TALK ABOUT THROWING A MONKEY WRENCH INTO THE WORKS!
Over twenty years ago, when I walked in Times Square, I would often see a Korean gentleman with a microphone on the corner of 42nd Street and 8th Avenue shouting “JESUS CHRIST” at the top of his lungs. That was all he would say, as he waved a New Testament at all and sundry. Little did this fellow know that while he was shouting out the name of Jesus in what was then the seediest part of my city, half way around the globe, archeologists were uncovering what may actually be the grave of Jesus in the holy city of Jerusalem.
He probably would not have wanted to know, because what these archeologists have found may refute virtually every Christian belief about Jesus, his life, his death and his resurrection.
According to most Christian theologies, Jesus was born in a manger in Beit Lechem, or Bethlehem, as it is known today. Mary, his mother, according to Christian lore was a virgin, having been impregnated by G-d, himself. He was, to believers, therefore, The Son of G-d, a son who would grow to become the messenger of the L-rd, or the Messiah.
At the age of 33, Jesus, having been captured by the Roman, was crucified. After his death, he is said to have been resurrected and then ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of his Father. According to the Christian Bible, he never married and never had any children.
In the years between his birth and his death, he was alternately a carpenter and an itinerant preacher, speaking out against the evil of his time as he perceived it to be. He preached of good deeds and of love. He was against the moneychangers who had set up their places of business in the temples of Jerusalem. He lived what most people would describe as a holy life. He was, however, born and died a Jew.
He was, at the time, one of many who were believed to be G-d’s Messiah. A small group of his followers created a religious sect of Judaism after his death claiming that Jesus was, in fact, the true Messiah. While it had its adherents, it was really no more popular than the cults that surrounded the other Messiahs of the time.
The cult of Judaism that was to become Christianity did not really take hold as a separate religion until between one and two hundred years after the death of Jesus. That coincided with a decision on the part of many of the Christian leaders to reach out to the Gentiles as potential converts to their new faith, as the Jews were simply not buying what they were selling.
Judaism, you see, requires a return to paradise as part of the Messianic Era. After Jesus’ death, no such return occurred, leading to the theological assertion that Jesus was going to come back to save us all. The problem for Jews is that the coming of the Messiah is a one shot deal, and for them, the failure of Jesus to bring us back to the Garden of Eden was evidence enough that he wasn’t the real deal.
So, reach out to the Gentiles they did, and they did it with unimaginable success. They did this by incorporating little bits and pieces of other groups’ religious practices into their nascent religion. They changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday, and they moved Jesus’ birthday from the Spring to the Winter. They eliminated the requirement of eating Kosher food so as not to make it too difficult to go from being a Druid to being a Christian.
The Christian Church originally centered on Rome. However, over many years and many schisms, the Church split into many churches, something it continues to do today. Through it all, one common belief existed throughout Christianity. Jesus was born, was crucified and rose from the dead to sit at G-d’s right hand. He never had a child, let alone a wife.
There have been many who have speculated as to where Jesus is buried. The most common belief is that his grave lies somewhere beneath the Shrine of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. There, the body of the resurrected Messiah was said to have been put to rest by his followers after his ascent to Heaven.
And then came documentary maker Simcha Jacobovici and the Oscar-winning director of “TITANIC”, James Cameron, who together began studying the gravesite unearthed in 1980 that some believed contained the real relics of Jesus.
While it has taken more than two decades to bring this information to light, much of it has been under discussion for the better part of those 26 years. Here is what Jacobovici and Cameron claim to have learned in their new film, “THE LOST TOMB OF JESUS”. The film shows the stone sarcophagi of several members of the same family. Years after their discovery, archeologists were able to uncover the engraved names of the occupants of each of the coffins. The most important of those was Yeshua ben Josef or Jesus son of Joseph. Next to that coffin is one identified as that of a woman named Mary who is supposed to be the mother of Yeshua.
This is where statistics come in. Apparently, Yeshua was a reasonably popular name in Jerusalem, 2,100 years ago. However, when the name Yeshua is placed with a father named Josef and a mother named Mary, statistics indicate that there could have only been one person meeting that criteria in a population the size of Jerusalem in the year 33 A.D.
But, this is where the story gets more interesting.
There is another coffin containing the body of a woman named Mary, a woman who may have been Mary Magdalene. That Mary, based on the information gathered by Jacobovici and Cameron may have been Yeshua’s wife.
But, wait, there’s more!
Three additional coffins were found at the site, one of which belonged to Yona ben Yeshua, Jonah the son of Jesus.
So, here we have this whole Christian faith based largely on a concept of sex being the original sin, and a Savior named Jesus who died pure and free of that original sin, while buried in a tomb in Jerusalem, we have that self same Jesus lying next to the coffins of his wife and son, a Jesus who is identified as the son of Joseph, a Jesus whose mother is buried next to him, possibly not the virgin that most Christians believe her to have been.
Talk about throwing a monkey wrench into the works.
And when you think about the Crusades, the Inquisition, George W. Bush and all of the other horrible acts Christianity has perpetrated upon an unsuspecting world in the name of a Messiah who, well, may not have been the Messiah after all, it could send chills up and down your spine.
There are those, of course, who will scream foul at these new revelations. There are those who will tell us that the discoverers doctored their findings. And there are those Christian equivalents of Dick Cheney who will try to spin the story to make it look as if these findings prove everything that they have been saying after all.
Right now, nobody really knows the truth of what is lying inside those coffins. However, it is expected that the DNA testing that will be conducted in the not too distant future may bring this whole story to a head. If, as I suspect, the remains inside those stone coffins do turn out to be those of Yeshua ben Josef, his wife Mary and his son Yona, the Western world as we know it may never be the same.
The line forms on the right for applications to join my synagogue.
HENRY A. HONIG – THE PUNDIT