This post is from the blog: Vivificat!
Folks, I was reading this article published today in Time Magazine online, entitled, The Burial Box of Jesus’ Brother: A Case Against Fraud, because the controversy has been around for a while and of course, because of the significance of the artifact were the claims to its authenticity be proven beyond reasonable doubt. Nevertheless, the introductory paragraph disappointed me, although I am already used to this case of disappointment coming from the so-called mainstream experts. Check it out:
The world of biblical archaeology was stirred in 2002 by the unveiling of a limestone burial box with the Aramaic inscription Yaakov bar Yosef akhui di Yeshua (“James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus”). Allegedly dating to an era contemporaneous with Christ, the names were a tantalizing collation of potentially great significance: James was indeed the name of a New Testament personage known as the brother of Jesus, both ostensibly the sons of Joseph the carpenter, husband of Mary. If its dates were genuine, the burial box — or ossuary — could well be circumstantial evidence for the existence of Jesus of Nazareth, a tenet supported only by gospels and scripture written, at the earliest, a generation after his crucifixion and, of course, by the faith of hundreds of millions through 2,000 years.
What are the unspoken assumptions here? One, that the New Testament is not a reliable source to prove the objective historicity of Jesus of Nazareth and two, that all we have is that meager evidence supplemented by the ultimately insubstantial faith of millions. Hence, the need for external evidence such as this ossuary to substantiate – or not – the story.
Those who cling to these assumptions probably willfully or unwittingly ignore the fact that, if they were to apply the same standard of suspicion and doubt other documents received from antiquity and recognized as recording true history, they would not stand either. The following table illustrates and compares the antiquity and amount of New Testament manuscripts with that of other documents from antiquity commonly accepted as “historical.” Particular attention is paid to the time elapsed between the historical facts they record to the time they were set in writing (Source: The New Evidence That Demands A Verdict ).
To see the table comparing the evidence for the New Testament manuscripts versus the scanty evidence for such antiquities that everyone accepts freely such as the histories by Homer, Heredotus, etc. Click Evidence for the Integrity of the New Testament Documents
Filed under: Sacred Scripture |