I just finished watching the documentary, The Lost Tomb of Jesus by the filmmaker Simcha Jacobovichi. I thought it was really intriguing! It’s all about these first-century ossuaries (bone boxes) that were discovered in 1980 accidently during construction in Jerusalem. Originally uncovered by Archeologist Shimon Gibson, Now Jacobovichi and a team have been examining the inscriptions and the history behind the names on the boxes. They also rely on “expert of Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine archeology, Amos Kloner, who also specializes in ancient Jewish secondary burial practices.”
“Of the ten ossuaries, or stone coffins, found inside the first-century tomb, six bore inscriptions: Jesus, son of Joseph; Maria; Mariamene (the name by which Mary Magdalene was known), Joseph, Matthew, and Judah, son of Jesus.” [source]
In the documentary they do the math on the statistics – based on popularity of the names, and the probability that two Mary’s would be with a “Yeshua, bar Yosef” (Jesus, son of Joseph). They also try to prove that the Marys are “Maria” (the Virgin Mary – Jesus’ mother) and “Marianme” (Mary Magdalene), apparently Jesus’ wife. They do a DNA test at a Paleo-DNA lab on material found in the Jesus, son of Joseph ossuary and the Mary Magdalene ossuary; it confirms that they do not share DNA, yet were buried in close proximity of each other.
The reason why it’s a huge deal is because the names from first-century Israel, are all common names. When the ossuaries initially discovered, catalogued, and placed in the Archeological Warehouse by the Israeli Antiquities Authority, deemed as simply a coincidence. Jacobovichi went to statisticians, theologists, historians, ancient scripture and scripture experts, references in both the Old and New Testaments, and a number of controversial documents which Christianity does not promote.
There is similar controversy with The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown when he also suggested that Mary Magdalene was married to Jesus, and they had a child also. But the difference that Jacobovichi points out is that, “The Da Vinci Code is fiction, thrilling fiction – this is thrilling reality. And the investigation isn’t over.”
The symbol here, is the Chevron and the Circle, which Jacobovichi feels is too much of a coincidence to not mean anything. It is a symbol found on the tomb entrance to where the ossuaries were found in 1980, it is on the Jesus ossuary, and it was used (in a number of artifacts located) as a symbol for the following of Jesus and his apostles. As Jacobovichi said, “I think that there might be a concection between the surviving Judeo-Christian group. The symbol, the Templar, the Masons. And like Hansel and Gretel, you know, you can follow the breadcrumbs – you can follow the symbol.”