I am reading this book, The Jesus Family Tomb and it is quite fascinating. While I do not believe in organized religion, and in fact believe it is more of a means of controlling the masses, I have no doubt that most, if not all, of the people in the various books of "Biblical" times existed - in some form or other - way back when. I am NOT saying that I think that Jesus or any other spiritual guide was anything other than human, just that the form these people have been given by the various and sundry interpretations of the old writings are exactly that: INTERPRETATIONS.
Anyway, this book intrigues me for many reasons. One being that, while Jesus and family, as I was taught, were not wealthy at the start of his "story" they certainly must've become somewhat improved in their financial situation simply due to the fact that the followers of such a leader would have been throwing in their little bits to help out whenever possible. That is the nature of "follow the leader" mentality and the idea of tithe to the church or similar religious entity is hardly a new one. A man of little or no means does not manage to travel far and wide to spread his spiritual message without some assistance along the way. Needless to say, back then, only the wealthy/well-to-do were able to afford the type of cave/ossuary burial that is often found from Biblical times in Israel. A man of Jesus' high stature in the community of his followers, would have been given a proper burial, else he would not have been as "important" a man as history would have us believe. Other teachings give us to believe he was descended from royalty, which if that was the case, would also explain possible "wealth" for burial. Of course, royalty is not always in power, so maybe they were not wealthy...
I never believed the notion that Jesus was a celibate man who never had a spouse. That would have marked him in a negative way based on the attitudes of the time in which he lived. It is most likely that he would not have grown to the stature he did, if he had not had his own family. To be different spiritually is one thing, but to live an existence far differing from accepted societal standards is less than likely to gather a flock in a positive way. From this book and others on the subject, I can reasonably agree that the most likely person to whom he was married was Mary Magdalene. As someone who was raised Catholic/Christian, I never understood the teaching that Mary Magdalene was essentially a "fallen woman" because otherwise why would she have ever made it to the inner circle to begin with? Jesus was a smart man and he would have known that by allowing a woman of such character in his circle for any extended period of time would have had a negative effect on his goals long term and short term.
As I read this book I am intrigued to know that there is good reason for the doubts I harbored about Jesus' story in my upbringing. The findings in this book just make sense and there is nothing I can see that would make it unreasonable to believe that this tomb is that of Jesus and family. Surely, if anyone reads this post, there might be dissenting opinions. If that is the case, GREAT! I certainly make no claims that I am an expert on religion or Jesus. However, I would ask first that you be sure that you have read more than just the Bible and have spent a little time on history before you blast me. To rely on the Bible alone as a teaching mechanism is to say that the documented history of the world is null, and that is simply not the case.
The fathers of the Christian faiths have a lot to loose if unadulterated truth in history is opened to humanity. In order to get a following you must have a story -- one that you not only can preach, BUT one that you stand behind NO MATTER WHAT. So, to make the fellowship of Christianity or any other religion palatable, is is easy to surmise that the stories we know have been presented in a way that would gather the largest flock. It is no different than politics or any other aspect of life that requires a person or group to convince the people at large that they are the "ones" to hear above all the other noise in the world. EVERYONE has an agenda, Jesus was no exception!
Science has proven many facts that are in conflict with Biblical teachings and yet many people who believe in the Bible teachings cannot see past the possibility that a book, translated countless times by countless people and altered each time in some way to further the agenda of the time, might not be 100% accurate. Think on this, if you will: Joe Schmoe writes a book and it is touted as the truth about whatever topic he has chosen -- say 200 years ago. Jack Schmuck comes along 200 years hence and does research and discovers that not only was Joe Schmoe's book inaccurate, he can show proof. Most people would look at the proof and say WOW, isn't that something. Consider that 200 years ago, the knowledge and capabilities of Joe Schmoe's time may have backed his claims or there just may have been nothing available to dispute his claims at the time. So, his publication is widely accepted as accurate. 200 years later Jack Schmuck has read this book and thinks, golly gee, there might be a mistake or two here. So he uses what is now available to him and the current world to test the accuracy of the claims in the Joe Schmoe book. Had Jack Schmuck tried to refute the claims say 100 years following the Joe Schmoe book, he may not have had the means to disprove those claims and therefore it would have stayed in place as the accurate book it had been known as, and any claims Jack Schmuck may have made about the inaccuracies would have been scoffed at because he had NO PROOF.
So, if much of what people believe is based on what we know at the time we live in, and we grow with and learn from it, then why is it that the Bible and religion in general are apparently not allowed to grow and expand with the times as well??? That is a shame and truly contemptible!