Faith at Altitude

Religion and spirituality in the shadow of Pikes Peak

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Tube and the Tomb

James Cameron, the impresario behind the film "Titanic," is making big waves again -- this time by suggesting he's discovered the real tomb of Jesus.

The catch is that the tomb has (or had) bones in it (authorities have reburied them). So, if it's THE Jesus' tomb, that pretty much puts the kibosh on a literal bodily resurrection.

Many -- perhaps most -- scholars are skeptical that this could be the final resting place of the historical Jesus.
But what if it were true? As a religion writer, that's the most intriguing question at play for me. It calls into question what it means to be Christian, and perhaps the nature of divinity itself.

If Jesus died, was buried, and on the third day nothing happened, then how relevant is it all? Does Christian faith hinge on the resurrection? Or is it couched in the life and teachings of a flesh-and-blood man? Is there a line where Christianity stops being a faith and becomes a philosophy?

I can't offer any answers here -- though I'd be interested in your thoughts. All I can do is offer a few links where you can explore more.

Here's the Discovery Channel's take on the tomb.

Y-Zine, an apologetic site for 20-somethings, has a pretty good rundown of why Cameron thinks this could be Jesus' final resting spot -- and why other scholars say it can't be.

The Associated Press offered this take on what the statisticians say about it all.

Here's an interview with the guy who discovered the tomb way back in 1980, and why he thinks Cameron and his cronies are full of it.

Then there's this curious little story about the tomb's living neighbors -- and how they feel about being in such close proximity to, perhaps, one of the most influential guys around.


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