"Take my possessions -- please!"
Photo: Getty Images/David Freund
Courtesy of: David Freund
An archaeologist has scored the discovery of a lifetime, unearthing a tattered, faded parchment that experts have certified as the last will and testament of Jesus Christ.
"It's absolutely genuine," affirms Dr. Qustandi Shomali, Director of Bethlehem University's Department of Ancient History, and one of the world's foremost experts in historical artifact authentication. "We have positively identified both Jesus' handwriting and the parchment paper itself through radio carbon dating processes."
Among the items Christ bequeaths are:
- "My crown of thorns to Mary Magdalene."
- "My sandals to my friend, Luke."
- "My shroud to the village beggar, Vinnie."
- "Eternal life to my mom, Mary.
- "The Holy Grail to my masseuse, Janet."
- "My book collection to my school buddy, Matthew, including the books Judaism For Dummies, How to Start Your Own Religion, and Resurrection -- Is It For You?"
The archaeologist, professor Justin Matlow, unearthed the priceless historical document halfway through an intensive, three-year excavation near Magdala, an Israeli town close to the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus delivered sermons and performed miracles. "Frankly, the discovery stunned me," admits Matlow. "Because the other items with which the will was buried weren't nearly as important."
Those additional items include:
- A list Judas kept of betrayal bribe money he collected.
- Peter & Paul's secret plans for the world's first candy bar.
- The restaurant receipt from the Last Supper.
- Mary Magdalene's thong.
- John the Baptist's shirt, featuring the words, "My Savior Visited Galilee and All He Brought Me Back was This Lousy T-Shirt!"
Despite its authentication, however, not everyone is convinced the will is the real thing. "This is yet another Israeli scam," proclaims Dr. Suliman M. Al-Satari, Chairman of the Islamic University's Ancient Cultures Department, in Gaza. "In the past decade, Israel has tried getting us to believe they've found Jesus' report card, Moses' sunglasses and Cleopatra's apron. We didn't buy it then and we're not buying it now."
Despite the few naysayers, however, Matlow has delivered the will to Bethlehem University for safe-keeping, and to date the university has received over 1,200 requests worldwide from organizations wishing to display and/or purchase the historical find of the century.
A panel of religious artifact experts and scholars, headed by Shomali, is currently exploring the best options.
Plans under consideration so far for Jesus' will include:
- Sending it out on a world tour with the hottest Christian rock bands.
- Cutting it up into tiny pieces and offering them for sale on e-Bay, with the proceeds donated to charity.
- Sewing it into one of the Pope's favorite ceremonial robes.
- Threatening to light it on fire if both the Palestinians and Israelis do not agree to a cease-fire.
- Silk-screening it onto an extensive line of holy souvenirs, including beer mugs, dog food bowls, and jogging shorts.
Having successfully completed his quest for Jesus' will, Matlow now looks forward to his next assignment from the Israeli government: locating the Garden of Eden's Tree of Knowledge. "It's a known fact that man only uses 10 percent of his brain power. First thing I'm going to do when I locate that tree is take a bite of its fruit -- and then just sit back and wait for the other 90 percent of my brain to kick in!"