Documentary Source of Debate

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Sunday the Discovery Channel airs a documentary claiming the actual tomb of Jesus Christ has been found in Jerusalem. Even skeptics say the debate it could generate is exciting.

Dr. Mark Phillips is pretty sure what the “Lost Tomb of Jesus,” is:

"He's done great work. He's in the entertainment business and that's what this is. Entertainment," he said.

The 'he' in this case is James Cameron, distinguished filmmaker and producer of the discovery channel documentary and a supporter of what two ancient boxes represent.

"The film brings to light for the first time tangible physical, archaeological and in some cases forensic evidence," said Cameron in a recent news conference.

Evidence that ancient stone containers held the remains of Jesus and Mary Magdalene.

"One of them says 'Jesus. Son of Joseph,” said director Simcha Jacobovici.

Jacobovici filmed an examination of a tomb in Jerusalem originally unearthed in 1980.

Statistics, he says show the canisters belong to Jesus of Nazareth and his family, and that DNA found inside can prove Jesus and Mary Magdalene had a child.

"Let all the theologians, all DNA experts and all New Testament scholars...let them weigh in. Now it's their turn," said Jacobovici.

"The scholastic world is not jumping up and down pro or con, because it's just another Jesus, son of Joseph tomb," said Phillips.

Phillips is pastor of Christ Church in Colorado Springs and a historian.

For starters, he says Jesus was a common name at the time the boxes were made.

"There are probably dozens of tombs like that," he said.

The scuttlebutt over the documentary hasn't hit...just yet.

"I've only had a couple questions," he said.

But Phillips says he'll give the film a look...and looks forward to any debate it generates.

"If there's ripples, bring them on, because more people will be exposed to the truth Jesus is who he claimed to be."

More on the debate could start Sunday. The documentary airs on the discovery channel at 7:00 p.m.