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FUNDAMENTALS
of Faith
The Tomb of Jesus
Tomb of Jesus
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

There are several locations which people have claimed to be the tomb of Jesus:

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, accepted by some Christians and scholars as built
on the ground (including the Hill of Calvary or Golgotha) on which Jesus was
crucified and buried.

The Garden Tomb, discovered in the 19th century outside of Jerusalem, is considered
the actual site of Jesus' grave by some Christians.

The Roza Bal shrine in Srinagar, Kashmir, venerated by locals as the grave of a sage, is
believed by Ahmadi Muslims to be the burial site of one Yuz Asaf, ("Jesus the
Gatherer").

Shingo, Aomori in Japan, another place according to local lore where Jesus allegedly
fled to after the crucification.

The Talpiot Tomb, discovered in Talpiot, Israel in 1980, which is alleged to have held
the remains of  Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and others.[1]

Les Pontils, near Rennes-le-Château, has a tomb claimed by Richard Andrews and
Paul Schellenberger to be the one featured on Nicolas Poussin's Arcadian Shepherds,
which is Jesus' one according to The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail. See Et in Arcadia
ego for further discussion.

Jesus's tomb is also discussed in:

The Lost Tomb of Jesus, a documentary about the Talpiot Tomb by Simcha Jacobovici
and Charles R. Pellegrino, directed by James Cameron.

The Jesus Family Tomb, a book about the Talpiot Tomb by Simcha Jacobovici and
Charles R. Pellegrino.


Does it really make a difference?

Does it really make a difference where Jesus is buried?  Or, does it make a
difference whether Jesus really died on the cross at Golgatha?

As the above article from Wikipedia notes, there have been numerous sites which
various people have claimed to be the grave of Jesus, either immediately
following the crucifixion, or several years after the resurrection.  The publicity
surrounding James Cameron's documentary on the ossuaries found in Jerusalem
in 1980 to be aired on the Discovery Channel has brought the information about
these different stories to the forefront once again.  The information and these
stories are nothing new.

Every year, as the annual celebration (by most of those who claim to be
Christian) of the resurrection of Jesus called Easter approaches, there are those
who come forward with some information that is supposed to destroy the concept
of Christianity: especially belief in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.

The mythical theories of the Gnostics from the 2nd and 3rd centuries, combined
with the false statements of the Jews of the 1st century seem to be coming back
to life.  That is what is involved with The Gospel of Judas and The Divinci Code,
as well as The Tomb of Jesus: a revival of stories and myths disproved 1800
years ago.

The very basis of the Gospel and the truthfulness of Christianity is based upon
the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.

"Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you,
which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are
saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you - unless you
believed in vain.  For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received:
that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was
buried, and that He arose again the 3rd day according to the Scriptures, and
that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.  After that He was seen by
over 500 brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present,
but some have fallen asleep.  After that He was seen by James, then by all
the apostles.  Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of
due time...Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you
believed.

"Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do
some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?  But if there
is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen.  And if Christ is not
risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.  Yes, and we
are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He
raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up -- if in fact the dead do not rise.  
For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen.  And if Christ is not
risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!  Then also those who
have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.  If in this life only we have hope
in Christ, we are of all men most pitiable." -- 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, 11-19

Jesus was "declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of
holiness, by the resurrection from the dead" (Romans 1:4).

The stories of Jesus in Japan, India and France are so palpably false as to need
no refutation.  But, what of the stories of Jesus' body being stolen (Matthew
28:11-15), and of the new (?) discoveries of the bone boxes in Jerusalem?

The answer to this is in the establishment of the fact of the resurrected Jesus.

Some have said that we accept the resurrection of Jesus by faith.  That is true.  It
is based upon faith in the trustworthiness of the witnesses, as is everything else
that we believe about history, either ancient or modern.  History is not established
by experiment.   It is not established by our being able to use our five senses: we
do not see it, hear it, smell it, taste it or touch it.  It is established by credible
testimony of witnesses.  We believe what they say.  We have faith in their
testimony.

That is true of what we know of Abraham Lincoln.  That is true of what we know of
George Washington.  That is true of what we know about Henry VIII.  That is true
of what we know of Julius Caesar.  That is true of what we know of Jesus of
Nazareth, including His resurrection.

The testimony we have of the resurrection is "infallable proofs," the same term
which describes our legal phrase "beyond a shadow of a doubt."  (Acts 1:2).  The
witnesses are truthful.  The witnesses are credible.

The truthfulness and credibility of the witnesses is established by three proofs.

First, everything that they have stated that can be verified from outside sources,
is found to be truthful.  This includes even the topography of their statements.  In
every instance they say they are going up to a certain location, they are going
uphill.  In every instance they say they are going down to a certain location, they
are going downhill.  Every title used is correct for the governmental officials.  
Every verifiable statement is true to the minutest detail.  It establishes the
tendency of the Biblical writers and the witnesses of the resurrection they quote
to "tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth."

Second, they are qualified to make the determination.  The testimony that we
have is of those who knew Jesus intimately.  They knew what He looked like.  
They know what He sounded like.  They knew His mannerism.  They are the
people who would be able to identify Him without question.

Three, they endured persecution and death for their testimony.  The witnesses of
the resurrection were imprisoned, beaten, threatened and ultimately killed for
their testimony.  Yet, they did not change their story.  They never denied the
resurrection.  They went to their deaths maintaining the truthfulness of their
statements.

Therefore, when they say that Jesus was resurrected from the grave, it is the
truth.  It is not something which we can just think might be truth.  It is something
which we can say we know "beyond a shadow of a doubt."  The testimony is more
than sufficient to establish the truth of an event in any honorable court of law in
the world.

Therefore, Jesus' body could not have been stolen.  Neither could it have been
reburied in another grave, and the bones placed in an ossuary.