News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: Is It Jesus in That Crypt?

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Is It Jesus in That Crypt?

I don't spend much time thinking about the possibilities of these things, though I was once fascinated by the TV movie with David Janssen--the original Fugitive--titled The Word. The movie was based on a novel that my aunt had read.

A few years back, I also saw a movie (THE BODY (2001))with Antonio Banderas as a priest called to Jerusalem archaeological site that is suspected of holding Jesus' body. Needless to say, it turns out not to hold the body, but we do get to see some good Israeli propaganda shots and story about the evil Vatican and terrorists.

What type of irony is it then that James "Titanic" Cameron has documented a story that Hollywood's been itching to tell for several years now?

Irony aside, this is the best analysis of the story that Jesus' bones have been found in Jersualemn, along with Mary his wife, his brothers, and a son (or two). Via Hypotyposeis:

If you want a probability estimate, here is mine. I would say that the odds are FAR LESS than 1 in a 1000 that Jesus of Nazareth had a son. That works out to .1%. So you should multiply that factor by the naive probability that Jesus is one of the 11 candidates, which we computed as 9%. The result is going to be less than .01%.

Based on that estimate, the odds are MORE THAN 10,000 to 1 against Jesus of Nazareth being the Jesus of the tomb.
Check out the full explanation, along with statistical reasoning and rationale that goes into this conclusion.

As to why it's important for people to want to find a body--well, that's obvious, isn't it? I think Kierkegaard somewhere says it wouldn't really matter, though my memory on that is somewhat fuzzy this early in the morning.

It is the Apostle Paul, after all, who stakes the entire edifice of Christianity on the fact (event) of Jesus' resurrection. And the way Paul thinks about resurrection, he doesn't include any such nonsense as immortal soul, which is a Platonic accretion first admitted into doctrine by the Catholic Church by the Fifth Lateran Council.

For a decent bibliography of related stories on news item and the documentary, see Codex.

Update: More number-crunching and links to other news related to this story at Crossings

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