Sunday, March 04, 2007

"600 to 1" Odds Explained

I feel like I'd better watch this documentary because I know I'm going to get asked about it... but I'm having a real hard time sitting through it. So I'm dealing with it by blogging my thoughts on this as I get through it.

After looking at all the names from this "Lost Tomb of Jesus," this documentary concludes that the odds of this being Jesus' burial site is 600 to 1.

But to get to that they have to assume that the inscription "MARIAMENOU-MARA" means "Mariamne the Master". According to the show, Mary Magdalene was known as "Mariamne" which is, it is said, what "Mariamenou" refers to. Moreover, "Mara" it is said means "Master"--indicating that Mary Magdalene was the true "teacher" of the earliest Christians.

Again, this is crazy. As Bauckham explains, "Mariamenou" comes from "Mariamene" not "Mariamne". Moreover, Mary Magdalene isn't referred to as "Mariamne" until much later. She is never called that in the New Testament or any of the earliest sources.

And "Mara" most likely means "Martha," not "teacher". As I've said, Mary Magdalene was never called "Martha".

There are other problems here in the analysis, but that is the clearest one.

Again, for a more comprehensive treatment of all this go here.


Chris Rosebrough said...

Before you make up your mind about the “Lost Tomb of Jesus” you need to see and hear the rest of the evidence.

For a comprehensive and scholarly rebuttal of the film’s evidence please visit

Read and hear the evidence for yourself.

DimBulb said...

One thing I find absurd about the alleged reference to Mary Magdalene is that it is a title. we are asked to believe that Mary was given a title (apparently on the basis of her relationship to the Christ) but Jesus himself is given no messianic title.

I have yet to see this fact mentioned by the critics of the theory or addressed by it's supporters; what's your take? Isn't that absence rather important and telling?

Michael Barber said...


I have not heard anyone make that point--but that's excellent.

Thanks for the comment!