So your faithful reporter predicted that, given the time of year, it was only a matter of time before the miserable rotten filthy communist atheist mass-media manipulators of the stupid and unsuspecting would promote their semi-annual “Christianity Unmasked” article. (Thanks to Gene Veith for the mention, by the way.) And the New York Times, the paper of record in a paperless world, didn’t let me down.
From Saturday’s online edition of the Times, which was scheduled for print publication on Easter Sunday:
Hailed by some as the most significant of all Christian relics but dismissed by skeptics amid accusations of forgery, misinterpretation and reckless speculation, two ancient artifacts found here have set off a fierce archaeological and theological debate in recent decades.
At the heart of the quarrel is an assortment of inscriptions that led some to suggest Jesus of Nazareth was married and fathered a child, and that the Resurrection could never have happened.
Now, the earth may have yielded new secrets about these disputed antiquities. A Jerusalem-based geologist believes he has established a common bond between them that strengthens the case for their authenticity and importance.
Look, Christianity makes very specific historical claims for its core beliefs, namely the events surrounding the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. So I don’t begrudge non-Christians or anti-Christians or just plain muckrakers for picking around the dust for detritus that would disprove those claims. Any such find would definitely ensure their place in the history books.
What I find unintentionally funny is how the deaf, dumb, and blind MSM leap at any bones thrown its way.
The second artifact is a tomb unearthed at a building site in the East Talpiot neighborhood of East Jerusalem in 1980 and thrust into the limelight by a 2007 documentary movie, “The Lost Tomb of Jesus.” The film was produced by James Cameron (“Titanic”) and written by Simcha Jacobovici, an Israeli-born filmmaker based in Toronto. It was first broadcast on the Discovery Channel in 2007.
The burial chamber, which subsequently became known as the Talpiot Tomb, contained 10 ossuaries, some with inscriptions that have been interpreted as “Jesus son of Joseph,” “Mary” and other names associated with New Testament figures. The group of names led Mr. Jacobovici and his supporters to argue that this was probably the tomb of the family of Jesus of Nazareth, a sensational claim rejected by most archaeologists and experts, who said that such names were very common at that time.
Critics like Amos Kloner, the Jerusalem district archaeologist at the time, essentially accused Mr. Jacobovici of jumping to conclusions to promote his movie.
Mr. Jacobovici and his supporters say that if it could be proved that the so-called James ossuary, whose provenance is unclear, originated in the Talpiot Tomb, the names on it, added to the cluster of names found in the tomb, would bolster the chances that the tomb belonged to the family of Jesus of Nazareth.
Enter the geologist, Aryeh Shimron. He is convinced he has made that connection by identifying a well-defined geochemical match between specific elements found in samples collected from the interiors of the Talpiot Tomb ossuaries and of the James ossuary. …
“I think I’ve got really powerful, virtually unequivocal evidence that the James ossuary spent most of its lifetime, or death time, in the Talpiot Tomb,” Dr. Shimron said in an interview in the lobby of the King David Hotel here as he presented his as-yet unpublished findings to a reporter for the first time.
Call me when you’ve put all the orthodox Christian churches out of business (I daresay most mainline denominations stopped making belief in a literal Resurrection a nonnegotiable minimum for membership a long time ago). I’m not holding my breath.
But I am holding my sides.
Dr. Shimron, meanwhile, said he was bracing for an inevitable storm of criticism, including from people who find it anathema that a scientist, as he put it, should be “playing around with Jesus and Mary’s bones.”
I believe that’s called begging the question. But then again, I’m not a scientist.