Did Jesus have a brother named James?
It is the extraordinary question being asked in the new Science Channel documentary, Biblical Conspiracies: The James Revelation.
The documentary also looks at the questions raised about the coffin that is said to contain the remains of the brother of Jesus.
The discovery of the coffin first made headlines in 2002. It’s called an ossuary and the inscription reads: "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus."
Many historians believe the artifact is a fake. The ossuary is owned by antiquities collector Oded Golan, who was arrested but later acquitted of forging the inscription.
"There are scholars who doubt that the ossuary and the inscription — “James, Son of Joseph, Brother of James" — is authentic," Professor James Tabor, a professor of Christian origins and ancient Judaism at UNC Charlotte, told Inside Edition. "Some people still think it is a forgery and it is just being hyped to make money. As far as I know, Golan has not made money from it."
Then there's the controversial question of whether Jesus even had a brother.
"Some say it is a cousin, some say it is a stepbrother, some say it is an actual brother that Mary had other children – so, that makes it controversial," Professor Tabor said. "It would be, if it is authentic, the only physical relic that we have from the time mentioning Jesus. I think it can be called the biggest archeological dig of the century simply because it says ‘Jesus.’"
Biblical Conspiracies: The James Revelation airs Saturday, April 15 on The Science Channel.