The Shocking True
Story Behind the “Jesus Family Tomb”
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Where did Yahshua “Go” When He
Was in the Sepulcher 72 hours?
did “Jesus” Do After the Resurrection?
If you didn’t know this already, the
Discovery Channel aired “The Lost Tomb of Jesus” last month (March, 2007). The claims made by the filmmakers were that that
they were perfectly certain they had found the tomb of the family of Yeshua,
that they had his DNA, that Mary Magdalene was in there, and that they had a
son who was in there, too, little Jude.
As a long-time student of archaeological findings and so-call Christian
origins, I found the discovery fascinating.
What I couldn’t agree with was the direction the filmmakers took the
discovery. Their rock solid conclusion
from what they found in the tomb was that Mary Magdalene was the mother of
‘Jesus’s’ son and that she went to Europe with her brother then came back to
die and be interred.
If you saw this presentation then you’ll know what I’m about
to write about. If you didn’t, you may
still see clips and presentations at
The Nazarene Acts of the Apostles,
aka The Recognitions of Clement, a
new, true names translation
one of the most important sources of first-century religious
practice. Generous Glossary. (Hear
The Odes of Shalome,
A New, True Names Setting
of the earliest excusively Nazorean songbook.
These and many more rare new
are available at
It Is the Real Thing
For the sake of my
story, let’s temporarily believe that the “Jesus Family Tomb” is the real thing. I don’t have time to define all the terms or
tell all the history behind what I am presenting to you. Rest assured what I’m writing is based in fact, not the incredulous
presumptions of the DaVinci Code crowd.
You may easily verify most of what I write by simple internet searches,
reading Josephus, Philo or Eusebius, using the Search Engine at
JacksonSnyder.com, or purchasing or any modern
scholar’s book of the subject. (I have
several excellent books listed at
www.YAHpop.us. Or I can offer you references or sources if
you are really interested. Contact me
here: jack AT focushaiti.com.
Let the story begin:
Twins and Therapeutics – Cleopas and Cleopatra
Let me start off my Shocking True Story Behind the “Jesus
Family Tomb” in an unlikely place –
19:18) about 10 years before the so-called Common Era (B.C.E.). Here lives an adult set of twins whose ancestors came out of
Egypt in the
Exodus, but went back sometime later.
Their names are Cleopatra and
Cleopas – very popular Greco-Egyptian
names at the time. (Twins run in the family since even before Jacob and Esau.) This brother and sister are religious; they
are Essenes of the sect of Theraputae
– lay religious healers and rainmakers.
Cleopas follows a trade – he is a builder and contractor of building (tekton
– Mark 6:3). Cleopas is in business with
his brother brother-in-law, Cleopatra’s husband, Yehosef bar Ya’akov. Though
is their home, they contract and build edifices all over.
The Compassionate and Powerful Religion of the Essenes,
Zaddikim and Just
As Essenes of the Theraputae, Cleopas and Yehosef and his
wife Cleopatra are highly educated and religious people. They participate in the study of the ancient
manuscripts like the Books of Enoch, the Jubilees, the Torah and the
Prophets. They can read Coptic, Aramaic
and common Greek. As wise and active lay
ministers, they have a tradition of study, weather prediction, and healing
through prayer and herbs. Essenes in
general have a very high ethical standard as well. They take in orphans and widows as commanded
in Scripture. They see to the welfare of
the poor. The money they make through
their business, which is considerable, is placed (for the most part) in a
common fund to better the community of Essenes, especially those who care for
less fortunate others or who those called to study Scripture (http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/12821). Elders in the Essene Movement have attained a
high level of set-apartedness (holiness) and are known by the title “The
Righteous” or “The Just.” Yehosef is
known in Hebrew religious circles as Yehosef haZaddik, or “Yehosef the Just”
(Matthew 1:19; Acts 1:23).
Twins of Yehosef and Cleopatra – Ya’akov and Yehuda
Yehosef and Cleopatra have three children: Ya’akov, Yehuda
and Yochana. Ya’akov and Yehuda are
twins. (The first of twins is known as
the Alphaeus - Matthew 10:3 – the
second, the Didymos – John 11:16 – [toma in Hebrew]). Ya’akov, being the first-born, is
consecrated to Yahweh for the Priesthood of Melchizedek and has already been
sent to “Damascus Monastery” of the Essenes located east of
Jerusalem on the Brook Kerith. Yehuda works with his father and will take
over the family contracting business some day.
Yochana is already betrothed to a young Nazorean Essene of the tribe of
Levi living in northern
Palestine. She has yet to meet him.
Twins of Cleopas and Mariamne – Shimon and Shalome
Cleopas is also married – to Mariamne (John 19:25). Like Cleopatra and Cleopas, Mariamne is a
common Greek form of a very common Hebrew name;
two princesses of the Maccabees had this name,
both married to Herod.
Cleopas and Mariamne have two children, also twins: Shimon and
Shalome. (By the way, did I mention
Yehosef and Cleopas were cousins?
Marriage within the extended family was expected and blessed in those
Essene Fellowships Sprinkled All Over
These Essene families had for some generation been
influenced by the immersion of
into Greek culture under the Ptolemys, but in these days, close to the
fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy of the advent of Messiah, both Yehosef and
Cleopas abandon Greek names and give
their children strictly Hebrew
appellations. As Essenes, they take
the best of Greek culture, abandoning the worst, and are seeking out their
Hebraic roots even as they are working and traveling together (Matthew
9:17). There is a fellowship of Essenes
of one sort or another in every city and town of
Syria, so there is no lack for
like-minded friends in their travels.
Death in the Family
Yet despite the family’s regard for health and faith
healing, there is nothing they can do to save Cleopatra, Yehosef’s wife. She dies young infection after a dental
procedure and, though there is great grief in the families (for the two are as
one), they all reckon that some good will come out of the tragedy. The Resurrection will surely bring them
Herod Rebuilding Sepphoris (Zippori)
The cruel King Herod is the greatest builder in history;
there is no lack of work. In fact,
Sepphoris is to be rebuilt as the administrative capital of
Galilee. Yehosef, Cleopas, Yehuda and Shimon are
easily able to acquire long-term employment there rebuilding the amphitheater
in the center of the city. It is to be a
showplace and Herod is sparing no expense.
Galilee is dangerous for anyone, so the
families are careful to choose where they will reside. They have kin in Sepphoris – Ya’akin, his
wife Chana, and their daughter Maryah.
With Ya’akin help, Yehosef and Cleopas will move their families to two
villages on the outskirts of Sepphoris:
Many builders are moving to this area and homesteads are in short
supply, but Ya’akin relates that
there is a
detachment of Roman soldiers posted in these towns and they will be
Now we have Yehosef and his son Yehuda and daughter Yochana in
Nazareth and Cleopas and Mariamne and their twins Shimon
and Shalome in
Cana. Maryah, lives in Sepphoris, where she was
born. Ya’akov, Yehosef’s oldest son, is
in the seminary symbolically known as “Damascus“ and, when
he becomes a priest of the Order of Melchizedek at age 30 (Hebrews 5:6), the
Essene treasury will purchase him a house in Jerusalem. (This according to the
primary source histories.
This priesthood did not require a Levitical heritage.)
Maryah and Yehosef
We already know the story of “Mary and Joseph.” It was
the duty of an Essene of Yehosef’s type, i.e. “a righteous one,” to take to wife such a woman as Maryah,
especially since she was a kinswoman.
Essenes of all sects adopted children, helped the poor, and even married
women in order to give them the benefit
of a family name and the Essene
treasury. Some Essenes, especially
those who were priests and some certain sects, remained celibate, and increased
their numbers solely by adoption and
the taking youth into their discipleship programs.
Yeshua / Yahshua in Sepphoris
The youth Yeshua,
was considered the illegitimate child of Maryah by the religious
was not allowed an education in the
synagogue (Deuteronomy 23:2).
Yeshua, being a firstborn of the line of Judah and himself
a scion of David, would work with
Yehosef and Yehuda in Sepphoris until the age of thirteen at which time he is
committed to the Nazorean Essene seminary at
Carmel on the
Mediterranean. It would be in
Carmel and “Damascus” where he would spend many of his
“lost years.” Upon
the age of Nazorean eldership at 30, he too would become a priest of the
order of Melchizedek, though from a different school than his much older
step-brother Yaakov. (For more on
Yahshua’s lost years from a Nazorean perspective, search for “Jackson Snyder’s Lost and Found.”)
Yochana and Matyah Lebbaeus Alphaeus
About this time, Yochana, the daughter of Yehosef, marries
her intended. He
was to be a
priest but he opts for another kind of
Levitical work – levying
taxes. Also the first of a set of twins
(Mark 2:14), Matyah the Levite becomes a rich young ruler in the seashore town
Capernaum. Yochana and Matyah have children, one of who
is named Mattithyahu. A generation
later, in 37 C. E., Yochana has the privilege of naming her grandson after her
father, Yehosef. This same Yehosef becomes responsible for
much of what we know of these times. For
later he would be adapted by the Emperor
Vespasian and become Flavius Josephus.
But long before, Matyah would become
scribe for the Nazorean movement, spearheaded by Yahshua Messiah, currently
known as Yeshua bar Yehosef. Although
many wonderful stories were to be told about him long after he was gone, Matyah
was content to stay with Ya’akov his brother-in-law in
Jerusalem all his life. Shimon bar Cleopas, his pastor when he fell
asleep, laid him in the family tomb and scratched his nickname on an ossuary.
Yehuda and Shimon
While the eldest brother Ya’akov is studying Enoch and
becoming “James the Just” in
Jerusalem, his twin
(toma), Yehuda, is studying current
political events with Yochanan, an Egyptian Essene of the
School. Yehuda talks about Yochanan with his father
Yehosef, the teen-ager Yeshua, along with Cleopas and Shimon bar Cleopas (Luke
24:18) as they walk the five miles to work each day – to the amphitheater in
Sepphoris – the place where the youth Yeshua learns all about actors and
hypocrites. Yehuda and Shimon, as strong
men of nationalistic fervor, are lured into the “Zeal for the Law” movement,
also known as “The New Covenant of Phineas” (Numbers 25:6-13). The goal of this
secret society is to bring about a theocratic
Israel. Although there are many
violent movements in these days, this
Essene wing of the Covenant promotes passive resistance against the
occupying Romans and Herodians.
Although Yehuda and Shimon are both married with children (Shimon
was married in Cana with Yehuda as best man – John 3), they find themselves, as
descendants of King David, pushed up to the forefront of the Phineas New
Covenant movement. And now, a great
event is planned as a show of solidarity
– a “reverse exodus” in which all covenanters walk east through the city of
Tiberius and OUT of
into the desert for a week-long camp meeting.
Tens of thousands march out, with Yehuda and Shimon – and even the
younger Yeshua – leading the “Cana to Nazareth
Yahad.” (This would be called a “strike”
The Romans general in Tiberius does not take this well as it
causes a serious work shortage. The
General takes his armed divisions out to the desert, surrounding the campers
and beheads the purported leaders, including Yehuda, son of Yehosef (Acts
His body would never be claimed.
Yeshua and his half-cousin Shimon bar Cleopas of Cana escape along with
about 400 others. But the bulk of the
dissenters are sold into slavery. This would be the final
peaceful demonstration against Greek and Roman authority.
Besides his wife, Yehuda leaves behind a young child, the
Yehosef and Yose
Grief over the death of his son, with whom he had worked
closely for many years, also took Yehosef’s life at the age of 54 leaving
behind his young Essenic wife, Maryah, his eldest son Ya’akov (who is now in
Jerusalem), Yeshua – his son by adoption, and his youngest son and namesake,
Yose (‘Little Yehosef’).
Yeshua, the Nazorean Essene of
adopts his nephew, Yehuda Jr. As a Zaddik
after the order of Melchizedek, he would
never be married nor have marital relations. Yet adoption was the right thing to do on the
behalf of his brother. Yeshua
also adopts other children, allowing
all children to come unto him. Yeshua also continues to maintain
a close relationship with his youngest
brother, Yose (Mark 6:3). As a Nazorean
Essene, Yeshua understands his community
of brothers, sisters and children
to be family, and he supports his greater family financially and spiritually
(Matthew 9:15, 12:50, 14:21, many more).
Back to the Tomb
Now before we get to the so-called “Tomb of Jesus” I must
make a few remarks: first off, whatever human remains are found in this cave
tombs were buried in a common grave in
1980. Ossuaries, or bone-boxes, were
used over and over again for over as
long as 100 years; whatever remains were in them
were not necessarily those of the names inscribed on them. There is no telling what DNA material was
soaked out of them and it is no wonder that
DNA tested was found to be unrelated. (This was the filmmaker’s ‘proof’ that one of
the boxes belonged to Mary Magdalene.)
Next, let us be reminded of the story of Joseph of Arimathaea – that
he secured his family tomb well in advance
of his death, just as many today make funeral arrangement long before
Ya’akov (James) became a
he was the head of the Assembly of Ebionite Essenes there; he
worked for a living as a paid priest of
the order of Melchizedek (Acts 6:7), and
we have James’ history right up to his assassination in 62 AD. He (James) purchased the tomb. His own bone box disappeared and turned up in
2003 and has since been proven by patina
analysis that it came out of this same tomb. I have no doubt whatsoever that the James
Ossuary is authentic and have no problem with this tomb being authentic either.
Did you know that
bar Cleopas, Ya’akov’s cousin, also
had an assembly in
Jerusalem? Shimon was crucified
after the turn of the first century,
some 40 years after Ya’akov’s bones was laid in the box. As we mentioned before,
Yahuda bar Yehosef, Ya’akov’s twin, was executed by the Romans
after making confirmed missionary trips to
Kurdistan. Provinces and towns retain his name and title
to this day. His descendants – also the
descendants of his son Yehuda Jr.
(adopted by Yeshua) – were hunted down by
two Roman Emperors and finally all
crucified in the second century.
So that leaves us with the following bone boxes that have
names on them. (Please recognize that these identities and spellings are
arbitrarily chosen by
those who transcribed them from the granite):
X Yeshua son of Yehosef (vowels implied) –
Jesus son of Joseph,
Read right to left, beginning with a
(X, sign of the Passover) or a cross
Ya’akov bar Yehosef akui di Yahshua –
son of Joseph brother of Jesus
Matyah – note the sacred name YAH
Yoseh – Joses – “Little Joseph”
– Mary – second wife of Joseph the Just, mother of Jesus and Joses. The film makers said this name was scratched
in Latin. As you can clearly see, this is round Hebrew
and spells Maryah, which the filmmakers Latinized to Maria. They said it was written in Latin because of
Roman devotees of Mary. That was simply
Mariamene Mara – This is in Greek letters and fairly easy to read. Mariamene (or
Mariamne known as Mara):
This is the sister-in-law of Maryah (Mary) and wife of Cleopas (John 19:25) –
also known as “the other Mary” in the evangels –
not Mary Magdalene. The
filmmakers said because this inscription was in Greek that it had to be Mary
Magdalene. Also, because the DNA found
in this box showed no relation to the DNA found in the “Jesus” box, this proved
that Mary Magdalene and Jesus were married.
What ridiculous conclusions!
this film host is a famous archaeologist – the “Naked Archaeologist.”
Looking at the annunciation of the angel to Mary in Luke 1:28 - Gabriel
calls Mary "kecharitōmenē" (kecaritwmenh).
The ending, menē, is a sign of endearment, like "Lovely One" or "Little
Darling!" Mariamene could be encoded with the same idea.
Where Are the Rest of the Kin?
The Family of Yahshua described in Scripture consists of
Mary, Joseph, James, Jude, Jesus, Joses, Joanna, Salome, Cleopas, Shimon bar Cleopas
(Simon the Canaanaean), maybe more.
Reliable sources tell us that relatives of Jude were found in the
from 60 years after the Resurrection to 300 years later. There were
several other ossuaries in the tombs with no names (although there
are certain symbols alike on all of them): we may account for them all the
family if we want. In addition,
there was in an adjoining tomb an ossuary
with the name Shimon Kefa (Simon Peter) on it. This
name is very unusual.
they find his bones in Rome?
a Believer in the Jesus Family Tomb?
I have been thinking about “Jesus Family Tomb”
since LONG before the television
special. I have studied and imagined
many scenarios. The very tale you have
just read, The Shocking True Story Behind the “Jesus Family Tomb,”
I wrote earlier in pieces in several essays going back as long as six
years. It just so happens that
my story fits the tomb inscriptions like
O. J. Simpson fits his glove (not the bloody one). To me, the program was very inspirational,
factual and believable . . . ;
yet the way the story trailed off into the DaVinci Code showed
the extreme ignorance of the “Naked Archaeologist” in regard to first century
the Essene / Nazorean Movement and Yahshua’s history as we know it. (For crying out loud, the guy admitted he
didn’t even know Yahshua had a brother – even after the James Ossuary came out
4 years ago!)
I believe the tomb was purchased by someone in the
second to fourth century – someone who
had these names scratched into the bone boxes and charged admission. The whole thing is just too pat, especially
finding Simon Peter in the next cave! The
next thing they will find in there is a
first century copy of the Acts of
Mary Magdalene, which Frank Moore Cross will be happy to authenticate!
--Jackson Snyder P. S.
If you read this entire article, let me know and I’ll send you a free
audio CD with the reading of an ancient text that NOBODY HAS EVER BEFORE
HEARD. Just put your name and address in
the mail body and write in the header “I Read the Whole Thing.” You will love the CD.