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Old 02-27-2007, 10:46 AM   #91
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I sense a little bit of unease, though. Not so much for people's personal faiths but as to how this religion will be perceived if there was no resurrection of the body, undoubtably one of the most powerful cornerstones of the religion. Will the religion be dismissed by the future generations, will it lose its influence and will it become easier to dismiss its teachings and to dismiss its followers?
Remember though, it doesn't negate the resurrection. It only puts into question whether the ascension was physical or spiritual. This isn't as big of a deal as the resurrection, in terms of the work of Christ and what it means to us personally, and how it affects our personal faith. You're right though, if it did put into question the resurrection, that'd be a much bigger deal.
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Old 02-27-2007, 10:54 AM   #92
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Of course, with great advances in science since the 19th century, fundamentalist Christianity has been threatened to go the way of Thor, but they have adapted too. The easiest way to do that has been making sure that their apocalyptic theology is now completely ambiguous. It used to be that Jesus was going to come on a specific date in a specific year. Then, when that didn't happen, it would get pushed back to a different date a year or two into the future. Well, when that failed multiple times, they learned to just say that Jesus was coming "soon." And that's kind of where we are today, in that regard. I'd say that there are many Christians today who sincerely believe that we're living in the "end times" and that Jesus is going to return in their lifetime--completely forgetting that this game has been playing almost non-stop for over 150 years now.
Actually, if people made predictions for Christ's return, that was bad theology. The Bible states nobody will know the time this occurs. So, really, Christianity didn't have to adapt -- just the loud, creepy few who like to neglect what the Bible actaully says for their own personal gain.
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Old 02-27-2007, 11:04 AM   #93
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i am looking forward to watching this.

i know a certain SVP at Discovery who i'm having drinks with later this week is going to be thrilled at the ratings this show is going to get.

i'm a former Discovery employee, and, yes, like any other network, they are all about ratings (which actually translates to a more conservative agenda, like, they can't do global warming shows because god forbid it pisses off an SUV commercial), but then again, they also have a reptuation to maintain, so the fact-checking that goes on is quite rigorous.

what usually happens with these shows is less that it's about the misrepresentation of material for ratings and more that certain points that are more visually/dramatically interesting are emphasized in order to create a more compelling program. so while things might be somewhat misleading on Discovery -- or NatGeo, or any other program -- they are never "wrong" or totally sensationalized, they're just presented in the most interesting way possible.

if that makes sense.
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Old 02-27-2007, 11:15 AM   #94
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It does make sense. That's how many TV news programs are.
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Old 02-27-2007, 12:08 PM   #95
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Originally posted by coemgen


Remember though, it doesn't negate the resurrection. It only puts into question whether the ascension was physical or spiritual. This isn't as big of a deal as the resurrection, in terms of the work of Christ and what it means to us personally, and how it affects our personal faith. You're right though, if it did put into question the resurrection, that'd be a much bigger deal.


this is the mature, confident response i've been waiting to hear from Christians in regards to this program. as opposed to cries of persecution, here is an open mind that's looking for points of commonality between spirituality and science, not looking at one as a threat to the other.
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Old 02-27-2007, 02:36 PM   #96
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The names of those tombs were quite common in that part of the world at that time, and exactly how do they plan to prove this is *the* family?

It's not like they can do DNA matches.
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Old 02-27-2007, 02:39 PM   #97
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The names of those tombs were quite common in that part of the world at that time, and exactly how do they plan to prove this is *the* family?

It's not like they can do DNA matches.


what i heard on CNN last night was, that while the names were common, the chances of an entire tomb being filled with all these names, and only these names, is extremely small.

sure, there are lots of, say, Michaels, Jennifers, Matthews, Alisons, and Pauls.

but if you had a family of Michael and Jennifer and Matthew and Allison and Paul, and you were looking for a family comprised of parents Michael and Jennifer and their three children Matthew, Allison and Paul, then that's something else entirely.
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Old 02-27-2007, 02:51 PM   #98
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The Larry King show with Cameron and a few scholars? I watched some of that too and I remember this statistics argument they were making.

How do you get from getting any given Michael, any given Jennifer, any given Alison and and any given Paul together in a tomb to proving they're the real deal Michael, Jennifer, Alison and Paul? I don't see it happening.
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Old 02-27-2007, 02:56 PM   #99
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The Larry King show with Cameron and a few scholars? I watched some of that too and I remember this statistics argument they were making.

How do you get from getting any given Michael, any given Jennifer, any given Alison and and any given Paul together in a tomb to proving they're the real deal Michael, Jennifer, Alison and Paul? I don't see it happening.


i think the status of them being the "real deal" is contingent upon the unlikelihood of finding all 5 names together in a tomb.

if in a thousand years we came across a tomb in Dublin with the names Paul, David, Larry, and Adam, do you think we've possibly found U2?

i think that's the argument being put forward.
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Old 02-27-2007, 02:57 PM   #100
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By Bruce Feiler

Bruce Feiler is the New York Times-bestselling author of seven books, including Walking the Bible, Abraham, and Where God Was Born, and the host of the acclaimed series Walking the Bible on PBS. He is a frequent contributor to NPR and CNN and a contributing editor at Gourmet and Parade. He has a blog, Feiler Faster, at www.brucefeiler.com.


"The headline on CNN captured the question: Major Revelation or Titanic Fraud? And the first thing to say about the claims by "King of the World" James Cameron and "investigative journalist" Simcha Jacobovichi to have single-handedly debunked Christianity is that they're hardly the first to try. For 200 years, frauds and charlatans have popped up every few months claiming to "prove" that the Bible is true or that it's false.
As it happens, Cameron and Jacobovichi claimed only last summer to have "proved" the Exodus. Well, which is it? Either their first documentary is false, or this one is false. Of course, they don't care. They profit either way. (In fact, both are false.)

But for those who do care, here are the problems with their argument. First, at the risk of further promoting their hucksterism, the background. The filmmakers claim that burial boxes found 27 years ago outside Jerusalem contain the remains of Jesus, his mother Mary, and Mary Magdalene. DNA evidence "proves" that Mary was his wife and that they sired a son also found in the cave. If true, this would indicate that Jesus was never resurrected from the grave, thereby debunking a central claim of Christianity.

I'm not even a Christian, but I did live in the neighborhood where this cave was found, and I've spent most of the last ten years spelunking in far more important caves, from Jerusalem to Baghdad, looking at the relationship between the Bible and archaeology. Here's why they're wrong.

1. Caves like the ones where the ossuaries were discovered are commonplace in the area and were very familiar features of this neighborhood in the 1st century B.C.E. and C.E. The archaeologist who traveled with me for WALKING THE BIBLE and WHERE GOD WAS BORN, Avner Goren, made the fascinating point to me today that bodies used to be buried in groups but with the introduction of individualism from Greece, they started burying people in single boxes and labeling them. Basically, the bodies would be buried for a year, the family would come back and collect the bones and put them in an ossuary (a stone box). Then they would take the box out once a year and have a memorial service, as Jews still do today with candle lighting.

2. A family from Nazareth would not be buried in Jerusalem. Jewish custom holds that a body should be buried within 24 hours. I recently heard of a family that hired a private plane to get a body from Cleveland to Jerusalem in time. It would have been impossible to get a body from Nazareth, in the Galilee, to Jerusalem in this time period. Also, there's no way for a family to tend a grave this far away. So the idea of a multi-generational family tomb for Jesus in Jerusalem makes no sense. Even the archaeologist who discovered the cave originally, Amos Kloner, has dismissed the show as "nonsense."

3. The names on the ossuaries are very common. As Avner pointed out, 21 percent of names of women are Mary; Joseph and Jesus (Joshua) are among the top four male names. The presence of these names in a tomb would not have been rare. The name Jesus has been found in dozens of tombs over the years. Further, we have no evidence that this is a family tomb; it could have been a communal tomb, or a neighborhood tomb."There is no likelihood that Jesus and his relatives had a family tomb," Kloner said. "They were a Galilee family with no ties in Jerusalem. The tomb belonged to a middle-class family from the 1st century CE."

4. The DNA evidence that Jesus was not connected to the Mary buried in the tomb does not prove anything, other than they are not related matrilnearly. For all we know, they could have been related patrilinearly. Or, they could never have met. There is no evidence the female body belonged to someone who was "married" to anyone else in the tomb. There is no evidence she was the mother of anyone else in the tomb. And we can be sure they checked that! So the claim that Jesus fathered a son with the "Mary" in the tomb is bogus.

Avner is a contemporary of Amos Kloner and has known him for decades. "It takes courage to say that the names on these ossuaries were very common," Avner said, "especially when it might benefit him to say otherwise." As for the filmmakers: "There is something cheap about playing on the emotions of people."

And therein is the truth of this tale: This exploitation of quasi-science is hardly new, but it's still tawdry. The bottom line: There is more truth in Dan Brown's fiction than in James Cameron and Simcha Jacobovichi's fact."
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Old 02-27-2007, 03:07 PM   #101
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Good point.

Last year we had National Geographic's "discovery" of the 'Gospel of Judas'. Surprise, turns out Judas was a swell guy.
http://forum.interference.com/t157835.html

And The Jesus Papers, which like this, is another attempt at (re-) constructing history from iffy and "long suppressed" evidence.

Oh yeah, and Jesus walked on ice.
http://forum.interference.com/t157411.html


thinking about this, i wonder: do the stories themselves make such news, or is it the Christian reaction to these stories that makes the news?

i also wonder if the stories from last year have less to do wtih Easter or Christian-baiting and more to do with the upcoming "Da Vinci Code" movie.
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Old 02-27-2007, 03:10 PM   #102
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i think the status of them being the "real deal" is contingent upon the unlikelihood of finding all 5 names together in a tomb.

if in a thousand years we came across a tomb in Dublin with the names Paul, David, Larry, and Adam, do you think we've possibly found U2?

i think that's the argument being put forward.
I understand, but I think it will/should take more than just "this is the right combination of names so this is it".
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Old 02-27-2007, 03:12 PM   #103
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I understand, but I think it will/should take more than just "this is the right combination of names so this is it".

perhaps. let's watch the show and find out.
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Old 02-27-2007, 03:16 PM   #104
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511

i think the status of them being the "real deal" is contingent upon the unlikelihood of finding all 5 names together in a tomb.

if in a thousand years we came across a tomb in Dublin with the names Paul, David, Larry, and Adam, do you think we've possibly found U2?

i think that's the argument being put forward.
It is also contingent upon the assumption that the names "Mariamne", "Matthew" and "Judah son of Jesus" should appear in Jesus Christ's tomb and that the names Simon, Miriam and Salome (Jesus's other known siblings) shouldn't. If you found a seemingly authentic "Irvine511 son of Larry" tombstone in the tomb, you'd probably start to reevaluate the hypothesis that it is U2's tomb.

Remember that in real life, there is pretty much no way to ever make a statement that "the probability of X is Y". It is only possible to make statements tht "the probability of X, given that we know A, is Y". Conditional probabilities are all we can work with.

The 599/600 probability that Dr. Feuerverger gives for this being Jesus Christ's tomb is conditional upon some independent explanation for these surprise names. Otherwise they cannot be used as positive data, and can in fact be construed as evidence against the hypothesis that this is Jesus Christ's tomb.
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Old 02-27-2007, 03:20 PM   #105
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PS Sir Bono will not be buried in a commoner's tomb with the rest of the band - and I imagine the perpetually unaging Larry Mullen dancing on the other's graves.


Will this documentary air on Discovery, N. Geographic (like the Judas gospel)...some other TV channel? I didn't see it mentioned during the interview.
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