Reactions to the Lost Tomb of Jesus

IÂ watched last Sunday night’s Discovery Channel presentation of “The Lost Tomb of Jesus” with some trepidation. I was truly concerned that I might be at least facing a major headache in future evangelism, and at worst something that would set up a tremendous emotional strain in me pitting my faith and science against each other.

The bad news is that the film is slick enough to be persuasive to someone without the resources to do critical thinking and explore professional reactions. The good news is that it is a shoddy piece of pseudo-science. The UK blog Strata-Sphere  (not a natural friend of evangelicals, apparently) summarized it well, speaking of Cameron:  “The man has no concept of what science is all about and sees everything through the Hollywood intellectual model of “it’s close, why can’t it be true?”

This seems to be the general reaction – evangelical responses are drowned out by secular voices either embarassed or outraged at a piece of nonsense dressed up by Simcha Jacobovici as science.

If you are interested in sampling some reactions, check out the Huffington Post, or this piece from Scientific American, documenting the outrage of a scientist quoted in the film.

The key assertion of the film involves identifying one of the names on an ossuary as Mary Magdelene. A scholar who was referenced has done further work and explains in a clear, though technical, explanation why the name should not be identified as Mary Magdelene, cf. Richard Bauckham’s post.

The upshot of all this is that Cameron and Jacobovici have given Christians a wonderful opportunity to talk about the resurrection of Christ. To stimulate discussion, I am writing a small pamphlet summarizing the significance of the resurrection and inviting the reader to study the issues. I’ll post a link soon.