Wednesday, March 14, 2012

James Ossuary "Trial of Century" Acquits Suspected Forger

Today the verdict was announced in the James Ossuary trial that has been dragging on for years in Israel.  Several people in the antiquities trade had been charged with forging an ossuary (bone box) with an inscription "James, brother of Jesus."  The AP report is here.  I find the whole development to be a great window into the conflicted world of biblical studies and related disciplines.  My favorite quote:
"There were so many specialists with conflicting claims, the judge said Wednesday, that he could not determine beyond a reasonable doubt whether the ossuary and another purported major find — a stone slab engraved with written instructions by 9th century B.C. King Yoash on renovating the biblical Jewish Temple — were authentic."
It's not just on this issue that the world of biblical scholarship has "so many specialists with conflicting claims," that a person doesn't know how to evaluate the evidence!

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