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The Morning After: What If Cameron Discovered the Other Jesus? | Mark Brumley | February 5, 2007

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Imagine you're James Cameron on the morning after your Jesus Family Tomb documentary aired on the Discovery Channel. You thought you discovered the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth. It turns out you might have found the tomb of St. Paul's friend, Jesus also called Justus (Col 4:11), who might have been the son of Joseph also called Barsabbas (Acts 1:23).

Jesus son of Joseph! Joseph and Jesus were both also called Justus! How could you have missed it? How humiliating.

At first it looked as if you were going to overthrow traditional Christianity. Now you just wind up showing that maybe these people actually existed. What a, ahem, titanic blunder!

Too bad "Jesus" was such a common first-century Jewish name. But how were you supposed to know that the "Mary" in the "family tomb" might be another friend of St. Paul (Rom 16:6), not Mary of Nazareth?

How were you to know she also might have been Mary mother of Joses (Mk 15:47) who helped bury Jesus of Nazareth but who wasn't buried with him? Maybe that's why the name "Joses" also appeared in the "family tomb"! It wasn't Jesus of Nazareth's relative after all. Somebody should have told you!

What's worse, "Judah son of Jesus" wasn't the offspring of Jesus of Nazareth and Mary Magdalene, but might have been the child of the other Jesus. The erstwhile false prophet, magician, and enemy of Christianity (Acts 13:6) could have repented in the end. What a disaster.

Then there was "Mary Magdalene". You thought she was the clincher. How were you supposed to know that "Mariamene e Mara" doesn't mean "Mary the Master" and that it doesn't refer to Mary Magdalene? That stupid Gnostic Gospel of Philip is to blame.

Now somebody points out to you that there's a Mary and Martha in the New Testament. They're the sisters of Lazarus (Jn 10:1). For all you know, they could have been buried in the tomb. If so, they should have had the decency not to get confused with Mary Magdalene.

If all these New Testament names refer to people in the tomb, and not just happen to have been shared by others at the time, then those Christians might start using it to promote their religion.

Well, you'll show them! Get that statistician. Call Simcha Jacobovici. You've got an idea for another documentary. This time, you'll prove that Talpiyot Tomb had nothing to do with Christianity!

Related Articles:

The Truth of the Resurrection | Excerpts from Introduction to Christianity | Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
Seeing Jesus in the Gospel of John | Excerpts from On The Way to Jesus Christ | Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
A Jesus Worth Dying For | A Review of On The Way to Jesus Christ | Justin Nickelsen
Encountering Christ in the Gospel | Excerpt from My Jesus | Christoph Cardinal Schönborn
The Divinity of Christ | Peter Kreeft
Jesus Is Catholic | Hans Urs von Balthasar
The Religion of Jesus | Blessed Columba Marmion | From Christ, The Ideal of the Priest

Mark Brumley is President of Ignatius Press and associate publisher of

An former staff apologist with Catholic Answers, Mark is the author of How Not To Share Your Faith (Catholic Answers) and contributor to The Five Issues That Matter Most. He is a regular contributor to the InsightScoop web log.

He has written articles for numerous periodicals and has appeared on FOX NEWS, ABC NEWS, EWTN, PBS's NewsHour, and other television and radio programs.

Visit the Insight Scoop Blog and read the latest posts and comments by staff and readers about current events, controversies, and news in the Church!

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