East Texas Theologians React To Cameron Documentary

We took the documentary's claims to Mark Edge,  a minister in Tyler with a Master's Degree in Divinity. He's spent his adult life spreading what Christians call the Good News; that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead to forgive our sins.

"It is the fundamental, the foundation of the faith. Some of the writers in the New Testament, such as Paul, talked about '...without the resurrection, really, this thing is meaningless," says Edge.

The documentary bases it's claims on a group of tombs discovered 27 years ago. Archaeologists say they bare the names of Jesus, Mary and Joseph;  a coincidence Cameron says cannot be ignored.

The archaeologist who discovered them, Amos Kolner, disagrees.

"It's a very common name found on ossuaries, found in pictures. Every place," says Kolner.

Edge says, "I think the archaeologist had a good point when he talked about Jesus was not an unusual name two thousand years ago. He wasn't the first one to carry the name Jesus."

"I think we have made a very compelling case for what we're saying, that this is the tomb of the Jesus family," says Cameron.

Father Tim Kelly, the priest at Saint Mary Magdalene's Catholic Church in Flint has a Master's Degree in Theology and Church History. He says this documentary is another example of Hollywood cashing in on controversy.

"Some people are going to get very upset, so my advice is 'keep your cool.' We have survived for two thousand years, and James Cameron is not going to be the end of the church," says Kelly.

Both men agree that if the claims in the movie were ever proven definitively true, it would be enough to destroy the Christian faith they hold dear. Neither of them think that will happen.

Lindsay Wilcox/Reporting: lwilcox@kltv.com