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  Now that the ossuary (coffin) of Jesus' brother James has surfaced, will we soon solve the riddle of the race of Jesus as well as determine those among us who are of his lineage?

And more importantly, will these possibilities have an impact on the Catholic Church and the conflict in the Middle East?







The ossuary of James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus has been found. Is it possible that Jesus' brother's DNA can be extracted?

In one of those little articles that does not get a lot of attention in the major newspapers around the world, there is a reference to the possibility that the ossuary (coffin) of James, the brother of Jesus, has surfaced.

In these technological times, the next logical question is whether or not James' DNA can be extracted from the ossuary.  If the bones of James at one time occupied the ossuary, then surely a microscopic examination of the inside of the box would contain more than one or two cells from the remains of James.  The rough limestone of the box would surely contain deposits from the bones that at one time resided in the box.

The importance of this is that we could then determine the racial lineage of Jesus.  And with modern DNA techniques and information, we could potentially determine who is presently a descendant of the family of Jesus.  Would it not be interesting if we were to find that some present day Palestinians were direct descendants of Jesus?  How would that change the politics of the Middle East?

Also consider the reality that the Catholic Church has many relics associated with Jesus.  What about the testing of those relics to gain a complete picture of Jesus.  

And to stretch the imagination a bit, consider that at some time in the future the facial features of an individual can be derived from his or her DNA: we could have a real picture of what Jesus actually looked like.

We have to ask ourselves why has this ossuary come to light at this particular time in history.  A time when we can check the DNA contents of the box.  A time when little George is about to inflame the Middle East with a holy war for oil and potentially bring about the horrors of Armageddon.

The surfacing of this ossuary and the unprovoked revelation by North Korea that it possesses nuclear weapons (which stopped little George in his "invade Iraq" tracks) leaves one to question the timing of these events.  

The question that we must ask is why now?  And who is it that is causing these events to surface at this particular time.

Let those who have eyes see and those who have ears hear. 

John WorldPeace
October 22,  2002

Artifact said to be linked to Jesus

by Richard N. Ostling,  AP

WASHINGTON (Oct. 21) -- An inscription on a burial artifact that was recently discovered in Israel appears to provide the oldest archaeological evidence of Jesus Christ, according to an expert who dates it to three decades after the crucifixion.

Writing in Biblical Archaeology Review, Andre Lemaire, a specialist in ancient inscriptions at France's Practical School of Higher Studies, says it is very probable the find is an authentic reference to Jesus of Nazareth.

The archaeology magazine planned to announce the discovery at a news conference Monday.

That Jesus existed is not doubted by scholars, but what the world knows about him comes almost entirely from the New Testament. No physical artifact from the first century related to Jesus has been discovered and verified. Lemaire believes that has changed, though questions remain, such as where the piece with the inscription has been for more than 19 centuries.

The inscription, in the Aramaic language, appears on an empty ossuary, or limestone burial box for bones. It reads: ''James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.'' Lemaire dates the object to 63 A.D.

Lemaire says the writing style, and the fact that Jews practiced ossuary burials only between 20 B.C. and A.D. 70, puts the inscription squarely in the time of Jesus and James, who led the early church in Jerusalem.

All three names were commonplace, but he estimates that only 20 Jameses in Jerusalem during that era would have had a father named Joseph and a brother named Jesus.

Moreover, naming the brother as well as the father on an ossuary was ''very unusual,'' Lemaire says. There's only one other known example in Aramaic. Thus, this particular Jesus must have had some unusual role or fame - and Jesus of Nazareth certainly qualified, Lemaire concludes.

It's impossible, however, to prove absolutely that the Jesus named on the box was Jesus of Nazareth.

The archaeology magazine says two scientists with the Israeli government's Geological Survey conducted a detailed microscopic examination of the surface patina and the inscription. They reported last month that there is ''no evidence that might detract from the authenticity.''

The ossuary's owner also is requiring Lemaire to shield his identity, so the box's current location was not revealed.

James is depicted as Jesus' brother in the Gospels and head of the Jerusalem church in the Book of Acts and Paul's epistles.

The first century Jewish historian Josephus recorded that ''the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ, James by name,'' was stoned to death as a Jewish heretic in A.D. 62. If his bones were placed in an ossuary that would have occurred the following year, dating the inscription around A.D. 63.

The Rev. Joseph Fitzmyer, a Bible professor at Catholic University who studied photos of the box, agrees with Lemaire that the writing style ''fits perfectly'' with other first century examples and admits the joint appearance of these three famous names is ''striking.''

''But the big problem is, you have to show me the Jesus in this text is Jesus of Nazareth, and nobody can show that,'' Fitzmyer says.

The owner of the ossuary never realized its potential importance until Lemaire examined it last spring. Hershel Shanks, editor of Biblical Archaeology Review, himself saw the box Sept. 25.

Lemaire told The Associated Press the owner wants anonymity to avoid time-consuming contacts with reporters and religious figures. The owner also wants to avoid the cost of insurance and guarding the artifact, and has no plans to display it publicly, he said.


How can we manifest peace on earth if we do not include everyone (all races, all nations, all religions, both sexes) in our vision of Peace?

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