Re: [GTh] James the Just.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Tom Saunders" <tom@...>
Sent: Wednesday, March 12, 2003 2:07 PM
Subject: [GTh] James the Just.
> Hi Frank,
> The limestone is described as fine grained. This is likely to be around 4
on the Mohs (Moe) scale. Although little detail was mentioned about the
quality of the limestone, it appears to be fine quality, and light colored.
There was no mention of the tool used to do the carving, it was just
mentioned as 'inscription."
> I own a whole set of rock cutting and lapidary tools on the ranch, and
have cut an entire collection of 'family jewels,' including opals, obsidian,
emeralds, and lots of semi-precious stones. The ossuary looks harder than
softer. I think it would have dulled almost any tool long before the entire
> It does not appear that the tool was sharpened but used through the entire
Dear Tom Saunders:
That the chisel might have dulled is a potentially important
point--especially since it's in the last part of inscription where the
question arises as to whether it comes from another hand. Yet, nowhere have
I read anything about anyone taking into account the tool(s) used in
chiseling out the letters. I wonder why.
From your experience in working with stones, do you think that chiseling out
the letters on limestone required a high degree of skill, or was it
relatively easy? (BTW, I have been a rockhound much of my life. Most of my
collection consists of agates: the Lake Superior type, found locally, and
the Tepee Canyon type, found in the Black Hills. I've cut and tumbled some,
but no lapidary work like you've done)
> According to the History Ch. report the science to place the ossuary in
Jerusalem for both loose sand and limestone was done on the sub-atomic level
and nailed down factually as coming from the area, in the first century. The
entire spectrum of mineral content in the limestone and dust was matched to
that of the Jerusalem area. It seemed very good science to me.
This show obviously had some "hype" in it. Experts can determine whether
the rock and soil come from the Jerusalem area without having to go to the
sub-atomic level--the molecular level, i.e., the level of chemical analysis,
is, ISTM, sufficient. Further, ISTM, there is no way that they can
determine that the ossuary was dated to the first century CE by analyzing
its limestone and attached soil, even going to the sub-atomic level.
> The science involving petina was not as good. It appears that damage to
the letters may have occurred during a cleaning process. No study has been
done to ascertain what tool may have been used for the inscription. It is
not clear if the patina has been checked in all the letters.
Dating by analysis of patina, IMO, is a *very* inexact science. Just how it
builds up and erodes depends upon innumerable variables: including the
activities of plants and animals, such as insects and humans. Even if the
stone hadn't been cleaned first, I wouldn't have put any credibility on
whatever date was allegedly indicated by analysis of its patina.
Also, there's always the possibility of a clever forger artificially
creating a patina to make an object appear older than it is.
> Frank asks,
> The apostles did settle down in the Jerusalem area, but what makes you
> that they, more specifically, settled down near the foot of the Mount of
> Olives--near the site of what likely had been the tomb of James the Just?
> I think it was a natural and symbolic location stemming from the
Pentecostal gathering on the Mt. of Olives, were the Apostles agreed to
start the Christian community. The Apostle's village had to be in a central
location, it just occurred to me that the village community might have
buried James close to home, so to speak.
Tom, why do you think that the Pentecostal gathering was on the Mt. of
Olives? In Acts 2:1, Luke says they were all in one place, without
specifying the place. In Acts 2:5-6, though, he perhaps implies that it was
1809 N. English Apt. 17
Maplewood, MN USA 55109
> Tom Saunders
> Platter Flats, OK
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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