Bishop Gregory (hgr) wrote,
Bishop Gregory

еще про оссуарий Иакова

пардон, но мне это и впрямь интересно, а дневник мой :-)

A few notes.
Dr. Paul Flesher today (11 Nov) posted "The Ossuaries of Jesus and
James" at He notes that other ossuaries with the
name Jesus have been found. He suggests sensationalism was avoided in
(some or all?) previous cases. That is not quite true.

There have been many controversial articles on various related previous
finds, and of course the web hosts some of these. Has Hershel Shanks
made any excessive comments? Is the Pope Polish? But excess language--
and I've read more emphatic language by those who declare fraud [e.g.
to miss forgery one need be "blind as a bat"] or conspiracy--need not
distract us from carefully sifting the evidence. Of course more
investigation needs be pursued, by scholars and by police and by IAA.
Of course it would have been better had it been excavated properly. Of
course one is entitled to entertain doubts about some reports (first,
reportedly, no bones in the box, then, Time magazine, some fragments--
the bone pieces provenance starts out more iffy than the box). Whatever
the final judgement on the inscription--and I tentatively, yet without
apology, and without using the word "belief," find first century AD/CE
for the box and inscription and the NT family most likely--more
research is needed, and I am quite open to the possibility of fakery
being demonstrated in this case in the future. So far, in my opinion,
the pro side has presented a better case; but they may have had a head
start, and access is need for others who may possibly make a better con

For a good survey of some previous controversies, very much also in the
popular as well as scholarly press, see Byron McCane, Jews, Christians,
and Burial in Roman Palestine, 1992 Duke U. PhD, under Eric Meyers, D.
Moody Smith, et al. By the way, reportedly, Eric Meyers will join Mr.
Shanks, John Painter, and Steve Mason at a session in Toronto (see E.g., E.L. Sukenik, "The Earliest Records of
Christianity" AJA 51 (1947) 351ff; B. Bagatti; the Pella sarcophagus,

Prof. Flesher wrote that his analysis of Aramaic possessive options
fits well with the proposal of Dr. Rochelle Altman. That is not quite
true. First off, RA has written several differing versions, some
apparently self-contradictory. For example, also linked at, is an IsraelInsider 5 Nov piece which reports "Both
Altman and noted paleographer Ada Yardeni have concluded that the
second part of the inscription was added later." That, if I may say, as
it were, second hand, is not true. The same article quotes RA
(accurately or not I don't know): "'The reason the police are onto
Golan is that there are two such ossuaries, both already known and
photographed in a book on the ossuaries in collections in Israel
published in 1996. This one was not bought at an antique dealer in the
1960s, but at an auction, from a museum, in the 1980s,' Altman says."
(The website with this unsubstantiated claim was provided to Altman and
on yahoo crosstalk 2, as was an unsubstantiated inference that Andre
Lemaire was the dealer; see D. Hindley posts). Yet the 1996 Catalog by
L.Y. Rahmani and A. Sussmann is of ossuaries in the collections of the
State of Israel, not private collections. Does Prof. Flesher find his
analysis of the Aramaic inscription agrees with Dr. Altman here? Or in
reading a third ayin? Or in reading an archaic upsilon? Or in the
lettering as not incised but excised? Or that a semi-literate tried to
imitate first century spelling (in which case how match his 2nd century
{versus the proposed year 63, not much time difference) later
The Aramaic of the ossuary is attested in first century. One might
consider the confluence of all indications, not only possessives.

As to the claim that "they" would never call him James, brother of
Jesus--who are "they."? The point here is not what Paul, for example,
might have said or written. Paul and James apparently had somewhat
differing views. Josephus (an Aramaic speaker who learned Greek--like
James?) wrote on James, "the brother of Jesus." The issue--if this
artifact is genuine--is what some relative of James might write. Maybe
like his brother Jude, who (if NT Jude was indeed written by him) knew
some Aramaic Book of Enoch. More research needed.

Stephen Goranson

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.