Generally, when I think of a movie director stirring things up, Oliver Stone comes to mind. Let's face it, his theories on the John F. Kennedy assassination have never failed to start arguments. This time around, however, it is not Oliver Stone who is stirring up trouble, but James Cameron, of all people. Cameron was executive producer on the documentary The Lost Tomb of Jesus, which aired on the Discovery Channel last night.
The Lost Tomb of Jesus centres on the alleged discovery of the tomb of the family of Jesus below Jersualem. As a documentary I can't deny that it is very well done. Director Simcha Jacobovici allows everything to unfold like a good novel, rather than throwing everything at the viewer at once. And the information is entertainingly delivered. The documentary is indeed very engaging.
As to the evidence that this is indeed the lost tomb of Jesus, that is somewhat less compelling. While the coincidence of the various names (Yeshua/Jesus, Maria/Mary, and so on) makes it seem possible that this is the tomb of the family of Jesus, I am not so sure that is very likely. Indeed, what no one on the documentary seems to have pointed out is that while the names do indeed fit with those of Jesus's family, there are many names from his family that are conspicuously absent--his father Joseph and his brothers James, Jude, and Simon. While I am not going to say that this is definitely not the tomb of Jesus, I have to admit that it seems unlikely to me that it is (keep in mind that as I am not Christian, I don't believe Jesus bodily ascended into heaven, so finding a tomb belong to him is at least possible in my mind).
I don't think The Lost Tomb of Jesus is going to challenge the faith of any Christians. Nor do I think it is going to convince anyone that this is indeed the tomb of Jesus. That having been said, I do think it is an entertaining two hours covering what is at least an interesting possibility.