Tomb of Jesus Is Legitimate, Claim Scientists

Friday, 08 December 2017 - 11:21AM
Friday, 08 December 2017 - 11:21AM
Tomb of Jesus Is Legitimate, Claim Scientists
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In an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the ever-popular Spike notes that if every vampire who claims to have been at the crucifixion of Christ was actually present, the event would have been a real Woodstock.

This is also true of religious iconography—considering that part of the point of Christ's entire mission was that he was a man of unremarkable origin who was only appreciated as the Son of God after his death and resurrection, it's odd that every single possible piece of paraphernalia surrounding his ministry and crucifixion has been preserved for thousands of years, untouched.

Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre has been a place of controversy for millennia, having featured heavily in Crusades both new and old. It's one of many locations across the city that people claim was used for the tomb of Christ, but thus far it's not been possible to verify whether it even existed during the correct century for the Lamb of God to have actually been laid to rest within its walls.

According to records, the religious cathedral that surrounds the tomb was established in around 326AD, but until now, dating methods have only been able to confirm that the surrounding shrine is around a thousand years old, making such claims seem spurious.

Now, with modern dating techniques and an opportunity to take a peek inside the tomb, scientists believe that actually, it might well be the right age to match up with Roman records.

The tomb has remained sealed for centuries but was opened briefly last year as part of a cleaning and restoration project. At the time, samples were taken to be dated, and impressively, the results now show that while the cathedral may be much newer, the tomb itself was probably enshrined in around 345AD, syncing more-or-less perfectly with the historical account.

That said, this is far from proof that this genuinely is the resting place of the Lord and Savior of all humans and robots.

Leaving aside the big questions of religious belief and the deification of Jesus of Nazareth (which aren't matters that can be decided by a carbon dating process), there's a conspicuous gap between the years of around 30AD and 300AD during which the tomb's location and status is unaccounted for.

Taking historical and Biblical records as fact, we know that 32 years after he was born, Jesus was crucified and laid to rest in a tomb. Then, 300 years later, emissaries from Rome returned to The Holy Land and located what they thought was the tomb of legend, building a shrine around it in order to preserve it for the ages.

As is often the case with archeology, the interest in preserving the important structure came only after so much time had passed that it's difficult to track down the specific place where a particularly important event occurred anyway. All that's been gained from this dating process is a knowledge that the Romans really did mothball an empty tomb at around the same time they claimed they did.

According to the Bible, Jesus' body was originally laid to rest in a tomb that was meant for a man named Joseph of Arimathea. Following the purported resurrection and ascension of Christ, it would be odd that Joseph didn't decide to go back to Plan A and use the tomb for himself—there's no sense wasting a perfectly good grave, after all.

Ultimately, the question of the divinity of Christ can't really be solved by an appeal to centuries-old relics or religious shrines that claim to be in a historically important position. True belief can't be gained from a carbon dating result, just as it wouldn't have been undone if it had turned out that the tomb wasn't as old as it was claimed to be.

As eager as some people might be to find evidence of his miracles, science will never be able to definitively prove that Jesus Christ truly was the Son of God, and that's ultimately for the best.
Science News
Tomb of Jesus Is Legitimate, Claim Scientists