The Times of India on 26 Feb 2007 on page one published an article titled, “Docu claims Jesus tomb found” The article clamed; “James Cameron’s documentary dismisses resurrection” James Cameron the Oscar-winning director of "Titanic" in his next film project, a documentary suggests Jesus did not resurrect but, was married to Mary Magdalene, had a son and all were buried together. Can this claim be true? George Paul examines.
Examining the Man:
James Cameron is neither an archeologist nor a historian but has directed famous movie like Titanic and Terminator. While he is certainly qualified to direct movies, his expertise in the matters of history and archeology are yet to be proved. He himself has admitted that “I'm not a theologist. I'm not an archaeologist. I'm a documentary film maker” (See here). If this admission is genuine, why doesn’t he restrict himself to making movies which he is good at rather than contradicting himself with reputed archeologists? It is like President Abdul Kalam prescribing medicines to heart patients. We will certainly reject such prescriptions even if it is from a rocket scientist. However, when it comes to the historical facts of Jesus Christ, the world certainly seems to accept such expertise.
Examining the Story:
The story starts in 1980 in Jerusalem’s Talpiyot neighborhood, with the discovery of a 2,000 year old cave containing ten coffins. Six of the ten coffins were carved with inscriptions reading the names: Jesua son of Joseph, Mary, Mary (The second Maria is hypothesized to be Maria Magdalene), Matthew, Jofa (Joseph, identified as Jesus’ brother), Judah son of Jesua (Jesus’ son – the filmmakers claim). No evidence for this).
The findings in the cave, including the decipherment of the inscriptions, were first revealed about ten years ago by internationally renowned Israeli archeologist Professor
Professor Amos Kloner, also published the findings of his research in the Israeli periodical Atigot in 1996. He disputed the claims and said: “It makes a great story for a TV film. But it's impossible. It's nonsense.”
Moreover Professor Kloner didn’t associate the crypt with the New Testament Jesus. He said, Joseph, father of Jesus after all, was a humble carpenter who couldn’t afford a luxury crypt for his family.
But, Cameron and his director, Simcha Jacobovici, also claim to have DNA evidence to back their story. But what can the DNA prove?
Shroud of Turin: A Rival DNA
The Gospels record that after His crucifixion Jesus was wrapped in a long linen cloth and placed in the tomb (Matt. 27:59). John records that when Peter investigated the empty tomb, he found the burial cloth folded neatly next to where Christ once laid (20:6-7).
A linen shroud called the Shroud of Turin, on display at the Vatican, has been claimed to be that burial cloth. It is 14.25 feet long and 3.5 feet wide. On it is an image with pierced wrists and ankles believed to be that of Christ.
However, in the case of Shroud of Turin we are left with something of a mystery. We simply don't have enough information to reach absolute certainty about the Shroud. If this is the case with the Shroud after years of research since the time it appeared for public display in the year 1357 in Lirey, France. what should we make of Cameron’s Documentary?
Moreover, it’s important to remember, that the truth of Christianity does not depend on whether or not the Shroud is Jesus' burial cloth, and neither would it depend on proving and disproving by Cameron. A solid undisputable case for the bodily resurrection of Christ can be made with or without the Shroud and apart from Cameron's documentry. Thus, having fairly presented some of the evidence, all we can say is, Cameron, instead through research wants to prove hoax as truth through a Documentary, and this is his "True Lies".
If this is the case, why James Cameron is insisting that it is Jesus of Nazareth?
Well, after all he is a showman.