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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Stick to sinking ships and aliens, James

Update: skip below for some links and a video of the documentary trailer.

File this post under the "um, this is random" department: director James Cameron is set to unveil a documentary he is making that among other things, claims that Jesus did not actually rise from the dead and that he had a son with Mary Magdalene. Not that I need James Cameron to provide evidence of either tidbit, but what's really strange (and unsettling) is that he claims to have archaeological and DNA evidence of it all, including the coffins of Jesus, Mary, and Mary Magdalene. From a Time.com blog post:

Ever the showman, (Why does this remind me of the impresario in another movie,"King Kong", whose hubris blinds him to the dangers of an angry and very large ape?) Cameron is holding a New York press conference on Monday at which he will reveal three coffins, supposedly those of Jesus of Nazareth, his mother Mary and Mary Magdalene. News about the film, which will be shown soon on Discovery Channel, Britain's Channel 4, Canada's Vision, and Israel's Channel 8, has been a hot blog topic in the Middle East. Here in the Holy Land, Biblical Archeology is a dangerous profession. This 90-minute documentary is bound to outrage Christians and stir up a titanic debate between believers and skeptics. Stay tuned.

It's important to remember that we live in a post-Da Vinci Code, quasi-academic world where the lines between entertainment and science are blurring faster than ever before. We'll have to see what really happens at the press conference on Monday, but I'm having a hard time believing that this is legit (legit in the sense that Cameron is serious about his evidence).

Update: a story from Discovery.com

Update 2: Now you can watch this morning's press conference online by clicking here (a direct link to the video that will open in your default player). The Lost Tomb of Jesus show is to air this Sunday night at 9pm ET on the Discovery Channel. Like a good scientist, I'll reserve judgment until I see the show, but in the meantime you can watch a series of interviews with the filmmakers and browse the official Discovery.com website about the show...it's very shiny and soooo Indiana Jones!

Also, I did some Googling and Talmor Media is behind the promotion of the film. They have a truly over-the-top website at www.jesusfamilytomb.com with all sorts of "archaeological" information and a section on theological implications. Talmor Media's YouTube Page has a bunch of video clips if your anxious for a preview. Below is a trailer for the documentary that comes across more like a Hollywood production than a documentary. It has a bitchin' soundtrack that I want to play every time I'm on a dig, regardless of the situation.

The whole production and hype is interesting and the show itself will probably hold my attention, but the archaeological discovery of the millennium? Sheesh...

Posted by Will at February 25, 2007 07:56 PM in Archaeology | In the News | Philosophy and Religion