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Thread: Ossuary and Catholicism/Orthodoxy

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    Ossuary and Catholicism/Orthodoxy

    I've heard that Roman Catholic and Orthodox theologians are denying the validity of this find because of their traditions. See the following articles:

    Ossuary Poses Catholic Problems
    Evidence Of Jesus Written In Stone

    Here's what the first article states:

    The box of bones is exciting as a "find." But for Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox theologians, such poses a real problem, which could take some of the fun out of "find."
    How far are we all willing to go to deny obvious empirical evidence in order to hold on to our cherished traditions and doctrines?

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    just to add some background, apparently the "liberals" are saying that the phrase "the brother of Jesus" was added later... that the aramaic script is of a later date than the other script. but the experts in that stuff are saying that it's all one script from the same time.

    please do not see this post as trolling. i seriously want to hear what others think of this (Roman Catholics and Orthodox included).

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    Disciple -

    I am not sure if this article is correct in assuming that the Orthodox have an issue with the find because it says, "Brother of Jesus." Actually, you'll find contradicting beliefs of that within the Orthodox church. A calendar distributed by the "archdiocese" had a full description of James and described him as the brother of Jesus. But you'll find other GO text that goes along with "brother" meaning cousin theory.

    I know in my church, a group of us including our priest, were discussing how wonderful the find was. We were discussing how archeology is proving Scripture and we delighted in it.

    About the "perpetual virgin": I asked an old greek orthodox monk why in Orthodox services we say "ever virgin mary". He said, that ever virgin didn't mean "always and forever a virgin" but "yeah.. she was REALLY REALLY a virgin" as emphasis not a quantification.

    So I am not sure where the source of the information came from for the first article.

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    Originally posted by GreekPrincess
    I am not sure if this article is correct in assuming that the Orthodox have an issue with the find because it says, "Brother of Jesus." Actually, you'll find contradicting beliefs of that within the Orthodox church. A calendar distributed by the "archdiocese" had a full description of James and described him as the brother of Jesus. But you'll find other GO text that goes along with "brother" meaning cousin theory.
    i doubt the article meant to include all of Orthodoxy (or even RC) into the statement. i understand that there are variances from tradition to tradition and church to church.

    I know in my church, a group of us including our priest, were discussing how wonderful the find was. We were discussing how archeology is proving Scripture and we delighted in it.
    that's great! that is what i wondered and it was from you and aletheo who i wanted to hear from.

    About the "perpetual virgin": I asked an old greek orthodox monk why in Orthodox services we say "ever virgin mary". He said, that ever virgin didn't mean "always and forever a virgin" but "yeah.. she was REALLY REALLY a virgin" as emphasis not a quantification.
    that's interesting indeed. thanks for the comments.

    So I am not sure where the source of the information came from for the first article.
    i don't know either. i understood that many objectors to the authenticity of the artifact were Orthodox and RC theologians. from what tradition or of what stripe i'm not sure. i heard that the discussion was in Biblical Archaeology Review although i have not read the article itself.

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    My bet is, and this is just opinion, but I bet that if the Eastern Orthodox do argue on its meaning, it is because they don't have ownership of the relic or any rights to it.

    Although I have seen Orthodox scholars say that Mary didn't have any more children and that she was a virgin forever. I've also seen some orthodox scholars write that Mary arose again in 3 days as Christ did. But that's a different discussion. lol

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    Nothing in the bible states that Mary engaged in any sex.

    If this box is authentic, it doesn't prove that James was Mary's son. It only states that Joseph was Jame's father.

    I would not look at this box and conclude James to be Mary's biological son any more then I would conclude the Jesus was Joseph's biological son.

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    Originally posted by jpd
    Nothing in the bible states that Mary engaged in any sex.
    no but it certainly implies that she did:

    Mt 1:25 but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.

    If this box is authentic, it doesn't prove that James was Mary's son. It only states that Joseph was Jame's father.

    I would not look at this box and conclude James to be Mary's biological son any more then I would conclude the Jesus was Joseph's biological son.
    so would you say that Joseph was married to someone else before he was married to Mary and that Jesus is therefore James's half-brother? if so, on what basis do you believe this? it's certainly not in Scripture and has less support than that Mary didn't engage in any sex. the usage in Mt 1:25 of until definitely implies that it did happen but only after she gave birth to Jesus. until is a terminus ad quem.

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    Before you concentrate on one word alone, remember that not all word translations are exact. Also different cultures do not alway intend to imply what another culter sees.

    Again the Gospel does not explicitly state Mary had sex or had other children.

    What the Gospel does record is that Jesus asked John to consider Mary as his own mother while he was dying on the cross. If Mary had other sons, there would be no reason for John to take her into his care, or for Jesus to ask him to, would there?

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    Originally posted by jpd
    Before you concentrate on one word alone, remember that not all word translations are exact. Also different cultures do not alway intend to imply what another culter sees.
    not sure what you mean here or what you're trying to say. perhaps you can give me an example of where until would mean something other than it means in our language. and perhaps you can explain that this word in the Greek means something else.

    Again the Gospel does not explicitly state Mary had sex or had other children.
    do you mean the gospel message or the Gospels (i.e., Mt, Mk, Lk, Jn)? i'm not saying you have to believe this, i'm just saying that the strong implication is that she did. this verse along with the others that say that Jesus had brothers and sisters is more evidence that Mary had other children (see below).

    What the Gospel does record is that Jesus asked John to consider Mary as his own mother while he was dying on the cross. If Mary had other sons, there would be no reason for John to take her into his care, or for Jesus to ask him to, would there?
    this is an argument from silence and doesn't really have much force. also, at this point in time, none of Jesus siblings were apparently in the New Covenant community yet (cf. John 7:5). the account is silent on whether or not she had other children and it seems that you may be reading something into it (according to your understanding of the matter). notice also in the Gospels, Jesus' strong words about who family really is:

    Mt 12:46 While He was still speaking to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers [not the Greek word for cousins but the Greek word for brothers...Greek is a very specific language] were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him. 47 Someone said to Him, "Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You." 48 But Jesus answered the one who was telling Him and said, "Who is My mother and who are My brothers?" 49 And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, "Behold My mother and My brothers! 50 "For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother."

    this argument has little strength.

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    Let me give you a modern day example of the use of the word UNTIL:
    When a person vows at their wedding that they will remain faithful UNTIL death due them part, in no way is considered a promise to have an affair or get remarried once their spouse dies. The use of the word until is what the marriage couple intend to do WHILE both live and is stating nothing about after.


    Regarding the word BROTHER
    If Jesus would have been considered a son of Joseph, then any other son of Joseph would have been considered his brother, regardless of whether they had the same mother or not.

    David's sons Absolom and Amnon were called brothers in 2 samuel 13, yet they had different mothers. There are many other examples in the bible, as well as modern day examples, of brothers having different biological mothers.

    I have yet to see anything in the new testament state Mary had other children.

    Again, if Mary did have other sons, then why would Jesus feel the need to have John take her into his care after his death?

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    Originally posted by jpd
    Let me give you a modern day example of the use of the word UNTIL:
    When a person vows at their wedding that they will remain faithful UNTIL death due them part, in no way is considered a promise to have an affair or get remarried once their spouse dies. The use of the word until is what the marriage couple intend to do WHILE both live and is stating nothing about after.
    OK. good point.

    Regarding the word BROTHER If Jesus would have been considered a son of Joseph, then any other son of Joseph would have been considered his brother, regardless of whether they had the same mother or not.
    so you're saying that Joseph had other sons with another woman? what evidence do you have for this?

    I have yet to see anything in the new testament state Mary had other children.
    you are correct...there is nothing explicit although i do think that there is much implicit information to support that she did. here's another:

    Lk 2:7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

    Again, if Mary did have other sons, then why would Jesus feel the need to have John take her into his care after his death?
    i just explained that above (cf. Mt 12:46ff).

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    Arrow

    Just got a book recently that may shed some light on this discussion:

    "Who is My Mother?" by Eric Svendsen
    (Calvary Press,2001).

    I'll try to post some relevant points later.

    Eric Svendsen has debated several Catholic apologists. See his website:

    http://www.ntrmin.org/

    for soem sample articles.
    "speak the truth in love"
    http://members.shaw.ca/batteredsheep/

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    Originally posted by batteredsheep
    Eric Svendsen has debated several Catholic apologists. See his website:

    http://www.ntrmin.org/
    here's the URL.

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    Originally posted by jpd
    Regarding the word BROTHER
    If Jesus would have been considered a son of Joseph, then any other son of Joseph would have been considered his brother, regardless of whether they had the same mother or not.

    David's sons Absolom and Amnon were called brothers in 2 samuel 13, yet they had different mothers. There are many other examples in the bible, as well as modern day examples, of brothers having different biological mothers.
    from http://www.ntrmin.org/ossuaryofjames.htm
    Of course, it is possible (and perhaps probable in light of the strength of this finding) that Roman Catholics will retreat to the Epiphanian view; that is, the view that Joseph had children from a previous marriage. Virtually no one today holds that view, but there may be a mad dash to it in the coming days. Yet this view is extremely exegetically tenuous (there is a good reason that few hold it), has little to commend it, and has almost everything against it.

    First, there is absolutely nothing in the context of the “brothers of Jesus” passages that indicates that we should abandon the normal usage of adelphos. There seems to be no instance in which this word is unambiguously used of a stepbrother in any of the literature in the New Testament era. Second, in each case where normal familial terms are used in adoptive families (Moses and Pharaoh’s daughter; Christians and Jesus; Christians and God, etc.) we are clearly informed that the relationship in question is an adoptive relationship. Such is not the case with the brothers of Jesus. Certainly there seems to be no other motivation to adopt this view than to uphold Mary’s perpetual virginity while at the same time avoiding the charge of contradicting the New Testament evidence that Jesus had siblings.

    Finally, at the end of the day, neither Matthew nor Luke, in their respective infancy narratives, gives us any hint that this is a subsequent marriage for Joseph (which is what this view requires). It seems best, therefore, to abandon the Epiphanian view from further consideration.

    It seems appropriate at this point to reaffirm the view that best fits not only the New Testament evidence, but now the archaeological evidence as well. Both the Hieronymian view [i.e., the "holy family" (Joseph, Mary and Jesus) all committed themselves to lifelong virginity] and the Epiphanian view have been shown to be deficient on philological grounds; neither can provide evidence contemporary to that of the New Testament writers for their proposed usage of adelphos. In addition, the tradition Roman Catholic (Hieronymian) view now has the weight of archaeological evidence against it.

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    Click here to see the final report on the ossuary study.

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    Originally posted by Cephas
    Click here to see the final report on the ossuary study.
    interesting article, but this is just one "expert's" observation. i've heard that there are other "experts" who disagree with what this person is saying. also, consider that the source of the article (Israel Insider) is probably not unbiased either. interesting article nonetheless (take a look at the "talk back" section).

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    Well, it looks like it's not just the Roman Catholic and Orthodox theologians who are denying the valididty of this find.

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    Originally posted by jpd
    Well, it looks like it's not just the Roman Catholic and Orthodox theologians who are denying the valididty of this find.
    quite true. i don't know enough details about the find to make an educated decision on the issue. i just found that interesting article the i posted above. plus i talked to a friend who knows someone quite intimately involved with the issue and he said that among the objectors are Roman Catholics and Orthodox (i think though it was mostly Roman Catholics). anyway, just an interesting topic and wanted to hear what others thought. thanks for your input jpd.

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    It's official! The Ossuary is a fake. Go here for the full report.

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