Blog Template Theology of the Body: Yet Another Empty Tomb... more on Jacovici and Cameron on the "grave" of Jesus:

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Yet Another Empty Tomb... more on Jacovici and Cameron on the "grave" of Jesus:

Catch up at "specialists have known about the ossuaries for years...'The fact that it's been ignored tells you something,' says Dever, professor emeritus at the University of Arizona. 'It would be amusing if it didn't mislead so many people.'"

My own chief contention goes back to Christ's earliest witnesses, the apostles and martyrs. First, those who had walked with Jesus did not worship Him and honor His memory at a suburban grave site; they worshipped at the site of Jesus' empty tomb, as we have persisted in doing for centuries. The traditional site is now marked by the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, above. Why modern archeologists insist that they know more than the earliest Christians, Who Were There, is beyond me. It's Patronizing, Oppressive, Colonial, etc.

Secondly, the emerging Christian cult depended entirely for its credibility on a missing body. It stands to reason that the disciples, intent on propogating the Ressurrection story, would have had nothing to gain from burying Jesus- and later His "family"- in elaborate, marked graves such as the ossuaries at issue. In such a situation, propogandists BURN the body. Or hide it. At any rate, the disciples had nothing to gain either way- except death by torture.
And thirdly: where are the relics? We KNOW what early Christians did with the remains of those saints whom they loved...surely if there were bones of Christ to be venerated somewhere, we would have long known where to find them, housed in a cheery reliquary...

Evangelical Catholicism offers these issues, which will cast further Deep Suspicion on the Latest Sensation for the man on the street:

1. Fancy, fancy. Would Jesus, an itinerant preacher, or his father, a humble carpenter, be able to afford such a luxurious burial place where the entire family would be reunited at death?

2. But our fathers worshipped at the Sepulcher. Would not knowledge of this burial place by someone--anyone--eventually diminish the significance and sacredness of the empty tomb at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre? Surely someone during late antiquity would have known about Jacovici and Cameron's "real tomb", helping to dispel the myths surrounding that other burial site to which Christians had been flocking to since the early fourth century.

3. Another Messiah. Why would Jesus name his son "Judah"? By doing so, Jesus would be passing the messianic and eschatological hopes of Israel over to his son. Recall that the prophesies of the restoration of the Davidic kingdom and covenant were to be fulfilled in one man from the tribe of Judah. By naming his son "Judah," Jesus would have been identifying the messianic hope not in himself, but in his son. From an historical and religious standpoint, this is sheer nonsense. The cult developed around the person of Jesus.

4. Do we have remains? It seems as though it would be quite inconvenient for those who purport that they have, in fact, found the burial site of Jesus' family, should there not be enough or any remains to validate that claim.

5. Every Tom, Dick, and Harry. How common were the names in first-century Palestine that were found on the ossuaries? Is it not plausible, indeed, probable, that a number of burial sites may contain the remains of any combination of individuals named Yeshua, Marya, Yose? The names on the caskets are the most common names found among Jews at the time.

6. We have not heard of this before. Because we have absolutely no historical record of the groups of people who were persecuting the Christians in antiquity using this supposed burial site as proof that Jesus did not rise from the dead, could it possibly be a hoax contrived at a much later date? Considering the vehement attacks on Christians during the early Church, this finding would have provided remarkable ammunition for assaulting Christian belief.