The Rev. James Martin, a Catholic priest, calls the relationship between
James and Jesus "very complicated."
Ben Witherington III offers the Protestant view that Jesus and James
were full brothers, with Jesus being the elder.
In November 2002, the world was captivated by the biggest archaeological discovery ever made relating to Jesus: a 2,000 year-old ossuary — or bone box — bearing the tantalizing inscription in Aramaic: "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus."
If it was true, this was the first physical evidence ever found of Jesus’ existence. And yet, if this amazing ossuary was false, then it was one of the greatest forgeries in history.
Underlying the question of the authenticity of the ossuary is an even bigger theological problem: whether or not Jesus actually had any brothers. Though the debate’s origins are ancient, the answer still divides Catholics and Protestants.