NEW YORK — Under tight security to fend off potential protesters and protect religious artifacts, James Cameron and Simcha Jacobovici introduced their docu “The Lost Tomb of Jesus” on Monday at the New York Public Library.
Documentary presents physical evidence found in a 2,000-year-old tomb in the Talpiot neighborhood of Jerusalem that once may have held the remains of Jesus of Nazareth, Mary Magdalene and possibly a son named Judah.
Doc, skedded for a Sunday preem on the Discovery Channel, is produced by Cameron and Jacobovici, who also wrote and directed.
The two made the announcement at the library, where police had their cars lined up bumper to bumper around the building with lights flashing.
“It doesn’t get bigger than this,” Cameron said. “We’ve done our homework, we’ve made the case, and now it’s time for the debate to begin.”
After the press conference, Cameron unveiled two limestone ossuaries (bone boxes) that he believes may be the final resting place for Jesus and Mary.
Docu presents the latest evidence from world-renowned experts in Aramaic script, ancient DNA analysis, forensics, archaeology and statistics. In conjunction with the film, HarperSanFrancisco is publishing a companion book, “The Jesus Family Tomb,” co-authored by Jacobovici and Dr. Charles Pellegrino, with a foreword by Cameron.
“This has been a three-year journey that seems more incredible than fiction,” Jacobovici said. “The idea of possibly finding the tomb of Jesus and several members of his family, with compelling scientific evidence, is beyond anything I could have imagined.”
But, Jacobovici added, questions remain. Some of the writing on the bone boxes has yet to be translated.
“If it doesn’t say ‘Jesus’ and says ‘George,’ this case falls apart,” Jacobovici said.