There has been much controversy and discussion surrounding the discovery of a tomb which has been associated with the family of Jesus. There is so much information floating around out there on the net I thought I would direct you to a few interesting and informative websites that evaluate these claims.
Dr. Ben Witherington, III (Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Asbury Theological Seminary) – Dr. Witherington discusses the historical evidence as it relates to the theory proposed by journalist/filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici. He has three articles on his blog which include among them evidences why the Mariamne that has been suggested to be Mary Magdalene is not, why the “James, the brother of Jesus” ossuary does not belong in this tomb, that statements from experts were misquoted and taken out of context to support the theory, why “the beloved disciple” was not Jesus’ son.
Dr. Witherington’s articles include:
Randy Ingermanson, Ph.D. (Ph.D. in Physics from UC Berkeley) – In his article, Statistics and “The Jesus Family Tomb”, Dr. Ingermanson discusses the statistical information that was presented. He asserts that the wrong question was presented to the statisticians, who then worked their calculations based on the assumptions proposed in the theory. Ingermanson’s calculations are 1 in 10,000 rather than 1 in 600. His calculations including the possibility that Jesus Christ “could” have a child, that it would not have been sinful. The issue of “would” Jesus of had a child has already been answered clearly by historical evidence.
Jodi Magness, Archaeologist (Kenan Distinguished Professor for Teaching Excellence in Early Judaism in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ) – Prof. Magnus explains why the Talpiyot tomb cannot be the tomb of Jesus and his family. Further, she points out that those who proposed this theory circumvented the usual academic process which also discredits the Jabobovici and Cameron’s hypothesis.
In her article Prof. Magnesss states, “…the identification of the Talpiyot tomb as the tomb of Jesus and his family contradicts the canonical Gospel accounts of the death and burial of Jesus and the earliest Christian traditions about Jesus. This claim is also inconsistent with all of the available information — historical and archaeological — about how Jews in the time of Jesus buried their dead, and specifically the evidence we have about poor, non-Judean families like that of Jesus. It is a sensationalistic claim without any scientific basis or support.”
Archaelogist William Dever stated it well: “conclusions were already drawn in the beginning”and their “argument goes far beyond any reasonable interpretation”.