TV Highlights

Biblical Conspiracies

Discovery - 9pm

Who's in it?

Leading archaeologists, Bible buffs and historians knocked their heads together to puzzle out the mystery of some nails that may or may not have been used to crucify Jesus.

In a nutshell

Ever heard of Caiaphas? When it comes to officials who presided over the execution of Jesus, his name is somewhat overshadowed by Pontius Pilate, whose moral dilemma over the whole thing has made him an enduringly enigmatic figure across the ages. Caiaphas has a rather less exalted place in the story, being the High Priest who helped get Christ condemned. This programme shed more light on the man, and on his tomb – where two Roman nails were found. Roman nails that definitely, DEFINITELY were used to nail Jesus to that cross.

Well, when we say DEFINITELY we really mean, probably. Or not. Documentaries like this never come to a firm conclusion – at least not that withstands serious empirical historical analysis – but they made a good go of it, with the nails being subjected to tests to identify the presence of wood and bone on the ancient metal. The film actually covered a mammoth half-decade investigation, using electron microscopes and everything. Not exactly Indiana Jones, but that’s proper science that is.

What's the verdict?

While the tests show the nails may well have been used in a crucifixion, were they used in THE crucifixion? The answer to that is a big fat maybe, but that should be enough to get the online Dan Brown-alikes excited.

Star rating: 3/5

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07-07-2011