In High School, I made a deal with God–I would believe in Him so long as 1) we could never prove aliens existed, 2) the bones of Jesus were never discovered. Well the first seems safe, but with the second it has been alittle nerve racking with all the publicity about the Discover Documentary.
Having just finished watching that…it is appears as though I can still pursue ordained ministry. And feel like it is important after seeing poor argumentation presented through circular reasoning, incomplete facts and biased representation.
1) They would refer to the Gospel accounts to show how the names were representative of Jesus’ Family heritage. Yet they would ignore the fact that all four gospel writers believed in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ.
2) They referenced the obscure apocryphal document the Acts of Philip which was written 400 years CE to show that Mary Magdalene’s name was spelled uniquely on an ossuary supposedly placed there 350+ years earlier.
3) They interviewed Dominic Crossan as a reputable theologian whose faith would not be hampered by discovering Jesus’ bones. Well of course not since he does not believe in the bodily resurrection from the start.
4) They argue that James, the brother of Jesus, “continued on Jesus’ ministry after his crucifixion.” Which shows the bias that they believe Jesus to be a really good philosopher, leader, and “anti-government rebel.” If that is all Jesus was then who really cares if he has bones or not. If, however, Jesus Christ is more than a rebel, but actually God and if Jesus Christ was bodily resurrected, then it does matter if someone discovered his bones.
This legacy idea of Jesus is a major concern in the church and with nominal Christians. Jesus, and the claims his followers made, would be completely discredited by discovering his body in a tomb. It would result in another religious philosophy as to how to “be a good neighbor.” And quite frankly it would be a pretty crappy one at that.
Personally, I think the question they failed to ask was, could this have been a later edition to an already existent and arbitrary family tomb? The use of Aramaic, Greek, Latin names, and Hebrew on the ossuaries seems suspect. Its alignment with a 4th century texts is troublesome. And the “supposed” DNA results could not prove that either of the Jesus/Mary bones were masculine or feminine since it only comes from mitochrondial DNA. Therefore there is no evidence that these names even matched up with the gender of the person inside the ossuary.
So it appears as though my faith has lived another day.