So much for the "James Ossuary" . . .

"Israel Antiquities Collector to Be Charged," so said the recent article by Associated Press writer, Karin Laub. Not that I ever thought the "James Ossuary" could overcome the negative scholarly criticism levelled against it, and thus be regarded as an inconvtrovertible archaeological discovery, notwithstanding the committment and argumentation forwarded by such supportive scholars as Hershel Shanks and Ben Witherington III. There was just simply too much ambiguity surrounding the debate - something akin to the "Turin Shroud Controversy."

To deepen the controversy (and perhaps kill it), a documentary broadcast on Israeli television earlier this year touted Obed Golan, the antiquities collector who "discovered" the so-called bone-box, as a "talented con man who made millions of dollars selling forged antiquites to gullible buyers around the world." This seems to concur with CBS reporter Bob Simon's findings regarding Golan, the Ossuary, and alleged shenanigans. The Stone Box

Is this just another example of the political conflict between professional archaeologists and the amateur adventurers? Or is this a truthful tale about Golan, which would seem to serve as a deathblow to his credibility?

For those who are interested in the debate, see the article by Karin Laub. In the meantime, I am eagerly awaiting a response from either Shanks or Witherington, both who have committed their reputation to publication in their book The Brother of Jesus: The Dramatic Story & Meaning of the First Archaeological Link to Jesus & His Family in which they claimed that the James Ossuary was "the most astonishing find in the history of archaeology."

See Karin Laub's story at: Israel Antiquities Collector to Be Charged