Indications Furthering the Authenticity of the James Ossuary of Oded Golan .

Introduction.

The intent of this study is to provide the salient biblical and forensic indications for the authenticity of the James Ossuary. Specialists are asked to take the academic contents in a discretionary manner, as written by a member of a CCEL study group.Comments by all can be approached as such .

Preliminary:

Overview.

An ossuary is a small box where, after the decaying of the body, the revered bones of a relative are placed for a secondary interment. The ritual was especially done by the Judeo-Christian community during the first century and is of unheralded significance.
The James Ossuary, which was empty of bones apart from a few shards- was acquired by an avid antiquities collector- Oded Golan during the 1970's, and remained in his Tel Aviv apartment/museum, unrecognized by him to be of any special regard, until 2002, when a visiting paleographer Prof. Andre Lamaire, read the inscription on its side, and was jolted by its possible significance, due to its reference to James, brother of Jesus.
Prof. Lamaire and Hershel Shanks, the editor of the Biblical Archaeological Review, helped bring the ossuary to the public view, and it was displayed at the Royal Ontario Museum, where it successfully passed authenticity tests .
On its return to Israel, after subsequent testing by the Israel Antiquities Authority, it was deemed by them that the ossuary and first part of the (Anglicized) inscription reading, 'James, son of Joseph', were authentic, but deemed that the second part of the inscription reading, 'brother of Jesus' was forged and fraudulent.
Oded Golan and others were put on trial, and recently after 7 years, Oded Golan and his co-accused were acquitted of the major charge of forgery - the charge unproven by the Accusers, as determined by Judge Aharon Farkash, and who in his determination opined that more academic studies were needed for the inscription's authenticity to be decided.
Sentencing for minor charges were decided on May 29, by Judge Farkash, who has delayed the return of the confiscated James Ossuary until petitions are made by the IAA and the owner Oded Golan.

Overture.

For those of religious studies and others in general of whom may ask - of what relevance is an ossuary?
For the Judaeo-Christian community, bones were/are relics of significance in that they are for the resurrection. For instance Joseph asked for his bones to be taken to Hebron, the promised land, and in Ezekiel 37, one sees the Kingdom of God. Odes of Solomon 22 has: 'you chose them from the graves...you took dead bones and covered them with bodies...and gave them energy...everything was renewed... that the foundation for everything might be your rock: and on it you did build your Kingdom; and it became the dwelling place of the saints.
Joseph asked for his bones to be taken as a commemoration to Hebron , to signify the resurrection of those who enter into the Kingdom.
As all the Twelve Patriarchs had their bones commemorated, it is therefore probable that the Twelve Apostles have done likewise.
The Virgin Mary asked for the commemoration of her bones at her Assumption.
Overall an ossuary was for commemorative purposes, and so not for a religious necessity, aptly applicable for religion of today.
The Narrative of Joseph of Arimathaea and the Apostolic Constitutions Book 6, section 6 may be helpful.

Study:

Ossuary Construct:

This ossuary belongs to an Apostle. The distinction is apparent by the trapezoid custom-made build which signifies that the Messiah has given the Kingdom to the inscribed. Therefore the ossuary is Christian, for the Jewish Messiah was not recognized as having had arrived at that time. The trapezoid shape is a *portrayal of the physical Herodian temple mount or platform*, of the Temple of Jerusalem. Its Messianic attributes are aggregated in Holy Scriptures, including: Isaiah 28:16; Qumran Scrolls, thanksgiving hymn 14; Hermas, Similitude 9.
Only an Apostle who was blessed by The Christ and told he has received eternal life,(Luke 24:50; Bartholomew, Book of the Resurrection) can make that claim by the distinction of belonging to this ossuary. The ossuary is an Apostle's relic, the oblong boxes of other ossuaries, are relics of followers who hope... that they receive eternal life. It would be blasphemy to equate your relative's ossuary in an unsubstantiated manner - as trapezoid in build.
The trapezoid is a *stable construct*, and therefore the 'temple does not sway'.

The fact is, this ossuary dated circa 45 A.D. is, as a commemoration of the Apostle James the Less,{born circa 5 B.C. died 44 A.D.(Acts 12:2)-to ascribe James son of Zebedee, to Acts 12:2 is incorrect} a bespoke model in its entirety, consisting of its *dimensions, inscription, and decoration*.

Ossuary Forensic Evidence:
As stated the ossuary is deemed authentic by the IAA and Scholars alike.

General Evidence:

Implications of the "Forgery Trial" Verdict on the Authenticity of the James Ossuary by Rosenfeld, Ilani, Feldman, Kronfeld, Krumbien. - The Bible and Interpretation.
The Authenticity of the James Ossuary and the Jehoash Tablet Inscriptions - Summary of Expert Trial Witnesses by Oded Golan. - The Bible and Interpretation.
Remarks On The Aramaic Of The James Ossuary by Edward M Cook. - The Bible and Interpretation.

Salient evidence can be seen in some of the observations of Wolfgang Krumbien, Amos Kloner, and Edward M Cook.

Ossuary Decoration:

The Ossuary decoration is weathered and faint, yet James the Less is identified easily. The decoration depicts the House of David, Holy Jerusalem, the Kingdom of God, or Paradise. In general and on this one, a Key/Gate of David cut is depicted in the decorations of ossuaries, commonly on the outside bounds. Inside commonly, are the Betrothed, or two Rosettes, the middle area identifies {for inheritance: Judges 2:6} the tribe of the inscribed, or if not inscribed, of the bones. James bar Joseph, of the House of David, of the Tribe of Judah, is identified by the normal Key/Gate of David cut in the circles of the Rosettes, for one of the tribe of Judah, as Jesus Christ was, as a priest has the key, and can enter the inner sanctum. Cherubim in the same bounds indicate the tribe of Levi.

All tribes are discernible, on viewing rafter cuts and other decorations, on your image net search of ossuaries. (Ref. Testament of Judah).

Ossuary Decoration Forensic Evidence:

As stated the decoration is deemed authentic by the IAA and Scholars alike.

General Evidence:

As described by Prof. Kloner, the ossuary is from the first century, with the normal 'rafter' cut or zigzag style{or the Key/Gate style}and the red coloring of the Martyr evident, and with the slant of the ossuary on the side of the right rosette, i.e.- facing the observer - the bones inscribed inherit the Kingdom of God through the Messiah- Him being the Teacher with his Interpreter, She being his spouse,(Ref:Dead Sea Scrolls)- the left rosette. This matches Ossuary 2, from Other Studies below, another bespoke example.

Ossuary Inscription:

The inscription is Aramaic and reads on this page, right to left. One must view your James Ossuary Inscription from the inscription photo of your net search. The drawings are inexact, - but still hold relevant information.

Their are two parts (here Anglicized): Formal or Legal is - 'James, son of Joseph', and Cursive or Appellation is - 'brother of Jesus'.
*In full it is read or can be read, according to the Aramaic: James, legal or enrolled son of Joseph, foster and patrilineal legal step- brother of Jesus - with probably more to be elucidated - by research findings within the field of Aramaic.*
James, as foster son of Joseph the Carpenter, was enrolled as his legal son near the time of the birth of foster brother Jesus, of necessity in Bethlehem, where Joseph and Mary were from, being of the tribe of Judah and of the lineage of the house of David. Ref: Apocrypha Syriaca: Protevangelium Jacobi.

Family Ref: Family and relatives of Jesus Christ and/or net search MungaCH2 regarding James' extended family and records.

Jewish custom was that children were not sold into slavery, but given to relatives who then paid off the parent's debt, a practice common in those times of hardship.

With 'brother of Jesus',- this is an appellation,(or surname) useful for record-keeping, and identification.

The appellations: 'the bishop of Jerusalem', or 'James the Just' aren't inscribed on this James ossuary - because they don't belong inscribed on this ossuary. Appellations of this standing belong to James son of Zebedee.
With appellations 'Lord's Brother', and 'Brother of the Lord' - these apply more aptly to James son of Zebedee. He and the Lord Jesus Christ were alike 'according to the flesh'. Hence he is 'called' or 'the so-called' Lord's brother as such. Ref: Acts of Phillip. James' Apocalypse.

Ossuary Inscription Forensic Evidence:

The first part 'James, son of Joseph' is deemed authentic by the IAA and Scholars alike.

Since this is the commemoration ossuary of a Martyr and a Saint, this first part was overall done professionally in a legal manner, for as shown, he is the legal son of Joseph. Hence, it is a deeper cut, and read in sound bites, while the second part is overall cursive and flowing, to denote an appellation. The first letter read from our right is the mystical Yod. This yod has a cursive style, *first letters of nouns have perhaps a descriptive character - an idiom.*

The second part 'brother of Jesus', is in dispute and depicted as fraudulent and a forgery and where the bulk of the forensic studies have concentrated. As noted by Edward M. Cook above in his illustrations with others, such as from Joseph Fitzmyer, literally it reads, 'his brother, of Jesus', giving the syntax for an inherited sense, for brother. See other examples for patrimonial names, listed in Edward M Cook's remarks above .

Epigraphy: Generally, those inclined to the authenticity side, opine that the same hand made both parts of the inscription. Those inclined to the forgery side, opine for a different hand, or hands, of an inferior craftsmanship.
*The one hand is easily possible to write both styles, i.e. legal and appellation. Perhaps the possibility of many hands can be seen in this second part - in the context of James' Martyrdom requiring a commemorative letter signed by each of those closest to him-and to verify identity. There are nine letters, foster mother, The Virgin Mary, James the Just, step-mother Mary of Clopas, and natural father Alphaeus would have at least been prospects, if not his matrilineal inherited brother, John*-(John 19:26/27).

*Letters start in this second part in the word brother, with the Ayin, this one is made in a mirror image, and can denote a similitude or akin idiom, i.e. foster. The sixth letter across is the first letter of 'Jesus', and is again the Yod and is at a lean to the right of the inscribed, i.e. James - if he was standing in front of us. His right hand denotes patrilineal, and can describe Jesus, as his legal or patrilineal step-brother* - James the less was the natural son of Alphaeus and - the likely named, Mary of Alphaeus.

Forensic Reports Examination:

Salient points of the authenticity of this second part of the inscription, are the bio-patina and the 1970's photo of the fully inscribed ossuary. The Accusers endorsed the premise that the second part 'brother of Jesus' was a modern forgery, but as the 1970's photo shows, their premise was and still is a blurb. They have in fact endorsed their premise for a 1970's forgery with modern technology that hadn't even been invented.

The bio-patina is of a microorganism origin that binds to the rock surface, and is underneath any surface material or surface mat. This bio-patina was found by Prof. Krumbien adhering as an appendage to the rock within several letters, notably the shin where there is no demarcation of bio-patina and ancient scratches into the groves of the letter. . Prof. Krumbien states that it took the bio-patina at least 50 years - if not centuries, to form in those letters. The same bio-patina matched to the ossuary proper. It was impossible for a forger to fake this, or to know to fake this bio-patina in the 1970's, let alone today with modern technology.

Interim:

The Ossuary of St James stands in limbo, and awaits its fate into whether its authenticity is recognized or not. Stronger forensic evidence may be convincing enough for its authenticity to be accredited. The proprietorship of the artifact is to be decided soon, and a commemorative Christian ossuary is of immeasurable value.

Authorities and regulations may decide adversely.

Other Studies during interim:

Ossuary of James the Just:

The First Bishop of Jerusalem's ossuary is depicted in the painting overlooking the high altar, in the St James' Cathedral in the Armenian Quarter of Jerusalem. It is trapezoid in shape, and made of wood. Cedar wood would be in order, for the holiest place in the temple where high priests enter is built from cedar wood.

His ossuary is decorated with the seven stars of the seven churches. Also seen are the cherubim(angels of the presence), the dove(for church), and the scarlet garment of the Martyr and the Priest (Barnabas 6:11).The rear side not depicted may have the tribe symbolized on the outer bounds of the normal Kingdom decoration, with the slant on the right facing the observer, and the perpendicular side on the left. The rafter cut on the outer bounds would be sea like, for the tribe of Zebulon - James son of Zebedee is recorded in various forms as being from that tribe.

An inscription would probably be in the manner of James the Less' inscription: formal/legal, as enrolled - James son of Zebedee {or if as enrolled, the Hellenization Theuda(gift of God), for Zebedee(gift of God) - ref: James' Apocalypse} - then the appellation/s, flowing or overall in cursive.

Nevertheless there may be no other decoration, or inscription, for the wish of James the Just was such that he kept a low key presence,(ref: second Apocryphon of James)in deference to the head of the Church, Jesus Christ.

The ossuary would hold his bones which are under the high altar.

Shrine of James the Less:

James the Less has his skull entombed within a shrine in a small chapel in the same Cathedral. It belongs in Oded Golan's James Ossuary.
The immediate finder of James the Less' ossuary would have seen inside, bones without a skull.

Relics, claimed by the Armenian St James Cathedral Order, to be under the high altar and within the chapel shrine, hold credence, for the Armenian Christian community were an early settlement in Jerusalem.

Ossuary 2:

This trapezoidal ossuary was documented on behalf of the IAA by Amir Ganor and Alon Klein. It was found in a burial complex at Sur Bahir in Greater Jerusalem. The decoration is red, denoting a priest/martyr, with the rafter cut denoting the tribe of Judah within the bounds of the rosettes. The ossuary was not noted as inscribed, but its build and decoration has its bones as belonging to a follower of Christianity - an Apostle or a disciple. Similarities in build and workmanship with the ossuary of James the Less could have ramifications, if investigated .

Post Trial Analysis.

Court proceedings have now come to an end, with the James Ossuary being in the custody of Oded Golan as at early November 2013, after he was granted proprietorship by the court, and a subsequent appeal was lost by the IAA.

Trial Observations:

Authentication is confirmed for an ancient artifact by bio-patina, of which the James Ossuary was tested and confirmed as having on its ossuary proper and within parts of its entire inscription.

Failures observed of all three parties of the forgery trial are these -

1. Judge Farkash failed to pay due recognition to the testimonies of those giving evidence to the confirmation of bio-patina within the disputed inscription, and so failed to pay due recognition to the importance that bio-patina has on authenication; and instead paid heed to contrary evidence from the Accusers' examinations of which contained false positives of forgery, and so without due cause, deemed that the Accusers' contrary evidence cast doubt on the authenticity of the James Ossuary.

2. The Accusers failed to refute the evidence of bio-patina within the disputed inscription. The same bio-patina of the ossuary body can always be placed within the entire inscription because of the evidence on record.
Photos of the bio-patina within the disputed inscription letters, eyewitnesses to the bio-patina being in the disputed letters, evidence showing no demarcation of bio-patina from the ossuary proper into the letters, bio-patina adhering to the rock at the base of the disputed letters will always be on record - despite the negligence of the IAA in failing to prevent that bio-patina from damage caused by an unprofessional examination.

3. The Defence team of the Accused failed to take measures to prevent damage to the James Ossuary, by not placing satisfactory conditions of oversight for its protection as evidence in a trial.

Synopsis.

With the tribunal delivering proprietorship of the James Ossuary to Oded Golan which is now in his custody, we are free to evaluate the prospects for its authenticity being furthered post legalities, and evaluate the consequences that its recognition would have on the polity of religion. Other aspects of this study can be seen as well, due to the free rein now available to the ossuary owner.

It is true enough though to say first of all, that the due diligence and tenor of respect for the significance of the artifact of James brother of Jesus, exhibited by Oded Golan is commendable, and his exculpation of the serious charges deserved, given his efforts along with his adherents, in defending the charges.

That significance given, one would venture, comes from his expertise in knowing that in his field of endeavour artifacts are not crafted fancifully, but created primarily to be viewed, especially by following generations. When an advocate of Christianity has an ossuary made expressly for his bones, especially if being an apostle of that sect, the assertion must be made that the leader of that sect gave express instructions by way of that doctrinal teaching, for the manner in which they are made, how they are inscribed and decorated, the bones interred, and then how the ossuary is to be lodged.

It is true then to say that the Christian hierachy has very little regard for its founder in that case, when considering the James Ossuary, of which they show a general indifference.

We will now proceed with the projections for prospective evidence that may be obtained.

Ossuary and Bones Provenance:

James' bones were not with the ossuary at purchase by Oded Golan, apart from the few shards which are in his possession. The bones are emptied out of ossuaries in situ usually by the hunters of these artifacts, so that the weight of ossuaries are made lighter, so they can be moved out of the underground tombs easier. If this ossuary was taken from its tomb shortly before sale several decades ago, then research can still be made into the provenance of the ossuary, due to the following information deduced from evidence.

1.The tomb was partly open to the weather. 2.The tomb was originally sealed. 3.When the finder took the lid off of the ossuary, they saw bones but no skull.
The person/s who uncovered this tomb may recall these unusual factors, for they would have seen an opening made by erosion, with the entry point being of one in which they had rarely encounted, or not encounted before.

As described, the skull of James brother of Jesus, has a shrine for it. Then his tomb was sealed, and when the skull was recovered at a later time, it couldn't be interred with his ossuary bones. The tomb finder may have noted the unusual shape of the ossuary, and because the tomb was originally sealed and belonged to an apostle - the first martyr of the Twelve apostles, James the brother of John,(sons of the Virgin Mary) - the tomb may have held a lone ossuary due to its importance.

One may deduce that the lodgement of the ossuary was done in such a fashion so that it was to be discovered after a long period of time, due to the natural erosion of the landscape above the tomb.

One may deduce that the leader of the religious sect, laid plans for the ossuaries of his Apostles to be put in sealed crypts, so that they will be discovered by future generations, to the edification of knowledge for those followers of his doctrine .

It can also be seen that it is irreconsilable that the bishop of Jerusalem had his ossuary separated from his bones as scriptural authorities claim, and that his ossuary was deserted in a tomb and his bones carted off in a sack to be put under an altar. The James Ossuary of Oded Golan of which they claim is the bishop's, is small and carried with ease if in haste.

The account of scriptural authorities that James brother of Jesus was the first Bishop of Jerusalem is a fallacy, and it is with James son of Theuda, the same as James son of Zebedee, the bishop known as James the Just, it is his ossuary of which has been recorded to be under the altar in St James' Cathedral in Jerusalem.

It is his ossuary which will carry the appellation of James the Just, or The Lord's Brother, or Bishop of Jerusalem. An excavation of his ossuary under the altar at St James' Cathedral would be in order, for clarity of Christian historicity.

The shards out of the James Ossuary, and James' skull in his shrine, and James' ossuary bones if found with his tomb, may be matched for further indications of authenticity, and as well also giving clarity to Christian historicity.

Decoration - Development of Statistics :

With the desecration of graves certainly rife in Jerusalem during the first century AD, discretion was certainly in order when decorating ossuaries. The desecrations which were then happening, attributed to the need for an Edict of Caesar,(Nazareth Inscription,circa 40's AD) - that imposed capital punisment on violators, for the said crime of grave and tomb desecration. It was purposely done to alleviate the hostilities of opposing religions in the Jerusalem region, which for those of whom they term, rejected - they have in the Holy Scriptures: '.. they shall bring out the bones from the graves.. and lay them before the moon .. before the sun .. not gathered, not buried ..they shall be as dung..' Jeremiah 8:1ff.

Ossuaries are hardly found with the occupant's belief system overtly on display, they had to be ambiguous, for if found by opponents, the bones were summarily cast out, '..as dung'. Therewith the decorations and inscriptions didn't overtly display a belief insignia.

But one brings a curse upon one's head, if desecrating a fellow believer's grave, and so if one is not sure... the found ossuary is left alone.

As pointed out, the ossuary decoration is marked with the tribe Of Judah, - to be specific - at the minute hand near 20 and 55 on both rosettes, when zoomed in on your James Ossuary net image (hint - look for a lady looking at the inscription side) decoration. You will see the indentations of the key cut, that is uneven zigzags, shaped oddly - like a key.

The key cut depicts the tribe of Judah, because the Messiah is prophesied as coming from the house of David, David being of the tribe of Judah; with the Messiah being the bearer of the key to the sanctuary, the sanctuary of Hebron, the promised land of Judah - Isaiah 11 and 22:20ff.

The indications then show that the James on the ossuary is of the Tribe of Judah, the same as James, kin of Jesus of Nazareth, the same as James son of Joseph the Carpenter, the same James son of Alphaeus, Alphaeus the son of Clopas, the brother of Joseph the Carpenter.

The indications also show that the ossuary is Christian, for an ossuary with the zigzag mark distinctly shows that the Messiah has come, in that it displays an open gate, that gate being the sheepgate of Jerusalem where the Messiah is deemed to enter, being described as the shepherd in Scripture. The sheepgate has the hinge in its middle, so it is like so, shut = | and open = < or >.

Ossuaries marked with the V mark, upright, upside down or looking like a, X depict the sheepgate also, and can be seen as Christian.

For the James Ossuary to be given the prescriptive status of Christian and of the tribe of Judah by scholars, therewith the furtherance of its authenticity, it will need a data base, that is, the development of statistics for its qualification. Both the Holy Scriptures and the decoration hieroglyphs will have to be studied synergically for that to progress.

On establishing the hieroglyphs which identify each of the twelve tribes, DNA testing can then be done on bones provenanced from ossuaries according to those hieroglyphs of the twelve tribes, to provide a data base of DNA specific markers for each tribe.

A further indication of authenticity, would then be that when James' bones which are attained are tested, they are found to bear the specific marker for the tribe of Judah.

Decoration - Christianized Hieroglyphs :

This legend to the hieroglyphs of the Twelve Tribes of Israel is sourced from Judaeo Christian Scriptures - The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, origin circa the turn of the CE. The following legend is derived from the Testament of Judah.

Hieroglyphs legend - for an exploratory data base :

Levi : Angel of the Presence → cherubim → chubby infantlike angels → chubby torso, little legs.
Judah : Angel of the Presence → Messiah → key → zigzags of an asymmetrical key shape.
Simeon : the powers of the glory → authorities → pillars → pillars or columns.
Reuben : the heaven → heavens → layers of heavens → layers.
Issachar : the earth → earth → clay → clay ossuary.
Zebulun : the sea → the sea → zigzags of a low sea wave shape.
Joseph : the mountains → mountains → zigzags of a steep mountain shape.
Benjamin : the tabernacle → tabernacle → tabernacle shaped ossuary.
Dan : the luminaries → stars → points of light.
Naphtali : Eden → garden → botanically decorated ossuary.
Gad : the sun → sun → fiery → zigzags of a fiery shape.
Asher : the moon → moon → large circle on a stone ossuary.

The James Ossuary is seen above as belonging to one of twelve, in belonging to the tribe of Judah, and the James of the ossuary in question is deemed Christian, for the hieroglyphs are covertly made for Christians.

An exploratory data base that matches persons to individual hieroglyphs by way of chronicaled evidence, will augument the recognition of the hieroglyphic intent, that is to convey to the viewer, the tribe of the person/s assigned to that hieroglyph.

Studies of Specialists:

Your abilities would be appreciated, by your observations being enlightening to this forum, if you should wish to contribute with input for this study. Your field of endeavor could include archival analysis of Hieroglyphs, Geometric structures, or Aramaic studies expertise.

*Denotes discretionary content, or specialist input required.

# Subsidiary contents: 12 Nov 012. 26 Nov 012. 3. Dec 012. 26 Nov 013. 2 Dec 013. 10 Dec 013. 16 Dec 013. 17 Dec 013. 26 Dec 2013.




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