Bible History Daily, a news/advertising newsletter of the Biblical Archaeology Society, announces that the Israel court verdict on the James Ossuary and other artifacts will be released March 14.
The Israeli court system is different from the one we are accustomed to in the United States. This case was brought against Oded Golan, Robert Deutsch, and others 5 years ago. The judge listens to all of the evidence and then makes the decision.
You might be interested in getting a free eBook about the James Ossuary and the other suspected artifacts. It will be made available along with an English translation of the court verdict shortly after the decision is announced. Click here for the link to the eBook and more info on the case. Be assured that by signing up for this booklet you will received regular Emails from the BAS.
In late December 2004, four Israelis and one Palestinian Arab were indicted in Jerusalem on charges of running a massive forgery ring over several decades. The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) and the Israeli police claimed the ring had created a host of Biblically-related ancient artifacts with forged inscriptions involving millions of dollars, some of which are exhibited in the prestigious Israel Museum. The trial opened in September 2005 and continued for five years through 116 sessions, 133 witnesses, 200 exhibits, and close to 12,000 pages of testimony from witnesses.
In October 2010, closing arguments finally wrapped up in “the forgery trial of the century,” to determine whether or not the James Ossuary, the Yehoash tablet and other ancient artifacts were forged by two defendants. Trial judge Aharon Farkash pored through the evidence over the past 15 months, and is ready to deliver his verdict in the upcoming days.
The judge will be deciding 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, most notably the now-famous first-century C.E. bone box (or ossuary) inscribed “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus,” a small inscribed ivory pomegranate allegedly used in Solomon’s Temple, and the Yehoash tablet, which, if authentic, would be the first royal inscription of an Israelite king ever found.
After the verdict is devoured by readers around the world there will still be differences of opinion.