This intriguing documentary delves into a first-century tomb discovered in the Jerusalem suburb of Talpiot in 1980.
In the tomb were found several limestone ossuaries, boxes containing bones, which were part of a burial practice that ended after the Siege of Jerusalem in 70CE. Tantalisingly, inscribed on the sides of the boxes were the names “Jesus son of Joseph”, “Mary”, “Mariamne”, “Jose”, “Matthew”, and “Judah son of Jesus”.
Bible historian James Tabor believes this may have been Jesus’ family tomb. All of the names in the tomb tally with Jesus’ brothers and sisters, except one: “Mariamne”.
But this is, we’re told, a credible alternative name for Mary Magdalene. If she had been included in the family tomb, though, it would mean only one thing – she was married to Jesus.
Which would mean in turn that “Judah” was their son. Holy Da Vinci Code! Jesus had a family. Dan Brown was right! Except maybe he wasn’t.
Because having stacked up the evidence in favour of this Christianity-toppling conspiracy, the documentary reveals that the odds of a Jewish tomb containing names as common as these are pretty high. So it’s as likely to be Jesus Smith’s tomb as it is Jesus of Nazareth’s.
Like all Turin Shroud-esque conspiracies, it’s irresistible until the contradicting evidence comes along to spoil all the fun.
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