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Posted on Wednesday, February 28 - 2007

" Copyright MSNBCArchaeologists and clergymen in the Holy Land derided claims in a new documentary produced by James Cameron that contradict major Christian tenets, but the Oscar-winning director said the evidence was based on sound statistics."The Lost Tomb of Christ," which ..."

Toronto filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici flashes a light inside a Jerusalem cave during the filming of "The Lost Tomb of Christ," due to air on the Discovery Channel on March 4.

Copyright MSNBC

Archaeologists and clergymen in the Holy Land derided claims in a new documentary produced by James Cameron that contradict major Christian tenets, but the Oscar-winning director said the evidence was based on sound statistics."The Lost Tomb of Christ," which the Discovery Channel will run on March 4, argues that 10 ancient ossuaries — small caskets used to store bones — discovered in a suburb of Jerusalem in 1980 may have contained the bones of Jesus and his family, according to apress release issued by the Discovery Channel.One of the caskets even bears the title, "Judah, son of Jesus," hinting that Jesus may have had a son.

And the very fact that Jesus had an ossuary would contradict the Christian belief that he was resurrected and ascended to heaven. Cameron told NBC'S TODAY show that statisticians found "in the range of a couple of million to one in favor of it being them." Simcha Jacobovici, the Toronto filmmaker who directed the documentary, said the implications "are huge." "But they're not necessarily the implications people think they are. For example, some believers are going to say, well, this challenges the resurrection. I don't know why, if Jesus rose from one tomb, he couldn't have risen from the other tomb," Jacobovici toldTODAY.

Goes against conventional wisdom Most Christians believe Jesus' body spent three days at the site of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem's Old City. The burial site identified in Cameron's documentary is in a southern Jerusalem neighborhood nowhere near the church. In 1996, when the British Broadcasting Corp. aired a short documentary on the same subject, archaeologists challenged the claims. Amos Kloner, the first archaeologist to examine the site, said the idea fails to hold up by archaeological standards but makes for profitable television. "They just want to get money for it," Kloner said. Cameron said his critics should withhold comment until they see his film. "I'm not a theologist. I'm not anarc......


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