DNA could tell us about Mary
Weblog had expected U.S. News & World Report to be the weekly newsmagazine with the most extensive coverage of the James ossuary this week. After all, religion reporter Jeffery L. Sheler wrote a book on the topic: Is the Bible True? How Modern Debates and Discovery Affirm the Essence of the Scriptures. But Sheler's article on what Biblical Archaeological Review editor Hershel Shanks calls "the most important find in the history of New Testament archaeology," though providing helpful background on the life of James the Just, doesn't offer anything new.

Neither does Newsweek, which asks whether Jesus' family really believed in him.

Time, meanwhile, not only goes in depth on James's history and the scientific testing of the ossuary, but nabs the journalistic holy grail: an exclusive look at the bone box itself. "I don't want my apartment turned into a church," the owner told magazine reporters Matt Rees and Matthew Kalman. The magazine complied with the owner's request that his name and location not be given, but added, "His hope to avoid being overwhelmed by pilgrims seems a bit forlorn, however, especially when a reporter notes that the soil at the bottom of the now famous ossuary is littered with bone chips."

That's right. There are bone chips in James's ossuary.

The magazine makes you wait until the end of the story to dish the dirt, but here's the deal:

The bone fragments lie in the dirt at the bottom of the box like the dots and dashes of some infuriating code. They were there, says the owner, when he bought it. Whoever sold it to his dealer would have removed anything larger, since Israeli collectors and looters alike know that the rabbinical authorities are sensitive about human remains. What ...
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Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's managing editor for news and online journalism. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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