The Lost Tomb of
Many of you saw news about the cable TV program concerning "the lost
tomb of Jesus and his family" in Jerusalem. The Jewish
archeologists who first examined the tomb and its contents in 1980
(thirty years ago -- old news!), and many experts who have
studied this site since then, are very sure that the bones found in the
tomb do NOT belong to Jesus Christ or any of His relatives.
(1) The place is wrong. Jewish tombs were near the family
home. Home for Mary, Joseph, and Jesus was Galilee (northern
Israel), not Judea or Jerusalem (southern Israel).
(2) The kind of tomb is wrong. Archeologists report that the
large tomb shown on the TV program was the tomb of a wealthy
family. Joseph, Mary, and Jesus were all poor folk.
(3) Archeologists who are experts in reading ancient scripts report
that the names written on the boxes containing human bones were not
exactly as the TV program suggested. Among the names found there
were Joseph (Yosef), Mary (Maria), Jesus (Yeshua), and others.
However, these were very common names in Israel during Bible times. In
the New Testament we find many Marys, several Josephs, and even three
different men named Jesus. But here is the real zinger: The name
the TV program ascribes to Mary Magdalene as "Mary the Master," was not
Mary at all! It was "Mariamene, who [is called] Mara."
The historical record reports that more than 500 eye witnesses saw
Jesus physically alive during the 40 days following His
resurrection. Some touched Him and some ate with Him. Even His enemies published a report that His tomb was empty. The
resurrection of Jesus is central to the Christian gospel. The
enemies of Christ could have easily destroyed the church simply by
showing the world where Jesus was buried. If there was no
resurrection, Jesus would have been a 100% fraud, His crucifixion would
have been pointless, and we would have no forgiveness. But the
tomb of Jesus is empty, because He lives, proving that all He promised
Dr. Paul Maier is a professor of ancient history at Western Michigan
University. Read his analysis of the evidence here.