As followers of my work know, in 2007, in a film entitled “The Lost Tomb of Jesus” and a book (co-written with Charles Pellegrino) “The Jesus Family Tomb“, I argued that the tomb of Jesus and many of his family members had been found in the East Talpiot suburb of Jerusalem. Recently, this was followed up by a further investigation with my good friends, Prof. James Tabor of UNC Charlotte and Prof. Rami Arav of the University of Nebraska. We inserted a robotic arm into a tomb next to the alleged tomb of Jesus and came up with the earliest signs of Christianity – some 200 years earlier than anything in the catacombs of Rome! This investigation was broadcast in 2012 on The Discovery Channel as “The Resurrection Tomb Mystery, and documented in a book, “The Jesus Discovery“, written by Prof. Tabor and me, which was just released in paperback.
Now for the smoking Templar gun.
Although the tomb dates to the 1st century, from the beginning of the investigation it was clear that there was an ancient break in, probably around a thousand years ago. In the first book, Charles Pellegrino and I speculated that the break in may have taken place during the Crusades and that the people who found this tomb were the Templars. The Templars have gained a lot of fame lately because of the Da Vinci Code. They were an order of knights that gained tremendous power in the 12th century and were then utterly destroyed by the Church in the 14th century. More correctly, they probably went underground. People have long speculated that the Templars had discovered something in Jerusalem that was anathema to the Church, and that they were able to blackmail the pope with their secret knowledge. Could it be, we speculated, that the Templars’ secret was the Talpiot tomb itself? Could it be that the Templars knew that the Church of the Holy Sepulcher was not the real tomb of Jesus? Could it be that when they found the Talpiot tomb, the Templars knew that they had found the bones of Jesus?
The evidence for Templar/Talpiot connection was scanty. The date of the break in into the Talpiot/Jesus tomb fits with the Templars. Also, when the tomb was discovered in 1980 three skulls were found on its floor, seemingly placed there so as to form a triangle. The placement seemed ceremonial and fits what little we know of the Templars (see the Jesus Family Tomb pp. 123-134). Most importantly, the façade of the tomb has a unique chevron, with a little “chimney” on top and a circle in the middle. This symbol is later associated with heretical Christian groups and the Freemasons. But we did not have a smoking gun association with the Templars themselves – until now!
In a recent documentary on H2, investigator Scott F. Wolter, revealed a late 12th/early 13th century Crusader coin, minted in Jerusalem, that clearly has the façade of the tomb on it. The coin will also be featured in Wolter’s upcoming updated edition of his book, “The Hooked X: Akhenaten to the Founding Fathers”. On the coin, the tomb’s antechamber, which had been destroyed when bulldozers accidentally came upon it during construction, is clearly evident. The antechamber is framed by two pillar like structures with circles on top. In the 1980 photo of the tomb, I think one can still discern a circle on the right. In any event, the mouth of the tomb is treated on the coin as a face, presumably the face of Jesus. Most importantly, the little unique “chimney” over the chevron is perfectly visible on the coin.
Here we have a perfect match between a Crusader coin and the Talpiot tomb. It’s either a smoking gun connecting the Talpiot tomb to a Crusader order, thereby reinforcing its connection to Jesus, or another in a long string of coincidences. As the saying goes; “coincidence, I think not!”