Saturday, November 1, 2014

James, Son of Joseph, Brother of Jesus!

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James, son of Joseph, Brother of Jesus!

Close-up of the Aramaic inscription: "Ya'akov bar Yosef akhui di Yeshua" ("James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus")

Hello friends! :) This is an extremely exciting find, as it is archaeological evidence of our Lord Jesus Christ :) This isn't the only Ossuary that has been found, Caiaphas' Ossuary has also been found. This is all related evidence of Jesus Christ's time :D
 This is quite a find, which was considered to be 100% authentic; A couple of months later the Israeli government claimed that Oded Golan had forged The James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus Ossuary along with the Jehoash Tablet. 
If you read into the case you will see that no one ever presented any evidence of the Ossuary being fake. The opposing side simply claimed the Ossuary was fake.  
Years later it was proved to be authentic :)
This isn't the only artifact claimed to be a forgery made by Oded Golan. Click here for information on the Jehoash Tablet: King Solomon's Temple

So what do the experts say? Two world-class experts on inscriptions from this period, André Lemaire of the Sorbonne and Ada Yardeni of Hebrew University, among others, believe the inscription is authentic and not a modern forgery.

After five years, the “forgery trial of the century” has concluded in a Jerusalem courtroom and defendants Oded Golan and Robert Deutsch have been acquitted of all forgery charges. In our free eBook James, Brother of Jesus: The Forgery Trial of the Century, Hershel Shanks explains why he believes the now-famous “James Ossuary” inscription is authentic. Plus, he provides behind-the-scenes analysis of the trial and its key players.

Their expertise is called paleography. So where is the qualified paleographer who says the inscription is a forgery? I know of none, not before the criminal case and certainly not after the evidence adduced in the lengthy criminal trial in which Golan was acquitted of all forgery charges.

What about a scientific look at the inscription? One of the government’s own experts found original ancient patina on the inscription—on the word “Jesus,” the very word that the government alleged was forged. After the evidence adduced at trial, where is the scientific expert who claims the inscription, as the Daily News article says, is fake?

If he or she is out there, I wish she/he would identify herself or himself and give us his or her reasons.
(UPDATE)

Oded Golan has been freed of the charges. The Biblical Archaeological Society and the Discovery Channel announced in Washington, D.C. that the ancient inscription on the 2,000-year-old ossuary with the inscribed Aramaic words "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus" is genuine. You can do research on both the, "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus" and the, "Jehoash Tablet" to find updated information. Please keep in mind the trial took 10 years, so you'll need to dig around a bit to find updated information on these relics.
I will also post at the bottom the following article, "Ancient James Ossuary and Jehoash Tablet Inscriptions May Be Authentic, Say Experts." This article was published before Oded Golan was declared innocent (Credit given at the bottom of the article :D) 

I must also mention that there are authentic non Biblical records that refer to James as, "James The Brother of Jesus" one of such records is the following:

Flavius Josephus (born 37 C.E.)
the Antiquities of the Jews Book 20, Chapter 9, 2 (81-96 C.E.)

In the Antiquities of the Jews (Book 20, Chapter 9, 1) Josephus refers to the stoning of "James the brother of Jesus" by order of Ananus ben Ananus, a Herodian-era High Priest.[27][28] The James referred to in this passage is most likely James the first bishop of Jerusalem who is also called James the Just in Christian literature, and to whom the Epistle of James has been attributed.[28][29][30]The translations of Josephus' writing into other languages have at times included passages that are not found in the Greek texts, raising the possibility of interpolation, but this passage on James is found in all manuscripts, including the Greek texts.[28]

Praise The Lord JESUS CHRIST!!!

Matthew 13:55 

Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't his mother's name Mary, and aren't his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?

Matthew 1:25 

But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

The James Ossuary

Dr. Paul L. Maier
It was an electrifying announcement: a stone burial box had come to light in Jerusalem that may have contained the bones of Jesus' half-brother James. An Aramaic inscription on the artifact reads: Ya'akov bar-Yosef akhui diYeshua, "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus." 

If these three names are our familiar New Testament personalities, then this is a discovery for which the term "astounding" is not too strong. This would mark the first time that Jesus' name has appeared in stone from the first century.

While this October announcement may be gladdening - even sensational - news, believers should always weigh such evidence carefully.

Researchers have uncovered a 2,000-year-old ossuary - a box that held bones - that bears the inscription "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus." This may be the first archaeological evidence that refers directly to Jesus and identifies James as His brother.

What are the facts?

An ossuary is a limestone box for burying bones that was used by Jews primarily in the first century AD. As a kind of space-saving way to deal with the dead, this "second-burial" system first interred the deceased in sepulchers to decompose for a year or two, then gathered the bones that remained and put them into stone boxes or "ossuaries." Jesus Himself was in the first stage of this burial method, and had it not been for the resurrection, His bones would have been transferred to an ossuary a year or two after His crucifixion and death. 

Archaeological aids 

In fact, three crucial ossuary discoveries in the last quarter century have been extremely supportive of the New Testament records. 

Critics used to doubt that Jesus was ever nailed to a cross, insisting that John's Gospel was indulging in fantasy rather than fact in claiming such. No longer! In 1968, at a suburb of northern Jerusalem, the ossuary of Yohanan benHa'galgol was discovered. While otherwise unknown, this man had been crucified, as the seven-inch iron spike still transfixing his heel bones offers mute testimony. 

In November 1990, the bones of the first Biblical personality ever discovered came to light in another ossuary, which was magnificently carved with perfect fluting along the edges and two great whorls adorning its face. Clearly, this bone box must have been adorned for an important person. And, indeed, on the other side was his name, incised twice in Aramaic: Iosef bar-Caiapha, or "Joseph, son of Caiaphas," the high priest who indicted Jesus before Pontius Pilate on Good Friday, a major Biblical figure and another stunning discovery. 

Now, a dozen years later, we have number three: the James ossuary, a slightly trapezoidal box about 20 inches long, 10 inches wide, and 12 inches high, with removable stone lid. It has no adornment other than a narrow marginal border about a half-inch wide. 

Is the Ossuary authentic? 
Let's explore the evidence pro and con. 

Against authenticity: Unfortunately, the ossuary was not discovered in situ, that is, it did not come to light in the course of an archaeological dig as was the case in the two previous. Accordingly, the context of this find is lost, and we have no exact idea where the ossuary was found, what else was buried there and the like - priceless evidence that has now vanished. Some 30 years ago, an Arab antiquities dealer in Jerusalem sold the ossuary for a few hundred dollars to a now-51-year-old engineer named Oded Golan living in Tel Aviv. 

The dealer stated that the ossuary - one of many rifled from ancient tombs - came from the Silwan area in the Kidron Valley, southeast of the site where the Jerusalem Temple once stood.

Worse still, the bones originally inside the ossuary had been dumped out somewhere, which is the case in nearly all ossuaries not discovered by archaeologists. If the skeletal remains were left inside such bone boxes, looters would encounter hostility from ultra-orthodox Jews, who object to all disruption of human remains. 

For authenticity: The evidence for authenticity of the James ossuary, however, is much stronger. The very fact that an ossuary is involved all but proves its first-century origin, since the only time Jews buried in that fashion was from approximately 20 B.C. to the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. 

The fragile condition of the ossuary cracks that widened en mute to its first public display at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto further attest to its antiquity. Any perpetrator of archaeological fraud would have found some way to make the "find" public much sooner than was actually the case. And finally, the Israel Geological Survey submitted the ossuary to a variety of scientific tests, which determined that the limestone of the ossuary had a patina or sheen consistent with a many-centuries-long sojourn in a cave. 

Is the inscription authenic? 

In a word, yes. The same patina covers the incised lettering of the inscription as the rest of the surface. If the inscription was recent, this would not be the case. 

It is true that the first part of the inscription, "James son of Joseph," seems more deeply incised than the latter "brother of Jesus," but this may have no significance. Even if it does, differences in the hardness of the limestone may have been responsible, or the carver may have been pressed by time. Conceivably, he or someone else may have thought to add the further defining clause subsequently in view of its importance. 

The script is cursive Aramaic - fully consistent with first-century lettering, according to Dr. Andre Lemaire, the Parisian epigrapher who first saw the importance of the inscription when Golan invited him to view the ossuary in his apartment. Furthermore, the inscription was not incised with modern tools, and contains no elements not available in the ancient world. The inscription, then, appears genuine. 

Our James, Joseph and Jesus? 

Here the evidence is not as conclusive. All three names were frequent for that era. Josephus, for example, mentions a score of different Jesuses in the first century. But this exact relationship Joseph the father, James a son, and Jesus a brother has never been cited in any extrabiblical ancient literary source or on stone. According to best estimates, only a tiny fraction of Jerusalem men would have had such a relationship, and even fewer would have been able to afford an ossuary. 

Even more extraordinary is the inclusion of the phrase "brother of Jesus." With but one exception, the hundreds of ossuaries discovered in the Jerusalem area mention only the deceased and his father. Clearly, this "Jesus" was additionally inscribed as "brother" because of His importance. 

In this embellished ossuary inscribed with the name "Iosef Bar-Caiapha" were the bones of six people, including those of a man archeologists believe was Caiaphas, the high priest who interrogated Jesus before turning Him over to Pontius Pilate. Critics, however, object that if these were the familiar Biblical personalities, the epithet "of Nazareth" should have been added to the name of Jesus and "the Just" suffixed to James. Some ornamentation on the ossuary would also have been anticipated, as with Calaphas', rather than this otherwise blank stone box. But these are arguments from silence, which also fail in view of the date of James' death - A.D. 62 and his presumed ossuary transfer - 63 or 64 - a time of emergency in Jerusalem when Christians were persecuted and the great Jewish rebellion was on the brink of exploding, as it did two years later.

Accordingly, there is strong (though not absolutely conclusive) evidence that, yes, the ossuary and its inscription are not only authentic, but that the inscribed names are the New Testament personalities. Hershall Shanks, the editor of Biblical Archaeology Review, who broke the story, is joined by a host of other authorities who support this conclusion in varying degrees. 

Personally, I give it a 7 on my handy 1 - to - 10 scale. 

James the Just 

This, then, is the man who is named as one of Jesus' four half-brothers in Matt. 13:55. (Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and others who advocate that Mary was always a virgin claim that these brothers were either children of Joseph by a previous marriage or cousins of Jesus. Most other Christians, on the basis of Matt 1:25, assume that they were indeed children of Joseph and Mary after Jesus' birth.) 

An unbeliever until Jesus' resurrection, James - not Peter - became the first bishop of the Christian church (Acts 15), the author of the New Testament epistle bearing his name, and an early Christian martyr. 

Flavius Josephus, the first-century Jewish historian, reports that "James, the brother of Jesus who was called 'the Christ'" was held in high repute by many in Jerusalem, including Jews, who called him not only "James the Just," but "Camel Knees" because his were knobby from prolonged kneeling in prayer. 

Still, he was stoned to death by the Sanhedrin in the year 62. 

Eusebius, the early Christian church historian, adds detail to that stoning in his Church History. The Jerusalem priests had expected James to denounce his brother, Jesus, publicly when they placed him before crowds at the temple. Instead, he boldly testified that Jesus was the Messianic Christ. Pitched down from the temple as a result James was finally dispatched by a laundryman using a fuller's club. 

That death, however, saved many Christian lives. After James' martyrdom, believers fled from Jerusalem to the Decapolis (Greek, meaning "Ten Cities," a Hellenistic league of the first century B.C. to the second century A.D.), thus escaping the horrors of the bloody Jewish war with Rome a very short time afterward. Three centuries later, Eusebius reported that the bishop's chair of James was still preserved by the Jerusalem Christians. 

If the James ossuary had preserved human remains that included a cracked or crushed skull, the identification would then be conclusive. Still, bone fragments havebeen found inside the ossuary. If a DNA test is performed on these, we may be able to learn who today could be related to that first-century James - and perhaps Jesus Himself. 

In view of such discoveries, it's a fascinating time to be alive - especially for Christians! 

Dr. Paul L. Maier is fourth vice president of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and professor of ancient history at Western Michigan University.

Source: http://www.mtio.com/articles/bissar95.htm

Ancient James Ossuary and Jehoash Tablet Inscriptions May Be Authentic, Say Experts

By Michael Gordon Wed, Aug 31, 2011

The famous forgery trial in Israel has produced strong testimony supporting the possible authenticity of the ancient James Ossuary and Jehoash Tablet inscriptions.

After five long years, the high profile trial of accused Israeli forgers Oded Golan and Robert Deutsch was finally over, but not without raising a multitude of testimony statements from expert witnesses for both prosecution and defense concerning the innocence or guilt of the two defenders and the authenticity of the two famous ancient antiquities that made headlines in newspapers and journals during the first decade of the 21st century. The expert opinion of most of the scientists who have examined the inscriptions on the James Ossuary and theJehoash Tablet : They may be real, after all. But the final decision on the case has yet to be made by the court, which concluded on October 3, 2010 with a pending verdict.

Hanging in the balance are a number of other issues and interests, including the credibility of certain expert members of the Israel Antiquities Authority and officials who had conducted initial investigations, certain members of the Israel Geological Survey, the Israel antiquities market, and the conduct or process of determining the authenticity of ancient artifacts.

The story began at an October 21, 2002 Washington press conference co-hosted by the Discovery Channel and the Biblical Archaeology Society, when the existence of a 2,000-year-old ossuary was announced, featuring on its side an inscription that provided the oldest known archaeological record ofJesus of Nazareth. (An ossuary is a stone box, often made of limestone, that was used by the Jewish inhabitants of 1st century B.C.-1st century A.D. Jerusalem to inter the bones of deceased family members). The inscription on this box read Ya'akov bar-Yosef akhui diYeshua, which in English translates as "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus", originally translated by André Lemaire, a renowned Semitic epigrapher. The announcement created a media stir that reverberated worldwide and set in motion a chain of events which, like opening Pandora's box, became a story that acquired far greater proportions than the initial players had initially intended.
_________________________________________________________________________________________

The "James Ossuary", showing the inscription on its side. This bone box was purportedly found near Silwan in the Kidron Valley of Jerusalem and later purchased by Oded Golan. The bones of the deceased were typically interned in such stone boxes during the 1st century B.C. through most of the 1st century A.D. by Jewish families who lived in the Jerusalem area during that time. In 62 AD, James, the brother of Jesus, was stoned and thrown from the Temple Mount walls by opponents. Based on Christian tradition, his body was laid in a rock-cut tomb in the Kidron valley and then one year later re-interned in an ossuary. A monastery and chapel were built above his burial location and then, during a Muslim invasion in the 7th century, Armenian monks removed his bones and placed them under an alter at the Cathedral of St. James in Jerusalem on Mt. Zion. Courtesy Paradiso, Wikimedia Commons.

(Above and below) The inscription on the side of the ossuary which reads "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus". Courtesy Paradiso, Wikimedia Commons. Below is derivative work from above, courtesy AnthonyonStilts, Wikimedia Commons. 
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

After a series of initial investigations by the Israel Antiquities Authority in 2003 that led to a determination that the James Ossuary was a forgery, including other investigations, Oded Golan, collector and owner of the box, was charged with 44 counts of forgery, fraud and deception. Four other antiquities dealers were also charged, including well-known collector and antiquities dealer Robert Deutsch. Proceedings began in the Jerusalem District Court in 2005. Three of the accused were dismissed during the early days of the trial, while Oded Golan and Robert Deutsch continued on as defendants. Along with the James Ossuary, the Jehoash Tablet (pictured left) , another famous artifact owned by Golan, was included in evidence. The Jehoash Tablet is an ancient stone tablet purportedly dated to the 9th century and containing an inscription claimed to document renovations of the First Temple (built by Solomon) under the auspices of the Judean King Jehoash, also known from the biblical historical account.

Recently, a March, 2011 statement written by Oded Golan summarizing the testimonies and opinions of experts and scientists who testified at the trial was released by the Biblical Archaeology Society to the readership of the Biblical Archaeology Review, the organization's trademark publication. The document summarized statements made in proceedings that included 116 hearings, 138 witness testimonies, and over 12,000 pages of transcripts. The witness list from which the summary draws its information consists of 52 experts in fields such as archaeology, epigraphy, Semitic languages, forensic science, stone patina, archaeometry, geology, geochemistry, bio-geology, and carbon-dating. According to Golan's summary, the vast majority of the expert witness testimonies support or at least do not refute the authenticity of both the James Ossuary and the Jehoash Tablet.

Much of the testimony centered on the analysis of the ancient patina covering the surfaces of the subject artifacts, including that found within the grooves of the inscriptions made on the artifacts. Thepatina in the case of these stone artifacts refers to a discoloring or tarnish that occurs on the surface of the stone due to bio-organic and/or chemical processes that naturally take place on the stone when it is exposed over long periods of time. It is what causes the "aged" appearance of the artifact. Regarding the James Ossuary, a number of the world's leading authorities on patina analysis concluded in testimony that there was no basis to doubt the authenticity of the artifact or the inscription made on it. Summarizes Golan: 

"Neither the prosecution nor the IAA presented even a single witness who was an expert on ancient stone items, or patina on antiquities and who ruled out the authenticity of the inscription or any part of it. On the contrary, the findings of all the tests, including those of prosecution witnesses [Yuval] Goren and [Avner] Ayalon, support the argument that the entire inscription is ancient, the inscription was engraved by a single person, and that several letter grooves contain traces of detergent/s that covers the natural varnish patina that developed there over centuries, and was partially cleaned (mainly the first section), many years ago."[1]

Moreover, Orna Cohen, a well-known archaeologist and chemist and senior antiquities conservator for the IAA and Israeli museums who was initially assigned by the IAA to examine the inscription in 2003, "testified that she found natural bio-patina in several letter grooves of the words "brother of Jesus" (het, yod, shin, ayin"ח", "י", "ש" "ע "), which had developed at the bottom or on the sides of the grooves over centuries, and in some of these letters she found that the bio-patina that appeared continuously gliding down from the surface of the ossuary into the depths of the grooves. She stated that it was consequently possible to determine with certainty that the words "brother of Jesus" had been engraved in ancient times".[1]

Regarding the Jehoash Tablet and inscription, the findings of various leading experts show that the "patina of this kind could not have developed on the Tablet and inside the groove letters in a period of less than 100 years, and it more probably developed over a period of several thousand years".[1] A particularly revealing development arose as it also became clear at the trial that after the IAA received the Tablet, it became broken along a diagonal fracture because of negligent handling by police officers, making it possible for experts to examine the inner section of the stone and along the break. After examining this section of the inscription, the patina and the fracture line itself, the stone experts all "unequivocally indicated that the inscription is covered in original varnish patina (biogenic patina of a biological origin, resulting from the extensive activities of microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, yeast, etc., on the Table and in the letter grooves). The patina is of varying thicknesses (very thin in some parts and very thick in other parts) and there is no doubt that the patina that envelopes the Tablet and its lowered frame and also penetrates into many of the letter grooves – developed slowly over a period of no less than 100 years, and possibly several thousands of years".[1] The case for the Jehoash Tablet inscription's authenticity was becoming more and more defensible. 

Examining the two artifacts from a paleographic, linguistic, and philological perspective, prominent scholars with expertise in ancient script and language have also come forward with statements that support the authenticity of the artifacts and their inscriptions, or at least support the contention that they cannot be solidly proven to be forgeries. Testimonies to this effect were heard from well-known and highly regarded scientists and scholars such as Roni Reich, Gabriel Barkay, André Lemaire, Hagai Misgav, Shmuel Ahituv, Yosef Naveh, and Esther Eshel. Indeed, speaking about the James Ossuary inscription, among the testimonies was that of Ada Yardeni, a paleographer and researcher at the Hebrew University and considered a household name in the field. Even as she served as a witness for the prosecution at the trial, she stated that her examination of the inscription in 2002 left her with no doubt that it was of ancient origin, and that it was inscribed by a single individual. "If this is a forgery," she said, "I quit."[1]

The authenticity of the James Ossuary and Jehoash Tablet aside, the verdict on Oded Golan and Robert Deutsch still remains to be decided. But it seems clear, assuming the summary of Oded Golan is accurate, that the two artifacts may possibly have redeemed their place in the archaeological record as tangible evidence of times, people, and places that most of us have only read about in texts that are to this day still regarded by three major world religions as sacred.

Details of Oded Golan's commentary on the expert witnesses of the case can be read at the Biblical Archaeology Review website

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