I was getting ready for work this morning when I heard a TV anchor say something about evidence of Jesus Christ’s tomb. Or something like that.
I didn’t see the report (I watch TV news for weather and school closings), but figured I should check it out.
Turns out that the Discovery Channel will premiere on Sunday (March 4) at 9 p.m. a new documentary called “The Lost Tomb of Jesus.”:http://dsc.discovery.com/convergence/tomb/tomb.html?dcitc=w99-502-ah-1024 The new issue of “Newsweek”:http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17328478/site/newsweek/ magazine, out today, includes a feature about it.
My initial impression is that we will hear a bit about this because the film was produced by James Cameron, Mr. Titanic. In a statement, Cameron says: “It doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get bigger than this. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve done our homework; weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve made the case; and now itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s time for the debate to begin.”
What’s the debate? The film (and a companion book, of course) claim that an ancient Jewish burial tomb in Jerusalem, discovered in 1980, includes the family plot of Jesus. Simcha Jacobovici, the director, makes the case that the bones of Jesus, Mary and Mary Magdalene were once entombed there — raising questions about Jesus’ divinity.
And away we go. The Newsweek feature includes some sharp criticism of the film. And Jacobovici, it turns out, was an early promoter of the “James (brother of Jesus) box” a few years ago, which turned out to be a hoax.
If you read the full Newsweek description of the film, it sounds like Jacobovici and Cameron could have done quite well with a book/movie deal like The Da Vinci Code — where you call it fiction, but imply it’s more.
As a documentary, though, it sounds unlikely to change the course of human events. I’ll try to watch it Sunday.