“If Witherington can be such a zealot about his own wacky claims about his own phony ossuary, it would only seem sporting that he would cut Simcha Jacobovici (Witherington’s former partner in crime. He was the man who helped Witherington create and hype his documentary on the phony ‘James Ossuary’ about 4 years ago — shown on, you guessed it! The Discovery Channel!) and James Cameron some slack.”
I agree. Precisely because Witherington was hoodwinked about a fake he found so attractive, he is now over-reacting to the new claim which he finds odious in the extreme. In his recent book he also hailed Stephen Carlson’s book as a devastating critique of Secret Mark. He’s right about that, of course, but it’s not hard to see that he’s “evangelically” thrilled about it. All three of these — ossuary, tomb, and secret gospel — are as authentic as the Donation of Constantine. It’s when a scholar is duped by one but over-bashes the others that his credibility and objectivity are called into question.
UPDATE: Mark Goodacre raises the same question as “Joe”, but more tactfully: “One element that puzzles me about the single-minded nature of Ben Witherington’s criticism of the new claims is that they contrast somewhat with his thorough endorsement of the authenticity of the James ossuary and its connection to the James of the New Testament…” In comments Mike Grondin responds as I have above.