Re: Ossuary with the name of Jesus on it

Date: Fri Oct 25 2002 - 00:06:16 EDT

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    Preston wrote,

    << The ossuary in question is supposed to be that of "James the son of
      Joseph, the brother of Jesus." In the newspaper account of this, it
      was indicated that the Catholic church maintains that "James, the
      brother of Jesus" means "cousin." Do any of the language experts here
      know if there is any linguistic basis for this claim, or is it just a
      doctrinal necessity?>>

    It's highly probable that it is influenced by doctrinal necessity since Greek
    has another word for "cousin" per se used in Col 4:10 and only RC scholars
    opt for that meaning with regard to the "brothers" of Jesus mentioned in the
    NT. However, some Catholic scholars have reduced the claim simply to
    "kinsmen", which is a possible translation. The Greek word is used in the LXX
    to translate the Hebrew word for "brother" (which is directly related to the
    Aramaic word used in the inscription on the ossuary) as "masculine relatives
    of various degrees" (Arndt and Gingrich), so "kinsmen" is justified
    linguistically. The Hebrew word can mean "kinsman" (En 14:16, of Lot his
    nephew) or even "cousin" (Gen 29:15 of Laban, his cousin. So, language alone
    does not decide the issue.


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