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The big news story that you never got to read

Further evidence—if any were actually needed—of the mainline media’s decided anti–Christian bias is the almost total news blackout imposed by America’s news outlets on the outcome of what the media originally billed as “the forgery case of the century.”

In March, a Jerusalem Court dismissed charges of forgery against two men charged with forging an inscription on a First Century ossuary (burial box) that declared it to contain the remains of “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.”

The announcement of the discovery of the ossuary in 2002 was front page news. Experts called to authenticate it made a persuasive case for believing the inscription referred to St. James, half brother of Jesus and author of the Epistle General of St. James.

It was a story that could not be ignored. To Christians, the saint is traditionally known as St. James the Less or St. James the Just, to distinguish him from St. James called “the Great”, the son of Zebedee and brother of St. John the Evangelist.

A year or so later, however, even bigger headlines gleefully announced that the Israeli antiquities authorities had declared the inscription to be a forgery and that prosecutions would follow.

The jubilation among militant secularists at the news that the inscription was alleged to be forged is easy to understand. If the ossuary and its inscription were declared to be genuinely that of the brother of our Lord, their efforts to dismiss the Christian faith as mere superstition would be that much more difficult.

This doubtless explains why the acquittal of the owner of the ossuary, Israeli antiquities collector Oded Golan, and antiquities dealer Robert Deutsch, who had been accused of forging the inscription, has received so little attention from the decidedly secularist mainline media.

But while the “not guilty” verdict has not laid to rest speculation about the authenticity of the inscription, Hershel Shanks, founder of the Biblical Archaeological Society, points out that much of the discussion has ignored the wealth of scholarship available on the artifacts and trial.

Shanks and his society have followed every twist and turn in the five–year forgery trial —consistently providing scholarly analysis of the archaeological facts and their implications for the trial.

For folks interested in discovering the facts, Shanks has produced an e–book entitled James, Brother of Jesus: The Forgery Trial of the Century. It contains a detailed analysis of the trial and the characters involved. It also lays out the evidence for believing the ossuary inscription to be authentic.

The e-book can be obtained free of charge from the Biblical Archaeology Society. Moreover, I plan to follow up the story as it develops in coming editions of the newsletter. GPH✠

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