James Cameron and a group of Israeli archeologists are claiming to have identified the remains of Jesus and his family from a set of 10 stone caskets uncovered in a Jerusalem suburb 27 years ago.
There’s a couple of problems with this. For one, the Yeshua would have been one of the most common names in First-Century Israel. Likewise with the Hebrew version of Mary and Joseph. Even if the people in the tomb were related, lived in the reign of Herod, and had the same names as the Biblical individuals, that doesn’t really prove anything.
There’s another problem — the Israeli archaeologist who is pushing this discovery also tried to sell the public on another groundbreaking historical find: the James ossuary. The discovery turned out to be a modern forgery. It’s understandable to be skeptical of someone making such an extraordinary claim when there’s already one forgery associated with him.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence — and if Cameron wants to claim that he’s found the remains of Jesus, he’d better be able to come with some equally dramatic evidence. The fact that someone may have found a tomb bearing the names of the Holy Family that date to the reign of Herod is one thing — saying that it is the Holy Family is quite another.
This may sell a lot of book from the same crowd who lapped up the fictional history of The DaVinci Code, but real archeology requires something more than just a series of coincidences. Certainly it makes for a very interesting story, but if one wants to “debunk” all of Christianity they’d better have something more concrete to prove it.