I cannot help but be excited about and upcoming James Cameron documentary (or Titanic fame). The documentary supposedly used rigorous scientific methods to determine that a burial chamber, found almost 30 years ago, is indeed the final resting place of Jesus (yeah, that one!) along with his family. This includes Maria (the virgin Mary), Mariamne (Mary Magdalene), two brothers and (potentially) his son (The bloodline of Da Vinci Code fame!!). You can see the Discovery channel's on-line promo of the documentary here. The Discovery channel will be running it a number of times, but it is to premier on March 4th at 8:00pm (central time).
Of course the controversy has already started and criticisms are being proffered by those who have not seen the film or the book. Even if this showed irrefutable proof that Jesus is just another dead guy, the religious apologists would be able to spin it. The resurrection story that I grew up with was 1) he died, 2) they put him in a tomb, 3) they sealed the tomb, 4) they came back and he was gone!!! There was no ambiguity in the story I heard untold times . . . he was gone . . . poof. I understand that not all sects of Christianity fully endorse the physical ascension, but rather a spiritual ascension. BORING!! That is not NEARLY as interesting a story as what I grew up with.
I really expect little or nothing to come out of this film. Even if convincing, what should be a fatal blow to a central tenet of the faith will simply get spun and reinterpreted for the followers. Give them about two years for the religious 'scholars' to create the least disruptive explanation and to build a framework of other supporting 'facts' that can be easily fed to the flock.
My PVR is already programmed.