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Friday, February 23, 2007

Jesus's Tomb Found - Really?

Those of us who have been studying the Jesus myth for long enough not only have seen this coming, but we've already addressed it, because the "Jesus's tomb found!" crowing is as old as the hills. This latest load of hooey pops up, of course, right in time for Easter, when we will be bludgeoned with the hideous tale of the gentle Lord and Savior of the cosmos being brutally beaten and sacrificed - to himself, in an expiatory ritual somehow designed to remove the sins of the weak and beggarly creatures this all-powerful Lord created in the first place.

As outlined in my books The Christ Conspiracy and Suns of God, the creation of holy relics to bolster a flagging faith constitutes ancient priestcraft of the first order. No self-respecting priesthood could be without such fabrication, and this latest bit of legerdemain is hardly anything outstanding within this long line of chicanery and treachery.

Let us look more closely at the sleight-of-hand being foisted upon us in this newest attempt at anchoring the mythical into history. First, some years ago when another such piece of priestcraft, the so-called James ossuary, was being touted as the missing "proof" for the existence of Jesus Christ, I wrote a long rebuttal called "Bone Box No Proof of Jesus," which was published in a three-part series in Secular Nation at the suggestion of Dr. Robert Price. In this article - written in 2002 - I discuss the fact that ossuaries of this type were not uncommon and that inscriptions with the names of "Jesus" and "Mary" were likewise to be found abundantly. I even addressed this latest purported "tomb of Jesus":

... as [archaeologist] Avi-Yonah states regarding the numerous bone-boxes found in the Tombs at Dominus Flevit, which contained "122 ossuaries of the usual type [square]," common names included Jeshua or Yeshua (Jesus) and Maria (Mary). (EAEHL, II, 636.) In one of the surviving family tombs in Jerusalem are 18 ossuaries with Greek inscriptions, one of which contains the names "Joseph" (twice) and "Maria." (EAEHL, II, 635.) By the typical media and religious standards this tomb should have been exalted as that of Jesus's family.

In another example, in the "Tomb Cave in the Talpiot Quarter, discovered in 1945," are found large charcoal crosses on one of the ossuaries, while "two other ossuaries had Greek inscriptions reading IhsouV iou. IhsouV alwq," a phrase that contains the name Jesus twice. "The excavator interpreted the crosses and the inscriptions as expressions of sorrow at the crucifixion of Jesus, an interpretation not accepted by other scholars." The tomb itself dates to the beginning of the first century and demonstrates the commonality of the name Jesus before the purported time of the Christian messiah. (EAEHL, II, 635.) If this Jesus tomb had dated to a few decades later, no doubt the media and faithful would have had a field day in presenting it as the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth, thus "proving" the biblical fable, although these two tombs mentioned herein would certainly infuriate the keepers and believers in the "Holy Sepulchre," yet another profitable tourist attraction. It would be surprising that no such incautious and mirthful rush to judgment has occurred concerning this particular Jesus tomb. In reality, at least one sloppy sensationalist author has claimed this tomb to be that of "Jesus of Nazareth," asserting that the tomb also contained the ossuaries of not only a Jesus, but also a Joseph, two Marys and a Jude. The excavation report, however, does not mention these other burials, leaving the question as to whether or not this particular author is prone to fiction, as is suggested by his other writings as well. As is evident, looks can be deceiving, such that caution should be utilized in regard to artifacts.

In Jerusalem there is even a "Tomb of Jason," complete with an ossuary and a scratched image of a warship, which could lead to the conclusion that this is the tomb of the Jason of Greek mythology. "On the walls of the porch are charcoal drawings of ships, a Greek inscription, and several Aramaic inscriptions, the longest of which consists of three lines lamenting Jason, the deceased." (EAEHL, II, 630) Using coins and pottery, the tomb is dated to having been used between the Hasmonean (2nd-1st cent. BCE) and the Herodian eras (37 BCE-70 CE). Although it is evidently the tomb of a real person of that era, true believers in the demigod Jason of Argonaut fame could attempt in the same manner as Christians to "prove" the existence of Jason and his Argonauts, such as Hercules, as "real people."

Indeed, the creation and/or discovery of the tombs of various gods has been a mainstay throughout the world for millennia and centuries, with the Egyptian god Osiris, for example, purportedly buried in dozens of places. The same has occurred with Jesus, as his remains are alleged to be found in Kashmir and Japan, to name a couple of tourist traps. I further explore this issue in my article "Jesus in India?"

Moreover, one of the individuals in this newest scandal happens to have been involved in the James ossuary hoax. Hence, we could hardly consider this find to be any more credible than that one. We also must make note of the fact that the senior archaeologist on the pertinent excavation, Professor Amos Kloner, says of this fictionalized tale - the new "documentary" of which astoundingly includes famed director James Cameron - "It's a beautiful story but without any proof whatsoever."

As an aside and postscript, if Ray Santilli can be busted for the "Alien Autopsy" hoax, then James Cameron should likewise be found culpable for foisting this fraud upon an unsuspecting public. It rankles me to no end that, when it comes to religious tomfoolery, no one is held accountable for their fraudulent behavior.


Jim said...

My own research has shown that the New Testament Jesus did not exist.
He is a fake. Cheers all. Jim Lee. Australia. Escape The Dogma.

Jim said...

The New Testament Jesus is a fraud of Christianity. He did not exist

Anonymous said...

even if the tomb is found who can say it belongs to Mr.christ and co.?

Anonymous said...

Jesus Christ was an inside job.

skullnboner said...

Acharya wrote:
"James Cameron should likewise be found culpable for foisting this fraud upon an unsuspecting public. It rankles me to no end that, when it comes to religious tomfoolery, no one is held accountable for their fraudulent behavior."

I agree most wholeheartedly with your last statement. This is fraud and should be treated as such. The "unsuspecting" public ought to have more brains to see through that silly peice of work, but there are so many "simple" people who will get all excited without the slightest suspicion about things they could know if they thought about it. I doubt the more intelligent among the Christian so easily buy this swamp-water, but who knows for sure?!

Anonymous said...

repent and be saved or face the fury of HELL!!!!

Anonymous said...

The archeologist who originally found the tomb even thinks this "discovery" is a bunch of crap.

People are just making this into a big thing because they want to shake up Christians, but the truth is, this supposed discovery is based on nothing.,7340,L-3369346,00.html

Anonymous said...

Just think of how Jesus' apostles died. They were crucified, hanged, and dragged to death. If Jesus really was a fairytale, would these men have died for him? It is said that a man will die for what he believes is right, but he will not die for something he KNOWS is wrong.

Acharya S said...

Ah, yes, the old martyrdom argument. Heard that one before many times. I assume you do not believe that Islam is the one true faith? Did not a Muslim woman just today kill herself and 41 others in the name of Allah? Does that violent act make Allah real?

Also, the tales of the disciples' deaths are largely fictional as well, as are the disciples themselves for the most part.

freethinkaluva said...

"repent and be saved or face the fury of HELL!"

"Jesus' apostles died. They were crucified, hanged, and dragged to death."

- Right, nobody knew about Jesus OR the apostles in the first century. In fact, it wasn't until around 180 ce in Ireneus's "Agaist Heresy's" do we find specific references to the gospel writers Mark, Matthew Luke & John. Prior to that they were ALWAYS mentioned anonymously - NOBODY KNEW WHO WROTE THEM.

Maybe doing some research OUTSIDE of the bible would do xians a lot of good? I always like to see them stumble when I ask them if they'd still believe in Jesus & Christianity if they were born in Iran or Iraq etc.

Goose said...

It's all about marketing and revenue generation. Just wait, there will be a movie, book, miniseries, and then "Jesus Tomb Dolls." Call me cynical? Whoops, I'm sorry. My own research reveals that Jesus Christ is all about symbolism and never existed as a human being. Uh oh, here comes my mother with a big stick. Just kidding!!! Hehe.

Strangelander said...

I think you're missing the point. Christians aren't trying to create more artifacts (in this case). We all agree with you, this is a load of sensationalist crap. It's religious fringe wackos and some kinds of atheists that want this to be true.

Freethinkaluva saith: "I always like to see them stumble when I ask them if they'd still believe in Jesus & Christianity if they were born in Iran or Iraq etc."

Would freethinkaluva believe in atheism (or whatever s/he's defending) if s/he were born in Iran or Iraq?

Acharya S may have heard the "martyrdom argument" many times, but how many times has she listened? You're attacking a straw man.

It's easy to find those who will kill others and themselves for a cause (fanatics). Much harder to find those who will die for a cause (martyrs). And harder yet to find a group of men to willingly die for a lie of their own invention rather than 'fess up that it was a conspiracy.

How long did Watergate stay a secret (two weeks?), and how much pressure were the witnesses under (not the death penalty)?

The apostles stealing Jesus' body, cooking up a resurrection, being ostracized from Jewish community, and dying horrific deaths is akin to Walt Disney and his animators chosing to be quartered rather than admit Mickey Mouse wasn't a real rodent.

One last thing: how come no one spends so many words to prove that other religious leaders/founders or historical figures never existed and their followers were mostly fictional? People believe in others just as much, and would defend them as I have.

Acharya S said...

I'm afraid I can't follow these disjointed thoughts.

Who's missing what point? How is the "martyrdom argument" a "straw man?" Why the personal attacks?

And so on.

Anonymous said...

THANKS ACHARYA...You have just made a strong case for the resurrection of Christ, ergo since those are not his bones.... You atheists always stumble all over yourselves dont you. James Cameron is neither a theologist nor a believer probably an atheist.... but your arguments prove our point

Acharya S said...

Yeah, right. I've made a STRONG CASE for the fakery of religious relics. You theists always dishonestly twist everything to fit your own meaning, don't you?

As I state on this blog, I'm not an "atheist," so your disparaging remarks don't apply to me in any event.

All of the frantic handwaving and personal insults will still not provide one iota of evidence that Christ even existed, much less rose from the dead and transcended into heaven. It seems humanity is so infantile mentally that it still doesn't understand that extraordinary, natural-law-suspending events require EXTRAORDINARY evidence. Sophistry and personal insults do NOT constitute valid, credible and scientific evidence.

AND YOU have just proved THAT point.


Jason said...

It's such a shame that the world has seemingly changed so much for the worse since information became more available. One would think the good word would travel more effortlessly since Morse's invention. To be alone, is to be in pain, if you would simply open your eyes, He is right before you, and He loves you.

Anonymous said...

Those thoughts are not disjointed. A person will die for what s/he believes to be true but will not die for an obvious lie. The moment after death we will all know the truth. The world peace that is so wished for but so elusive could be realized if all were willing to follow the true Savior.

Acharya S said...

Many people have died for lies - do you believe that Islam is the truth? Thousands have died for Allah, etc.

By "true Savior" you mean the fictional Jewish character made up by priests a couple of thousand years ago? I have to disagree that following manmade fictions will save anybody - unless, of course, they understand the meaning behind the myths, which few people do, unfortunately.

kamlamb said...

First of all, I am new to your column. I don't know exactly all your viewpoints. However I have a question to you. Do you believe in God? Or is it only Christianity that you don't believe in? My reason for this question is that most religions of this world believe in a God.
All religions are looking for answers to the truth. All religions believe that their religion is the right way. However no one really has any facts to base off of which religion is the right religion. That is where faith steps in. The one thing that all religions have in common is that we are all trying to lead to something...most generally it is God. Whether it is the Christians who believe that the only way you can reach God is thru Christ, or other religions and their beliefs to reach their God.
My point is this, no one really knows any answers. This is where we search to find our answers in hopes that in the end we will find what we are looking for. In the mean time we believe and we have faith that in the end we will find what we have been looking for.
So what Christians are looking for Jesus's Tomb, or Noah's Ark, or the Garden of Eden. They are only looking for answers. Let them look. Does it hurt you that millions believe that Christ is the Son of God? No it does not bring you any physical harm, it may annoy you, but it does not hurt you. So why are you trying so hard to prove that Jesus is a fraud?
Christians believe that Christ was sent to us to save us from this world so that we may enter the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is Heaven, a place where there is no longer pain and suffering. What makes it so wrong to believe that? In the end we all will find the answers to what we have been searching why try to so hard in proving something is fraud or fake. Why not accept the fact that no one knows the truth or has any facts to base their beliefs off of. All we have is Faith.

Acharya S said...

Does it hurt you that millions believe that Christ is the Son of God? No it does not bring you any physical harm, it may annoy you, but it does not hurt you. So why are you trying so hard to prove that Jesus is a fraud?

First of all, no, not all we have is faith. Faith is actually quite meaningless.

I'm not trying to prove anything. Here are the facts when someone looks closely: There is no credible, scientific evidence that Jesus Christ as found in the gospels ever existed, and the preponderance of the evidence that does exist points to him being as mythical as Hercules.

Why does this fact matter? Because well over 200 MILLION people have been murdered in the name of Christianity. Entire cultures have been destroyed in the name of Jesus. And the world is poised on the edge of a self-made Armageddon that could destroy life as we know it.

I think it's quite obvious why humanity must not remain in delusion. The issue is well beyond me and "annoyance." It is the very survival of the species.

No, faith is not important. TRUTH is.

Anonymous said...

Who is to say if his tomb was found? Even if so, why should this new outbreak of religious information affect the way people think about the myths and understandings of the Holy Bible?

I don't believe the tomb was found, however that's just me.

I mean, who cares if the tomb was found, as long as the people believe and do not deny they're faith, then why should we bother?