Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Jesus' Bones Have Brothers! Another Annoying "Discovery"

Just when you thought you were safe, and that the Da Vinci Codes “Christ secretly married Mary Magdalene” Gnostic nonsense had been definitively dismissed and permanently exposed as fraud by every accredited historian—Christian and non—who did any serious research on the subject, comes the Discovery Channel's recycled documentary discovery that several ancient Jewish coffins contain the bones of Jesus and his family, including those of his “son.”

Touting it as possibly “the greatest archaeological find in history,” Discovery even hired Hollywood filmmaker James (of Titanic and The Terminator fame) Cameron for the project, hoping to give the documentary publicity, if not credibility. “It doesn't get any bigger than this!” Cameron proclaimed, although Bar-Ilan University archaeologist Amos Kloner, who originally researched the findings when the site was first uncovered back in 1980, calls the film “an ill-informed publicity stunt.”

“The claim that (Christ's) burial site has been found is not a new idea—it is only an attempt to sell,” Kloner noted adding, “It's a waste of money.” Indeed the BBC already did a tabloid style documentary on the so-called Talpiot Tomb in 1996, and Israel Museum curator David Mevorah called this new version, entitled The Last Tomb of Jesus (set to air this Sunday, March 4th, on Discovery) “even closer to total fantasy” than the original.

Admittedly, the 1980 find, which includes ten limestone burial boxes with legible inscriptions does have one thing going for it. Among the inscriptions include those of “Jesus son of Joseph,” “Judah son of Jesus” and “Mary.” Despite the coincidence, Kloner is quick to show this evidence as far from compelling, pointing out that those four names ranked among the most popular among Jews at that time. In fact, Kloner recently saw a “Jesus, son of Joseph” inscription at a Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, early Christian exhibition while lecturing there. It is also interesting to note that Simcha Jacobovici, the leader of this documentary team, produced a special for Discovery four years ago on a burial box that bore the inscription “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus”—which several months later was found to be a fake.

While “Thomas O'Toole” is not the most popular of names in the states, I have come across a couple of other authors (one writes sports in New York, another who does travelogues down South) not to mention a Chicago DJ who all share my first and last name. In fact, while teaching middle school last year, an ambitious student, hearing of my background, googled “Tom O'Toole” and “Writer” and came back to me with a Tom O'Toole who married in the Catholic Church, had four kids and wrote an inspirational book but lived in Philadelphia. Now this kid, over the course of a lunch period, became utterly convinced that this Tom O'Toole was me. Well, if this evidence is good enough for a seventh grader, it certainly has to be good enough for the Discovery Channel, so perhaps when I get a little more famous (or die and am unable to defend myself), you will see a Discovery special on my exciting double (or triple) life too. Granted, it won't be a true story, but even the Tom O'Toole Discovery docu-soap opera has to be better than another tired “Jesus Loves Mary Magdalene” remake.

1 comment :

jimbo said...

Yea another ploy by the devil!!! He is already defeated!! amen!!! Plilly who wants to live there lol!! I keep forgetting to ask you to pray for me getting my varsity bball job thanks jim