Tuesday, February 27, 2007

James Cameron finds Jesus

There are two kinds of "finding Jesus". The first type is basically a way of saying that this person has become a Christian. Another way of saying that is to say that they've "found religion".

Then there's the other kind of "finding Jesus", and James Cameron, whose archaeological qualifications include directing the hit movie Titanic, claims to have "found Jesus" in this second way: He claims to have found the actual bones of Jesus Christ. And his wife Mary Magdalene. And their son Judah. Such a bold claim for someone who isn't an archaeologist, and for which scholars have said that "Jesus", "Judah", and "Mary" were common Jewish names at the time. But he directed Titanic, so we have to at least hear him out.

Jesus is "found" in this way from time to time, and often the results tell us more about the seekers and their intentions than it does the Nazarene from 2,000 years ago. By "finding" Jesus' bones, the seekers hope to undermine Christianity by proving that Jesus really didn't rise from the dead. The problem is always in their "proof". That is, how do they prove that it's actually the Jesus from Scripture? It's not like they found his driver's license in the coffin with the name, "Christ, Jesus" on it with the DOB being "12/25/0". And back then, the Romans didn't keep DNA records of the citizens of Israel.

Simple logic should tell you that there's absolutely no way for anyone who claims to have found Jesus' bones to prove it. Cameron is relying on statistical probability as his proof. But statistics aren't the same as proof. Statistical probabilities, in other words, are no substitute for hard DNA evidence. Statistically speaking, actually, it's more likely that the coffin that Cameron has found is NOT the bones of Jesus of Nazareth. It may be A Jesus of Nazareth, but not THE Jesus. Claims of finding Jesus' bones is so silly and pathetic a strategy for Christian-bashers that I'm surprised that media outlets still give it air time.

All the articles I've read so far have more comments doubting Cameron's claim than supporting it. So why keep doing it? It's the only way that these folks know how to do. But if this has been tried before and failed, what makes them think that it's going to work this time? That, I have no answer for, other than that these folks are just that desperate.

And besides, I don't need the bones of Jesus - or even something like the Shroud of Turin - to define for me what I'll believe about Jesus. I do believe that he rose from the dead, which means that his bones are not there to be found, so in my mind, searching for Jesus' bones is a fool's quest. The quote attributed to St Thomas Aquinas is a fitting way to end this particular blog entry:

To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary; to one withouth faith, no explanation is possible.

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