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March 12, 2012

CONTACT: Glenn (Joey) Corbett
The Biblical Archaeology Society
Phone: 814-218-4067
Fax: 202-364-2636


WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 12, 2012)—Biblical Archaeology Society Releases Special Report on James Ossuary and Yehoash Inscription in Advance of Forgery Trial Verdict

On Wednesday, Jerusalem judge Aharon Farkash delivers his verdict in the “forgery trial of the century.” He will decide whether the case’s two remaining defendants, Tel Aviv collector Oded Golan and antiquities dealer and scholar Robert Deutsch, are guilty of creating and selling forged antiquities. Two extraordinary inscriptions, both of which have enormous historical implications, stand at the center of the case—one on an ancient Jewish burial box that reads “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus,” and the other, the so-called Yehoash inscription, which, if authentic, would be the only known royal Israelite inscription.

In anticipation of the forgery trial verdict, the Biblical Archaeology Society, publisher of Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR), has opened its vast array of resources on the trial and the alleged forgeries to help readers and journalists better understand the decision and its important implications for the fields of Biblical history and archaeology.

In his new special report Awaiting the James Ossuary Verdict: A Complete Guide to the Alleged Forgeries, Hershel Shanks, editor of BAR and a leading figure in the dissemination of information about the case, offers a summary of the forgery trial and the evidence presented for and against the authenticity of the alleged forgeries. This concise introduction discusses the various practical and scholarly reasons why the James Ossuary inscription, Yehoash inscription and other Biblical artifacts are likely genuine, as well as the limitations of the scientific data that have been used to declare them forgeries.

The BAS Library features the Forgery Trial of the Century Special Collection that highlights the most important BAR articles dealing with the James Ossuary and other alleged forgeries and the various scholarly and scientific arguments that have been made in the forgery trial. In addition, the special collection conveniently summarizes the magazine’s coverage of the major players and key developments in the forgery trial, which lasted more than five years, included 116 sessions, saw more than 130 witnesses called to the stand and produced nearly 12,000 pages of testimony.

Finally, within days after the verdict is announced, the Biblical Archaeology Society will release the free eBook James, Brother of Jesus: The Forgery Trial of the Century, followed by a full English translation of the forgery trial verdict. This illustrated eBook provides a thorough overview of the artifacts in question and the larger forgery crisis that has engulfed Biblical archaeology. Included are informative articles by renowned Bible scholar and epigrapher André Lemaire on the James Ossuary and the ivory pomegranate, an artifact that, if authentic, would be the only surviving relic from Solomon’s Temple.

The Biblical Archaeology Society and its founder Hershel Shanks have followed every twist and turn in the case of the James Ossuary and the forgery trial. With the final outcome now just days away, make the Society your source for information on this important verdict.