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5529James, Brother of Jesus

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  • Tom Saunders
    Apr 6, 2003
      I just read the first half of the Hershel Shanks and Ben Witherington's "The Brother of Jesus." The first half of the book is about the James' ossuary.

      The book is complete with pictures and clarifies some things that the Discovery Channel did not get right.

      Shanks is the editor of the "Biblical Archeology Review" and other archeology publications. He clarifies the criticism of the inscription as being made by one Rochell Altman, and Jeff Chadwick as not well informed but taken seriously, until it was realized that neither of these two could be paleographic experts.

      The inscription was portrayed as being made with a stylus. The documentary also misled me about were the crack was in the inscription, but this makes little difference. The top experts have concluded from the petina and the examination of the inscription that it is 1st century. A copy of the letter of certification from the Israeli Geological Survey is included in the book.

      "The scientists performed their examination with a binocular scanning microscope equipped with an electron dispersive spectrometer that exposed the various chemical elements of the three aspects of the ossuary (stone, soil, patina). The greatest number of tests were conducted on the patina."

      The tests concluded that the inscription was both ancient and authentic. Great pictures, easy reading.

      Tom Saunders
      Platter Flats, OK

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