In 2002, an Ossuary, presumably which at one time held the bones of James, the brother of Jesus, was discovered. This plunged the archeological world in to an extremely contested debate as to whether or not this particular relic was indeed authentic. From examining the evidence and the opinion of others, I remain extremely skeptical regarding the authenticity of this ossuary. The inscription's structure, shady details regarding the owner, and a personal skepticism for highly-esteemed, religiously held artifacts in general causes me to be cautious regarding the origin of this particular relic. While I certainly have questions regarding the validity of this piece, I still remain open to the possibility of this being the ossuary which held the bones of the man claimed to be the brother of Jesus.
There is not a debate on whether the actual ossuary - a limestone box measuring 50.5 centimeters in length, 25 in width and 30.5 in height - is an actual container used during the time of Jesus, rather the dispute is regarding the inscription of the relic. The inscription, reading ""Ya'akov bar Yosef akhui di Yeshua", which translates into "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus" separates this particular ossuary from numerous others of its type. The debate regarding the legitimacy of the inscription has led to the owner of the ossuary, Oded Golan, being tried under the assumption that he was responsible for forging the inscription (Fraudulent Relics and the Brother of Jesus).
[...] So is the ‘James ossuary' for real?." The Times of Israel. Times of Isreal Mar Web Nov Shanks, Hershel. "“Brother of Jesus” Inscription Is Authentic!" BAR 38:06 . The BAS Library, July-Aug Web Nov Dooley, Paul. "The James Ossuary - Evidence of Jesus' Brother?" N.p Oct Web Amiram, Barkat. "Collector Accused of Forging 'James Ossuary' Says Old Photos Prove Authenticity." Haaretz. Haaretz Jan Web . [...]
[...] Works cited: McGirk, Tim. "Fraudulent Relics and the Brother of Jesus." AFP / GETTY Oct Web. Gavson, Michael H. "The James Ossuary." 60 Minutes. CBS. N.d. Web . Friedman, Matt. " Oded Golan is not guilty of forgery. [...]
[...] The prospect of forging such artifacts can become very attractive to individuals looking to make lucrative gain. This prospect becomes even more attractive in relation to forging documents of religious significance because of their value. This idea is appropriately summarized with the saying, all the splinters of the True Cross were gathered from across Christendom, it would yield a wooden crucifix the size of a Manhattan skyscraper (“Fraudulent Relics and the Brother of Jesus”). I am in no way stating or implying with absolute certainty that the inscription chiseled onto the ossuary is undeniably forged. [...]
[...] There is still, to this day, much dispute regarding the validity of this artifact. I find this historical artifact and the controversy surrounding it extremely intriguing. I however, given the amount of information I currently possess, cannot accept the validity or authenticity of this artifact, and consequently, cannot esteem it nor become as elated about its presence and implications as others who have accepted its authenticity. being skeptical as to its validity, will also not attempt to argue for the absolute assumed falsification of this artifact. [...]
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