Bone Box of Jesus|
Must be another holiday…
Jesus was not resurrected! Actually, He married Mary Magdalene, had kids who moved to France, who had more kids who became the great kings of Europe, started the Masons and wrote secret codes that were discovered by Tom Hanks . The Catholics and Fundamentalist Christians know this and have kept it quiet by killing anyone who finds out their secret - RIGHT!
It's Easter Again!
Last Easter, television and the press treated us to the Gospel of Judas. Now, just in time for Easter, the Discovery Channel gives us "The Lost Tomb of Jesus."
No Accountability Wanted or Needed.
So what is the point? The point is the same as it has always been… to deny the authority of the Bible. This supports people who do not want to accept the real evidence for the Biblical account because they do not want to be accountable to a Holy God.
We all have family and friends who are not believers. In some cases our loved ones use documentaries like "The Lost Tomb of Jesus" as weapons to push us away. They convince themselves that Jesus was not who He claimed to be. The gospel message is simple: we have all sinned and are accountable to God. They do not want to hear this.
The purpose of these documentaries (in our opinion), is to give people the excuse they need at this time of year to feel good about their decisions not to follow Christ and to confuse and disrupt those believers who share the Gospel with them.
OK, So What About This Bone Box?
When a Jew died in Israel his body would be wrapped in cloth and put in an above ground tomb. In the desert heat it would take about a year for the flesh to desiccate or turn to dust. All that was left were the bones. The bones were then put into a lime stone box about 36" x 24 x 30" tall. This bone box is called an "ossuary." If a family could afford it, these boxes would be placed in a larger family tomb.
Was the Discovery Channel Presentation New?
This particular box was discovered in 1980, so it is not new. In 1996 (during Easter) a BBC special about the box, "The Body in Question" was aired. An article, "The Tomb That Dare Not Speak Its Name" was published in the London Times. This article was also published during Easter in 1996. What the Discovery Channel has done for us this Easter is to just dust off an old skeleton (pun intended) and give it a new suit.
Is the Box a Fake?
The box is not a fake. According to our sources, in 1980 it was discovered and documented by top scholars. There are inscriptions on the box that do show "Jesus, son of Joseph." This box was found in a tomb that also contained bone boxes bearing the names Mary, Joseph and Matthew. Are you getting a little worried? Don't be! For an excellent examination of the details of the box and the arguments surrounding it, go to Dr. Michael S. Heiser's website and click on "The Jesus Ossuary," www.michaelsheiser.com.
There are over 700 bone boxes that have been discovered and cataloged in Israel. Dr. Heiser points out that the names Jesus, Yeshua, Yehoshu'a and other spellings are all recognized alternatives for the name of our Lord. Of the bone boxes catalogued, at least six (6) bear the name of Jesus or some accepted alternative spelling of his name. It turns out that the name Jesus was the 6th most popular male name in Israel at that time. And Mary was the most popular. Actually one of every twenty women was named Mary.
So what we have are too many Jesuses and Marys! Even the fact that the boxes bearing the names Jesus, Joseph, and Mary were found near each other is not that unusual.
Marys, Harrys, Joes&Johns
Glance at the Grants Pass phone book or your own phone book and look up the names John, Mary, and Joe. Now go to the cemetery. It is likely you will find a number of grave stones that bear these names, many in the same family. And remember that Grants Pass has only about 25,000 people, Jerusalem had over a million people!
What About the Crosses on the Box?
Again we suggest that you take a look at Michael Heiser's article. It turns out that when you actually see what is reported to be a "cross" you come away disappointed. We have seen the catalogued diagrams of these marks and to us they look more like a sloppy x or scratches. Heiser says that the "cross" is actually a number of marks used on the box and the lid to show how to fit them together properly.
The Scholars are Keeping Their Distance on This One!
Last night we listened to "Coast to Coast" radio. George Noory featured Dr. Michael Heiser and Dr. Darrel Bock on his show. Both of these guys are top Christian scholars. When challenged by an atheist caller to present scholars on the other side of the debate, George Noory said he could not find any scholar who would validate the Discovery Channel's documentary! The conversation on Coast to Coast Radio a.m. pointed out that the scholars featured in the documentary were never asked if they held that the bone box contained Jesus Christ's body. Only the producers and writers seemed to hold this view.
So What is The Motivation?
As we said, it must be another holiday!
Remnant's Recommended Websites:
Michael Heiser - http://www.michaelsheiser.com
Darrell Bock - http://dev.bible.org/bock/node/106
Ben Witherinton - http://benwitherington.blogspot.com/
Discovery Channel - http://dsc.discovery.com/tomb
George Noory - http://www.coasttocoastam.com/
Authors Valorie Emilio holds an M.A. in History from UCLA. Ken received his M.A. in Biblical Studies from Louisiana Baptist University. They know they are just a "vapor" that appears for a little while and must make the most of days remaining (Jas 4:14; Eph 5:15).