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Thursday, April 03, 2008

More on the resurrection and James Ossuary

Not wanting to go (any further) into debates over the historicity of the resurrection (or indeed the James Ossuary) but an interview with Ben Witherington III has been noted and it makes this comment about the James Ossuary:

...but let me say why this is such an important issue. The James Ossuary is an indirect testimony to the resurrection of Jesus. The reason I say that is you don't brag about being related to Jesus if the last thing that happened to him was that he died on a cross – that was the most shocking way to die in antiquity. So the fact that this ossuary reads, "Jesus the son of Joseph, his brother is Jesus" is very clear that this person is claiming to be related to Jesus and he wouldn't be claiming that if Jesus died on the cross and there was no resurrection.

To cut and paste what I've said elsewhere, I would have thought that all this line of thought could possibly prove is that people believed Jesus was resurrected. But then we know that anyway. If we take Witherington's logic one step further, the earliest Christian literature would not be making such claims about if there was no resurrection, right? If I am being fair, then that would be some leap of logic.

5 Comments:

Blogger Quixie said...

Possibly one of the silliest things I've heard Dr. Ben say (and I think that's a high bar).

What I find interesting is how the "authenticity" of the James ossuary (notwithstanding the pending criminal investigations surrounding it and the other suspect antiquities, of course) can be interpreted so differently by different people.

Witherington wants it to be authentic because, to his mind, it constitutes more food for faith.


I find myself hoping that it is authentic, but also wondering, if it is authentic, and if the chemical recipe of the patina does indeed match that of the Talpiot ossuaries, does that mean that we have to start taking the apostle Paul seriously when he says that the resurrection was a "spirit-body" one?

I enjoy your blog.

Ó

April 04, 2008

 
Blogger Geoff Hudson said...

"Cutting" was just what a forger did to form the inscription of the James ossuary. Only did you know the forgers are now using program-controlled etching tools to replicate authentic scripts? In any case, the person in the box couldn't claim anything, unless he arose to write his own inscripton. Or, may be the relatives of the dead anticipated that the box would be worth a small fortune 2000years later.

Jesus died on the cross in the story. We do not know the precise time people came to believe that story. The same applies to the resurrection story. Nor are we sure what was the "earliest Christian literature" since what we have has obviously been messed about.

April 04, 2008

 
Blogger James Crossley said...

Thanks: just wish I could give you a decent answer!

April 04, 2008

 
Blogger Steven Carr said...

' The reason I say that is you don't brag about being related to Jesus if the last thing that happened to him was that he died on a cross – that was the most shocking way to die in antiquity.'

Were the crucified followers of Spartacus all reviled by all their family members, none of whom wanting to associate themselves with crucified people?

April 04, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Were the crucified followers of Spartacus all reviled by all their family members, none of whom wanting to associate themselves with crucified people?"

This point simply shows your ignorance of Second Temple history.

June 20, 2008

 

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