Sunday, February 25, 2007

How weird is this?

According to this story from Time magazine, James (Titanic) Cameron has produced a documentary purporting to show the tomb of Jesus, Mary, Mary Magdalene, Joseph and Jesus's son(!) in Jerusalem. Further, he claims there was no resurrection for Jesus after the crucifixion, and can back all this up with plenty of evidence, including DNA (double !) samples.

Ummmm...yeah. Right on, Jim.

Even in my "Christian" days, I didn't buy this part of the Jesus story. Like some of the "miracles" referred to in various books of the Bible, I felt the resurrection was, shall we say, a case of poetic license intended to make a point. Logically, it didn't work, for the same reasons as Lazarus's tale and the water-into-wine bit didn't work.

I'm not saying this to put down those who do believe, by the way. If you accept every last incident in the Bible as absolute, incontrovertible truth, more power to you.

Still, I find this rather amusing on several levels, not the least of which is the reaction the story has drawn. There are literally more than a thousand comments on the Time website about it so far, pretty evenly divided (at least among the sampling I looked through) between the believers who are consigning Cameron to an especially warm corner of Hell and the scoffers who knew it all the time.

And neither side has the slightest willingness to admit they might be wrong, at least on some of the details.

The Bible is hardly what one could take into a court of law as proof anyway. There are few eyewitness accounts in it; if someone had been around to record the story of Adam and Eve in "real time" for example, the basic premise would be automatically shot down. Likewise, the story of Jesus is, so far as I recall, not told by anyone who actually hung out with him. The translations are suspect (simply because they are translations) as well, since only a few people can (supposedly) read the original.

But that doesn't mean much of what's in there is wrong, either, though the same arguments for Biblical accuracy could be used to validate, say, the Epic of Gilgamesh.

Every religion has its mythology. Every religion is based on taking certain concepts on faith. Which is where I have trouble with organized religion in general.

Cameron's theory is equally mythical. DNA evidence? Comparing whatever samples could be obtained from this tomb to samples from whom? Names on caskets? It apparently took archaeologists 20 years to figure out the inscriptions; what if they were wrong? What if they found the burial place of Louie, son of Emil, and his family instead?

Personally, I think believing Christians should just laugh this off, the same way anyone who has a functioning brain should laugh off the "documentary" efforts of Michael Moore and Al Gore.

Both Christianity and Judaism have the Ten Commandments at their core. The rest is, as far as I'm concerned, window dressing; those are enough to deal with and live by.

1 comment:

HarpO'Fly said...

The DNA part threw me more than anything. I think he is getting some samples from God to compare, and maybe from Madonna.
Big publicity ploy, but in some ways ill timed, considering the concilliatory attitude toward other relgions pushing their rites and and taboos on us lately.
I agree it is not worth much attention.