The evidence of Jesus' existence forged

( [email protected] ) Jun 26, 2003 01:23 PM EDT

The touted physical evidence of Jesus' existence, an ancient stone box with the inscription "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus" was almost certainly forged in recent decades, according to a panel of Israeli archaeologists.

Officials of Israel's Antiquities Authority announced on 18 that the inscription on the box was almost forged.

The ancient box is an ossuary which was cited by Archaeological Review as the first direct physical link to Jesus' existence. This news was spreaded through out the world in last October, claiming it was possibly the box with the bones of Jesus' brother, James.

However, the archaeologists and antiquities authorities have raised doubts and investigated for months. Finally, they released a statment that "the inscription on the box is written in recent decades by someone attempting to reproduce ancient written characters."

They also explained that the Aramaic inscription seemed to be carved through layers of patina which has been discolored by aging.

The editor of Biblical Archaeological Review, Hershel Shanks said June 19

The box's owner insisted its authenticity. "I'm sure the ossuary is real," said the owner, the Associated Press reported. The owner got the box from a Jerusalem antiquities dealer in the mid-1970s.

The archaeological experts also pointed out that "there was another piece of evidence that the ossuary didn't actually belong to James," and "the stone used to make it likely came from Cyprus or nothern Syria rather than ancient Palestine."