Digital Survivors

The Lost Tomb of Jesus

Scott Manning
March 5, 2007

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Back in 1980, there was an old tomb from the First Century discovered by some construction workers. They were ready to blast the thing apart with dynamite, but were stopped. Inside the tomb were ten ossuaries (mini coffins) built to hold bones. Those ossuaries had names like Jesus son of Joseph, Maria, Yose, Matia, and Mariamne. No one thought too much of these names since they were about as common back then as finding a Chinese Restaurant owned by a guy named Wang.

The ossuaries were sealed up and thrown in a warehouse.

Fast forward to present day and we find a group of archaeologists with some time on their hands. By studying the structure of the names and comparing them with the genealogy of Jesus as outlined in the Bible, all the names appear to be that of Jesus, his mom, one of his brothers, an apostle, and Mary Magdalene.

Here's how the logic works:

  • Maria is the Latin version of Mariam which translates into Mary.
  • Yose was a nickname for Joseph which was one of Jesus' brothers.
  • Matia translates into Matthew which could have been one of Mary's ancestors or perhaps the apostle Matthew.
  • Mariamne was Greek which translates into Mary, known as master

The Mariamne was the confusing one for the archaeologists, but they moved forward with the assumption that it could be Jesus' tomb and Mariamne was Mary Magdalene.

If we look at the probability of people having these names during that time, we get the following numbers:

  • Jesus son of Joseph - 1 in 190
  • Maria (Mary) - 1 in 4
  • Yose (Nickname for Joseph) - 1 in 20
  • Matia (Matthew) - 1 in 40
  • Mariamne (Mary) - 1 in 160

While those names by themselves seemed common, it is the grouping of the names that is rare. Just like my name is Scott with a brother named Clint, I have yet to meet two brothers in the world with the same names.

They got some professor of statistics to calculate the probability that these people are not those described in the Bible based off the number of occurrences of these names in other First Century tombs. He determined if Mary Magdalene is indeed Mary Magdalene, then he believes there is a 1 in 600 chance that the tomb is NOT the tomb of Jesus.

Linking Mary, known as master to Mary Magdalene was the tricky part. She was never referred to in this manner in any of the New Testament writings. However, in a 4th Century document entitled the "Acts of Phillip", Mary Magdalene was referred to as Mariamne. Phillip is supposedly Mary Magdeline's brother. He describes her as having returned to Jerusalem to spend her final days. Mary dying in Jerusalem instead of France thus proves that the Da Vinci Code is FICTIONAL and Tom Hanks was kneeling before nothing!

To prove that Canada actually provides something useful, the film makers went to a lab in the moose country to compare DNA samples from Jesus and Mariamne. The Canadians proved that Jesus and Mariamne were not related by blood thus proving that they might have been married. However, they did not do any tests on Maria (Mary), Yose (Nickname for Joseph), or Matia (Matthew) thus proving that these guys wasted a trip to Canada.

Just to confuse things, there was an ossuary that was not accounted for since they cracked open the Indiana Jones' warehouse. Some collector surfaced with it in 2002. It displayed the writing "James son of Joseph brother of Jesus". After doing some testing on the dirt, the archaeologists determined that it came from the tomb of Jesus. So we didn't wonder why James got labeled as "brother of Jesus" and Yose (Nickname for Joseph) didn't, they had some guy come on saying that those particular letters were added later to the original inscription which simply read "James son of Joseph."

With this new found information, the statistical professor determined that there was now a 100% chance that God is dead OR that there was a 1 in 30,000 chance that this tomb was NOT the tomb of Jesus.

It wasn't over yet. There was yet another ossuary to discuss. Its inscription said "Judah son of Jesus" thus proving the Da Vinci Code is REAL! Sadly, the archaeologists did not bother to do a DNA test on these remains thus proving that Canadians are good for one worthless test and that's it.

Before the archaeologists were pulled out of the tomb by the Israeli antiquity hall monitors, they saw some writing on the wall. They couldn't determine if it was Greek or Latin. It was an exciting moment, but no translation was ever given in the program thus proving that no one on that dig team has the ability to read.

If we calculate the chances of there being more than one tomb with Jesus son of Joseph, Maria (Mary), Yose (Nickname for Joseph), Matia (Matthew), Mariamne (Mary, known as Master), and James son of Joseph, the chances are pretty high that the actual tomb of Jesus was found. But once you throw in Judah son of Jesus, you've got a million to one chance that this thing was way too over-hyped and all those people who said "Jesus' name is as common as Smith" actually knew what they were talking about.

It really boggles my mind that we've all forgotten lessons learned from the Last Crusade so easily. Jesus was dirt poor as was his family. He wasn't going to be buried in a big family tomb with his own coffin. Jesus drank from the old, dingy cup and he would have been buried in a hole.

For those of you that bought into this hype, you have chosen poorly.

In conclusion, the makers of this film will make a lot of money off their TV show, DVD, and book, but they will not get to enjoy their riches while spending an eternity in HELL.

Related links:
The Lost Tomb of Jesus official site

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