Re: The James Ossuary

From: Robert Schneider (
Date: Mon Dec 02 2002 - 10:26:07 EST

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    Regarding the scholar quoted by Hudson who expostulated on the =
    inscription and claimed that the inscription was in two different hands =
    and that the first part was surrounded by a frame, I looked at the =
    inscription for some time, and while the ossuary was placed in a =
    plexiglass container, still the inscription was clear enough to read, =
    and I did not discern the frame that Altman claims is there around the =
    inscription of "James son of Joseph." (I might have missed it, I would =
    note.) This claim is not made by other scholars who studied the script, =
    at least not in the materials I have read about the ossuary.

    As for the claim that the Ark of the Covenant rests in a chapel in Axum, =
    Ethiopia, Hudson is a bit behind the times. There is a video on this =
    matter that has been broadcast on both A & E and the Discovery Channel =
    for quite some time, at least a year or so before his July story. I'm =
    not sure why Hudson would bring the Ark in, except, as he said, as a =
    plug for his magazine.

    The materials accompanying the display at the ROM duly reported some =
    disagreements and scepticism about the authenticity of the ossuary. We =
    are all aware that many are adept at perpetuating pious frauds (my =
    favorates are the Shroud of Turin, and the three heads of John the =
    Baptist found in three medieval churches). It stands to reason that =
    there would be arguments on both sides. I certainly would not stake my =
    life on what I am happy to suppose. =20

    I am not surprised that Robert Eisenman would reject the view that this =
    ossuary was that of James the brother of Jesus, as he has written a =
    massive revisionist history of James and early Christianity, a book I =
    started to read a year ago and hope to dig further into.

    Bob Schneider

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