The discovery of the ossuary was hailed in some quarters as a spectacular archeological find — solidly circumstantial proof, at last, of Christ's existence. For it would have held the remains of the Apostle James, who was killed in 62 A.D. and is described in the Bible as Jesus' brother.
When the James ossuary toured Canada in October 2002, it attracted thousands of the curious and faithful. Some visitors kneeled in quiet prayer. But back in Israel, police detectives, along with a growing posse of Biblical scholars, were growing skeptical of the ossuary's authenticity. After a two-year investigation, police in December 2004 charged the antiquities collector and four others of forgery, alleging that the James ossuary was a clever fake, and that Golan had masterminded an international ring of thieves that over the past 20 years had duped major museums and collectors out of millions. Put on trial, Golan denied the charges and some experts and the pious rallied to his side. Nevertheless, one of the detectives insisted: "Oded Golan played with our beliefs, the beliefs of Jews and Christians. That is why it's the fraud of the century."
Of course, this ossuary was never considered as proof of Jesus' existence by real Christians. According to the Antiquitates Judaicae, concerning the martyrdom of St. James:
But this younger Ananus, who, as we have told you already, took the high priesthood, was a bold man in his temper, and very insolent; he was also of the sect of the Sadducees, (23) who are very rigid in judging offenders, above all the rest of the Jews, as we have already observed; when, therefore, Ananus was of this disposition, he thought he had now a proper opportunity [to exercise his authority]. Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned.and Hegesippus:
St. James the adelphotheos is celebrated on October 23.And, when many were fully convinced by these words, and offered praise for the testimony of James, and said, “Hosanna to the son of David,” then again the said Pharisees and scribes said to one another, “We have not done well in procuring this testimony to Jesus. But let us go up and throw him down, that they may be afraid, and not believe him.” And they cried aloud, and said: “Oh! oh! the just man himself is in error.” Thus they fulfilled the Scripture written in Isaiah: “Let us away with the just man, because he is troublesome to us: therefore shall they eat the fruit of their doings.” So they went up and threw down the just man, and said to one another: “Let us stone James the Just.” And they began to stone him: for he was not killed by the fall; but he turned, and kneeled down, and said: “I beseech Thee, Lord God our Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”And, while they were thus stoning him to death, one of the priests, the sons of Rechab, the son of Rechabim, to whom testimony is borne by Jeremiah the prophet, began to cry aloud, saying: “Cease, what do ye? The just man is praying for us.” But one among them, one of the fullers, took the staff with which he was accustomed to wring out the garments he dyed, and hurled it at the head of the just man.
And so he suffered martyrdom; and they buried him on the spot, and the pillar erected to his memory still remains, close by the temple.