Find Me On FaceBook! MichelleMoran.com
December 2006July 2007August 2007September 2007January 2008February 2008March 2008April 2008May 2008June 2008July 2008August 2008September 2008October 2008November 2008December 2008January 2009February 2009March 2009April 2009May 2009June 2009July 2009August 2009September 2009October 2009November 2009December 2009January 2010February 2010March 2010April 2010May 2010June 2010August 2010September 2010October 2010November 2010December 2010January 2011February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011July 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011July 2012August 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017July 2017September 2017October 2017December 2017February 2018March 2018
History Buff, a blog for history lovers everywhere! History Buff brings
news stories about archaeology from around the world together on one site.
From finds in ancient Egypt to new discoveries in anthropology, History
Buff wants to know.
RSS: BLOG FEED
Logo designed by Shaun Venish
Blog designed by Mia Pearlman Design
Special Report: Has James Cameron Found Jesus's Tomb or Is It Just a Statistical Error?
By Christopher Mims
When Associated Producers, the production company behind the new documentary The Lost Tomb of Jesus, contacted Andrey Feuerverger, he was, to put it mildly, surprised. "This is not in the usual run of things one gets to do," says the University of Toronto statistician, alluding to Associated Producers' somewhat unusual request that he calculate the odds that a particular tomb in Israel is the last resting place of Jesus Christ.
Despite his previous lack of interest in biblical archaeology, Feuerverger spent two years crunching numbers for what turned out to be a labor of love. At the end of all of his figuring, he told the documentarians, including director James Cameron of Titanic fame and award-winning investigative journalist Simcha Jacobovici, that there was a one in 600 chance that the names—Jesus, Matthew, two versions of Mary, and Joseph—scribbled on five of the 10 ossuaries (or caskets for bones) found in the Talpiot tomb could have belonged to a different family than the one described in the New Testament.
When Cameron and Simcha announced Feuerverger's calculations along with a package of other evidence (including forensics, DNA and archaeology) earlier this week, it sparked a media firestorm.
Some news outlets reported that Feuerverger's odds had really been as high as one in a million, which the statistician denies. That "is not a number I would want to ever think originates with me," he says.
Meanwhile biblical historian James Tabor of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, the primary historical advisor on the production team, reported on his blog that he calculated the odds were one in 250,000 that another family of that period would have the same names as those scrawled on the bone boxes.
Even the Discovery Channel, which is set to air the controversial documentary on Sunday, March 4, seemed confused by Feuerverger's calculations, declaring on its Web site that that the odds are "600 to one in favor of this being the JESUS FAMILY TOMB."