Contrasting Views on the Authenticity of the James Ossuary (and related subjects)

Michael Heiser indicates that his mind is changing about the matter of the authenticity of the James ossuary, because of a photo of the ossuary, with its full inscription, dated prior to the discovery of the Talpiot tombs. The photo has apparently been authenticated by someone from the FBI. If this is correct, it seems unlikely that someone in the 1970s could have fabricated the inscription, with lexical details that I do not believe were even readily available then (many have felt they are unlikely to come from a forger even if done more recently).

But questions remain. Does the photo in question clearly show the ossuary and its inscription? If it does, then does that suggest that the inscription is indeed authentic? If so, then I doubt that any but the most ardent mythicists will dispute that the James in question, with a brother named Jesus famous enough to be mentioned on his ossuary, is that James brother of that Jesus. Does anyone have more information on that topic?

For a different opinion based on the same evidence, see Jim Davila’s recent post.

Interestingly, if the photo can be used to demonstrate the James ossuary’s and inscription’s authenticity, it can also be used to show that it doesn’t come from the Talpiot tomb.

See too the article in HaAretz by Nir Hasson on the trial and the testimony given regarding the James ossuary inscription and other evidence.

James Tabor has a blog post about the names in the Talpiot tombs.

Jim West advises informing oneself before reading the book or watching the documentary about “the Jesus discovery.” Otagosh also linked to Jim’s post.

Bob Cargill shared the trailer (you can download it here):

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Skeptic views science as the loser in the James Ossuary trial.

Craig Evans talks about the Talpiot patio tomb:

Bart Ehrman continues to talk about his book Did Jesus Exist? this time on NPR.

Tom Verenna asks for your Easter thoughts. Jeremy Myers is organizing a synchroblog on the resurrection or lack thereof.

John Byron asks where Jesus was buried. If you are interested in my view on the subject, you can read my ebook, The Burial of Jesus: What Does History Have to Do with Faith? (still only $2.99), for a detailed (but not too detailed) discussion of the topic.


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