While watching yesterday's press conference on the "Jesus Family Tomb" (on-line on the Discovery Channel Website, bottom left, third link up), I heard James Cameron, the executive producer of the documentary to air next Sunday, using the Beatles analogy that I had already heard Simcha Jacobovici, the director, using on the huge Jesus family tomb website under the heading "Probability". The analogy goes something like this: if in 2,000 years a tomb was discovered in Liverpool that featured the names John, Paul and George, we would not immediately conclude that we had found the tomb of the Beatles. But if we also found so distinctive a name as Ringo, then we would be interested. The new book, website and documentary claim that the "Ringo" in this tomb is Mariamene, who they interpret as Mary Magdalene and as Jesus's wife.
Now there are problems both with the identification of Mariamene and with the construction of the analogy, but I want to comment for now, more light-heartedly, on something my wife Viola pointed out to me while I was watching the press conference. Jesus is being compared to the Beatles. Is John Lennon's famous controversial "bigger than Jesus" statement of 1966 (here on YouTube) now even more true than it was then?
Update (Wednesday, 7.58): Jim Davila asks refers to this post and asks whether The Beatles are bigger than Jesus and says maybe not, but Google Fight is less clear. Jesus is only just bigger than "The Beatles", the "Beatles" are bigger than Jesus and Jesus is bigger than The Beatles.