Do you think you know exactly how old Jesus is? Probably about 2,000 years old, if we're looking at what year it is.
Oh man, do I have some news for you. Jesus is old AF. Like, you know how your grandpa is old? Well, Jesus would straight up embarrass you grandpa in a who-is-older competition. This guy was wearing Birkenstocks way before they were cool. Jesus is so old that he probably remembers black-and-white TV or maybe even the radio!
The most commonly accepted burial place for Jesus is the tomb at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, located in Jerusalem. Of course the tomb is in Jerusalem. All the cool religious stuff is in Jerusalem. Previously, scientists believed the tomb to be 1,000 years old, but new evidence suggests that the true age is almost 700 years older than that!
The new information is the result of tests done by the National Technical University of Athens. Researchers at the university tested the limestone cave via a technique called optically stimulated luminescence (OSL), which determines how recently sediment was exposed to light. Pretty cool! Other classes at the University of Athens include Feta-Making 101, How to Milk a Goat, and Why Are Greek People So Chill? I'm kidding, but I also seriously wish that my university had a class on feta.
No, stupid. Limestone is a sedimentary rock with marine origins that is usually composed of accumulated shells, coral, and algae. So Jesus was buried in a tomb of fish? Yes, he was. But Geology.com also says that another component of limestone is "fecal debris," so the tomb was made of poop too. Interesting! Poop! Fish skeletons! Jesus!
Scientists previously believed that the tomb at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was from the Crusader Period, a period that has been nicknamed the "Wettest and Wildest Part of History." Just look at the party in this photo. Is that a guy doing a keg stand? Probably. The Crusades were awesome. If we're just thinking about the facts, however, then yeah, a lot of people died.
So if you didn't know, Jesus is a pretty big deal. He was crucified, which I've heard is not fun at all, and then he rose from the dead three days later, which I've heard is not easy to do. The tomb at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, referred to as Calvary or Golgotha in the Bible, is believed to be the site where all this went down: crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. Archaeologists have determined that the tomb has never been moved, and that makes sense, because how do you move a tomb?
The Bible implies that Jesus died in either A.D. 30 or 33, which means that the J-man passed away in his early thirties. By old-timey standards, that means he led a long, full life. But by biblical standards, where people live for hundreds of years, the son of God encountered some bad luck. If Jesus were alive today, then he died before he would be eligible to run for president of the United States. If Jesus himself ran for president, voter turnout would still be under 50 percent in America. #jokes.
If you were wondering about the math of all this, then you're not alone. If the tomb in Jerusalem was recently dated at 1,700 years old, but Jesus died in A.D. 33, then, um, what? The reason has to do with the time when the tomb was enshrined, which I will explain in the next slide. But, honestly, you're buying into a story that involves walking on water, so why don't you cool it with the skepticism, okay?
You definitely don't love Jesus as much as this guy, Constantine I. He was a Roman emperor who converted to Christianity and made it the official religion of his empire. His big claim to fame was locating and enshrining Jesus' tomb in A.D. 326, which explains that wonky math. But Constantine I was also the first guy who made building big statues of Jesus a cool thing to do! Wow! What a trend setter. If he was alive today, Constantine would be decked out in Supreme.
Egyptian Caliph al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah (a.k.a. "Steve"), pictured above being a total jerk, was not a nice man by all accounts. Among other things, "Steve" ordered the destruction of Jesus' tomb in the year 1009, which led to historians' skepticism that the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is the true burial place of Jesus. This new evidence, however, helps put that skepticism to rest.
Are you feeling the need to relax, but you also want to pay respects to your all-mighty creator? Try the Church of the Holy Sepulchre! In 2016 the tomb of Christ was opened for the first time in centuries, to the delight of Christian pilgrims everywhere. So go, take a load off, have a margarita, and repent for your sins.
The reason that the tomb was recently opened for the first time in 500 years is because scientists were giving the place a remodel. (Umm...yeah, this photo is not it.)They were restoring the Edicule, which is the shrine that encloses the tomb. I heard that they put in a new island too, with a sink and everything! The remodel cost $4 million so there'd better be a sink.
I know. I know. You love Christmas, not because of the presents and the food, but because it's Jesus' birthday. But I have bad news. December 25th isn't Jesus' birthday. DUN DUN DUN! Apparently in the fourth century, the church just decided on late December for Christmas because the date already fit with other, similar holidays. Everybody cancel Christmas and go to church. We're all living a lie.