Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Bones of Jesus & Mary Magdalene found!

According to Christian teachings, after Jesus was resurrected he ascended to heaven.

Referring to Luke (what do you expect from a former Methodist-educated bloke like me), after the crucifixion the women close to Jesus carried spices to the sepulchre before dawn.

The Good Book also said prior to their arrival an angel frightened the guards at the sepulchre away by demonstrating frightening light display (neon or strobe lights?), and then rolled away the stone that sealed the tomb, and waited for Jesus’ womenfolk to arrive.

I wonder, while waiting for the girls, he/she (angels were supposed to be androgynous) crossed his/her legs and rested his/her elbows on the knees while cupping the chin in his/her hands a la Rodin's Thinker?

There is a book called “Who moved the stone?” or words to that effect. It was written by a lawyer who ‘saw the light’ (not the angel’s but in a religious sense). I was informed he wrote that book to argue the case for the Resurrection along legal lines.

A young Chinese preacher offered me that book when he was trying (initially most enthusiastically) to convert me. We had a chit-chat about the Bible. Let’s just say by the end of that day, he was pissed off with me and gave up on my salvation.

When one of his flock asked him about my views (that person was present when I was debating with the dear Reverend, and later related to me what the pastor said) the preacher replied: “the Devil speaks through him”, the ‘him’ being me – kid you not!

Anyway, Mary Magdalene, Mary mum of Jesus, and Salome (Jesus sis – I read a book by an historian-archaeologist who said Mary had three hubbies and several children) approached the sepulchre and saw, goodness, the stone was rolled back. BTW, 'twas Mark who said this, because the ladies that good old Luke wrote as going to the tomb numbered 12, among whom were Mary Magdalene, Joanna and Susanna.

OK, without getting bogged down by apostolic differences the ladies saw the angel at the sepulchre, who waved grandly towards the empty tomb and flamboyantly proclaimed to them the obvious, the Resurrection.

He/she told them to go forth and … no, not multiply but ... spread the good word to Peter - the one who thrice denied Christ 'ere the cock crowed – yea and all that stuff, including a promise that they would see Jesus again in Galilee.

OK, there were also other incidents that convinced the disciples that Jesus had arisen. In those days, angels weren’t so shy and appeared a number of times to the disciples.

The Man himself appeared to Peter so the latter couldn’t possibly deny the Resurrection. In fact Jesus was said to appear to all the apostles with the sole exception of KTe … er … I mean … doubting Thomas. In fact Jesus even ate a fish and some honeycomb in their company.

I remember this because my school principal ‘helped’ me (ouch, yes sir) not to forget Luke 24:36-43.

But the above belief is now threatened by a recent claim that in a 2000-year old cave (burial chamber) found 26 years ago in Jerusalem's Talpiyot neighbourhood, there were 10 stone coffins containing the remains (bones) of Jesus, Mary Magdalene and their son Judah.

one of the coffins

That Jesus and Mary Magdalene were an item has been debated regularly and openly for the last several decades in countless documentaries and non-fiction books (eg. Holy Blood & Holy Grail), with the best known book being, unfortunately, a work of fiction (I won’t name it ‘cause if you don’t know what I am referring to, you must have been sleeping for the last twenty years).

Of the 10 ossuaries, six have inscriptions which carry the names ‘Jesus son of Joseph’,’Mara’ (Maria Magdalene) and ‘Judah son of Jesus’. Of course, these are translations.

OK, here’s where the mystery deepens. One of the ossuaries went missing. The human remains inside were destroyed before any DNA testing could be carried out.

This is not the first time such a naughty thing had happened. The historian-archaeologist that I mentioned earlier also related another incident where bones that could have reveal interesting stuff disappeared inexplicably.

Most people who follow this sort of incidents suspect Israeli officials had intervened to prevent any incriminating evidence from coming out that would threaten Christian beliefs.

Now, you may think it strange that rightwing Israelis and Jews who dislike (even hate) the Christians immensely would bother to protect Christian beliefs, a religion founded on the teachings of what followers of Judaism consider to be an apostate heretic.

It’s all about politics, where the survival and viability of Israel depend on the support of the American Christian Right. And the beliefs of the American Christian Right, which motivate them to support the ‘Land where Hebrews walk again for the Second Coming’ of Christ, must be protected.

Perhaps that’s why it took years before the discovered ancient scrolls were released to international scholars. The Israelis and Catholic Church had first stab at the research and translation, working together in secrecy prior to the release, who knows, maybe to ‘vet’ those scrolls.

The new discovery of the Jesus' bones is being made into a document called The Burial Cave of Jesus by James Cameron, the director of Titanic, while a book on its discovery is about to be published. Look out for The Jesus Tomb by Simcha Jacobovici and Charles Pellegrino in Singapore or Haadyai because our wonderful government would probably ‘protect’ us from it.


  1. Yeah, they got the DNA of Jesus Christ from the Holy Spirit (sarcasm on)

    PrintEmailDigg ItStory Bottom

    February 27, 2007 -- 'TITANIC' director James Cameron and Simcha Jacobovici, a filmmaker-archaeologist, are set to unveil three coffins this week that they say are those of Jesus, Mary and Mary Magdalene. In an coming documentary, Cameron and Jacobovici cite "scientific evidence" that the resurrection of Jesus never happened and that Jesus fathered a son named Judah with Mary Magdalene.

    Such claims should, and surely will, be met with overwhelming skepticism. For example, the filmmakers use DNA tests to build their case - but whose DNA is being compared with whose? Did they swab the Holy Ghost?

    If, as seems likely, the conclusions prove somewhat less than airtight, the most instructive aspect of the film will be the public's reaction to it.

    Cameron and Jacobovici will mortally offend many Christians. Some critics will personally vilify them, while others question their motives and integrity.

    But prominent Christian clergymen won't issue any death warrants, and the Vatican won't call upon "all believing Christians" to avenge the insult. Neither Cameron nor Jacobovici will have to spend the next decade or so in hiding.

    Now imagine if they'd gone after Mohammad instead of Jesus . . .

    Mark Goldblatt teaches the Old and New Testaments in the History of Ideas at SUNY's Fashion Institute of Technology.

  2. Interesting. I think a lot of Christians will write this off as an "obstacle" of their faith though.

  3. quote
    For example, the filmmakers use DNA tests to build their case - but whose DNA is being compared with whose? Did they swab the Holy Ghost?

    I don't believe taking the DNA was for the purpose you alluded to. They could have attempted to take the DNA for comparison with DNA of the early Diaspora-ed Jews. There are records of such DNA where recently it was claimed that Jews who had settled in Europe thousands of years ago descended from a handful of Jewish women. In that study, the claim was the European (Diaspora-ed) Jews were "pure", and might explain their "super-intelligence" etc etc etc.

    As Sharina succinctly stated, whether those bones belong to Jesus and family would never be accepted by Christians, nor could the claim be ever proven true (or untrue).

  4. ktemoc:
    If it is back to cannot be proven be true or not false, it is back to your own opinion to believe it or not (Just like the old question: the existence of God). But as always, conspiracy theory always works. Somehow Israel government managed to take the bone but forgot to destroy the ossuaries...hmmm how negligence they are.
    So, the DNA can be used to track the lineage of the tomb owner, and so what? This tomb is found near Jeruselum and buried according to Jewish tradition.
    And Ktemoc, last time when I have problem with doctor in hospital, it did not make me lose faith in medical science.

  5. KT, much as I admire and enjoy reading your satires and conspiracy theories, when it comes to Christianity your views are unfortunately too skewed.

    I dont think you dare poke fun at the Muslims. That aside, seriously, if anyone can prove beyond a shadow of doubt that the ressurection never took place, I will give up my faith. It is that serious. It is not an obstacle to faith as Sharina suggests. It is the cornerstone of my faith. Without the ressurection, we Christians are the most deluded people on earth. Paul the writer of the Corinthians said so. So there, I state my case. Faith if based on myth are not worth living ofr let alone dying for. But I doubt these so called coffins will prove anything. Prove us wrong, mate. :)


  6. YI:
    I would say amen to a lot of your comment above (especially the theology part), but only one thing I beg to differ with you:
    "I dont think you dare poke fun at the Muslims."
    As much as I feel "hurt" when KTemoc has his strong opinion on Christianity, I would not want it be to dare him of doing the same onto muslim, or anyone else to turn it into a "race", other than coming out of him willingly. As he "slap" on my right cheek (figuratively speaking), the respond should not be "I bet you dare not do it on X or Y". The ground of fairness should not be used here.

  7. Hmmm....the Resurrection is a fundamental bedrock of Christian belief. You could almost say No Resurrection = No Christianity. Because without the Resurrection, Jesus would just be a charismatic but very human Preacher.

    But I don't think this discovery will prove anything either way.
    They most they can get from the 2000 year old DNA, assuming it is not too degraded, is to establish its a male or female, most probably of Semitic origin. And if all three (man, woman, and supposed off-spring) are related that would open up some more questions. But I agree with Ranger, DNA evidence is really useful only if you can compare it against some known person's.

  8. mich,
    Yes you are right, I should not have challenged KT to take on the other faith, even though it is with tongue firmly in one cheek :)

    Here is my other cheek.
    Sorry KT mate.


    Thursday, March 01, 2007
    Betulkah Itu Makam Yesus?

    karya dari Darrel Bock
    terjemahan dari Chang Wei Hao

    Semalam, saya telah menonton semua laporan berkaitan dengan makam Talpiot. Umat Kristian tidak perlu risau sangat. Beberapa wakil Kristian nampaknya bimbang, seolah-olah menjerit di depan pemberita dalam lapuran khas Discovery itu. Mungkin sebabnya mereka belum tengok lagi rancangan itu dan perlu mengulas tentang isu tersebut, seperti menembak dalam kegelapan. Setelah meneliti rancangan dokumentari itu, hujah-hujahnya mengandungi pelbagai masalah yang boleh dikupas dengan rasa sabar.

    Contohnya, kita tidak perlu ijazah bidang biologi untuk mengetahui jika seseorang menguji DNA anda, ia tentunya tidak sepadan dengan kebanyakan orang yang lain. Jadi, hujah DNA yang disebut dalam rancangan itu tidak membuktikan apa-apa, hanya memberi kita suatu keputusan yang sudah dijangka. Seorang pakar Antropologi Forensik berkata semalam dalam rancangan Anderson Cooper 360, ia bukan bukti yang seberapa. Hasil ujian DNA itu tidak membuktikan apa-apa yang penting.

    Kita tidak perlu ijazah bidang geografi juga untuk mengetahui bahawa jika keluarga Yesus berasal dari Galilee, kenapa pula makam keluarga mereka berada di Jerusalem? Dua permerhatian mudah ini dapat membantu kita kupas kelemahan hujah dalam rancangan dokumentari ini.

    Hujah dari kebarangkalian statistik itu bergantung kepada ANDAIAN bahawa makam Talpiot itu makam sebuah keluarga. Tapi satu-satunya kesimpulan yang mungkin kita dapati dari ujian DNA yang tidak sepadan ialah ia bukannya sebuah makam keluarga. Apa kata sekiranya makam ini tidak mengandungi sebuah keluarga, tapi hanya orang-orang dari keluarga yang berlainan dalam wilayah yang sama? Atau pun makam ini dikongsi oleh beberapa keluarga? Semua soalan asas sebegini adalah sebahagian dari proses pengajian sejarah.

    Dan kebenaran bagi ‘senario’ yang mana-mana satu pun akan meyangkal dakwaan sensasi bahawa inilah makam Yesus. Jadi marilah kita menanya beberapa soalan biasa ini bagi mendedahkan andaian-andaian tersirat dalam usaha memperolehi nombor ‘statistik’ ini yang mudah dicabar. Seterusnya, analisis kebarangkalian tidak bermakna kerana apa yang disukat itu bukannya apa yang diandaikan.

    Maka tiada sebab untuk melolong atau menjerit, hanya memberi soalan yang bagus. Asingkan fakta dari tafsirannya. Fakta: kita menemui makam yang mengandungi sepuluh kotak berisi rangka tulang dari abad pertama Selepas Masehi. Ada nama tertulis di atas kotak dan dua daripada mereka (satu bernama Yesus dan yang lain bernama Mary) tidak mempunyai hubungan biologi. Itu SAHAJA yang kita ketahui dari rancangan tersebut. Yang lain itu tafsiran.

    Para penerbit rancangan khas itu kata mereka inginkan lebih siasatan dan mencari kebenaran. Sambutlah cabaran ini, kata saya. Fakta-fakta yang timbul akan menunjukkan bahawa makam Talpiot tiada kaitan langsung dengan keluarga Yesus. Yang ada hanyalah sebuah makam abad pertama yang mengandungi beberapa kotak rangka tulang, yang membantu kita fahami nama dan amalan zaman itu.

    Mari kita meneliti isu-isu budaya zaman kita pula. Ya, usaha ‘hentam’ kepercayaan Kristiani makin lumrah dalam kerakusan mengejar wang ringgit dan pujaan ramai bagi sesetengah orang. Mudah kita sebagai umat Kristian berasa kecewa. Saya memberitahu murid-murid di seminari supaya mengambil ‘suntikan vaksin’ sampainya Hari Natal ataupun Easter kerana lazimnya amalan menghantam Kristian pada musim cuti. Jangan terperanjat dengan corak duniawi yang dijangka ini.

    Harus juga kita mencabar motif HarperSanFrancisco dalam terbitannya yang sentiasa ‘menghentam’ kepercayaan Kristian.

    Tapi, penting sekali, kita perlu dana wang untuk menerbit dokumentari berkualiti tinggi dengan cendekiawan Kristian yang masyhur. Pokoknya, orang umum dapat membuat perbandingan dan lihat sendiri kelemahan hujah-hujah sensasi sebegini.

  10. I'm sad tat some christians cant handle questionings well :) so sorry to hear u have been burnt like i have also.

    But dun seek out pastors who are blur la, talk to the more intelligent ones haha...

    I have a question abt this conspiracy theory tat jews destroyed evidence to protect american christianity.

    Suppose I'm an israeli guard bribed to destroy the bones inside one of the bone boxes, which wud have the most negative implication on the faith, guess whose bones will i eliminate for eternity?

    No prize for guessing rightly! :D

  11. But a problem with the conspiracy that the Mossad had been working overtime to destroy evidence that Jesus & Co. was buried in that tomb: Simcha Jacobovici, the man making that claim is still alive.

    Wouldn't the Mossad (going by conspiracist logic here) also "disappear" Mr. Jacobovici to protect the faith of one of its biggest group of supporters... the right-wing fundemental Christians? If they could help pull off the Sept-11 attacks as you yourself said... then they would have no qualms in "vanishing" a pretty unknown film director.

  12. Good observations, Bright Eyes!

    Maybe the Mossad were just lousy, bumbling buffoons or else, the conspiracy theories are full of holes which require an immense suspension of intelligence to sustain...?

  13. Mossad?

    It's not the Mossad's role to deal with masking antiquities that aren't favourable to Christianity. Just an antiquity officer acting on political directives would do. Why use a sledgehammer to crush a peanut?

    The reference to Mossad on such conspiracy destroys whatever credibility the theory may have. Or, has that been the true intention?

  14. Who knows, eh? Remember the Turin Shroud?

  15. If the Israelis disappeared the so called One-True-Corpse to safeguard their supporters faith (and hence, the existence of the State of Israel), then why just stop there? They would have removed the tomb AND Mr.Jacobovici as well.

    After all, as you said... if they effectively pulled off 9-11, they could easily erase this guy & the evidence as well. Especially if its potentially a great threat to the survival of their state.

    >>It's not the Mossad's role to deal with masking antiquities that aren't favourable to Christianity. Just an antiquity officer acting on political directives would do.

    But when it comes to effectively disappearing people & potential proof, you can't send an archeologic team headed by Indiana Jew-nes, can you?

    Anyhow, as it is, Mr.Jacobovici is still alive & the tomb still stands.

  16. I watched how they found the tomb in Dicovery Channel titled "The Lost Tomb of Jesus". BTW, Nabi Isa a.s. is still alive and they found bones of other person, not Nabi Isa a.s.