Bishop Gregory (hgr) wrote,
Bishop Gregory

Эйзенманн против подлинности оссуария Иакова

это такой интересный, но странный ученый, который доказывает в толстой книже, что Иаков -- это и есть кумранский Учитель Праведности. эта позиция не разделяется никем, но в процессе ее обоснования он сделал много ценных наблюдений. его главный довод против подлинности надписи -- что Иакова не стали бы называть "братом Иисуса", т.к. он был слишком известен сам по себе. в этом аргументе, мне кажется, много правды.
привожу переписку из XTalk-a and his article from LATimes.

From: "Robert Eisenman" <> | This is
Spam | Add to Address Book
CC:, "John Lupia"
Subject: Ap misreporting of my views and my book James
the Brother of Jesus
Date: Sun, 3 Nov 2002 08:59:03 -0800

I have sent the following letter to John Lupia, who
has also kindly forwarded to me a copy of your
concerns. You are quite right to voice those
concerns, and therefore I append the copy of my
response to him and the following letter
which I sent out immediately that this kind of
inaccurate and clearly defamatory reporting was done.
My main response to you is not to believe everything
you read in the press.

Many shortcuts are taken of complex and unsimplistic
views -- to dumb them down as it were. I have often
been a victim of this kind of misreporting -- often
quite malevolently, to make me look stupider and
insensitive than I actually am.
_Dear John,

Yes, I am not suprised that your correspondent
is confused at my position, but she should not
believe everything she reads inb the press. I
have vigorously protested about that AP report,
as it caused me a good deal of grief. I am
glad the LAtimes invited me to put my real

Please post this on your website. I have been
sending out the following letter to all who were
misinformed as to my real position. Please
post it as well. Here it is.
P. S.

As for your point about the Qumran mausoleum,
I don't for a moment think this is the burial site of
James. I never said this. I know where James was
buried. Read my LATimes piece which I shall
append below. If this is not already posted,
John can post it as well. What my real view of
the Qumran mausoleum is, has never been reported.
If you or John Lupia really want to know what I
think of the Qumran mausoleum, I would be happy
to post it on your web-links. Just ask me. It
might surprise you. Best and with charity,
Robert Eisenman _
From: Robert Eisenman
To: general letter
Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2002 6:17 PM
Thanks for the kind encouragement. I need it with all
the misunderstanding. I'm sending you the same letter
I'm sending to all who believe what they
read in newspapers about what I said:
You should not believe everything you read. You
should know this. I was misquoted and purposefully
maligned by the writer who doesn't like me from
previous experience. He wanted to make me look bad.
What I said was much more complex than that. As you
know, I am the author of JAMES THE BROTHER OF JESUS. I
don't need any proof of James' existence. I'm among
the convinced. What I said was that in the
Introduction to my book on page xxiii, for those
who wonder about the existence of James and question
the fact of his brothers, they should know that the
existence or historicity of Jesus is a shakey thing.
People have been arguing about this for centuries and
there is no consensus on the issue. This is what is
meant by the Quest for the Historical Jesus. No one
agrees. The question is not really about James. James
we can prove from numerous external sources. The
question is rather about Jesus. For those who doubt,
perhaps the best proof of his existence is the fact of
his brother James or the fact that he had a brother
James. This is what I said. Therefore, I told him, I
am perhaps the last person in the world to want this
ossuary to be untrue. I have written the book on it.
But despite this, I find it worrisome. I have to
question its authenticity.
It's too pat. Too perfect. James was so well known
in his time that people would not have felt it
necesary to tie on the phrse "brother of Jesus"
That's all I said.
Read my book, Penguin, 1998. You might enjoy it. And
be calm. Be well.
Out of this he just cut out the middle and got what
you think I said. A pity. Kind regards and show love,
show tolerance. My best. Robert Eisenman
I might add: read my LAtimes piece. I think that is
what I said the way I wished to say it. I hope you
will post it, as well as the above for all your
concerned readers. Look, now it is coming out that
the second part of this inscription is by a different
hand -- perhaps 4th-5th century. That is just what I
was saying. People in the first century would just
not have thought to refer to James in this way.
Again, your informant is right. People should read my
book. I don't like being marginalized when I think
I have written the book on the subject. But I have
been saying this on the basis of history and text
criticism. I do not claim to be an expert
epigraphist or palaeographer. But now people are
saying this on the basis of palaeography and
epigraphy. That's just what I would have
Look, I am all for James. People ask me, if this is
so, why do you speak out.
I speak out because I don't need a dubious inscription
on an ossuary
to prove to me the importance of James. I have
written a 1000 page book on this. Let me just repeat:
people may have spoken about James
from the 3-4th c. on like this but not in the lst
century. That's all I was saying. I know that the
best proof of the historicity of Jesus is the fact
that he had a brother called James! Thanks very much
for giving
me the opportunity to respond to your colleagues. I
appreciate it.
Kindly, Robert Eisenman
Please Post
October 29, 2002 E-mail story Print
A Discovery That's Just Too Perfect
Claims that stone box held remains of Jesus' brother
may be suspect.
By Robert Eisenman, Robert Eisenman is the author of
"James the Brother of
Jesus" (Penguin, 1998) and a professor of Middle East
religions and
archeology at Cal State Long Beach.
James, the brother of Jesus, was so well known and
important as a Jerusalem
religious leader, according to 1st century sources,
that taking the brother
relationship seriously was perhaps the best
confirmation that there ever was
a historical Jesus.
Put another way, it was not whether Jesus had a
brother, but rather whether
the brother had a "Jesus."
Now we are suddenly presented with this very "proof":
the discovery,
allegedly near Jerusalem, of an ossuary inscribed in
the Aramaic language
used at that time, with "James, son of Joseph, brother
of Jesus." An ossuary
is a stone box in which bones previously laid out in
rock-cut tombs, such as
those in the Gospels, were placed after they were
retrieved by relatives or
Why do I find this discovery suspicious? Aside from
its sudden miraculous
appearance, no confirmed provenance -- that is, where
it was found and where
it has been all these years (from the photographic
evidence it seems in
remarkably good shape) -- and no authenticated chain
of custody or
transmission, there is the nature of the inscription
There is no problem getting hold of ossuaries from
this period. They are
plentiful in the Jerusalem area, most not even
inscribed and some never
So confirmation of the Jerusalem origin of the stone
is to no avail, nor
particularly is the paleography. The Sorbonne
paleographer Andre Lemaire
authenticated the Aramaic inscription as from the year
AD 63. What
precision; but why 63? Because he knew from the 1st
century Jewish historian
Josephus that James died in AD 62.
The only really strong point the arguers for
authenticity have is the
so-called patina, which was measured at an Israeli
laboratory and appears
homogeneous. As this is a new science, it is hard for
me to gauge its value.
Still, the letters do seem unusually clear and incised
and do not, at least
in the photographs, show a significant amount of
damage caused by the
vicissitudes of time.
My main objection to the ossuary, however, is the
nature of the inscription
itself. I say this as someone who would like this
artifact to be true,
someone willing to be convinced. I would like the
burial place of James to
be found. But this box is just too pat, too perfect.
In issues of
antiquities verification, this is always a warning
This inscription seems pointed not at an ancient
audience, who would have
known who James (or Jacob, his Hebrew/Aramaic name)
was, but at a modern
one. If this box had simply said "Jacob the son of
Joseph," it might pass
muster. But ancient sources are not clear on who this
Jacob's father really
was. If the inscription had said "James the son of
Cleophas," "Clopas or
even "Alphaeus" (all three probably being
interchangeable), I would have
jumped for joy. But Joseph? This is what a modern
audience, schooled in the
Gospels, would expect, not an ancient one.
Then there is "the brother of Jesus" -- almost no
ancient source calls James
this. This is what we moderns call him. Even Paul, our
primary New Testament
witness, calls him "James the brother of the Lord." If
the ossuary said
something like "James the Zaddik" or "Just One," which
is how many referred
to him, including Hegesippus from the 2nd century and
Eusebius from the 4th,
then I would have more willingly credited it. But to
call him not only by
his paternal but also his fraternal name, this I am
unfamiliar with on any
ossuary, and again it seems directly pointed at us.
This is what I mean by the formulation being too
perfect. It just doesn't
ring true. To the modern ear, particularly the
believer, perhaps. But to the
ancient? Perhaps a later pilgrim from the 4th or 5th
century might have
described James in this way, but this is not what our
paleographers are
Finally, the numerous contemporary sources I have
already referred to know
the location of James' burial site.
Hegesippus, a Palestinian native who lived perhaps 50
years after the events
in question, tells us that James was buried where he
was stoned beneath the
pinnacle of the Temple in Jerusalem. Eusebius in the
4th century and Jerome
in the 5th say the burial site with its marker was
still there in their
No source, however, mentions an ossuary. Our creative
artificers presumably
never read any of these sources (nor beyond the first
few chapters of my
book) or they would have known better.
Please post
----- Original Message -----
From: John Lupia <>
To: Robert Eisenman <>
Sent: Sunday, November 03, 2002 7:32 AM
Subject: News on ANE about you
> Date: Sun, 3 Nov 2002 06:08:57 -0500
> From: | This is Spam | Add to
> Address Book
> To:
> Subject: [ANE] Re[2]: [ANE] Jacob ossuary and
> Salve,
> On Sunday, November 3, 2002, 2:03:54 AM, Jack Kilmon
> scripsit:
> > I am afraid Eisenman is confusing the hell out of
> me. This is
> someone who
> > ferretted out every reference in the ancient
> histories on James and
> wrote a
> > 1000 page book titled "James, the brother of
> The book is
> worth the
> > read for the background material alone but it not
> only pushes
> > historical-critical envelopes, it sails them into
> the stratosphere.
> Now he
> > is coming off like a "Jesus myther?"
> This is precisely why I asked the question ...
> this
> ossuary and the discovery in the past few months at
> Qumran,
> Eisenman must be between an academic rock and a hard
> place. If he
> accepts the ossuary as some sort of supporting
> evidence (such as
> it is) for his James book, he has to explain away
> Qumran find
> (although I think the aademic jury is still out on
> that one). If
> he accepts Qumran, he has to deny the ossuary. And
> further
> comlicating matters for himself, he has been quoted
> in a pile
> of news items as saying Jesus' existence is a "shaky
> thing".
> I would have thought this week he might have
> some
> 'damage control'.
> dm

John N. Lupia, III
501 North Avenue B-1
Elizabeth, New Jersey 07208-1731 USA
Phone: (908) 994-9720
Editor, Roman Catholic News

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