Bible History Daily—Your source for information on the “forgery trial of century”
This Wednesday, March 14, Jerusalem judge Aharon Farkash delivers his verdict in the “forgery trial of the century.” He 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. The most notable pieces include the inscription reading “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus” on the now-famous first-century C.E. ossuary (bone box) known as the James Ossuary, and the Yehoash inscription (pictured), which, if authentic, would be the first royal Israelite inscription ever found.
In anticipation of the forgery trial verdict, Bible History Daily has made available several resources to help readers better understand the forthcoming decision and its important implications for the field of Biblical archaeology.
In his new special report Awaiting the James Ossuary Verdict, Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR) editor Hershel Shanks offers a summary of the forgery trial and the evidence presented for and against the authenticity of the alleged forgeries. This valuable and 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 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 forgery trial verdict is announced, Bible History Daily will release the free eBook James, Brother of Jesus, 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. In his article on the Yehoash inscription, Shanks writes that the available scientific, historic and paleographic evidence suggests this sensational discovery may be genuine as well.
The Biblical Archaeology Society and its founder Hershel Shanks have followed every twist and turn in the case of the James Ossuary and the five-year forgery trial. With the final outcome now just days away, make Bible History Daily your source for information on this important verdict.
**Update: Defendants Oded Golan and Robert Deutsch Acquitted of all forgery charges. Visit the James Ossuary Forgery Trial Resource Guide for a list of articles relating to the trial. Highlights include an updated free ebook on the trial and BAR Editor Hershel Shanks’s analysis of the verdict. Read more here.**
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