Archaeologists are scientists who study the history human culture. Years of study and fieldwork are required. Movie directors and producers aren't archaeologists. These simple facts come to mind after seeing this story, the latest in which a Hollywood movie producer/director claims to have made a history shattering discovery about the "real story" of Jesus Christ.
Hollywood is the land of make-believe in which people run around and pretend to be things they are not. This is usually done by actors but the pretending must be contagious. Director...oh, I'm sorry, "archaeologist" Paul Verhoeven, director of such scientifically profound films such as Basic Instinct (you know the one where Sharon Stone shows her lady bits) and RoboCop has apparently uncovered the "truth" about Jesus' father (No, he is not God. Duh).
In his upcoming biography of Jesus, "Basic Instinct" director Paul Verhoeven will make the shocking claim that Christ probably was the son of Mary and a Roman soldier who raped her during the Jewish uprising in Galilee.
An Amsterdam publishing house said Wednesday it will publish the Dutch filmmaker's biography of Jesus, "Jesus of Nazareth: A Realistic Portrait," in September.
It will be translated into English in 2009, Marianna Sterk of the publishing house J.M. Meulenhoff said. Verhoeven hopes it will be a springboard for him to raise interest in making a film along the same lines, she said.
Of course not everybody is impressed:
Catholic League President Bill Donohue called Verhoeven's claim about Mary "laughable."
"Here we go again with idle speculation grounded in absolutely nothing," Donohue told FOXNews.com. "He has no empirical evidence to support his claim, which is why they say 'may have.'"
Donohue also mocked the fact that Verhoeven — best known for directing the famous Sharon Stone crotch scene in "Basic Instinct" — reportedly worked on the book for 20 years, only to come up with a "probably."
"He's been working 20 years trying to sell this argument and hasn't come up with anything," Donohue said. "This won't make a dent with Christians, nor with scholars somewhat wary of the biblical account."
Verhoeven follows in the footsteps of director James Cameron who produced a book and a film, The Lost Tomb of Jesus which suggested,
...that a first-century ossuary found in a south Jerusalem cave in 1980 contained the remains of Jesus, contradicting the Christian belief that he was resurrected and ascended to heaven.
Ossuaries are stone boxes used at the time to store the bones of the dead.
The filmmakers also suggest that Mary Magdalene was buried in the tomb, that she and Jesus were married, and that an ossuary labeled "Judah son of Jesus" belonged to their son.
The scholars who analyzed the Greek inscription on one of the ossuaries after its discovery read it as "Mariamene e Mara," meaning "Mary the teacher" or "Mary the master."
Unfortunately for Cameron his extraordinary scholarship wasn't terribly well received, either:
According to Pfann's [Stephen Pfann, a textual scholar and paleographer at the University of the Holy Land in Jerusalem] reading, the ossuary did not house the bones of "Mary the teacher," but rather of two women, "Mary and Martha."In the past Hollywood's product was seen, for good or ill as a sort of emissary of American values. In recent years Hollywood values have travelled so far to the Left of those of average Americans' that Americans (when they go to movies at all, which is not often) seem to be the foreign audience, the values they see being representative of a spoiled, wealthy elite.
"In view of the above, there is no longer any reason to be tempted to link this ossuary ... to Mary Magdalene or any other person in biblical, non-biblical or church tradition," Pfann wrote.
In the interest of telling a good story, Pfann said, the documentary engaged in some "fudging" of the facts.
"James Cameron is a great guru of science fiction, and he's taking it to a new level with Simcha Jacobovici. You take a little bit of science, spin a good yarn out of it and you get another 'Terminator' or 'Life of Brian,'" said Pfann, who briefly appeared as an ossuary expert in the documentary.
Perhaps at some time in the future Hollywood will return to values that their audience recognizes. But judging by this story it isn't likely to happen soon.
Stop The ACLU is also on the case.