Supporters of James Ossuary Inscription’s Authenticity Vindicated
**Defendants Oded Golan and Robert Deutsch found not guilty! See an updated list of articles about the trial or download the FREE eBook James, Brother of Jesus: The Forgery Trial of the Century for the best analyses of the artifacts and verdict.**
The “forgery trial of the century” has all but blown up. The trial judge who will decide the case—there are no juries in Israel—has told the prosecution to consider dropping the case. “Not every case ends in the way that you think it will when you start,” Judge Aharon Farkash told prosecutor Adi Damti in open court. “Maybe we can save ourselves the rest,” the judge told her.
The story was reported by Matthew Kalman in the San Francisco Chronicle, and from there around the world. He described Judge Aharon Farkash’s evaluation as a “humiliating collapse” of the government’s case and “a major embarrassment ... for the [Israel] Antiquities Authority.”
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.”
Recent events have also proved humiliating for the IAA in connection with the committee it appointed that supposedly came to a unanimous decision that the inscription is a forgery. In fact, several members of the committee expressed no opinion—but the IAA counted them as “yes” votes. Several other members of the committee based their vote not on their own expertise, but on Yuval Goren’s supposed expertise, which they were in no position to evaluate. One member of the committee who would have found the inscription authentic said he was “forced” to change his mind based on Goren’s scientific arguments.
No paleographer expert in the script of this period has found any paleographical problem with the inscription. And several scientists at the trial have undermined Goren’s scientific arguments. No other scientist has supported Goren’s arguments.
BAR has consistently supported the authenticity of the inscription, as have leading paleographers André Lemaire of the Sorbonne and Ada Yardeni of Hebrew University. All appear now to be vindicated.
Related Coverage on the James Ossuary and Forgery Trial
James Ossuary Forgery Case in Shambles (Press Release)
Jerusaelem Forgery Conference Report
Additional Reading from the BAS Library
Burial Box of James the Brother of Jesus, by André Lemaire
Brother of Jesus Ossuary: New Tests Bolster Case for Authenticity, by Edward J. Keall
Israel Antiquities Authority‘s Report Deeply Flawed, by André Lemaire
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