I’m assuming you’ve already heard all about Da Vinci Code II? Only this time it isn’t Dan Brown, Tom Hanks, Ron Howard and Sony Pictures that are responsible for the predictable just-in-time-for-Easter-Jesus-isn’t-really-divine tale that comes every year at the beginning of Spring Training. The networks always run the specials and the tabloids always put it on the covers. It’s the requisite hit piece on Christianity that we’ve all grown accustomed to. No, this year, the respon-sibility has fallen to James Cameron of Titanic fame with his The Lost Tomb of Jesus.
Poor James Cameron. He wanted some of that Da Vinci Code action so badly that he jumped on a 27 year old story line that everyone else in Hollywood had wisely passed on. He ignored so many early warning signs, too. When he was hav-ing trouble early on finding A, B, or even C list “scientific experts” who were willing to throw their careers away if they would only validate his silly theories – and they all continued saying no – he didn’t let that slow him down one bit. He pressed on and signed the minor league guys. And later, when the best he could come up with for his advance publicity hook was to claim statistically similar names and unrelated DNA samples – He still didn’t pull the plug – even though any-one who has ever seen just one episode of CSI is sharp enough to spit out the bait. More astute critics simply repeated what the original archeologist on the scene had pointed out: that a poor family from Bethlehem could never afford a mid-dle-class tomb in which to place the ossuaries in Jerusalem, especially during a famine, and that the names on the boxes were far too common to jump to any conclusions about having found The Jesus Family Tomb.
Well, where fools rush in…
So Cameron has lost all credibility, you don’t respect him, and you think it’s somewhat sad, right? Don’t be. He and the Discovery Channel are laughing all the way to the bank. This was never about “discovering” anything, it was about “sell-ing” something.
He doesn’t care what you think, and apparently neither does the Discovery Channel.
Shame on you if you ever trust the Discovery Channel to teach your kids anything ever again.
The whole channel needs a disclaimer: “Caution: the events you are about to see are fictional and are of no scientific or historical value. This broadcast is solely for the financial interests of our owners. Please be entertained just long enough to watch all the commercials during the breaks so that our revenue stream will remain strong. We are not responsible for any grade given by any educational institution to any paper or essay anyone is foolish enough to write based upon our broadcasts. We are not a legitimate academic source. We exist solely for the entertainment of our audience as long as it makes us money – we will tell you anything as long as you buy the products and services of our sponsors. View us at your own risk.”
Things you’d have to believe to believe James Cameron.
1. Jesus didn’t die on the cross. The entire Roman cohort, knowing the penalty for bungling an execution was exe-cution, conspired together to only pretend Jesus had died on the cross. Rather than being convinced that Jesus had al-ready died when they chose not to break His legs as He hung on the cross (Jn 19:31-33), the real reason was to ensure that He would be healthy enough to escape from their custody later on. The real trick was getting just the right mixture of blood and water to pour from His side when He was pierced in the ribcage with that spear while everyone was watch-ing, since only a corpse can produce such separated blood and pericardial fluid (Jn 19:34-37). After the scourging, the nails in His hands and feet, the hours on the cross, and the spear in the side, they allowed His limp but alive body to be taken down by his followers, wrapped in 100 pounds of embalming sheets and goo (Jn 19:38-42), and taken away to the tomb. All the while, every single Roman guard on duty was risking his own life to save the life of this lowly Jew. Not a single Roman guard ever revealed the secret to their families – or at least we have no record of them doing so.
2. Jesus escaped from the tomb. After the real scourging but the faux-crucifixion, Jesus was laid to rest – literally – in the tomb, under the authority of an official Roman seal and guarded by elite Roman troops. The guards, knowing the penalty for falling asleep while on duty – or for allowing that wax seal to be broken – was execution, were all still willing to risk their own deaths by claiming they had in fact fallen asleep while on duty and for admitting they had allowed Jesus to escape. They all had pretended to overlook the provisions that had been secretly placed in that small tomb that Jesus used to revive Himself, the food, water, salves, and various medicines. In just three days, by Himself in that tomb, Jesus healed from all His many wounds, gained sufficient strength to escape, and fled – all under the watchful eyes of Roman guards who themselves were each under the threat of execution should the conspiracy be revealed. In an especially de-tailed act of deception, Jesus was able to remove the embalming sheets in such a perfect manner that they resembled cloths that had once been wrapped around a once-inflated balloon, and now remained as though the balloon had been deflated – just as though the body had miraculously passed through the material, which was very helpful in perpetrating the myth of Him rising from the dead.
3. All post-resurrection appearances were hoaxes. After escaping the tomb, Jesus made His way back to His family and disciples undetected by anyone but co-conspirators. Though still smarting from the physical challenges of the last few days – and with a lot of help from makeup and special effects – Jesus and His troupe immediately began their big 40-day “He’s Alive!” promotional tour to kick off the birth of the new religion that would bear His name. Travel, lo-gistics, and crowd-control were pretty tough throughout the tour, with the many appearances in obscure and often simul-taneous locations, the quick ins and outs so as not to be followed, the ongoing difficulty of appearing before big crowds – sometimes numbering around 500 at a time – and the constant nuisance of keeping His ever-depleting energy level up, were all difficulties born equally by everyone. But the great challenge, of course, was the overwhelming pressure of passing Him off as having risen from the dead, with all of His wounds appearing healed, the magic stunts He had to pull off, and the whole, well miraculous tone of the whole thing.
4. The New Testament is a lie, Christianity is false. After the promotional tour, the great challenges continued. The myth of the risen Messiah had to be sold to people who had actually seen Him, touched Him, witnessed His miracles, and been with Him for 30 plus years. If any part of the stories they would later fabricate were not true, there would be plenty of people to point out the discrepancies. The problem was, this whole ruse – from the early days with His cousin John to the overseeing of the writing of the New Testament – had to be coordinated while the leadership team lived un-der the greatest self-imposed Witness Protection Program in history. Jesus could never show Himself again – except that one time to Saul on his trip to Damascus. None of the First Family were allowed contact with the outside world – espe-cially little Judah, Jesus Jr. Every member of the conspiracy – and all their progeny for centuries! – lived their whole lives carrying the lie to their deaths. Judas, the Jesus Team CPA, was especially heroic – he chose rather to die for a lie, than to out the story to authorities. As did other so-called “martyrs.” No doubt the Romans and the Jews would have paid big money over the next several decades (even centuries!) to anyone who could have exposed the hoax. But not a single person ever did. Not one member of the Royal Family. Not son Judah. Not a single Roman. Not once. Ever. There’s not a single piece of evidence supporting the hoax, until now.
You know, when man invents a religion it’s all about the money, sex, and power. But, with Christianity, there’s none of that. The early perpetrators of the alleged myth – for generations – never enjoyed any earthly success at all. No one in their right mind would invent Christianity – there’s nothing to gain by doing so.
Which brings us back to Cameron and the Discovery Channel.
I can’t wait to see what they do with the sequel, “The Lost Tomb of Mohammed.”UPDATE:
From: Frank Pastore
Yep. You were right, I was wrong. I thought he'd go the other way.
Cameron avoided the swoon theory and went the disciples-conspiracy
theory route. I wrote this on Thursday to meet the deadline and
hadn't seen it, yet, obviously. The everybody-lied-for-a-lie-and-
nobody-talked-for-generations is even more implausible: no post-
resurrection appearances?? Well, unless you go the spirit-body
resurrection, which raises critical issues too. Why would those who
knew He had been secretly buried in the "Family Tomb" have the
motivation to start and sustain a religion? I wouldn't. How would
there be any victory over death? Plus, the huge issue of everyone
keeping the secret for generations...
I was disappointed Bock didn't bring any of this up. Well, that's
for "us" right?
No. No interest in a "row" over this, quite the opposite. I look
forward to any feedback you've got for me.
Date: March 5, 2007 8:49:09 AM PST
Subject: Re: Fellow evangelical apologist finds it necessary to make a correction
Yep. You were right, I was wrong. I thought he'd go the other way.
Cameron avoided the swoon theory and went the disciples-conspiracy theory route. I wrote this on Thursday to meet the deadline and hadn't seen it, yet, obviously. The everybody-lied-for-a-lie-and- nobody-talked-for-generations is even more implausible: no post- resurrection appearances?? Well, unless you go the spirit-body resurrection, which raises critical issues too. Why would those who knew He had been secretly buried in the "Family Tomb" have the motivation to start and sustain a religion? I wouldn't. How would there be any victory over death? Plus, the huge issue of everyone keeping the secret for generations...
I was disappointed Bock didn't bring any of this up. Well, that's for "us" right?
No. No interest in a "row" over this, quite the opposite. I look forward to any feedback you've got for me.