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Israel begins investigation into authenticity of Jesus inscription
Jerusalem Post/Associated Press ^ | March 5, 2003

Posted on 03/05/2003 7:38:38 PM PST by Mr. Mulliner

Israel begins investigation into authenticity of Jesus inscription


The Associated Press Mar. 5, 2003

The Israeli Antiquities Authority began studying an ancient stone box on Wednesday in an attempt to determine if it was used to bury Jesus' brother James. If authenticated, it could be the oldest archaeological link to the biblical figures.

The box arrived in Israel Wednesday from Toronto, Canada, where it had been on display at the Royal Ontario Museum after Israel's Antiquities Authority granted a temporary export permit to the Israeli owner of the box, Oded Golan.

The Antiquities Authority set up two commissions of archaeologists, geologists and language experts to study the box with the inscription "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus," which Israeli and French scholars believe dates to between A.D. 50-70.

The words were engraved on the burial box, or ossuary, which was the form of Jewish burial until about A.D. 70. The New Testament identifies James as Jesus' brother and the leader of Jerusalem's early Christians.

It was unclear where the box was found. Golan has said that he cannot remember the name of the antiquities dealer he bought it from for US$200 in the 1970s in Jerusalem's Old City. Golan had showed the ossuary to a French scholar, Andre Lemaire, who revealed the finding in November in an article in Biblical Archaeological Review magazine.

Since then, experts have raised the possibility that the inscription did not refer to Jesus of Nazareth or that the Jesus section of the phrase might have been forged. But Israel's Geological Survey found that the patina on the stone indicates the letters were engraved in ancient times and were not tampered with.

The mention of a brother on ossuaries was very rare, and could indicate this particular find was very important, Lemaire believes.

Israel's Antiquities Authority is also trying to obtain an ancient stone tablet detailing repairs to be made to the Jewish Temple of King Solomon that could be an extremely rare confirmation of biblical narrative. The existence of the tablet was disclosed in January.

The unnamed owner of the tablet had given it briefly to the Geological Survey, which dated it back to the 9th century B.C. and said it could have actually been a part of Solomon's Temple, destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. The owner of the artifact has since taken it from the institute.

Although news reports had said Golan, the owner of the ossuary, also had the tablet, Golan has denied the claim. Israeli police have opened an investigation to determine the whereabouts of the artifact and turn it over to the Antiquities Authority for a thorough study.



TOPICS: Extended News; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: archaeology; burialbox; economic; epigraphyandlanguage; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; israel; jesus; ossuary
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1 posted on 03/05/2003 7:38:38 PM PST by Mr. Mulliner
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To: blam
You're our resident archaeology expert. Comments?
2 posted on 03/05/2003 7:39:08 PM PST by Mr. Mulliner
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To: Mr. Mulliner
Already disproven by a multitude of experts, as posted here in numerous a few months ago.
3 posted on 03/05/2003 7:40:59 PM PST by Cicero
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To: Mr. Mulliner; Cicero
"Already disproven by a multitude of experts, as posted here in numerous a few months ago."

That's what I thought also. The box may be old but the writing isn't if I remember correctly.

4 posted on 03/05/2003 7:44:31 PM PST by blam
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To: Cicero
From what I have read, the word "brother" in Aramaic (sp?) is meant to mean "cousin" as well.

It has been proposed that Joseph, being much older than Mary, had children from a previous marriage. Thus, Jesus having a "brother" (half-brother) is not far fetched.
5 posted on 03/05/2003 7:44:48 PM PST by annyokie (I love my MBA)
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To: annyokie
The New Testament is quite clear that after the birth of Christ, Joseph and Mary had other children.

No need for historical contortions about it.
6 posted on 03/05/2003 7:52:06 PM PST by EternalVigilance
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To: EternalVigilance
I agree and don't have a problem with the whole idea. It is my Catholic brethren who have an objection to the idea that the Blessed Mother had more than one kid. No offense, fellow RCs.

It makes sense to me, that Joseph and Mary would have had more children.
7 posted on 03/05/2003 8:01:04 PM PST by annyokie (I love my MBA)
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To: annyokie
Jesus did have a half-brother. His name was James.
8 posted on 03/05/2003 8:08:13 PM PST by Texas_Jarhead
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To: EternalVigilance
The New Testament is quite clear that after the birth of Christ, Joseph and Mary had other children.

No it's not.

No need for historical contortions about it.

The belief that Mary and Joseph had children other than Jesus is a Protestant invention. Believing that He had brothers and sisters *is* the historical contortion.
9 posted on 03/05/2003 8:27:56 PM PST by Conservative til I die
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To: Conservative til I die
Mark 6:3  Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.
10 posted on 03/05/2003 8:32:22 PM PST by ovrtaxt
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To: ovrtaxt
1) Historical context.
2) The Bible was not written in English.
11 posted on 03/05/2003 8:41:05 PM PST by Conservative til I die
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To: Conservative til I die
} The Bible was not written in English.

What does that have to do with anything???

12 posted on 03/05/2003 8:43:35 PM PST by DensaMensa (He who controls the definitions controls history.)
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To: Mr. Mulliner
It's a good thing this didn't end up in the hands of the Palestinian Authority, who would have just destroyed it., as they have done with thousands of ancient Jewish artifacts found under the Temple Mount.
13 posted on 03/05/2003 8:50:04 PM PST by montag813
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To: annyokie
There are two issues. As you say, the word translated as "brethren" or "brothers" can mean simply cousins or blood relatives.

The other issue is that although part of the inscription seems genuine, there are problems with the "brother of Jesus" part. It seems to have been added at a different date by another hand. And another expert has said that there are inconsistencies in the spelling.
14 posted on 03/05/2003 9:15:58 PM PST by Cicero
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To: Cicero
And another expert has said there are inconsistencies in the spelling...

Ever taken a look at the spelling here? That comment means very little...

the infowarrior

15 posted on 03/05/2003 9:23:42 PM PST by infowarrior
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To: Conservative til I die
The Gospel according to Matthew - Chapter 1

Verse 18

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.

Verses 24-25

Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son.

Define 'her firstborn Son' for me, please.

Someone else has already posted some of the later passages that make it clear that Jesus, according to the flesh, had an unknown number of half-brothers and half-sisters.

I don't know why so many feel compelled to hang on to some strange doctrine, easily disproven, that some ignoramus hatched up centuries ago. They gain nothing by it, and it proves nothing.

16 posted on 03/05/2003 9:30:41 PM PST by EternalVigilance
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To: Cicero
It seems to have been added at a different date by another hand.

The article that heads up this thread says the exact opposite:

But Israel's Geological Survey found that the patina on the stone indicates the letters were engraved in ancient times and were not tampered with.

17 posted on 03/05/2003 9:32:36 PM PST by EternalVigilance
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To: infowarrior
My position on this box is this:

A) Everything I have seen published about it jives perfectly with New Testament scripture. There is no New Testament reason to doubt its authenticity. If there are any problems with it, they are internal to the object itself.

B) The object's authenticity or lack of authenticity doesn't effect the historical truth or the reality of my own faith in any fashion.
18 posted on 03/05/2003 9:36:40 PM PST by EternalVigilance
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To: EternalVigilance
Good Points ("firstborne son"). I would also add that if the hebrew word for "brother" can also mean "cousin" that dosen't explain away the fact that the Bible text says "sisters" also and If the ossuary box is the real thing, it also says James was "the son of Joseph".i doubt "son" also means "nephew".

THere is no reason that Joseph and Mary should not have had other children.Mary and JOseph were not divine.That was part of the point...that Gods son was born to humble people who were human like us.
19 posted on 03/05/2003 9:54:40 PM PST by ConservaChick
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To: homeschool mama
Ping-a-ling
20 posted on 03/05/2003 9:59:56 PM PST by Bradís Gramma
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