The Biblical Archaeology Review has a report on line about three artifacts that are at the center of a controversy among archaeologists. These three artifacts are:
1. The James Ossuary
The ossuary, or a box containing the bones of a dead person, has the following inscription: “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.” The controversy is focused on whether the ossuary may once have held the bones of James, the brother of Jesus. According to the New Testament, James, Jesus’ brother, was the leader of the church in Jerusalem.
2. The Ivory Pomegranate
This ivory pomegranate has an inscription that reads: “Holy to the Priests, belonging to the Temple of [Yahwe]h.” According to some archaeologists, this is the only surviving article from Solomon’s Temple.
3. The Jehoash Inscription
The inscription contains a reference to the repairs of the Temple in Jerusalem, ordered by Jehoash, the King of Judah, who ruled from 837-800 B.C.
Archaeologists associated with the Israel Antiquities Authority have declared these three items to be forgeries. However, many archaeologists and other specialists believe that these three items are genuine.
Read the Biblical Archaeology Review’s report on line and the discussion related to the authenticity of these three artifacts by clicking here. The report also includes three beautiful pictures of the items in question.
The Biblical Archaeology Review is an excellent magazine that publishes informative articles on recent archaeological discoveries in Israel. They don’t pay me to say this, but I encourage you to subscribe to this magazine. For subscriptions, click here.
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary