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July 25, 2005

Owner of disputed artifact arrested in Israel

From LifeSite:

Israeli police have put under house arrest, Oded Golan, the owner of the so-called "James Ossuary", the fake ossuary that attempted to promote the idea that Jesus Christ had brothers casting doubt on the virgin birth of Christ.. The trial has begun. The next session, will be held in Jerusalem, September 4, 2005...

The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto, was the only museum to be caught up in this forgery and fraud when they displayed the "James Ossuary" in 2002. 95,000 visitors to the ROM were misled into believing that the ossuary was genuine and provided evidence against Judeo-Christian historical accounts. To date, the ROM made no attempt to apologize for the massive error in judgement....

The five suspects, including Golan, alleged that the ossuary was linked to a brother of Jesus. The inscription reads: "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus". They were suspected of running a sophisticated forgery ring that operated in various configurations for more than 20 years, according to Shuka Dorfman, the Director-General of the Israel Antiquities Authority

Now, I have no idea whether the ossuary is legit or not, I really don't care that much. What confuses me is the assumptions made in the article.

“...the idea that Jesus Christ had brothers casting doubt on the virgin birth of Christ...”

Having brothers does not negate the possibility of a virgin birth, unless the brother in question is claimed to be the older brother, by the same mother.

“...provided evidence against Judeo-Christian historical accounts.”

What Judeo-Christian accounts? The critical point is whether or not this artifact is somehow claiming that James is Jesus' older brother and also the son of Mary. That's not mentioned. Given that the Bible is clear that Jesus did have brothers (Matthew 13:55, Mark 6:3) it seems an odd way of claiming something opposes the Bible. Wouldn't it occur to the author of the article that what precisely the artifact presents that contradicts the Bible would be pertinent to the story?

Posted by Danny Carlton at July 25, 2005 09:03 AM

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