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James ossuary found to be authentic
Posted: 18 July 2012 04:46 AM   [ Ignore ]
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The recent Issue of BAR includes an article concerning the trial of two archeologists who claimed to have found the oussary (bone box) of Jesus’s brother James. Thought to be a forgery at first paleographers have now pronounced it authentic. It is what it is. The inscription reads “James, son of Joseph and brother of Jesus”. Now the question shifts to was it THE James? All three names were fairly common in that area and during that time. Statistical probability, according to the article is somewhere around 38%. It’s a fascinating article by H. Shanks and could be another step in proving the existence of the historical Jesus.


http://www.bib-arch.org/news/forgery-trial-news.asp


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Posted: 18 July 2012 09:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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What is the 38% a probability of?

This is the trouble with looted artifacts—they are next to useless as evidence.

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Posted: 18 July 2012 10:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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What is the 38% a probability of?

This is the trouble with looted artifacts—they are next to useless as evidence.

The probability of it being someone else besides James. This figure was taken from the number of males in the area at the time and BTW the origin of the item and the material it was created from was declared authentic by a panel of archeologists and paleographers. Read the full article in BAR if you are interested. All ossuaries had to be created from the same material and the only real question as to it’s authenticity is the inscription, which has been deemed to be unquestionably authentic.


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Posted: 18 July 2012 04:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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While they may have authenticated it historically, that merely means that it wasn’t done later.  It could very easily have been done by some of the local priests (later called disciples) as a means of “proving” the existence of this big daddy from the sky, Jesus.

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Posted: 18 July 2012 04:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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There’s a lot of if’s here for certain. Now that they have proven that the inscription appears to be authentic and from the time period it still has to be directly linked to THE James. The percentage I earlier mentioned relates to the possibility of other Jameses in the immediate area with a brother and father with the same names. I’m not for certain that priests at that time would even care enough to fake the inscriptions. Jesus wasn’t all that popular with them at the time! and even if it is authentic it definitely doesn’t prove his divinity. It would mean that he was real however and most reliable scholars don’t deny that anyway. Still a fascinating part of western history. It may cause a few fundie hearts to flutter though.  grin

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Posted: 18 July 2012 06:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I took a look at the original article.  I have to say I am on the “if it ain’t provenanced, it ain’t sh*t” side of things.  I think that is why the article larded with appeals to authority—arguments over unprovenanced objets tend to devolve into connoisseurship and who has the better expert, rather than evidence, which is scanty.  When you get down to having to authenticate something by the shape and “stance” of letters you have left the realm of science. And trying to get at provenance using patina is pretty desperate.

Even if the ossuary is everything it is supposed to be, I am not sure what it would settle.  As motivated as the statistician seems to have been to reduce the population, 38% is not an impressive result.  It’s actually the chance that there was only one literate wealthy Jewish “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus” in Jerusalem in the period from 6 AD to 70 AD.  There’s a 62% chance there was more than one.  I am not sure what any result would mean in regard to the historical Jesus. There’s going to be at least one such person, whether the Biblical Jesus was real or not.

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Posted: 18 July 2012 07:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Even if the ossuary is everything it is supposed to be, I am not sure what it would settle.

It would be tangible evidence that there was a real world person behind the Jesus Christ myth.

To which I would have to say “So what?”

Proving that the guy existed doesn’t prove he was the son of anything other then an earthly human being.

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Posted: 18 July 2012 08:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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This article is short on archeology and long on hyperbole. Consider the source.

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Posted: 18 July 2012 08:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon - 18 July 2012 07:39 PM

Even if the ossuary is everything it is supposed to be, I am not sure what it would settle.

It would be tangible evidence that there was a real world person behind the Jesus Christ myth.

To which I would have to say “So what?”

Proving that the guy existed doesn’t prove he was the son of anything other then an earthly human being.

This times a million.

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Posted: 19 July 2012 07:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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If you are into the statistical arguments about the chances of having a particular combination of names on an ossuary, this is a fun discussion of the Talpiot tomb (the “Jesus family tomb”).  Basically, it seems to be a loosing proposition.  Statistics And The “Jesus Family Tomb”

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Posted: 19 July 2012 08:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I took a look at the original article.  I have to say I am on the “if it ain’t provenanced, it ain’t sh*t” side of things.  I think that is why the article larded with appeals to authority—arguments over unprovenanced objets tend to devolve into connoisseurship and who has the better expert, rather than evidence, which is scanty.  When you get down to having to authenticate something by the shape and “stance” of letters you have left the realm of science. And trying to get at provenance using patina is pretty desperate.

Even if the ossuary is everything it is supposed to be, I am not sure what it would settle.  As motivated as the statistician seems to have been to reduce the population, 38% is not an impressive result.  It’s actually the chance that there was only one literate wealthy Jewish “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus” in Jerusalem in the period from 6 AD to 70 AD.  There’s a 62% chance there was more than one.  I am not sure what any result would mean in regard to the historical Jesus. There’s going to be at least one such person, whether the Biblical Jesus was real or not.

First of all, did you read the"original article” from The BAR mag or my citation? The complete article written by Hershel Shanks explains in detail the statistical analysis used to determine the probability of this object belonging to James. I was brief, it is lengthy and detailed. Too detailed for a post. I take issue with the idea of the “if it ain’t provenance it ain’t…”. Antiquities of this period have been found in markets world wide without provenance and have been authenticated by archeologists. Ex. Howard Carter, who found Egyptian artifacts in bazaars in Alexandria and small towns near the Valley of the Kings. One in particular that he collected, an 18th Dynasty artifact, a head on a lotus led him to the discovery of the King Tut toomb. My question is how does one “lard” appeals to authority if the authorities are the experts in their field? This is why the two collectors were not found guilty of fraud! And they have been attempting to prosecute Golen for years. also, paleographers ARE archeologists using modern scientific methods to determine the authenticity of the inscriptions and yes the experts can and have been fooled but apparently not in this case. Two other objects from the same time period were also found to be authentic, one, a golden pomegranate from a priests staff and a tablet inscribed with info on repairing the temple also mentioned in Samuel. The ossuary was found in 2002, ten years ago and has been scrupulously testd since then. Often artifacts of a questionable nature maybe tested for a lifetime before being declared authentic using modern methods. Archeologists may store them until updated methods can be used. In this case the panel of experts, from the Isreali museum of antiquities pronounced the oussaury inscriptions authentic and these people are the most highly regarded in their field.
Now as to this being linked to the biblical James, one goes to the statistical analysis. That remains to be seen in the future. At present no one knows. My point in citing the article was to point out the latest research and conclusions as to the authenticity of the inscriptions. Theists don’t really care as they will believe what they want anyway. If someone uncovered a skeleton with an accompanying inscription stating ” here lies Jesus ” it still wouldn’t matter to them. My interest is purely historical which is one of the reasons I read BAR. Shanks did a great job of shaking up the archeological community by encouraging them to release their findings on the Dead Sea Scrolls and getting the info finally published and available to the general public so, yes IMO there’s something to it and I’m looking forward to what they find in the future. There’s still a lot of unprovananced artifacts in private collections that may lend a clue to the temple period.


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Posted: 19 July 2012 08:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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[It would be tangible evidence that there was a real world person behind the Jesus Christ myth.

To which I would have to say “So what?”

Proving that the guy existed doesn’t prove he was the son of anything other then an earthly human being./quote]


No problem with that at all EOC this article seeks to find the historical Jesus only and not to prove his divinity! We all know that’s a myth. The so what is the historical nature of the time period and it’s effect on the culture only. BAR is just that, a mag for biblical historians not believers.


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Posted: 19 July 2012 08:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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This article is short on archeology and long on hyperbole. Consider the source.


Read the original article Darron, if you get a chance. There’s no hyperbole, just science.


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Posted: 19 July 2012 08:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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http://www.jpost.com/VideoArticles/Video/Article.aspx?id=227184


Here’s yet another example of an unprovenanced artifact found to be authentic. It’s another looted ossuary with inscriptions interestingly enough also found to be authentic. This one contained the bones of the daughter of the temple priest Ciaphus the chief priest during the same time period as Jesus.

 

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Posted: 19 July 2012 08:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 19 July 2012 08:06 AM

This article is short on archeology and long on hyperbole. Consider the source.


Read the original article Darron, if you get a chance. There’s no hyperbole, just science.


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I read the article you linked. Where is the original science article?

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Posted: 19 July 2012 10:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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No problem with that at all EOC this article seeks to find the historical Jesus only and not to prove his divinity!

We know that but unfortunately, the fundamentalist crowd doesn’t see it that way.

Speaking only for myself, I believe (But cannot prove) that there was a real world person behind the myth. The “Ho Hum” comes from the fact that 1st Century Palestine was swarming with prophets and massianic pretenders. The only difference between them and Yeshua Bar Yosef is that the latter had a religion built up around what were claimed to be his teachings.

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