Oscar-winning movie director James Cameron, who gained fame and fortune for his work on the movie Titanic, has now turned his sights on Jesus Christ. In a new documentary he produced, The Lost Tomb of Christ, he suggests that ten ancient ossuaries ¬ vaults containing the bodies of the deceased ¬ discovered outside Jerusalem in 1980 contain the remains of Jesus and his family. The documentary, aired on the Discovery Channel last Sunday night, attempts to debunk a central tenet of Christianity, namely the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The hype surrounding the documentary has produced a startling amount of media interest and sensationalist headlines around the world.
Leading archaeologists in both Israel and the United States have denounced the alleged "discovery" for what it truly is, a publicity stunt. Father Jerome Murphy-O'Connor, a world renowned Biblical archeologist and Biblical scholar, denied the claims of the documentary and suggested that "it is a commercial ploy that all the media is playing into." Murphy-O'Connor's skepticism was joined by Jewish scholars and even non-believing scholars such as Professor William G. Dever, the dean of Biblical archeologists, who dismissed Cameron and his documentary as manipulating the discoveries for publicity.
The self-proclaimed experts who joined Cameron in making the dramatic claims waited more than 20 years after the tomb was discovered to reveal their sensational "secret."
Rather than presenting a scholarly examination of a discovery of antiquities, Cameron and company have attempted to attack the core of Christianity with little proof and even less convincing evidence. Authentic scholarship and legitimate science are missing from Cameron and company's claims; their unfounded conclusions about the ossuaries were quickly dismissed by the leading experts across the globe.
This so-called documentary joins a long list of anti-Christian movies and television shows that continually seep from Hollywood like so much slime. Rather than rocking the faith of Christians, it should shock us into standing up to denounce Cameron's movie for what it truly is, a publicity stunt.
We suggest that in the future, this director would be better off retaining his focus on sinking ships rather than trying to sink Christianity.
(This editorial originally appeared in The Providence Visitor)