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In one of the most bizarre news stories to come across my desk this month, it looks like Titanic director James Cameron is planning to take on Christianity. He’s still making his sci-fi movie Avatar, but in the background he’s also working on a new documentary in which he will try to prove that Jesus wasn’t resurrected, but dropped dead like the rest of us. This would be pretty bad news for Christians, since Jesus rising from the dead is pretty much the basis of the entire religion.
The story comes from the Time-Blog on the middle east, where they say Cameron’s got the bones of the Christ man and plans to use them. Apparently 27 years ago Israeli construction workers found a tomb in Jerusalem with the names Jesua, son of Joseoph, Mary, Matthew, Jofa and Judah, son of Jesua on them. Change the “a” in Jesua to an “s” and guess what you’ve god? That’s right, Jesus, the guy who mows your lawn.
The archeologists who uncovered the tomb found no connection to Jesus other than name similarities but apparently Cameron and documentary director Simcha Jacobovici beg to differ. He and his partners have used DNA evidence and Biblical studies and plan to prove that the coffins belong to Jesus and his kin. On Monday Cameron holds a big New York press conference where he’ll reveal the coffins and stake his claim with a 90-minute documentary to be shown on Israeli television soon.
Except the whole thing seems kind of pointless. DNA comparison only works if you have something to compare the bones to. Last I checked, no one had a Jesus hair follicle in their bathroom hair brush. Sure, someone might claim to have DNA that definitely belonged to the Christ, but there’s no way to prove it. And without absolutely proof positive Jesus DNA to compare those bones to, I don’t see how Cameron can prove anything.
Worse, even if he can prove those are Christ’s bones, he’s still got nothing. The whole process and theology of Christ’s resurrection is pretty complicated and different religious sects have different views about exactly how it happened. James, even if you can prove those are Jesus’ remains Christianity won’t have much trouble coming up with some new theory, or perhaps resurrecting some old one, to explain it. For instance some Christian sects already believe that in the end Jesus only his spirit ascended to heaven, leaving his body behind. There’s always something you can come up with. This whole thing is a waste of time. You’re preaching to the converted.