CADRE Comments

A Rational Look at Christianity; Basing Reason in Truth

Professor Ben Witherington notes this Time magazine article on the James Ossuary trial. The thrust of the article is that the Prosecution's expert patina witnesses may be heading for trouble as they take the witness stand. The article also notes what we have reported in the past, the Prosecution's case is in big trouble and the Judge knows it.

Another interesting tidbit of which I was unaware is that the Judge in the case has a degree in archaeology. I have to believe that is more common in Israel than in the States.


I really am interested to see where this trial goes, but I wonder if it will matter in the end. After all the questions, I'm not sure the Ossuary's reputation can really be repaired, which is too bad.

I think the problem is summarized most clearly in the article where the judge wonders how he can come to a decision about authenticity if the patina experts themselves disagree. Personally I don't really have much stake in the outcome of this trial because I think the biblical and extra-biblical (Josephus, Hegesippus) evidence is plenty to establish the existence of James (and Jesus) and the authenticity of the ossuary wouldn't really add anything substantial to the case for faith.

I think that it would still be an asset to apologetics, as such. I know that there will still be various ways to explain it away, but it adds a really concrete piece of evidence to a strong circumstantial case.

BTW, I just started at Asbury Seminary yesterday and I met Witherington at the local deli. I had to contain myself a little (lot).

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