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Mar 04, 2007 at 02:11pm IST

Lost Tomb stirs hornet's nest

Mumbai: Could it be the coffin in which Jesus was buried?

The Catholics in India are infuriated after Titanic director James Cameron unveiled the coffins and claimed that he is sure they are of Jesus and his family.

But Discovery channel, which is to telecast the documentary The Lost Tomb of Jesus worldwide, says it will not release the film in India. The documentary, produced by Cameron, has been barred from telecast in India after the Catholic Secular Forum said the findings on which the film is based go against the Holy Bible.

"The claims that this documentary makes are so preposterous that it hits at the basic divinity of Jesus, that Jesus is not God and is just an ordinary human being," Joseph Dias, General Secretary of Catholic Secular Forum, Mumbai, observes.

The findings have met with criticism for other reasons as well. The tomb may not have belonged to the family of Lord Jesus after all, Catholic Christians claim.

"Biblical scholars say the names inscribed on the tombs are very common names. Twenty-five per cent of women of those days were named Mary and one out of every 10 Hebrew children was called Jesus. These are very commonplace names," Joseph Dias claims.

Yet another contradiction in the claims is that the tombs were found in Jerusalem, and not Nazareth, where Jesus is believed to be buried. All this has not gone down well with the Christian community.

"I'm a staunch Catholic. Everything is in Bible for centuries. Who will believe it? Not I," says a lady in Mumbai.

"No matter what he says, religion cannot prove it. We believe in the Bible. That's our faith. We don’t have to prove it," says a Catholic Christian man in Mumbai.

Controversies like these are not new to Christianity. Recently, there were demands for a ban on the Hollywood movie based on writer Dan Brown's bestseller the Da Vinci Code, which claimed Jesus was married and had a son. The movie was finally released with a disclaimer.

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