Jeremy Lott writes me:
I read your comments about the ossuary with the inscription James brother of Jesus and couldn’t help but realize that you’ve fallen into the same trap of many of your co-religionists: discounting possibly one of the most profound archeological discoveries of all time (from a Catholic point of view) because of a misplaced notion of what it would mean. Please, I beg you, read this article.
Thanks for writing, Jeremy. But You mistake me. I don’t have a dog in the fight either way. If it’s genuine (which we’ll never know) it doesn’t disprove the Perpetual Virginity of Mary. It just lends credence to the Eastern Church’s tradition that Joseph was a widower.
I said as much on my blog a few weeks ago. What amused me was the seizure upon it (by some polemicists) as being certainly genuine when, in reality, we just can’t know that. The critic of it’s genuineness is a Jewish scholar, not a Catholic. She may be right that it’s not James of Jerusalem’s ossuary. I think it’s unfair to call it a “fake” since we don’t know who carved the inscription or why. It may have had nothing to do with Jesus of Nazareth.
Anyway, the thing doesn’t much move me either way, whether it’s the real McCoy or not. I think it would be cool if it was genuine, but we’ll never know.
By the way, I know Scott McKellar. A good guy!