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Beyond belief - relics of Christ

 
 
Reply Wed 28 Feb, 2007 01:51 am
From today's Guardian's G2-section (printed at pages 48 & 49)

http://i16.tinypic.com/4h338s8.jpg


Quote:
Beyond belief


This week film director James Cameron claimed to have found the burial casket of Jesus. Last month archaeologists said they had found his foreskin. So what other discoveries have been heralded as relics of Christ? Stuart Jeffries investigates


Wednesday February 28, 2007
The Guardian


The Catholic mystic Catherine of Siena claimed that, in a vision, she received the Holy Prepuce or foreskin as a wedding ring symbolising her marriage to Christ. A certain Saint Bridget made it known she had received bits of prepuce from an angel which she put on her tongue and gave her orgasmic-like sensations.

During the middle ages, there were at least 14 claimants to the title of the Holy Prepuce in churches around Europe. In 1421, Henry V sent for one of them, the Holy Prepuce of Coulombs in France, because it was believed that its sweet scent would help his wife, Catherine of Valois, have an easy childbirth.

But maybe all of these many foreskins were phonies. In the 17th century Catholic scholar Leo Allatius suggested that Jesus's prepuce had ascended to Heaven at the same time as Christ and might have become the rings of Saturn.
Or did it? Only last month archaeologists at the Mount of Olives cemetery outside the walls of Jerusalem claimed to have found a casket containing the prepuce. It would have been removed from the infant Jesus on his eighth day and buried by his mother.

The contentious afterlife of the holy foreskin should give us pause when we consider the latest claim about holy relics, namely the suggestion of Titanic director James Cameron to have found the tombs of Jesus, Mary Magdalene and their son. It's a find that would seem to confirm the notorious claims in Dan Brown's bestselling book about Jesus's sex life. Indeed, you might be forgiven for treating Cameron's press conference in New York public library as a pitch for a film sequel of the Da Vinci Code. In such an atmosphere, there are only two people in the world qualified to judge whether these caskets are authentic - Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou, during a long, really boring movie.

What is certain is that there is an awful lot of supposed Christian relics around - the Holy Sponge, the Spear of Destiny, Veronica's Veil, the Holy Umbilical Cord, Christ's Tears, His Milk Teeth, among them. Erasmus joked that so many pieces of the True Cross were in circulation that Jesus must have been crucified by a whole forest.

But the sage of Rotterdam was writing in different times. Then, holy relics were popularly assumed to have magic powers. Indeed, it was just these supposed powers that the 16th-century Council of Trent derided as a hangover from pagan times, decreeing that "every superstition shall be removed and all filthy lucre abolished".

Why so many purported relics are coming to light in recent years (in 2003, for instance, the bones of Jesus's brother, James, were allegedly found in Jerusalem) is another matter. Are we more credulous, or just better at archaeology? Certainly, superstition has not been removed, nor filthy lucre abolished.

In any event, Cameron's find has been greeted with scepticism. "We know that Joseph, Jesus and Mariamene were all among the most common names of the period," said David Mevorah, a curator of the Israel museum in Jerusalem. "To start with all these names being together in a single tomb and the leap from there to say this is the tomb of Jesus is a little far-fetched, to put it politely."
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 1,537 • Replies: 20
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xingu
 
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Reply Wed 28 Feb, 2007 04:22 am
Will be interesting to watch the Christians howl over this.
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timberlandko
 
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Reply Wed 28 Feb, 2007 05:10 am
Legitimate archaeologists and historians are doing a good bit of howling, wholly unrelated to any Christian dogma. Likely, this is gonna evolve into a meltdown that will be remembered as something like "Cameron's Piltdown Moment".
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Feb, 2007 06:03 am
I've never seen such as a 'dogma' but as an interesting part of (our) history and heritage.

Had had some very interesting discussions - with changing results over the years - especially with the son of one my mother's friends and a (former) classmate of my sister: he's now the bishop in Trier (Trèves/Tréier/Augusta Trevorum). :wink:
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farmerman
 
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Reply Wed 28 Feb, 2007 06:58 am
This entire announcement is coincident with our "Sweeps period". Really a coincidence? hmmmmm.

Since such claims have huge societal implication, Id hope that independent forensic analyses are conducted of the ossuaries and contents.

1Are the tool markings on the ossuaries "right"? is there a patina ? Alpha track analysis of the tool surfaces should be the same as the surrounding uncarved areas. If theyre different, the carving could post date the ossuary walls by a significant amount

2 DNA can probably be degraded but a flourine and osteocalcin analysis should be done for tracking population roots and " to see whether any fakinghas occured in the normal aging process "

3Potassium dischromate and Potassium permanganate are popular bone agers to "fake a look that parallels soil moisture deposition of a chemical called "wad", an ICAP analysis of surface and interior bone should be done to see whether the was is natural or artificial.

4Analyses of the soil and the bone trace elements should be done to prove that the ossuaries had been associated in the same spot for a long time.

5 Obviously C14 but the problem tequires advanced sampling techniques to assure that no "old" dissolved bicarbonate had been injected into the tooth pulp or bone.

6. Analysis of inclusions in the crystal lattices of all the bones to make sure they are from the same individuals.

7. A "questioned documents" expert with experience in the languages of this era should be invited to examine the word construction and lettering on the ossuaries.

8 I hope they kept a detailed vid record of the entire excavation to examine

Id love to be a fly on the wall while the entire forensics is being done. I understand that Cameron is producing a TV special on this , so Im not sure any forensics will be available.
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Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Feb, 2007 07:46 am
They found his foreskin? Shocked

Ewwwwww....
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Feb, 2007 07:50 am
Bella Dea wrote:
They found his foreskin? Shocked

Ewwwwww....


Not only one: about a dozen or so.
0 Replies
 
Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Feb, 2007 07:55 am
Walter Hinteler wrote:
Bella Dea wrote:
They found his foreskin? Shocked

Ewwwwww....


Not only one: about a dozen or so.



Jesus had 12 penises? Shocked Shocked
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Feb, 2007 08:08 am
I doubt that. When you read the Guardian report I've linked, you'll notice that a couple of "Jesus' foreskins" are shown in various churches as relicts.

Wikipedia: Holy Prepuce
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Feb, 2007 09:30 am
By the amt of Jesus foreskins available, the man had a schlong as big as Dwayne Diggler's (member Hollywood Nights?)
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Bella Dea
 
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Reply Wed 28 Feb, 2007 10:41 am
Walter Hinteler wrote:
I doubt that. When you read the Guardian report I've linked, you'll notice that a couple of "Jesus' foreskins" are shown in various churches as relicts.

Wikipedia: Holy Prepuce


Darn...I was starting to think Christian's now had a way to convince people to come back to the church.
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plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Feb, 2007 05:39 pm
I guess finding remains of the late JC (from that 1950s joke: Parents were called into a conference with the Mother SUperior who said the teaching sisters didn't mind their son calling the priests cats and the sisters chicks, but when he started calling Jesus and the Apostles "the late JC and the 12 Bop Boys" things have gone too far.) is the latest craze. There was a little casket about a year or two ago.
0 Replies
 
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Feb, 2007 06:01 pm
Jesus was Jewish right? Therefore he was circumcised. So his foreskin must have ended up somewhere. This is conclusive proof that he married Mary Magdelene (san (holy) grail = sang real) produced a family in France who produced the Merovingian dynasty. Built Chatres cathedral with its secret message known only to the Templars who fled to Scotland where they defeated the English at Bannockburn. They became the freemasons who set up secret meeting houses all over Europe and now control the world. Its obvious when you think about it. And the Albigensian crusade in the languedoc was to wipe out the gnostics because they knew the secret too, and P2 Italian masonic lodge had the banker hanged under blackfriars bridge in london because the queen knows everything.


Its easy when you cast a little light on things. Did I say light Lux? Lucifer the Illuminati...it all makes perfect sense. (after a few beers)
0 Replies
 
Eorl
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Feb, 2007 07:16 pm
God has his foreskin intact though, right?
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Feb, 2007 08:50 pm
HEY FOOL, why does God need a dick?
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Eorl
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Feb, 2007 11:29 pm
To read Easter Mass, of course!
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dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Feb, 2007 11:41 pm
I think it was Dirk.

Dirk Diggler in a movie called Roller Girl.



I'll ask one of my girlfriends if god has a foreskin.

I only do angels and they always get to heaven when we make love.
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xingu
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Mar, 2007 07:10 am
Here's a criticism of Cameron's production. The AFA is very upset about this. Do you think the argument is valid?

Quote:
AFA Pass Along Sheet

Make Copies of this sheet and pass along to your family and friends.

Tales from the Crypt

Do we have the bones of Jesus?

by Kerby Anderson

The last week in February started out with an incredible announcement. James Cameron (director of the film "Titanic") and Simcha Jacobovici announced that they have found the bones of Jesus! At their news conference, they promoted their Discovery Channel special "The Lost Tomb of Jesus" that will air on March 4th and also promoted the book by Simcha Jacobovici and Charles Pellegrino entitled The Jesus Family Tomb: The Discovery, the Investigation, and the Evidence That Could Change History released by Harper-Collins.

The foundational claim is that they have discovered the family tomb of Jesus Christ. But is this really the tomb of Jesus or his family? There are many good reasons to believe this tomb has no relationship at all to Jesus and his family. Many are asking what to think about these claims. Therefore, I put together a quick two-page summary of some of the criticisms and concerns that surfaced in the first few hours after the announcement. Before we look at those criticisms, let's first review the history of this tomb.

We have known about this tomb since it was discovered in 1980. Back then, Israeli construction workers were digging the foundation for a new building in a Jerusalem suburb. Their digging revealed a cave with ten limestone ossuaries. Archeologists removed the limestone caskets for examination.

When they were able to decipher the names on the ten ossuaries, they found: Jesua, son of Joseph, Mary, Mary, Mathew, Jofa and Judah, son of Jesua. At the time, one of Israel's most prominent archeologists (Professor Amos Kloner) didn't associate the crypt with Jesus. He rightly argued that the father of Jesus was a humble carpenter who couldn't afford a luxury crypt for his family. Moreover, the names on the crypt were common Jewish names.

All of this hasn't stopped James Cameron and Simcha Jacobovici from promoting the tomb as the family tomb of Jesus. They claim to have evidence (through DNA tests, archeological evidence, and Biblical studies) to prove that the ten ossuaries belong to Jesus and his family. They also argue that Jesus and Mary Magdalene might have produced a son named Judah. However, a number of biblical scholars say this is a really just an old story now being recycled in an effort to create a media phenomenon that will sell books and guarantee a large audience for the television special.

First, does it really make sense that this would be the family tomb of Jesus? Remember that Jesus was in Jerusalem as a pilgrim and was not a resident of the city. How would his family be able to buy this tomb? As we already mentioned, Joseph (who probably was not alive and died in Galilee) and his family did not have the funds to buy such an elaborate burial site. Moreover, they were from out of town and would need time to find this tomb location. To accept this theory, one has to believe they stole the body of Jesus and moved it to this tomb in a suburb of Jerusalem all within about a day's time.

Second, if this is the family tomb of Jesus and his family, why is Jesus referred to as the "son of Joseph?" As far as we can determine from history, the earliest followers of Jesus never called Jesus the "son of Joseph." The record of history is that it was only outsiders who mistakenly called him that.

Third, if this is the family tomb of Jesus, why do we have the name of Matthew listed with the rest of the family? If this is the Matthew that traveled with Jesus, then he certainly was not a family member. And you would have to wonder why James (who remained in Jerusalem) would allow these inscriptions as well as allow the family to move the body from Jerusalem to this tomb and perpetrate a hoax that Jesus bodily rose from the grave. Also, the fourth-century church historian Eusebius writes that the body of James (the half-brother of Jesus) was buried alone near the temple mount and that his tomb was visited in the early centuries.

Fourth, there is the problem with the common names on the tombs. Researchers have cataloged the most common names at the time. The ten most common were: Simon/Simeon, Joseph, Eleazar, Judah, John/Yohanan, Jesus, Hananiah, Jonathan, Matthew, and Manaen/Menahem. These are some of the names found on the ossuaries and thus suggest that the tomb belonged to someone other than Jesus of Nazareth and his family. In fact, the name Jesus appears in 98 other tombs and on 21 other ossuaries.

Finally there is the question of the DNA testing. Apparently there is evidence that shows that the DNA from the woman (in what they say is the Mary Magdalene ossuary) and the DNA from the so-called Jesus ossuary does not match. So they argue that they were not relatives and thus must have been married.

But does the DNA evidence really prove that? It does not prove she is his wife. In fact, we really don't even know who in the ossuaries are related to the other. Moreover, we do not have an independent DNA control sample to compare these findings with. At best, the DNA evidence shows that some of these people are related and some are not.

All of this looks like sensationalism from Simcha Jacobovici (who has a reputation as an Indiana-Jones type) and James Cameron (the director of the "Titanic."). The publicity is certain to sell books and draw a television audience, but it is not good history or archaeology.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Mar, 2007 07:18 am
cant we just compare the skulls with their dental records? Smile
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Kara
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Mar, 2007 09:34 pm
When I was in India recently, I heard again an intereesting history/story/myth that Christ went to India after escaping death, married and had a family, and is buried there.


Christ Lived in India
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