I’ve created a blog category “Tomb Issues” for the on-going discussion of the claims regarding the 1980 ossuary finds. Unless the on-going fraud trial in Israel right now turns up conclusive evidence of tampering regarding the inscription on the James ossuary (and hence blows this entire thing up–which may, I emphasize may, explain in part the speed at which this film has come out), this will be the most talked about apologetic subject of our generation, and possibly generations to come.
   So what about today, nearly a week before us normal humans even get to see this film, or purchase the book and begin the long and careful process that has been so glibly by-passed by Cameron and Jacobovici called scholarship? Serious minded folks will be willing to withhold judgment and ask for a full hearing of the facts. But serious minded people are the vast minority in decadent Western culture. Microwave mentality reigns. Get it fast, get it easy. So what do you say to the co-worker who, knowing you are a Christian, wants to know when you are going to admit you were wrong all along? Here’s one I’d suggest:
   Important and world-changing issues are not decided by filmmakers over the course of 90 minutes. The process that should have taken place, the normal, proper process wherein claims are examined critically over time, has been by-passed for reasons that are not at all clear at this time. So the only person who is going to be swayed by the opening argument of one side that has a vested interest and has already broken the rules of scholarly engagement without even waiting for the other side to respond is obviously a person looking for a reason to disbelieve.
   There are many others. In passing, I saw Cameron and Jacobovici on the Today Show this morning, and caught Cameron, if I recall correctly, throwing out the “Acts of Philip” as a decisive resource in their “evidence,” and credited Jacobovici with “finding” this source. Ever read the Acts of Philip? Here, it will, in the words of one, make your brain itch. Date? The earliest manuscript is 14th century. Some, for reasons unclear, claim it could be as old as the fourth century. But no evidence of this is to be found. But let’s give it the benefit of the doubt. A text, removed in all probability by half a millennium from the actual events, which never once identifies this “Mariamne” as Mary Magdalene, but instead reports that this Marianme will die in the Jordan river and that, when she was threatened, turned into a glass box or a cloud of fire, was a vital piece of the puzzle that allowed Jacobovici to see in the ossuaries what the original trained archaeologists did not? This is a better “fit” to the evidence than “Mariamne the Master was a woman of Greek origin or extraction who lived in Jerusalem in the first century and was probably master over the house” (not Mary Magdalene)?

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