Premieres Saturday, April 15 at 10 PM ET/PT on Science Channel
It is one of the most controversial ancient artifacts ever found and the center of a decade long controversy. The James Ossuary, a burial bone box that dates to the 1st century, has on it, an inscription that states, “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.” It has been considered by some to be fake, by others to be the first piece of hard archaeological evidence of the physical existence of Jesus of Nazareth. Biblical historian Simcha Jacobovici helps unpack the mystery surrounding this potentially explosive find in “BIBLICAL CONSPIRACIES: JESUS FAMILY TOMB?,” premiering Easter weekend, Saturday, April 15 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Science Channel.
“BIBLICAL CONSPIRACIES” uses science in an attempt to determine the ossuary’s validity. Dr. Aryeh Shimron, a Canadian-Israeli geo-archaeologist, explores a possible link between the James Ossuary and the controversial “Jesus Family Tomb”, discovered in 1980 in Talpiot, a Jerusalem suburb. By examining the chemical makeup of the ossuaries in the supposed family tomb, and the James Ossuary, Shimron, in his estimation, determines that they were indeed part of the same tomb.
While there is no question that the box itself is an ancient relic, there are still major questions surrounding the authenticity of the words written on it. When the ossuary first surfaced in 2002, it sent shockwaves around the world. But the Israel Antiquities Authority declared the second part of the inscription a fake, and its owner, a private antiquities collector, was brought up on forgery charges. After a lengthy battle in a Jerusalem court, the owner was acquitted after it could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the inscription was fake.