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Ossuary Of Jesus' Brother Seriously Damaged

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  • NHNE
    NHNE News List Current Members: 720 Subscribe/unsubscribe/archive info at the bottom of this message. ... ANCIENT BURIAL BOX THAT MAY BE OLDEST LINK TO JESUS
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2002
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      ANCIENT BURIAL BOX THAT MAY BE OLDEST LINK TO JESUS
      SERIOUSLY DAMAGED ON THE WAY TO CANADA
      By Merita D. Ilo,
      Associated Press
      Friday, November 1, 2002

      http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=524&u=/ap/20021102/ap_wo_en
      _po/canada_jesus_inscription_6&printer=1

      TORONTO - A limestone burial box that may be the oldest archaeological link
      to Jesus was badly damaged in transit from Israel to Canada, Royal Ontario
      Museum officials said Friday.

      Dan Rahimi, the museum's director of collections management, said in a
      telephone interview the box -- called an ossuary -- had wide cracks but
      remained whole.

      "The box was badly damaged, but still intact. It has not broken," Rahimi
      said. "It's very serious damage, but not unusual for a limestone box of this
      age."

      He said impact or vibration during the trip from Israel probably widened old
      cracks and caused new ones. Some of the cracks were a millimeter (0.039
      inches) wide, enough to "slip a dime in," Rahimi said.

      The limestone box, which is scheduled to go on display Nov. 16, is inscribed
      in Aramaic with the words "Ya'akov (James), son of Yosef (Joseph), brother
      of Yeshua (Jesus)."

      If, as some scholars maintain, the box and the inscription are authentic, it
      would be the first physical artifact from the first century related to
      Jesus.

      Israel granted a four-month export license for the ancient burial box, which
      belongs to a private Israeli collector.

      Museum officials said the owner was responsible for the object's
      transportation to Canada and insurance. Rahimi said the company that handled
      the packing and shipping was reputable, adding that antiquities such as
      limestone boxes always presented a risk during transport.

      The museum offered two proposals for treating the damage, and the owner had
      yet to respond, according to Rahimi.

      "Both proposals involve injecting adhesive into the cracks with pigment that
      will fill in parts of the cracks and consolidate the piece," he said.

      The box's inscription would fit a New Testament account that Jesus had a
      brother, James, and the tradition that James was the son of Joseph, husband
      of Jesus' mother, Mary.

      However, the names James, Joseph and Jesus were common in the first century,
      and it is possible the inscription refers to someone other than Jesus of
      Nazareth.

      The existence of the ossuary was announced last month in the United States
      by the Biblical Archaeology Review.

      The magazine said two scientists from Israel's Geological Survey also
      examined the ossuary and determined it was from the first century and the
      inscription had not been tampered with.

      Edward Keall, the Royal Ontario Museum's director of Near Eastern and Asian
      civilizations, called the box "a tangible artifact from a period rather
      pivotal in the history of our civilizations."

      He said that although it almost certainly dates from the time of Jesus, it
      may never be definitively established whether the ossuary once contained the
      bones of James, Bishop of Jerusalem and believed by some to be the brother
      of Jesus.

      "It's something very contentious," said Keall. "As I like to say, it won't
      stand up in a court of law. So in the end, it's a spiritual thing, an act of
      faith."

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      RELATED NHNE NEWS LIST & JESUS LIST ARTICLES:

      MORE ON THE NEWLY DISCOVERED OSSUARY OF JAMES (10/21/2002):
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/insearchofjesus/message/36

      BURIAL BOX OF CHRIST'S BROTHER DISCOVERED? (10/21/2002):
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nhnenews/message/3836

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