names were indeed common in Jesus’ time, the derivatives, nicknames and contractions were not. Thus “Yeshua” for Jesus was less common than “YeHOshua;” ditto “YeHOsef” instead of “Yosef” for Joseph; “Marya” for Mary was extremely rare in Hebrew/Aramaic script; “Yose” for Joseph is unique. Therefore out of these eight names, two are irregularities, one is a particularity, and one a singularity.

BOTTOM LINE- Ask yourself inversely a hypothetical question- If the Talpiot tomb hadn’t yet been found, how would Jesus’ family tomb have looked , which ossuaries would it have contained, to when would it have been dated and where would it have been located.

I would have thought of a tomb just like the tomb we’re discussing. It fits perfectly with what I’d have expected Jesus’ family tomb to be. Right place, right period, right names. I therefore believe that this matter, delicate as it obviously is, warrants further investigation. This could include opening and examination of the adjacent tomb, and forensic examination of the skeletal remains found in the Talpiot ossuaries, and apparently reburied back in 1980. These could hopefully be relocated by comparison to the mithochondrial DNA samples already taken from two of these ossuaries.

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