February 29, 2012 by staff
‘Jesus Discovery’, Now that the word about “the Jesus Discovery” is out in the open, outside experts are weighing in — and many of them look upon the robotic exploration of a 1st-century Jerusalem tomb as a technological tour de force resulting in an archaeological faux pas.
On one level, the “Jesus Discovery” investigators saw this project as a follow-up on the sensational claim they made five years earlier in “The Lost Tomb of Jesus,” that Jesus and members of his family were buried in what is now a southeast residential neighborhood of Jerusalem. On another level, they set forth what they said were the earliest known evidence of Christian references in the Holy City — in the form of an inscription referring to resurrection on one casket, and a fishlike design on another casket.
Today, several experts specializing in 1st-century Christianity said the investigators failed to make their case on either level.
“In my assessment, there’s zero percent chance that their theory is correct,” said Andrew Vaughn, executive director of the American Schools of Oriental Research, or ASOR.
Christopher Rollston, an expert in Semitic epigraphy at Emmanuel Christian Seminary in Tennessee, said that although the underground chamber is “a nice tomb … it’s hard to press it into service as an impressive find.”
Some archaeologists were familiar with the project months before it came into the spotlight, but non-disclosure agreements kept them from commenting until today’s press announcement at Discovery Times Square in New York. The project has already spawned a book by scriptural scholar James Tabor and filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici, titled “The Jesus Discovery,” and a documentary about the find is due to air on the Discovery Channel this spring.
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