600 to 1 odds aren’t nearly enough

Posted on Monday 26 February 2007

Since the research from which Dan Brown’s fertile imagination took flight (Holy Blood, Holy Grail) gave quite a few folks a bad case of indigestion, here’s some comfort.

Feb. 25, 2007 — New scientific evidence, including DNA analysis conducted at one of the world’s foremost molecular genetics laboratories, as well as studies by leading scholars, suggests a 2,000-year-old Jerusalem tomb could have once held the remains of Jesus of Nazareth and his family.

The findings also suggest that Jesus and Mary Magdalene might have produced a son named Judah.

Unfortunately, for those folks who struggled with the idea that Mary Magdalene’s womb was the Holy Grail — that she was buried somewhere in France after giving birth to the child of Jesus who fathered a line of blessed descendants — James Cameron’s documentary Lost Tomb of Christ will probably be unhelpful for different reasons.

Since I have nothing personally invested in whether Jesus and Mary Magdalene were (or were not) married and produced a child, and am perfectly willing to think that the Resurrection (assuming it occurred) could have been spiritual in nature rather than physical, I find the possibilities of whose remains might be in the tomb fascinating.

Clearly, though, others do notand will not. 600 to 1 odds aren’t nearly long enough to overturn faith.

And frankly, they shouldn’t be. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be faith, would it?

* * * * *

Update: There have been a number of articles forwarded that, together,give a pretty wide view of opinion and information — both religious… and not so much:

The Jerusalem Post – Jesus, Magdalene & Son in Talpiot Tomb

The Jerusalem Post – Analysis: Christian heresy of the Talpiot tomb?

YNet – ‘Jesus’ burial site discovery is just PR spin’

Time – The Middle East Blog – Jesus: Tales from the Crypt

This is London – Scorn poured on James Cameron’s ‘coffin of Christ’ theory

    February 26, 2007 | 12:43 pm

    Any guess as to what tomorrow’s “The Weakly Garlic” is gonna be based on?


    February 26, 2007 | 12:48 pm

    check out the movie’s official site at http://www.jesusfamilytomb.com.

    February 26, 2007 | 2:52 pm

    Oh, wow, I am duly impressed… given the All-Star line up, including folks behind such earth-shattering documentaries such as “Jurassic Park” and “Terminator” — OF COURSE THIS MUST BE TRUE!



    February 26, 2007 | 4:52 pm

    [...] Polimom is “fascinated” by the question whose remains were found in the tomb in Jerusalem. Are they the remains of Jesus of Nazareth and Mary Magdalene and did they have a son? From an article at the Discovery Channel website she links to: The study concludes that the odds are at least 600 to 1 in favor of the Talpiot Tomb being the Jesus Family Tomb. In other words, the conclusion works 599 times out of 600. [...]

    February 26, 2007 | 5:12 pm

    I do have a personal conviction at stake. Even so I’m more interested in the truth than anything else. From the links above and others I’ve seen nothing that impacts my beliefs one way or the other. It’ll take more than a couple of names scratched on some stones to do that.

    So far it’s a spiffy little piece of fiction, nothing more. Free advertising for Cameron’s project. It’s just what they want.

    February 26, 2007 | 9:44 pm

    I wonder when Cameron and his buds will try to prove that Muhamed wasn’t holy?

    February 26, 2007 | 11:21 pm

    [...] Update: I’m not exactly sure where some people are  getting the 600 to 1 number from. I think that it is really confusing conditional from general probability. So from the description it says that 1/190 tombs had Jesus son of Joseph on them. However the real question is what percentage of people were Jesus son of Joseph. It seems that he was saying how many tombs would we expect to have this conjunction, rather than how many families should have this conjunction a more appropriate standard. Other good points are made by Captain’s Quarters [...]

    February 27, 2007 | 5:21 am

    DNA tests on the Christ family produce miraculous results…

    Ask, and ye shall receive…
    For those looking to one-up The Da Vinci Code, this couldn’t have happened at a better time. According to noted spiritual pundit and local political blogger Polimom, The Discovery Channel has discovered that
    Feb. 25, 200…

    February 28, 2007 | 10:00 am

    I suspect that the odds are closer to 100-1. For a number of reason’s I also think that was Mary the teacher’s tomb. If her tomb was found in Israel that would be the place and the inscription. Jesus was such a common name that would be most likely not to be true.

    This is not like James Cameron’s movies but like his Find the Titanic documentary. He gets involved in high tech historical projects that he thinks will be a big draw.

    March 7, 2007 | 3:12 am

    it was 1 in 600 that it was not his tomb. in other words, the people who who deny it, are doing more than holding on to their faith — they’re completely turning off their minds.

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