Saturday, November 16, 2002

JAMES OSSUARY is on display in Toronto after beeing repaired. During the repairs curators 'discovered an incised star-circle and minute flecks of red paint on the back of the box, common decorations on ossuaries dating between 50-70 A.D.' The article reports Edward Keall, the museum’s director of Near Eastern and Asian civilizations, as saying

'it was unlikely anyone will ever prove scientifically it held the bones of the brother of Jesus. “It won’t stand up in a court of law,” he said. “Believing is an act of faith.”'

Now I certainly agree that in all likelyhood it won't be possible to prove definitively that the box is the box. And ultimately my faith is not affected one way or another by that--I had faith in Jesus as a historical person and, more importantly, as the Son of God, before the box was ever found. If the ossuary ever is found to be some dime-store forgery that will have no bearing on my faith in Jesus. But are 'faith' and 'things that stand up in a court of law' two irreconcilable things? Is Biblical 'faith' something that I just happen to want to believe despite all the evidence to the contrary or despite a lack of evidence? Or in fact is it a reasonable belief founded upon an accumulation of evidence, primarily the testimony of witnesses as found in the Bible accounts? That's certainly what I intend my faith to be.

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