The Ossuary Find: Was It Really from 'The Brother of Jesus'?
Scholars wrangle over whether the bone box's inscription is genuine.
07/25/2003 11:23:35 AM
Dealer arrested in Jesus relic forgery JERUSALEM (AP) --Police have arrested an Israeli antiquities dealer suspected of creating two forgeries that shook the religious and archaeological world, including a burial box purported to be that of Jesus's brother James. Oded Golan also is suspected in connection with a shoebox-sized tablet inscribed with forged instructions for caring for the Jewish Temple. Golan appeared in a Jerusalem court Tuesday, one day after police arrested him at his home in Tel Aviv on suspicion of forging and dealing in fake antiquities. In court, police unveiled forgery equipment they said was found in Golan's home, including stencils, stones and partially completed forgeries. The dealer was being detained by police.
06/18/2003 03:37:18 PM
First it was proven real , then it was proven not real. Which one is correct? I believe it is real just becouse I want to. If it was deff. with out a doupt real, someone would say that it was not. God Bless the ones who can not believe.
05/24/2003 07:05:58 AM
The Hittites and many unlikely other things were proved, I wonder though. The tests prove it's from the region, the fact is that those names are common doesn't help. Yeshu(a)=Joshua
05/01/2003 10:36:54 AM
From the NIV Theological Dictionary of New Testament Words, entry for Iesous (transliteration marks omitted): "Iesous is the Gk. form of the OT Jewish name Yesua. ... Yesua (Joshua) seems to have come into general use about the time of the Babylonian exile in place of the older Yehosua. The LXX [Septuagint] rendered the ancient and more recent forms of the name uniformly as Iesous. Joshua the son of Nun ... appears under this name. The name means "Yahweh is help" or "Yahweh is salvation (cf. the vb. yasa, help, save)." Grace and Peace to you all.
04/30/2003 05:14:36 AM
Am I missing something here or wasn't "Jesus" meaning "Son of Zeus" a Greek title Emanuel was given sometime after his death??
04/29/2003 08:47:28 PM
A very cool object to see up close. If you get the chance - check it out when it comes to the US. This thing is real.
04/25/2003 07:41:31 PM
The problem with faith, acolytejohn, is that it often make us blind to the facts, restructuring its own reality as it does so. Such faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is not necessary, and when it is used it should be based on the most plausible explanation. As someone once wrote, 'Faith, by its very invocation, is a transparent admission that religious claims cannot stand on their own two feet', and, it is only undemonstrable assertions that require the suspension of reason, and weak ideas that require faith.
04/25/2003 02:57:38 PM
If you have faith you would not need evidance.
04/23/2003 08:50:32 PM
While I recognize the fact that one would be hardpushed to come up with any real solid evidence for the existence of an historical Jesus, I have little difficulty in believing that there is a real person behind all the apotheosizing material that later accumulated around the character of Jesus after his death. After all, this tendency to encase dead heroes,religious or otherwise, in layers of legend and myth (not in the pejorative sense) is not a rare phenomenon among humans.
04/23/2003 12:48:13 PM
That's a little facile. According to the "real experts" there is no consensus at all, and few have been so uncautious as to claim certainty for inauthenticity. Andre Lemaire, the fellow who first saw the box, is certainly a "real expert" and among the very best experts there are on ancient use of Aramaic on artifacts.
04/23/2003 06:21:57 AM
According to the real experts, the box is probably a fake. Detailed discussions of the reasoning involved can be found in Biblical archeology publications. But in the end, it's a "So what?" sort of issue. Only a fringe element doubts the existance of a man we call Jesus, who taught a message of inner transformation. And if people are still clinging to the Shroud of Turin, then nothing said by the experts is going to shake their belief in this box.
04/23/2003 05:16:46 AM
I watched the Discovery Channel Special and the conclusion is that it was the burial box of James. Either conclusion would not change my faith in Jesus.
04/22/2003 03:04:43 PM
Maccabeus: your statement is not without some truth. However, "Jeb son of George brother of George" could be held to apply to a fairly scarce number of Tallahassee residents of the early 21st century. In that context, the find is not as weak as some might wish to characterize it.
04/22/2003 10:24:39 AM
The author also explains the reference to 'Jesus': '"brother of Jesus" might have been added to the original inscription because in subsequent years, other members of the same family bore the name "James son of Joesph", and it had become necessary to identify this James further'. Seems to me thids heap of bones adds up to nothing more than a heap of bones.
04/22/2003 07:39:16 AM
Beerlover> No, actually "Jesus" was a common name too. Wasn't too different from being called "Joe" or "Bob" is now.
04/21/2003 10:19:54 PM
OK, I'll add my two cent's worth. I read that James and Joseph were fairly common names in that time, but Jesus was not. It was quite unusual to mention somebody's brother on a bone box and that was the most compelling evidence that this "Jesus" was Jesus the Christ.
04/21/2003 03:01:26 PM
I agree with Kim. And not only what she says: why the assumption that this is *the* James, son of *the* Joseph and brother of *the Jesus? Were these really such unusual names in that period?
04/21/2003 12:31:55 PM
I was actually working as a student at the Royal Ontario Museum when the box arrived and was put on exhibit. I talked with the leading curators of the department as that was actually the department I was working in. The letters are incised and as far as the curators (who were skeptical before its arrival) were concerned, the inscription was written in ONE hand. While there did not know if it was Jesus of Nazareth, the were fairly certain the box was genuine.
04/21/2003 10:57:21 AM
kim: I'm not sure it needs to say anything else. In an age where skeptics write tomes challenging whether figures like Jesus even existed, it is a nice splash of cold water to realize that even the cynic must face scrutiny. I don't believe because of a box, but at least I have the box to refer to the next time some rude person challenges my faith with a ludicrous claim that its central figure did not even exist.
04/20/2003 01:15:17 AM
So, what does it mean if it is real? That Jesus and James and Joseph actually existed? Would it say anything else? I think not.
04/19/2003 03:27:37 PM
As a fluent Hebrew speaker, reader and writer, I find the word "ahui" a little strange in its spelling. I see "aleph", "het", two "vav"s and something that looks like it came from the former Phoenician alphabet that was used before the Aramaic (or Babylonian)alphabet in which the rest of the inscription is made. I would have expected to see in this position a "yod" similar to the first letter in the inscription, which is the beginning of the word "Yaakov". The word "Yeshua" looks a little sloppy but is spelled ok. As I am not a paleontologist I cannot say what is the significance of this. On the other hand, there is another possibility - that is, that the letter I cannot identify is meant to be "dalet" but is made very sloppily and corrected over. The "dalet" in Aramaic is used to mean "of", as in "ahui de Yeshua". Miriam
04/19/2003 02:29:03 PM
The ossuary, the shroud, the relics of St. Peter's ... the list goes on. Ultimately, the real issue becomes less "is it real" than one of the awakening of faith (whether the impetus is an actual artifact or miracle or not)and whether that faith is nurtured by a community of support or distained and tarnished by a community of doubt. We live in a world that needs hope, promise and faith from wherever it may come. We live in a world where the hounds of hell work harder than ever to destroy that light ... and diminish our humanity.