Kennedy's 'Postcards from
The burden of evidence
Jonal entry 969 | Wednesday, April 12, 2006
I was disappointed recently when a judge in Italy dismissed a lawsuit against a Catholic priest brought by a man challenging the priest to prove his claims that Jesus Christ had actually lived. Initial reports said that the Italian courts had allowed the suit to progress, meaning the priest would have to defend and prove the historicity of Jesus and the events recorded in the Gospels and Acts. I didn't want to see the Catholic Church or a local priest harrassed, of course, which was one way to interpret the suit, but I felt that there would be no way the Catholic Church's best lawyers could "lose" such a suit, so the day in court would have had worldwide positive impact for all believers in Jesus and the Bible. Not only the man bringing the suit but many who think like him would have most likely been impressed.
As a "nuisance suit" it would have cost the church some money, but my bet was that it would have brought more "bang for the buck" (or the lira) than most evangelistic outreaches churches invest in. I'm convinced that there is ample evidence for the historicity of Jesus of Nazareth that is far superior than the "proofs" of Santa Claus marshalled in the sentimental Christmas favorite movie, Miracle on 34th Street, in which a fictional court of law rules that a man's claim to be St. Nick can't be disproved. Of course there is no scientific proof in the laboratory sense for Jesus having lived. There are no remains of his body, for one thing, that can be tested as St. Nicholas' remains, theoretically, might be.
In my recent work on my book, I found some interesting information about the Samaritans. Samaria was the home of the (fictional?) Good Samaritan in Jesus' parable and the nonfiction Samaritan woman known in church tradition as Saint Photini, who gave the Lord a drink at the well and worshipped him as the Messiah after He told her about her sins that He could only know about by divine revelation. Samaria was the region of the Roman province of Israel that lay between Judea (the region surrounding Jerusalem) and Galilee (the northern region near the Sea of Galilee). So Jesus and His disciples crossed Samaria when they moved from Galilee to Judea and back.
Judea and Galilee were Jewish territories, but the residents of Samaria, though considering themselves Israelites, were considered apostate or "excommunicated" Jews, and therefore were considered virtually "untouchables" in Jesus' time, and His patronizing of them was considered scandalous by legalists like Pharisees and Scribes. There still lives in the region once called Samaria a handful of descendants of the Samaritans of that time. And DNA research has shown that today's Samaritans are descendants of Jewish and Assyrian ancestors, which may be the reason they were shunned in Jesus' day, as they were descended from intermarriage, more strictly forbidden then for Jews than in today's more "politically correct" multicultural climate.
From another source I've heard, though with no proof, that DNA tests have been made of the royal bloodline of France, a line which, according to Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code, is descended from Jesus and his alleged secret wife, Mary Magdalene. According to my source (a guest I heard on a newschannel talk show), the DNA tests proved that there is no Jewish blood in the French royal lines, and also proving (if reports of the tests are true) that Brown and others who've written similar books are wrong.
I don't know if France, like Italy, allows lawsuits to establish the truth or falsity of public statements, but if it does, it's a pity that no one has sued Brown and his fellow Gnostics to prove their blasphemous claims about the ancestry of French royals.