Jesus Ossuary Back in the News

New scholarly research on a burial box, purported to be that of James, brother of Jesus, says it is too early to call the box a fake. French archaeologist Andre Lemaire believes that an ossuary bearing the inscription, "James, Son of Joseph and Brother of Jesus," may not be the fabrication most experts think it to be. Speaking at the annual joint conference of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature, Lemaire expressed his desire to see the burial box studied more completely. Authorities in Israel believe the inscription to have been forged, since the area of the inscription does not carry the same patina as the rest of the box.

"I don't know for sure whether this is a forged inscription, and I'm sort of cast as a defender of the inscription. I'm not," said moderator Hershel Shanks, editor of the Biblical Archeology Review, which published the initial findings. "What I do know is, Israeli authorities have badly managed the affair."

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