The Talpiot Tomb discovery—Does it destroy the physical resurrection of Jesus story?


#1

Greetings everyone… I would like to hear (so to speak) the community’s opinions concerning the find at the Talpiot tomb. Although I’m aware that this is old news, some who have no knowledge of the discovery may find the information interesting and intriguing. When I was informed about the find it only reinforced what I already understood about the biblical story. Granting it is not conclusive evidence that the Talpiot tomb is in fact the tomb of Jesus, it is credible evidence deserving further investigation. Here is a documentary concerning that discovery (Sorry for the subtitles, however this is the best quality to be found on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kl43xM5o1L4


White bearded man in the sky
(sy_garte) #2

Credible evidence? a Youtube video?


(Christy Hemphill) #3

As I understand it, the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection has never been archaeological, but rather the historical record of eyewitness accounts, and the historical record of first century believers who died martyrs rather than recant their belief in the resurrection.


(sy_garte) #4

I remember hearing about this in the 1990s, and watched part of the Discovery Channel program when it came out. Since then the idea that this is the tomb of Jesus has been thoroughly debunked. Wikipedia has a good summary article. I will just add that the debunking was done not by Christian scholars but by a large symposium of archeologists and other experts. Even the expert who first proposed a statistical analysis favoring the idea, recanted after learning that he had included some data that was incorrect. So, no the physical resurrection of Jesus has not been destroyed by the discovery of this tomb.


#5

Every 5 years or so somebody writes a book claiming to have evidence that will “rock the very foundations of Christianity.” Or they want to tell us who Jesus really was. Really! Perhaps a time-traveling used-car salesman.


#6

@Sy_Garte

“Credible evidence? a YouTube video?”

I can sense the sarcasm even though we are most probably miles away :smile: . Although the link to the video is from YouTube—it is a Discovery Channel presentation. Unfortunately, the video cannot be found on the Discovery Channel website. Then again, you did say, above, that you watched part of the Discovery Channel program when it came out, right? So why the disrespect for the YouTube video?

The tomb is in the right place—Israel, the tomb dates back 2000 years, the family names are correct, the statistical odds are in favor of the rarity of having those specific names all together in the same tomb, the DNA suggests that they are all part of the same family. So… yes!—credible evidence. Finally, I did say that it wasn’t conclusive evidence but credible evidence—to be further investigated.

At the Hump of the Camel your brief description of self states that you were raised in a militant atheist household, and came to Christ later in life, roughly a decade ago. That was roughly about the time that BioLogos was established and launched its theistic evolutionary worldview. Just curious, but, what brought you to convert from being a militant atheist to becoming a part of the collective body of Christians?


#7

@Christy

If new evidence arises it should be investigated, don’t you think? :wink:


#8

@Sy_Garte

You don’t like YouTube but you like Wikipedia… OK, that’s fine! :confounded: However that large symposium of archaeologists and other experts could have been led by some faction with a personal agenda, and that expert who first proposed a statistical analysis favoring the idea and then recanted could likely have been made an offer he could not refuse—it happens all the time!

You now have me sitting on the edge of my seat! :grin: I would be really satisfied with our brief discussion if you would answer a simple question for me. A man with your scholarly credentials should be able to come up with a logically sound response regarding what happened to Jesus’ physical body if it wasn’t taken to another tomb the night before they found it empty?

An interesting take on this involves what Jesus said in Matthew 12:40, “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Jonah chapter 2 states, “Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish’s belly.” Thus, Jonah was alive in the fish’s belly. Hence, the sign of Jonah suggests that Jesus was alive in the tomb. This would imply that Jesus lived the rest of his life and when his days were over was placed in the family tomb.


#9

@beaglelady

Perhaps a time-traveling soul! :pensive:


#10

You don’t like YouTube but you like Wikipedia… OK, that’s fine! :confounded: However that large symposium of archaeologists and other experts could have been led by some faction with a personal agenda, and that expert who first proposed a statistical analysis favoring the idea and then recanted could likely have been made an offer he could not refuse—it happens all the time!

You have added a touch of conspiracy theory.


(Christy Hemphill) #11

For Christians, the resurrection is settled fact based on reliable testimony, so no, they aren’t going to be motivated to investigate if someone has “new evidence” that it didn’t happen. Just like the average person isn’t going to waste their time with “new evidence” that the lunar landing was all a hoax.


(Christy Hemphill) #12

That’s not really what it implies. The whole point of bringing up Jonah in the context was to shame the Pharisess for their unrepentant hearts despite numerous signs and fulfilled Messianic prophesies. Jesus was insulting them by saying they were worse than Ninevites.

And why would someone choose a speculative interpretation of an analogy over clear claims of eyewitnesses that contradict that interpretation?


(sy_garte) #13

Actually Tony, both the Youtube video and the Wiki article refer to the same thing. A book written by one of the producers of the Discovery Channel show (which is what the Youtube video is showing). The Wiki article discussed in great detail the making of the show, the book and the testimony of all concerned. There was indeed quite a bit of truth stretching and prevarication, but it seems that all of it was on the part of the three makers of the show (including James Cameron,) and the book’s author. Take a look at the Wiki article and check out some of the references as I did. See where the burden of evidence lies. Again, this is very very old news, and I am surprised to this myth being “resurrected” now. (sorry).


(sy_garte) #14

@Tony
You said

The tomb is in the right place—Israel, the tomb dates back 2000 years, the family names are correct, the statistical odds are in favor of the rarity of having those specific names all together in the same tomb, the DNA suggests that they are all part of the same family. So… yes!—credible evidence. Finally, I did say that it wasn’t conclusive evidence but credible evidence—to be further investigated

This is why I recommended the Wiki article, since the facts about the statistical analysis are presented very clearly. In addition there is very strong doubt that the inscription says Yeshuah . See for yourself at this link which shows the inscription. The new evidence you might be referring to is related to the revelation of another artifact with the inscription “James brother of Jesus”. There is a NYT article that discusses this at length. I have seen nothing about DNA evidence outside of the film. Do you have any links to that?

My take away from all this is that Jacobivici, the guy who made the first movie, is making a second movie. He paid another archeologist to explore the connection between the James artifact and Talpiot. But it seems that most independent people (including the original Israeli archeologist, Kloner) are highly doubtful about any of this. Still the film will be made and lots of folks will proclaim the “the EVIDENCE shows there was no resurrection”. That’s what atheists have been doing with what they call evidence for several years. As a scientist (not speaking as a Christian) I find this approach to truth fairly revolting.


(sy_garte) #16

Tony, back in 2010, I posted an essay on Biologos about my faith journey. It seems a long time ago, but I just re read it, and I wouldnt change anything.


#17

@beaglelady

Exactly! Jesus said, “Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known” (Matthew 10:26). After the death of Jesus and His Apostles the historical facts were altered. Jesus warned His Apostles of this and they in turn have warned us. They knew the truth would be perverted—the Great Apostasy. Thus… the conspiracy theory!

"Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12).


#18

@Christy

This reply is in response to your last two comments.

Settled facts? Reliable testimony? I’m not convinced of that!

Here is a list of scientific “settled facts” that were later overturned. http://blog.chron.com/sciguy/2010/11/the-top-10-most-spectacularly-wrong-widely-held-scientific-theories/

I predict that in the very near future a list of the top 10 most spectacularly wrong widely held religious theories will be created. Oh… I should get to work on that!

To do justice to our present discussion we must first establish what you mean by “the resurrection is settled fact.” Was Jesus’ physical body dematerialized and then rematerialized in some other physical spatial area of the universe? Was it taken to a different realm? Can material things exist in the spiritual realm! (Perhaps you believe they do?) Or perhaps you believe as I do, that Jesus’ spirit (personality) has been elevated (resurrected?) in the realm of archetypal forms, where our thoughts have access to this information and we do the most we can to emulate who He was (and still is—in the realm of archetypal forms), until His spirit reincarnates into a new soul with His return?

Your correct that the average “so-called” Christian isn’t going to be motivated to investigate any “new evidence,” and the average Christian just follows what he is taught by his priest, pastor, or minister etc… However, the true, through and through, Christian will be motivated to investigate any “new evidence” that may arise. I invite the true, through and through, Christian to be motivated and investigate the “new evidence,” because “we have inherited lies.”

Yes, the shaming of the Pharisees for their unrepentant hearts despite the numerous signs and fulfilled Messianic prophesies is one aspect for Jesus bring up the Jonah story. However, there would be no reason whatsoever for Jesus to bring up, “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:40). You’re missing this important point that is crucial in understanding that what Jesus says here is not part of the context of shaming the Pharisees! This involves a reading between the lines to grasp the hidden meaning that lies within the message.

Because these “clear claims of eyewitnesses” are not reliable sources for credible evidence. They go contrary to every established scientific fact involving what we know about reality. And the so-called “speculative interpretation” is actually a 15 year in-depth personal investigation in deciphering the mysteries of the Holy Scriptures and the metaphysics. Personal… yes, subjective… yes, but verified with objective established facts.


#19

This is your own investigation? Do you have credentials? What does the community of biblical scholars think of your stuff? Have you published your findings?


(sy_garte) #20

Tony, I know there are some Biblical scholars who cast doubt on the historical veracity of the Gospels. There are plenty of others who consider them to be high quality historical documents from a period where it is not easy to find such documents. As for being contrary to every established scientific fact, could you provide examples, and tell us which “established” scientific facts are contradicted. Lets remember that one of the cardinal rules of science, as we are often reminded by atheists, is that almost all “established” scientific facts are subject to reconsideration when new theories or information become available. .


(Christy Hemphill) #21

Scientific facts are a different animal than historical facts. We both know that. Apples to oranges, there.

According to numerous eyewitnesses, Jesus of Nazareth was observed to be clearly dead (they may not have been advanced scientifically, but they had progressed to the point where they knew when execution victims were indeed dead.) and then was observed by hundreds of people, including those who knew him intimately, to be clearly alive, doing alive type things like eating food. These eyewitness accounts were recorded and passed on to posterity. That’s how we arrive at historical facts. You don’t have to convince me that all records of history are inherently subjective. I agree. You choose whom you trust when it comes to historical narratives you believe.

That would be talking about the ascension, not the resurrection. I would say yes, I believe Jesus now exists in bodily (material) human form in another realm and rules the universe. But that is a faith claim based on divine revelation, not science or history. I believe he is physically going to return to earth, and “heaven” will be a physical, material experience and place, not just a spiritual existence for disembodied souls.

I am curious what you mean by this. I think we have inherited some misconceptions and wrong areas of focus as the Christian faith has been communicated from generation to generation. Which lies are you referring to?

I agree that it is a clear reference to his coming death and resurrection. I don’t agree that the analogy can be stretched to mean we are supposed to understand that Jesus never died. The “swoon theory” is a joke, as far as I’m concerned.

Of course they do, as do all accounts of miracles. I believe in miracles. I also respect science, but by definition, natural laws don’t govern miracles.

Honestly, the whole pursuit of “objectively proving” historical facts that surround Christianity seems empty to me. If by some unforeseen development, we gain the ability to prove beyond a shadow of scientific or historical doubt that Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead, who cares? It doesn’t prove that death and resurrection bore the payment of sin for all time. It doesn’t prove that the Holy Spirit can unite an individual to that death and resurrection in some mystical way and in doing so, reconcile the person to God, begin a transformation of his or her heart, and destine them to an eternal future after a coming Resurrection of everyone. It doesn’t prove that Jesus is Lord and his kingdom is coming. None of the central faith claims of Christianity stand on facts that can be proven, because they don’t deal in the material realm.

There is a difference between rational belief and warranted belief. You don’t arrive at Christianity’s truth claims by observation, reason, logic, or proof. You accept them by faith using a different faculty than your intellect. That doesn’t mean they aren’t warranted beliefs. If someone can only accept what they can objectively prove, they will be blind to the Kingdom. It is kind of pointless to try to argue someone into faith.