Discovery Channel announced several panelists for The Lost Tomb of Jesus: A Critical Look, a special hosted by Ted Koppel that will air on Sunday, March 4 at 11 PM ET/PT immediately following the premiere of The Lost Tomb of Jesus at 9 PM ET/PT.
Koppel, who has no connection to the production of The Lost Tomb of Jesus, will bring his independent journalistic perspective to the evidence introduced in the documentary. The hour-long discussion will have minimal commercial interruptions and will present the many voices, opinions and beliefs related to the film's content. The panel will explore the filmmakers' profound assertions and challenge their assumptions and suggested conclusions.
"Inevitably, on a subject as important as this, there will be many unanswered questions," said Koppel. "I expect to raise as many of those as possible."
Panelists featured on The Lost Tomb of Jesus: A Critical Look include:
-- James Tabor, Department of Religious Studies, University of North Carolina
-- Darrell Bock, Professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, past president of the Evangelical Theological Society
-- The Very Rev. David O'Connell, C.M., President, The Catholic University of America
-- William Dever, professor emeritus of Near Eastern archaeology and anthropology at the University of Arizona
-- Simcha Jacobovici, Investigative Journalist and Filmmaker
"This documentary touches on many sensitive issues," said Jane Root, president and general manager of Discovery Channel. "The experts' findings reported in the documentary rely on the application of the most current forensic patina analysis, Paleo-DNA techniques and statistical evaluation. But it is the beginning of a complex archeological journey, not the end. Because of that, we believe that this film should be viewed in the context of a spirited dialogue and viewers should decide their own viewpoints and conclusions."
The worldwide premiere of The Lost Tomb of Jesus airs in the United States on Sunday, March 4 at 9 PM ET/PT and the special, The Lost Tomb of Jesus: A Critical Look, immediately follows at 11 PM ET/PT. Internationally, The Lost Tomb of Jesus airs on Channel 8 in Israel on March 5; VisionTV in Canada on March 6; ProSieben in Germany on April 6; and Channel 4 in the United Kingdom on April 9.