– Marco Brasil, staff
Roughly two weeks ago, archaeologists in Jerusalem unearthed a coffin which they believe could be the resting place of Jesus. The tomb was discovered using a remote control camera attached to a robotic arm. They then looked around the chamber and found the coffin or ossuary as it was called in biblical times. The lid of the coffin had an ancient inscription in Greek which could be translated as ‘Divine Jehovah, raise up, raise up.’ The first three lines of the inscription are clear but the last line is not. This means that it could also be translated into ‘O Divine Jehovah, raise up, raise up’ or ‘The Diving Jehovah raises up to the Holy Place’ or ‘The Divine Jehovah raises up from.’ Another coffin lid in the same area had a drawing of a stick figure in the mouth of a fish. They believe this to be a reference to one of the first bible stories, Jonah and the Whale.
One of the archaeologists, James Tabor says, “This inscription has something to do with resurrection of the dead, either of the deceased in the ossuary, or perhaps, given the Jonah imagery nearby, an expression of faith in Jesus’ resurrection.”
This coffin was found 200 feet away from a tomb known as the Jesus Family Tomb, which was discovered in the 1980s and was the source of controversy. In this tomb, there was a coffin that had an inscription reading ‘Jesus, son of Joseph.’ One of the biggest sources of controversy that came out of this discovery was the theory that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and had a family with her. The archaeologists believed that Jesus had been buried with this family.
The archaeologists believe that the discovery of this tomb greatly increases the likelihood that this is Jesus’ final resting place. The tombs were discovered underneath what was believed to be the property of Joseph of Arimathea, who is said to have buried Jesus in the gospels. They are believed to be from the year 70 CE.
Because of the date of the tombs, the depiction of Jonah and the Whale, and the location of the tomb, the engraving was most likely done by some of the earliest Christians within decades of Jesus’ crucifixion.
Sunday School teacher, Julio Sousa thinks that, “this is catastrophic for followers of the church because it changes what the earliest beliefs were and the main and oldest belief about Jesus. The fact that Jesus was abstinent and didn’t have a family with anyone is an important fact that we have been taught since we were young. It changes the whole mythology of Jesus Christ because the Bible hasn’t been changed, only added to and edited by his followers.”
Surely this will change how some people view aspects of religion. This further proof that Jesus may have had a relationship and a family with Mary Magdalene will be significant and controversial.