Scholars Call “Jesus Tomb” a Publicity Stunt

This is just in from the Washington Post, and it’s devastating to the credibility of those hawking the so-called “Jesus Tomb.”

Leading archaeologists in Israel and the United States yesterday denounced the purported discovery of the tomb of Jesus as a publicity stunt.

Scorn for the Discovery Channel’s claim to have found the burial place of Jesus, Mary Magdalene and — most explosively — their possible son came not just from Christian scholars but also from Jewish and secular experts who said their judgments were unaffected by any desire to uphold Christian orthodoxy.

“I’m not a Christian. I’m not a believer. I don’t have a dog in this fight,” said William G. Dever, who has been excavating ancient sites in Israel for 50 years and is widely considered the dean of biblical archaeology among U.S. scholars. “I just think it’s a shame the way this story is being hyped and manipulated. . . It’s a publicity stunt, and it will make these guys very rich, and it will upset millions of innocent people because they don’t know enough to separate fact from fiction.”

“‘Lost Tomb of Jesus’ Claim Called a Stunt” – Washington Post

See also:
“Problems Multiple for Jesus Tomb Theory” – Ben Witherington
My running list of resources from scholars debunking the “Jesus Tomb”

4 Responses to Scholars Call “Jesus Tomb” a Publicity Stunt

  1. Becky February 28, 2007 at 9:54 am #

    Here’s the official site for those interested in the information being released. i think there’s a lot of research that still needs to be done, but doubtless anyone who would have found this tomb would have done the same type of research: http://www.jesusfamilytomb.com

  2. Seven Star Hand (LW Page) February 28, 2007 at 10:06 am #

    Lying about the name Jesus, for profit, yet again…

    Hello Denny and all,

    The most interesting aspect of this Jesus Tomb story revolves around the actual names on the bone boxes compared to what is being asserted in the effort to make a profit. Pay special attention to the tortured explanations of how names like Jesus, Mary, Matthew, and others were “translated” (interpolated) from inscriptions that actually say otherwise. As Christians rally to “prove” that this archeological find can’t be the “Jesus” and “Mary” of the New Testament, they too must answer the questions about why it is correct to interpolate those names in a special way to support the veracity of the most profitable story in history. Christians must truthfully answer the question of why it is wrong to use their own methodology to arrive at the names now being asserted as appearing on those bone boxes.

    A pivotal component of the strong delusion of Christianity revolves around the name/title Jesus Christ. Christians and others have rallied around the weak and blatantly deceptive assertions surrounding the source of the name Jesus, among others in the so-called New Testament. All of the purported uses of this name in ancient settings are actually the Hebrew and Aramaic names that we call Joshua, in all other instances. Why then all of the tortured explanations to convince people that the Hebrew name translated in all other instances as Joshua should in some special cases become the dubious name/title Jesus Christ? If these stories were the truth, why has so much deception accompanied them and those who have profited from them throughout most of the last two millennia?

    Read More …

  3. Mark February 28, 2007 at 12:04 pm #

    Tortured explanations? That’s a stretch.

    I think I am correct that translating Joshua into Jesus comes from the Latin translating Joshua. It is not the only time English translations of a word in the NT was done that way.

    The first guy that brought it up to me acted like it was some HUGE deal that should topple Chrisitainty. When I first learned this it certainly piqued my curiosity, but after digging into it, I do not believe it is a big deal or scandal. I am not exactly sure the intention of this except for maybe that Joshua is a bit too common of a name, and it was a way of distinguishing the Christ?

    I do not believe (as it was asserted to me), that it was an attempt to eliminate ties to Judaism.

  4. Ken Abbott February 28, 2007 at 1:12 pm #

    Mr. Burk is undoubtedly the more expert Greek scholar here, but here’s my two cents: “Jesus” is the Greek rendering of the name and appears as such in the NT manuscripts (except with an “I” instead of a “J”). “Christ” is derived from “Christos,” the Greek word for “anointed one” or “messiah” and is a title, not a name. It’s as simple as that–no attempt at deception. Mr. Seven Star Hand has a reputation as one who stirs up the brethren on Internet sites and should be read with discernment (if read at all).

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