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Scholar Claims Oldest Jesus of Nazareth Evidence
Las Vegas Sun / AP ^ | 10.21.02 | RICHARD N. OSTLING

Posted on 10/21/2002 9:05:57 AM PDT by rface

WASHINGTON- An inscription on a burial artifact that was recently discovered in Israel appears to provide the oldest archaeological evidence of Jesus Christ, according to an expert who dates it to three decades after the crucifixion.

Writing in Biblical Archaeology Review, Andre Lemaire, a specialist in ancient inscriptions at France's Practical School of High Studies, says it is very probable the find is an authentic reference to Jesus of Nazareth.

The archaeology magazine planned to announce the discovery at a news conference Monday.

That Jesus existed is not doubted by scholars, but what the world knows about him comes almost entirely from the New Testament. No physical artifact from the first century related to Jesus has been discovered and verified. Lemaire believes that has changed, though questions remain, such as where the piece with the inscription has been for more than 19 centuries.

The inscription, in the Aramaic language, appears on an empty ossuary, or limestone burial box for bones. It reads: "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus." Lemaire dates the object to 63 A.D.

Lemaire says the writing style, and the fact that Jews practiced ossuary burials only between 20 B.C. and A.D. 70, puts the inscription squarely in the time of Jesus and James, who led the early church in Jerusalem.

All three names were commonplace, but he estimates that only 20 Jameses in Jerusalem during that era would have had a father named Joseph and a brother named Jesus.

Moreover, naming the brother as well as the father on an ossuary was "very unusual," Lemaire says. There's only one other known example in Aramaic. Thus, this particular Jesus must have had some unusual role or fame - and Jesus of Nazareth certainly qualified, Lemaire concludes.

It's impossible, however, to prove absolutely that the Jesus named on the box was Jesus of Nazareth.

The archaeology magazine says two scientists with the Israeli government's Geological Survey conducted a detailed microscopic examination of the surface patina and the inscription. They reported last month that there is "no evidence that might detract from the authenticity."

The ossuary's owner also is requiring Lemaire to shield his identity, so the box's current location was not revealed.

James is depicted as Jesus' brother in the Gospels and head of the Jerusalem church in the Book of Acts and Paul's epistles.

The first century Jewish historian Josephus recorded that "the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ, James by name," was stoned to death as a Jewish heretic in A.D. 62. If his bones were placed in an ossuary that would have occurred the following year, dating the inscription around A.D. 63.

The Rev. Joseph Fitzmyer, a Bible professor at Catholic University who studied photos of the box, agrees with Lemaire that the writing style "fits perfectly" with other first century examples and admits the joint appearance of these three famous names is "striking."

"But the big problem is, you have to show me the Jesus in this text is Jesus of Nazareth, and nobody can show that," Fitzmyer says.

The owner of the ossuary never realized its potential importance until Lemaire examined it last spring. Hershel Shanks, editor of Biblical Archaeology Review, himself saw the box Sept. 25.

Lemaire told The Associated Press the owner wants anonymity to avoid time-consuming contacts with reporters and religious figures. The owner also wants to avoid the cost of insurance and guarding the artifact, and has no plans to display it publicly, he said.

---

On the Net:

Biblical Archaeology Review: http://www.bib-arch.org


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: archaeology; catholiclist; economic; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; jesus; stjames
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FR is very slow for me today.

Ashland, Missouri

1 posted on 10/21/2002 9:05:57 AM PDT by rface
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To: Polycarp; Campion; sinkspur; irishlass; BlackElk; SMEDLEYBUTLER; Theresa
The inscription reads:

"James, son of Joseph, BROTHER of Jesus."

*ping*

2 posted on 10/21/2002 9:21:32 AM PDT by berned
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To: Siobhan; american colleen; sinkspur; livius; Lady In Blue; Salvation; Polycarp; narses; ...
Lemaire says the writing style, and the fact that Jews practiced ossuary burials only between 20 B.C. and A.D. 70, puts the inscription squarely in the time of Jesus and James, who led the early church in Jerusalem.

Archaeological Jesus bump!

3 posted on 10/21/2002 9:23:26 AM PDT by NYer
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To: 4ConservativeJustices; billbears
ping..."the beat goes o-o-n; the beat goes on."
4 posted on 10/21/2002 9:28:33 AM PDT by Ff--150
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To: Ff--150
Was just getting ready to ping you. This man claims to have found the burial box for James? Jesus' brother? The man who wrote the epistle of James in the Holy Bible?
5 posted on 10/21/2002 9:31:49 AM PDT by billbears
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To: billbears
Yes, that James.
6 posted on 10/21/2002 9:35:43 AM PDT by Blood of Tyrants
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To: billbears
That's him.

From another article:

Protestants traditionally read the New Testament as meaning Mary gave 
birth to Jesus as a virgin and then had James, three other sons and at least two daughters with Joseph.

In accord with church fathers writing after the New Testament era, the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics 
teach Mary's "perpetual virginity," which means she and Joseph never had marital relations.

The Orthodox think Joseph had James by his first wife, and after she died he married Mary - 
whose only child was the virgin-born Jesus. Thus, James was Jesus' stepbrother.

Catholics commonly hold that James was merely Jesus' close relative, perhaps the son of Joseph's brother 
Clopas or a cousin on Mary's side. The new inscription, 
if authentic, would rule out that option.

7 posted on 10/21/2002 9:36:01 AM PDT by AppyPappy
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To: Vic3O3
Ping
8 posted on 10/21/2002 9:39:07 AM PDT by dd5339
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To: Ff--150
Lemaire told The Associated Press the owner wants anonymity to avoid time-consuming contacts with reporters and religious figures. The owner also wants to avoid the cost of insurance and guarding the artifact, and has no plans to display it publicly, he said.

So no one can look at it and no one can talk to the owner. I don't think it's real. But I can see both sides of the issue. I could see that it verifies to the world the existence of Christ and that, at least in the world's eye, more of the stories are true. The question would be though is why? Why would God bother? How would this help spread the message of His love for us through Christ? And I don't see that it could. Researchers could uncover every artifact in Jerusalem and it wouldn't change the doubters minds or prove the divinity of Christ.

9 posted on 10/21/2002 9:40:15 AM PDT by billbears
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To: rface
Very interesting, but all three names were very common. And FR was pretty slow this am for me, too, I managed to commit the sin of double-posting...
10 posted on 10/21/2002 9:42:17 AM PDT by Mamzelle
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To: rface
As an archaelogical find, this is well beyond "enormous."
11 posted on 10/21/2002 9:42:47 AM PDT by john in missouri
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To: NYer
Man, are we in for it now. The doubting Thomases re Mary and her virginity are already licking their chops.

I guess big families and how they work are unknown to them.
12 posted on 10/21/2002 9:43:55 AM PDT by Desdemona
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To: NYer

The ossuary is not quite rectangular, like most burial boxes found so far, but trapezoid in shape. It is about 20 inches long, 10 inches wide, and 12 inches high. The image on top shows the inscription "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus".

13 posted on 10/21/2002 9:47:53 AM PDT by NYer
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To: NYer
I get chills.
14 posted on 10/21/2002 9:50:12 AM PDT by FryingPan101
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To: billbears; Ff--150
Bump ;o)
15 posted on 10/21/2002 9:54:14 AM PDT by 4CJ
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To: rface
Lemaire dates the object to 63 A.D.
Rather precise. Wonder how Lemaire arrived at that date?
16 posted on 10/21/2002 10:06:06 AM PDT by eastsider
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To: billbears
i tend to doubt it's real, too. Be nice if it were, but this doesn't pass the aroma test.
17 posted on 10/21/2002 10:14:00 AM PDT by Ff--150
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To: billbears
i tend to doubt it's real, too. Be nice if it were, but this doesn't pass the aroma test.
18 posted on 10/21/2002 10:15:30 AM PDT by Ff--150
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To: eastsider
The date or the current Roman ruler is usually noted somewhere on these boxes and on coins.
19 posted on 10/21/2002 10:34:56 AM PDT by STD
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To: STD
I'd be suspicious of any coin or ossuary that had 63 A.D. inscribed on it ... : )
20 posted on 10/21/2002 10:41:33 AM PDT by eastsider
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To: billbears
Being the son of Joseph, assuming that to be THE Joseph, does not prove what you want to prove, i.e. that Mary had other children.

The article itself says that there would have been no more than twenty men named James whose fathers would have been Josephs and who had brithers named Jesus. Right there, you have to wonder about the article. On what possible evidence could one conclude those numerical assertions without documentary evidence which would have been much more compelling than: We found an ossuary lid and it says.......

Next, note that the mystery person who claims to own this claimed artifact which has not been viewed in public just did not know its significance, is too modest and privacy loving to allow his identity to be public and does not plan to let us see the presumed artifact or whatever it is. It will be his or her little secret and we will just have to trust him or her. This is not a very reliable way to present evidence.

The rest of this post is based upon what is entirely possible to be the false assumption that the unseen artifact actually exists and is as described.

Next, note that the ossuary lid was found in Israel. St. James the Greater is buried at Santiago de Compostella in Spain. He was martyred not by stoning but by being put to the sword by Herod Agrippa I (Acts, xii, 2), in 44 AD and not in 63 AD as indicated for the fellow whose lid this may be. The martyrdom of St. James the Greater is the only martyrdom of one of the twelve apostles recorded in the New Testament.

St. James the Greater was the brother of St. John the Evangelist. See also Matthew x, 2, and Luke vi, 14, and Acts i, 13. Collectively, they were known as "Boanerges" or "the sons of thunder" and are sons of Zebedee not Joseph, not Mary (Mark iii, 17) and were, along with Peter and Andrew, the first four apostles called by Christ. The remains were brought to Spain and are no longer buried in Israel.

St. James the Lesser was a son of Alphaeus and another Mary who was at the tomb (Mark xv, 40, xvi, 1; and Matthew xxvii, 56). There is improbable legend that he was martyred at Persia or that he was "the brother of the Lord" when he was more likely a cousin whose parents were Alphaeus and that other Mary.

There was yet a third James who wrote the Epistle of James and died in 62 A.D., known as James "the Just" who was apparently a step-brother of Christ by a previous marriage of Joseph or was actually St. James the Less, son of Alpheus and a Mary not the mother of Christ but related to her, according to St. Jerome. There is apparently some dispute as to the manner of death, some arguing that he was stoned and some that he was thrown from an upper story of a building. While James "the Just" may possibly have been the person whose ossuary lid has been found, it simply begs the question as to the relationship to Mary, the Mother of Jesus. As to that question, this may be an interesting artifact to the "reformed" but it proves nothing but that a man whose father was Joseph and had a brother named Jesus is said to have been buried in the box.

How many Jameses were there in Jerusalem at the time? If Jesus Christ's inner circle is any representative sample, the place must have been crawling with them.

Finally, as I understand it from the discovery a few years ago of the ossuary of Caiaphas (one of the chief villains of the Passion) it was the custom not just to bury the deceased in such a box but his entire family. Each corpse was first laid out to rot the flesh from the bones, on a shelf, and then the bones were added to the box. If James "the Just" had no wife and no children, they would not have been buried with him since they did not exist. On the other hand, why were not the bones of the purported or putative parents of this important man (if they were Joseph and Mary as suggested) buried in that ossuary as well? He was, after all, said to have assumed leadership of the Church at Jerusalem after St. James the Greater was martyred and Peter had left Jerusalem.

I am afraid that the term "brother" in this context is more akin to the black saying: "Keep the faith, brother." or "Brothers and sisters, we are gathered here today...." than to RFK was JFK's brother.

Some kind of fantasy though.

21 posted on 10/21/2002 10:54:54 AM PDT by BlackElk
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To: billbears
Being the son of Joseph, assuming that to be THE Joseph, does not prove what you want to prove, i.e. that Mary had other children.

The article itself says that there would have been no more than twenty men named James whose fathers would have been Josephs and who had brithers named Jesus. Right there, you have to wonder about the article. On what possible evidence could one conclude those numerical assertions without documentary evidence which would have been much more compelling than: We found an ossuary lid and it says.......

Next, note that the mystery person who claims to own this claimed artifact which has not been viewed in public just did not know its significance, is too modest and privacy loving to allow his identity to be public and does not plan to let us see the presumed artifact or whatever it is. It will be his or her little secret and we will just have to trust him or her. This is not a very reliable way to present evidence.

The rest of this post is based upon what is entirely possible to be the false assumption that the unseen artifact actually exists and is as described.

Next, note that the ossuary lid was found in Israel. St. James the Greater is buried at Santiago de Compostella in Spain. He was martyred not by stoning but by being put to the sword by Herod Agrippa I (Acts, xii, 2), in 44 AD and not in 63 AD as indicated for the fellow whose lid this may be. The martyrdom of St. James the Greater is the only martyrdom of one of the twelve apostles recorded in the New Testament.

St. James the Greater was the brother of St. John the Evangelist. See also Matthew x, 2, and Luke vi, 14, and Acts i, 13. Collectively, they were known as "Boanerges" or "the sons of thunder" and are sons of Zebedee not Joseph, not Mary (Mark iii, 17) and were, along with Peter and Andrew, the first four apostles called by Christ. The remains were brought to Spain and are no longer buried in Israel.

St. James the Lesser was a son of Alphaeus and another Mary who was at the tomb (Mark xv, 40, xvi, 1; and Matthew xxvii, 56). There is improbable legend that he was martyred at Persia or that he was "the brother of the Lord" when he was more likely a cousin whose parents were Alphaeus and that other Mary.

There was yet a third James who wrote the Epistle of James and died in 62 A.D., known as James "the Just" who was apparently a step-brother of Christ by a previous marriage of Joseph or was actually St. James the Less, son of Alpheus and a Mary not the mother of Christ but related to her, according to St. Jerome. There is apparently some dispute as to the manner of death, some arguing that he was stoned and some that he was thrown from an upper story of a building. While James "the Just" may possibly have been the person whose ossuary lid has been found, it simply begs the question as to the relationship to Mary, the Mother of Jesus. As to that question, this may be an interesting artifact to the "reformed" but it proves nothing but that a man whose father was Joseph and had a brother named Jesus is said to have been buried in the box.

How many Jameses were there in Jerusalem at the time? If Jesus Christ's inner circle is any representative sample, the place must have been crawling with them.

Finally, as I understand it from the discovery a few years ago of the ossuary of Caiaphas (one of the chief villains of the Passion) it was the custom not just to bury the deceased in such a box but his entire family. Each corpse was first laid out to rot the flesh from the bones, on a shelf, and then the bones were added to the box. If James "the Just" had no wife and no children, they would not have been buried with him since they did not exist. On the other hand, why were not the bones of the purported or putative parents of this important man (if they were Joseph and Mary as suggested) buried in that ossuary as well? He was, after all, said to have assumed leadership of the Church at Jerusalem after St. James the Greater was martyred and Peter had left Jerusalem.

I am afraid that the term "brother" in this context is more akin to the black saying: "Keep the faith, brother." or "Brothers and sisters, we are gathered here today...." than to RFK was JFK's brother.

Some kind of fantasy though.

22 posted on 10/21/2002 10:55:04 AM PDT by BlackElk
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To: eastsider
:) I'd forgot about the coin
23 posted on 10/21/2002 10:57:28 AM PDT by billbears
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To: john in missouri
Why, you might even say: Preposterous unless your mind were made up in advance of ever hearing of the unseen box.
24 posted on 10/21/2002 10:58:31 AM PDT by BlackElk
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To: eastsider
Wonder how Lemaire arrived at that date?

The first century Jewish historian Josephus recorded that ``the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ, James by name,'' was stoned to death as a Jewish heretic in A.D. 62. If his bones were placed in an ossuary that would have occurred the following year, dating the inscription around A.D. 63.

25 posted on 10/21/2002 11:01:46 AM PDT by NYer
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To: BlackElk
Well as I surmised above I don't think it is the box of THE James. As others have pointed out, it doesn't pass the sniff test
26 posted on 10/21/2002 11:01:56 AM PDT by billbears
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To: BlackElk
Why, you might even say: Preposterous unless your mind were made up in advance of ever hearing of the unseen box.

Actually, I don't find it preposterous in the least.

We have a large amount of evidence that a new religion was founded in Palestine by a Jew named Jesus around 30 AD, and that that religion very quickly came to assume such importance that our very calendar derives its system of numbering years from the date of the birth of its founder.

There are literally dozens, if not hundreds, of important potential artifacts from this early period of the history of this religion that could, and by all reasonableness, should have been preserved in some way.

Possessions of Peter and Paul, and the various other apostles, and undoubtedly bones, burial sites, ossuaries and many other things relating to the early church and its leaders would have been preserved. Some would eventually have gotten destroyed, others forgotten.

Many such artifacts would have been carefully put away in secure (and in a great many cases) secret places. It is neither strange that they should have been hidden away, nor that, in many cases, what the artifact actually was should be forgotten over the centuries. A single family or group of people will have been the caretaker of a particular artifact. At various points, it will have been deemed wise to limit the knowledge of such an artifact to a few, or even to only one, person. Or perhaps an elder caretaker simply didn't get around to passing on the knowledge before meeting with an unexpected death. Over the couse of 2000 years, the chain of knowledge was broken.

We have manuscripts of New Testament writing -- far more fragile than stone -- that were penned very early on, including the essentially complete Codexes Sinaiticus and Vaticanus. It is not at all strange that a stone artifact should survive.

Nor is it strange that we should find it now, at a point in history when there are people poking their noses into just about every nook and cranny on earth, when knowledge and communication are widely available, and when intensive research is doubling the knowledge of mankind every few years.

27 posted on 10/21/2002 11:57:11 AM PDT by john in missouri
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To: john in missouri
I meant to note in there that the Codexes Sinaiticus and Vaticanus date from the 300s...
28 posted on 10/21/2002 11:59:40 AM PDT by john in missouri
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To: rface
"But the big problem is, you have to show me the Jesus in this text is Jesus of Nazareth, and nobody can show that," Fitzmyer says.

One small moment of clarity.

29 posted on 10/21/2002 12:04:18 PM PDT by Aquinasfan
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To: BlackElk
Good summary. The Catholic position is that Mary was "ever Virgin," and of course that there was only one miraculous virgin birth, that of Jesus. The usual Catholic opinion is that Jesus had no brothers or step-brothers; but that is not, like Mary's virginity, an article of faith. It's conceivable (though sheer speculation and I think unlikely) that Joseph had sons from an earlier marriage.

As one response notes, the usual Catholic position is that the word often translated as "brother" simply means a close relation, such as a cousin. In fact this is one of the few instances where the translators of the RSV Bible agreed to differ. The Protestant version has "brothers" and the Catholic version "brethren."

In any case, there's no way this "find" can be proved, one way or the other. Assuming that the artifact is genuine, there were numerous people with these three names in Jerusalem. Early traditions agree that James did not die in Israel. Those traditions can be questioned, of course, but they are still the best evidence we have.
30 posted on 10/21/2002 12:07:10 PM PDT by Cicero
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To: john in missouri
There is actually another reason why genuine artifacts likely would have been forgotten over the centuries: creeping skepticism and carelessness.

It is 900 A.D. Your father tells you that this stone box contains the bones of James, and that you are to take care of it. Obviously it's very old, but you're not an archaeological expert, and you don't actually read Aramaic. You're smart enough to know that not everything you're told is true, and that the only evidence your father had was that his father told him the box was the ossuary of James.

Years later, you tell your son that the box "is supposed to have contained the bones of James, but I'm not really sure about that."

Your son will tell his son that "there's a legend that this box contained James' bones."

Your grandson will tell his great-grandson "this is supposedly a real important box. Legend has it that this box once contained the bones of some big church leader. I think it was James or John or, well, somebody like that."

Your great grandson tells his kids: "Look at this cool ancient bone box. It's supposed to be real important."

31 posted on 10/21/2002 12:08:05 PM PDT by john in missouri
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To: Aquinasfan
"But the big problem is, you have to show me the Jesus in this text is Jesus of Nazareth, and nobody can show that," Fitzmyer says.

Statistically it seems far more likely than not, if the facts as reported are correct:

1) That there would only have been around 20 Jameses dating from this time period with both father named Joseph and brother named Jesus, and:

2) That mentioning a brother's name on the ossuary is so rare (requiring a prominent brother) that only one other example of a mentioned brother has so far been found.

By many estimates, the permanent population of Jerusalem at that time was only around 50,000 -- quite a small place by today's standards.

32 posted on 10/21/2002 12:18:51 PM PDT by john in missouri
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To: NYer
It says "...son of Joseph,.." but it doesn't say "son of Mary." How can people say conclusively that he was son of Mary? It is possible that Joseph was married once before Mary.
33 posted on 10/21/2002 12:21:24 PM PDT by Pyro7480
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To: rface
Here we have perhaps had the good fortune to find the tomb of a man who knew well the Son of God. How lucky we are!
34 posted on 10/21/2002 12:34:56 PM PDT by yendu bwam
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To: john in missouri
Doubting virtually nothing that you say, this unseen artifact, possessed by an unidentified person and not to be shown publicly requires that we place faith in something quite distinct from our Creator and in someone who just happens to be viewed as holding evidence (which we cannot see) that just happens to be consistent with reformation PIOS.

The Roman Catholic Church possesses the Shroud of Turin. As a Catholic, I fully accept that the Shroud of Turin MAY not be authentic as the shroud of Jesus Christ although the evidence seems to suggest that it is. It may also be the lost Shroud of Odessa as well as the Shroud of Jesus Christ as the residents of Odessa believed. It may be a clever forgery as many critics seem to believe in which case it is one of the most remarkable forgeries in the history of humanity. Nevertheless, my faith does not and ought not to rest on the Shroud one way or the other nor yours on the unknown and unseen ossuary lid.

May it be noted, however, that the Romnan Catholic Church not only displays the Shroud to the public with some regularity with due regard for its preservation but also allows for scientists critical of Christianity and Catholicism and outright hostile atheist scientists access for scientific testing to take their best shot. Whoever possesses this ossuary lid ought to do likewise if he or she expects to be taken seriously or he or she ought to at least allow viewing by neutral scientific observers of all persuasions. We have a world out there which we are commanded to teach and to baptize. Those in need of teaching and baptizing are not going to take the word of anonymous for it.

BTW, that calendar is the Gregorian calendar, known for Pope St. Gregory the Great who introduced it. As the late Bishop Fulton Sheen once wrote, Christ's birth was so important that it split all history in two.

The RCC also has fragments of parts of the Mass that are clearly that which date to the early 2nd Century (ca. 120 A.D.)

In any event, I suspect I may disagree with your theology but I must say that I respect your thoroughly reasonable approach to archaeology and its significance and your evident integrity.

35 posted on 10/21/2002 12:41:13 PM PDT by BlackElk
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To: NYer; Siobhan; narses; american colleen; Desdemona
Anyone know anything about "diabolical obsession" or what someone is supposed to do who thinks this is happening to them?
36 posted on 10/21/2002 2:29:52 PM PDT by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
Anyone know anything about "diabolical obsession" or what someone is supposed to do who thinks this is happening to them?

Would you elaborate?
37 posted on 10/21/2002 5:00:41 PM PDT by Desdemona
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To: Desdemona; eastsider; HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
When in the Holy Land, we would go to the Armenian Cathedral with a group from the Latin Patriarchate (it was a time of ecumenical efforts) to hear evening vespers and to venerate the grave of St. James. I know that in addition to the Armenian's claim, the Orthodox, the Anglicans, us Catholics, the Jacobites -- all agree that St. James is buried there -- and these groups are famous for disagreeing even over a toothpick.
38 posted on 10/21/2002 5:21:58 PM PDT by Siobhan
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To: HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
First, the Baltimore Catechism comes to mind: God, good angels, bad angels, and diabolical obsession.
39 posted on 10/21/2002 5:31:18 PM PDT by Siobhan
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To: HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
My sister Bernadette recommends this link: On the New Rite of Exorcism from L'Osservatore Romano.
40 posted on 10/21/2002 5:36:01 PM PDT by Siobhan
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To: Cicero
It's conceivable (though sheer speculation and I think unlikely) that Joseph had sons from an earlier marriage.

Dittos on the "unlikely" word due to the notion of primogeniture. Jesus was descended from David through both his mother and his adopted father, Joseph. If Jesus were not the first-born (even if adopted) son of Joseph, he would not have had the title King of the Jews. Ergo, the notion that Joseph could have had sons from a previous marriage is nothing more than wishful thinking on the part of those trying to escape the obvious.

41 posted on 10/21/2002 6:53:17 PM PDT by DallasMike
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To: Pyro7480
It is possible that Joseph was married once before Mary.

See my earlier post.
 
 
This is an interesting site, too. It was well-accepted in the early church that James was the half-brother of Jesus. Pope Clement I (a contemporary of the apostle John), Eusebius, Pope Leo the Great, and the Council at Trullo all recognized James as the "brother after the flesh" of Jesus. So did Josephus in the first century and several secular historians in the second century. This ossuary, assuming it's authentic, merely confirms what the early church believed.
 
 

42 posted on 10/21/2002 7:08:19 PM PDT by DallasMike
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To: Cicero
Doesn't the Greek 'brother' mean 'brother' in Greek? Why do I need a theologian to spin for me - I read the Bible - and trnaslate Greek - for myself. James is, was and always will be the familial btother of Jesus, son of Mary, who did NOT miraculously ascend into heaven still a virgin.

There, I feel better. I have enough spin in my life.
43 posted on 10/21/2002 7:20:04 PM PDT by txzman
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To: rface
It's impossible, however, to prove absolutely that the Jesus named on the box was Jesus of Nazareth.

Yep, my bet would be that they're referring to Jesus Rodriguez!

44 posted on 10/21/2002 7:23:46 PM PDT by Revolting cat!
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To: rface
The inscription, in the Aramaic language, appears on an empty ossuary, or limestone burial box for bones. It reads: "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus."

Here is a little better picture of it:

It appears to me to be Hebrew, not Aramaic. The reason I say that is that it appears to use the Hebrew "ben" (bet-nun) for son, rather than the Aramaic "bar" (bet-resh).

It appears to say "Yakov ben Yosev akh (possibly Yeshua)" Jacob son of Joseph brother of Yeshua. However, there seems to be too much space between the shin and the ayin at the end of Yeshua, so it could be something else. But it is extremely difficult to read in the photo.

45 posted on 10/21/2002 7:24:35 PM PDT by Inyokern
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To: AppyPappy
Protestants traditionally read the New Testament as meaning Mary gave birth to Jesus as a virgin and then had James, three other sons and at least two daughters with Joseph.

A view not shared by Luther, Calvin or Zwingli.

46 posted on 10/21/2002 7:32:53 PM PDT by SMEDLEYBUTLER
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To: berned; Polycarp; Campion; sinkspur; irishlass; BlackElk; Theresa
Matthew 12:50 "For whosoever shall do the will of my Father, that is in heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother."(Emphasis added)

Mark 3:35 "For whosoever shall do the word of God, he is my brother, and my sister, and mother."(Emphasis added)

Linguistic literalists never learn.

47 posted on 10/21/2002 7:48:46 PM PDT by SMEDLEYBUTLER
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To: BlackElk
In any event, I suspect I may disagree with your theology but I must say that I respect your thoroughly reasonable approach to archaeology and its significance and your evident integrity.

Thanks!

As far as your disagreeing with my theology, that's certainly no problem. Actually, sometimes I find that even I disagree with my theology... ;-)

48 posted on 10/21/2002 8:54:15 PM PDT by john in missouri
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To: NYer; JMJ333; american colleen; narses; father_elijah; BlackVeil; nickcarraway; attagirl; ...
There are a couple of problems in this report.

First, Lemaire says,
Jews practiced ossuary burials only[?] between 20 B.C. and A.D. 70, puts the inscription squarely in the time of Jesus and James, who led the early church in Jerusalem.
But A Catalogue of Jewish Ossuaries in the Collections of the State of Israel says,
Volume covers every aspect of the study of the ossuaries used in Jewish burial from around 20 BCE through the mid-third century CE.


Second thing,
Two scientists with the Israeli government's Geological Survey conducted a detailed microscopic examination of the surface patina and the inscription. They reported last month that there is "no evidence that might detract from the authenticity."
Two scientists working for Sharon, huh?
The authenticity of the inscriptions on the ossuary is yet to be established by an independent lab.
49 posted on 10/21/2002 9:32:13 PM PDT by heyheyhey
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To: SMEDLEYBUTLER
What in the world does your post # 47 have to do with the fact that this box confirms and corroborates that James was Jesus brother, and NOT his "cousin"?

"James -- SON of Joseph, (there goes the "cousin" defense) BROTHER of Jesus".

For centuries, the Catholic Church has lied to the world that James was Jesus' cousin. That has now been debunked. What does your note # 47 have to do with the mind-boggling news about this burial box?

50 posted on 10/21/2002 11:22:04 PM PDT by berned
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