Saturday, March 3, 2007

The Lost Tomb of Jesus - Media Bullshit 101

Date Line March 3, 2007

Media hype 101 – if reality is too hard to deal with, cover fantasy and non-issues. So it is that we have been engulfed in the trials and tribulations of Anna Nicole Smith and the supposed Tomb of Jesus.

Anna got her tomb and a royal sendoff. For someone typified in numerous articles as a “B actress”, stripper and billionaire’s widow, this multimillionaire seemed to have done quite well for herself.

If it were only that here detractors were not praying they too could have been so successful, there might have been a reason to spread all that ink. “Whoever dies with the most toys wins”– Anna won well.
Date Line March 3, 2007

Now we have the story closest to my heart – the idea that there is a basis for a documentary proclaiming to have the tomb of Jesus and his family.

Oh shades of “The Da Vinci Code” – are we to believe that there is really a tomb and that we now know the mtDNA of Mary the wife, and Mary the mother? Oh so cute.

Oh how cute is the idea that this revelation would stand religion on its head; the idea that Jews would be upset over the known association of Jesus – the Rabbi – to the Jewish community of the first three centuries in our western calendar; the idea that Christians would be bent out of shape to discover they follow superstitious myth when there is fact to be had. Oh the poor fools fear being proved the fool.

A few facts to shape the argument that isn’t:
1. The yDNA is either mortal or divine – and nobody can retrieve it, so nobody knows what it might tell us.
2. That there is DNA tells nothing of who owned it. Are the relics of Jesus’ blood? If they were to exist, would they been tested? And if tested, positive results – clades, SNP’s, DYS markers, haplotypes and haplogroups would be revealed; thus proving the myths to be just that.
3. If we have mtDNA, whose is it? What basis of comparison exists for that? It is like “The Da Vinci Code”, but with the exception that there is no continuous 2000 year paper trail to accompany the bones.

Look at the argument used to denounce:
1. The box said “Jesus son of Joseph; the rebuttal is that the followers called him Jesus son of Mary. Idiots! Where is Joseph mentioned in the events of the cross? Was Joseph alive? We know of the mother, the brothers and sisters – but where the father? Would not the followers know Jesus by the woman who was with him, not but a father unknown to them.
2. The box said “Jesus son of Joseph; sons were identified by their deeds or by their father. It is natural for this to be the message on the tomb.
3. To say that Jesus was not known via his father Joseph is to show ignorance of the scriptural text, wherein does it not have the query: “Is this not the carpenter’s son?” Where Joseph was known, thus was identified Jesus.
4. The idea of a tomb, which denotes a person and family of means and reputation, has caused complaint. But think about our society – are not contractors among the successful? A carpenter was a skilled trade with special tools (and lacking hardware stores, or Industrial Arts classes in schools there were few amateurs in contracting and the construction fields). Why couldn’t Joseph have afforded a tomb?

The denunciations, and media hype, are simpleminded games targeted at simple minded people, with the hope of creating the buzz needed to make the documentary profitable.

The reality is? There is no basis in evidence or fact to make the link in a way which would threaten the superstitious beliefs held so dear by fools. However, the failure to produce the DNA results cheats the academic community of a vital tool in identifying the historic origins and associations of the people of the period.

Imagine if the DNA belonged to an African, an Egyptian, and not a Jew? Suddenly there is a real reason not to publish the results.

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