A 1st century AD stone ossuary (bone box) found in a burial tomb in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Talpiot. The artifact understandably drew worldwide attention and stirred sharp controversy. The idea that Jesus had a brother at all is a bone of contention. The James Ossuary, as it’s come to be known, is a limestone bone box that bears an Aramaic inscription reading “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.” Controversy—including charges of forgery—has surrounded this ossuary since the Biblical Archaeology Review first reported on … Are you sure you want to mark this comment as inappropriate? New Testament scholar Ben Witherington, who wrote a book about the box, was at that first exhibit. This photo provided by the Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA) shows the facade of the so-called 'Talpiot Tomb', where some believe Jesus of Nazareth and his family were buried, Lost tomb of Jesus? "But that is how the world operates these days is it not, if you find something as spectacular as an ossuary with the name of Jesus on it?" "It was thrust on the world in a combination of public relations campaign and huge exhibition that really didn't allow people to think about it," Silberman says. "Well maybe that's part of the problem in studying the history of archaeology I'd have to say that this is perhaps the most outrageous case of tabloid archaeology and the most singular celebrity artifact I've ever seen," Silberman says. And this ossuary was said hold the bones of Jesus' brother, James. More precisely, it's about biblical antiquities and how they can be seen to prove that the stories told in the Bible really happened. Are you sure you want to delete this comment? Due to the sheer scale of this comment community, we are not able to give each post the same level of attention, but we have preserved this area in the interests of open debate. Start your Independent Premium subscription today. The James Ossuary is a small, unassuming box which, if real, might pose the very fist solid archeological evidence for Jesus Christ being an actual real person. Many Catholics believe Mary was a lifelong virgin, so James could not have been a blood brother. "The ossuary was kept more or less secret by a small group of scholars who knew about it," says Neil Silberman, a historian of archaeology who believes the box was presented to the public by people more interested in showmanship than science. Independent Premium Comments can be posted by members of our membership scheme, Independent Premium. One of these bone boxes, the James Ossuary, made headlines in 2002, when it was first revealed. Our journalists will try to respond by joining the threads when they can to create a true meeting of independent Premium. Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? "If it can be proven it's probably one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the century," says Steve Pfann, who like his wife Claire, is a scholar of early Christianity, and based in the Holy Land. This is a story about the Bible and truth. Ossuaries were used to hold the bones of the dead some 2,000 years ago, in the time of Jesus. You can also choose to be emailed when someone replies to your comment. Bob Simon Reports On The Mystery Surrounding The James Ossuary. Evidence also points to Jesus having married and had a son, geologist says – but his findings are likely to prove controversial, Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile. The controversial claims were refuted on a variety of grounds at the time of the film’s broadcast – not least on the basis that the names were all relatively common at the time. “I think I’ve got really powerful, virtually unequivocal evidence that the James ossuary spent most of its lifetime, or death time, in the Talpiot Tomb.”. In 2007, James Cameron and his director, Simcha Jacobovici, made the startling claim that the tomb shows Jesus wasn't resurrected and was in fact buried with his family in this tomb. While the results are likely to rekindle the debate surrounding the possible remains of Jesus, they are still far from accepted in scientific circles. Dubbed “The Lost Tomb of Jesus” in a 2007 documentary movie directed by James Cameron, the chamber contained nine burial boxes or “ossuaries” inscribed with the names “Jesus son of Joseph”, “Mary” and other names associated with the New Testament. Two Israeli geologists gave it their stamp of approval. He died, it is written, in 62 A.D. when he was stoned by an angry mob and fell from the walls of the Holy Temple. The geochemical tests, carried out under Dr Shimron’s supervision largely by the Israel Antiquities Authority, worked on the basis that the ossuaries in the Talpiot Tomb were all once covered by the same clay with a very distinctive mineral make-up.