Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Judge Aharon Farkash: No Evidence of Forgery in the James Ossuary Case

The James ossuary. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Joel Kontinen

An ossuary or limestone burial box with the inscription “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus” made headlines in 2002. Some experts, for instance Andre Lemaire of the Sorbonne, thought that the ossuary and its inscription were genuine.

Soon, however, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) filed a lawsuit, accusing the owner, antiquities collector Oded Golan, of forging the inscription on the ossuary.

The IAA’s experts declared that the inscription was a later addition to the ossuary.

Now, however, Judge Aharon Farkash of the Jerusalem District Court issued the verdict in the case. He stated that there was no evidence of fraud. He did find Mr. Golan guilty of trading in antiquities without a license, though.

The verdict does not prove that the inscription on the James ossuary is authentic, but it indicates that there is no compelling evidence of it being a forgery.


Shanks, Hersel. 2012. Verdict: Not Guilty. Two Remaining Defendants Cleared of Forgery Charges After 5-year Trial. Biblical Archaeology Society. (14 March).