“The Lost Tomb of Jesus” by Simcha Jacobovici

It can be established as a tendency for people to undermine certain beliefs in what is popular and commonly known. When it comes to world figures in general and religion in particular, there is no figure more popular than Jesus Christ. The controversial documentary film “The Lost Tomb of Jesus” (2007), directed by Simcha Jacobovici asserts that Talpiot Tomb discovered 27 years earlier is the actual tomb of Jesus Christ and contains its remains. This assertion undermines the common biblical beliefs in regards to Jesus. This paper states that the film’s main evidence is based on initial assumptions that, although declared neutral, establish a bias in analyzing the facts.

The first and the main argument of the film are the found transcriptions on the ossuaries of the names in Aramaic. It cannot be said that a certain combination of names can mean that these names are of specific persons. That is especially true if several names of this combination are “assumed” to be what they represent. In that sense, it could be said that, if a tomb was found with names that are believed to read as “Socrates” and “Plat”, and which are assumed to be the actual names of Socrates and Plato, then this tomb is of those historical figures.

Another point in the film is that Jesus and Maria Magdalene were husband and wife. Again, this assumption is based on another assumption. Nevertheless, the assertion that a man and woman buried in a tomb together have to be either relatives or a husband and wife is an assumption based on tradition, where proving that they are not relatives does not prove that they are a husband and wife. In that sense, there are no tests to prove marital status, which leaves the only fact that the man and woman were not relatives.

A point in the film is that the ossuary which is believed to be of James, the brother of Jesus, was taken of the same tomb. Similarly, the keyword, in that case, is that the ossuary regardless of where it came from is believed to be of James. The belief is coming from the English translation o transcription. Assuming that there is a slight chance that each one of the pieces of evidence is what it is believed to be, the combination of them enormously decreases that all of them are true.

It can be seen from watching the film that it is interesting because it breaks certain taboos. However, the assumptions turn into theories and facts when they are proven by evidence, not by other assumptions. In that sense, I think that the film used the popularity of the figures in the tomb to maximize the scale of the documentary.


Biblical research. (1997).

The Lost Tomb of Jesus. (2007). Discovery Channel.

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