Knoxville Pastor Welcomes Controversial Jesus Documentary

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Knoxville (WVLT) - A worldwide controversy over the life of Christ is again causing a stir in religous circles. Recently a novel asserting Jesus was married made national news, and tonight, a documentary claims the mortal remains of Christ, his wife, and a son have been found.

The Discovery Channel is set to air the documentary this weekend. It claims that a cave in Jerusalem, is actually the tomb of Jesus, his wife, and their son.

A Knoxville pastor questions the fine, but welcomes the film which again puts Jesus back in the news.

"The most famous death in history is the death of Jesus of Nazareth," says Pastor Bill Fowler.

The movie presents artifacts discovered in 1980 in a burial cave in a Jerusalem neighborhood. The excavation found 10 small limestone coffins inside the tomb with human remains.

"One says Jesus, son of Joseph, two Mary's," Director James Cameron says.

Filmakers say the documentary shows archaeological, statistical, and genetic evidence that the family of Jesus may have been interred in the cave.

"They just have found some bones with those names on it," Pastor Fowler says.

Pastor Bill Fowler of Knoxville's Church Street United Methodist Church doesn't believe those claims.

"A box full of bones, that's not going to affect how Christians act," Pastor Fowler continues.

Followers of the Christian faith believe that after his resurrection, Jesus that Jesus of Nazareth was resurrected from the dead three days after his crucifixion.

"It's absolutely untrue that we're trying to erode Christianity, quite the opposite!," James Cameron says.

Christians believe that after his resurrection, Jesus' body ascended to heaven, therefore, no mortal remains would be found.

"Will it affect my faith? Not in the least, now I can't say that for other people, some people are going to say 'oh my goodness, look what they found', and the claims of his bodily ascension are now in doubt, no they're not," Pastor Fowler says.

In his latest newsletter, Pastor Fowler encourages church members to watch the film. He says any discussion about Christ may deepen or broaden the faith.

"Even the search for artifacts that talk about Jesus, that causes people to talk, and I think it's great, let's keep looking, let's keep digging, but at the same time, keep the faith," Pastor Fowler says.

Pastor Fowler says he hopes archaeologists will keep looking for ancient biblical artifacts.

The Discovery Channel will show "The Lost Tomb of Jesus" Sunday night at nine o' clock.

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