After an evening of church, when we return home to decompress, I usually enjoy a lighter viewing fare. So last night we chose to watch The Amazing Race instead of The Discovery Channel's controversial Jesus Tomb. But I did record it. And I carved out some time today to watch it. Sidebar: I must again affirm that DVR is a wonderful thing. I know, it performs the same task as VCR's did for years, but it makes the process ten times easier.
Like I noted last week, I'm not too concerned about this contrived Jesus tomb issue, but I thought I'd at least note a few items that I took away from the television presentation.
1) The Lost Tomb program featured Canadian filmmaker/scholar Simcha Jacobovici. He hosts a show that I like to watch on the History International Channel called The Naked Archaeologist. In case you're wondering, the show is about Israeli archaeology and not Simcha's nakedness. Even though I suspect Jocaobovici is Jewish, he is usually very supportive of the New Testament story. That's why his participation in this documentary surprised me a little. But, then again, he is Canadian, so can he really be trusted?
2) The involvement of James Tabor, author of The Jesus Dynasty, and the dependence upon the Gnostic gospels as proof for the tomb claim should be an obvious warning sign. What the producers of this film did was tie together a bunch of conspiracy theories to see if at least some of the accusations would stick. As it is, no reputable archaeologist or scholar will attach his/her name to the Tomb theory.
3) Of all the authorities noted, there was a little blurb at the beginning of the documentary that I found noteworthy. Noted scholar John Dominic Crossan made the statement that even if the bones of Jesus were discovered, it would not affect his faith. Crossan believes that Christianity isn't dependent on the resurrection of Jesus to be a viable faith.
This is a position that many liberal scholars try to take, yet it is a poor position to stake out. They think that they are doing Christians a favor by reinterpreting what it means to follow Jesus but, in reality, they dilute their faith. The resurrection is indicative of our ability to have life after death. The apostle Paul explained this in 1 Corinthians 15:16-19:
"For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men."
Our faith hinges on the resurrection of Jesus. To deny this is to deny Scripture and a few thousand years of church history/tradition. That's why this claimed discovery is a direct affront to the Christian faith. Fortunately, there's not much to the Lost Tomb.
So feel free to go on with your lives now.