James Ossuary Not a Fake


The story of the James ossuary continues. This limestone box carried an inscription “James son of Joseph, Brother of Jesus” and if it was proved to be true, could be historical evidence for one man named Yeshua (who may or may not be the one called Jesus of Nazareth).

One school held that the man who announced the existence of the ossuary had faked it. Biblical Archaeological Review held the position that  most scholars claim the ossuary is a fake, based on a hunch and not reason.

After three years in court, the case collapsed.

In the most recent embarrassment for the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), the government’s star witness, Yuval Goren, former chairman of Tel Aviv University’s institute of archaeology, was forced to admit on cross-examination that there is original ancient patina in the word “Jesus,” the last word in the inscription that reads “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.”[Supporters of James Ossuary Inscription’s Authenticity Vindicated | Daily Bible and Archaeology News]

The battle is not over yet, but probably will be after 6 months depending on if the case against Tel Aviv antiquities collector Oded Golan is dropped or amended.

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2 thoughts on “James Ossuary Not a Fake

  1. I do hope that eventually some further studies will be undertaken that may prove the authenticity or otherwise of this artifact one way or the other, beyond reasonable doubt.
    It is important to emphasize, however, that this trial cannot and will not do that. The trial is about whether there is enough evidence to convict an individual of forgery. The authenticity of otherwise of the ossuary is not a matter that a court of law or the media can determine.
    A fair and balanced investigation of whether there is patina on all the words in the inscription is certainly needed, but the best course of action is to suspend judgment and hope that a relatively impartial group of epigraphers, archaeologists and other experts will be given access to the ossuary and publish their findings in a scholarly venue.

  2. Prof. McGrath,
    Thanks for dropping by. According to the BAR report, “there is original ancient patina in the word “Jesus,””. Are you waiting to see if there is ancient patina on rest of the words?

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