jesus' burial cave? "a titanic" documentary
what do YOU think?
A new documentary, The Burial Cave of Jesus, says the 2000-year-old cave was discovered in 1980 in Jerusalem.
The producers say it contained 10 coffins, six of which bore inscriptions that included the names "Jesus son of Joseph", "Maria", and "Judah son of Jesus". Maria is believed to be Mary Magdalene, while the coffin bearing the name Judah suggests Jesus had a son. Dna has reportedly been extracted from remains found in two of the coffins.
One of the producers, Oscar-winning Titanic director James Cameron, said the documentary followed years of research by world-renowned archaeologists and experts. "To a layman's eye it seems pretty darn compelling," he said. "This is the biggest archaeological story of the century."
Cameron and Israel's Simcha Jacobovici, who directed the film, displayed two of the coffins in New York yesterday which they said may have contained the bones of Jesus and Mary Magdalene.
New Zealand Catholic Church spokeswoman Lyndsay Freer dismissed the documentary's claims, saying they were not backed by any credible research. The Catholic faith was based on Jesus returning to life after death.
"To suggest they've found the remains defies belief," she said.
"Obviously the findings would have to be subject to rigorous scrutiny by experts in the respective fields."
A senior Israeli archaeologist, Professor Amos Kloner, who researched the tomb after its discovery and at the time deciphered the inscriptions, cast doubt on the documentary's claim.
"The names that are found on the tombs are names that are similar to the names of the family of Jesus," he said.
"But those were the most common names found among Jews (in those times)."