Catalyst March Issue 2008, Front Page
Last year, “Titanic” director James Cameron and others said that the Jesus family tomb had been found. The archaeological community was not persuaded, but that didn’t stop the controversy. But now, thanks to Princeton’s James Charlesworth, the hoax looks more real than ever before.
Charlesworth recently completed a Jerusalem conference that brought together over 50 scientists to discuss this issue. He raised serious questions that undercut the spectacular claims that have been made.
Charlesworth asked why, if this really were Jesus’ ossuary, would the followers of the person they believed was the Son of God leave an inscription of Jesus’ name that was merely “graffiti, just scratching”? Why was there “no ornamentation”? And why would the followers of the Son of God choose such a “lousy” looking tomb?
At the conference, Ruth Gat, widow of archaeologist Yosef Gat, claimed that her husband believed that he had found Jesus’ tomb, but because he was a Holocaust survivor, he didn’t want to stir up anti-Semitism.
Gat died soon after the excavation, producing no evidence to sustain his alleged belief. Moreover, Jews who worked with him, like his boss, Amos Kloner, and Dr. Shimon Gibson, maintain today that it is “absolutely not the case” that Gat believed they had found Jesus’ tomb; they also say that Gat never told him the story now being floated by his wife. Surely telling them didn’t risk promoting anti-Semitism.
Hence, the hoax continues.