Religion: Rewriting The Gospels

Behind the Jesus tomb fight: a more speculative style of scholarship

Clark Jones - AP / Discovery Channel

Producers of Discovery Channel's The Lost Tomb of Jesus unveil two ossuaries that experts believe may have belonged to Jesus and Mary Magdalene in New York on February 26, 2007.

At a certain point, as I sat in a grand room at the New York Public Library and heard Titanic director James Cameron explain why the bone box in front of him might have held Jesus' remains, I began thinking fondly of Rev. Raymond Brown, one of the 20th century's great historical-Jesus experts. Reading him was no joyride. His footnotes seemed to have footnotes. But that was the point. His scholarship was such that even when one of his books called the virgin birth "unresolved," it got a go-ahead from his Roman Catholic Church.

That won't happen with The Jesus Family...

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