Surprising Archaeological Find: Proof of Jesus' Existence?

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A limestone burial bone box, called an ossuary, has come to light bearing the names of Jesus, James and Joseph—three of the most prominent persons in the New Testament.

The ancient Aramaic words inscribed on the limestone box state that it belongs to "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus."

In late October 2002, André Lemaire, a specialist in ancient inscriptions and professor at the Sorbonne in Paris, announced the discovery.

Much to the chagrin of archaeologists and scholars, the box was not excavated by a trained archaeologist from its resting place for the last 2,000 years. Instead it was illegally removed and sold on the antiquities market. Regrettably, this prevents the box from being analyzed in its proper archaeological context and eliminating all possibilities of it being a fake.

Prior to the announcement of the discovery, the limestone box was subjected to rigorous scientific tests to rule out the possibility of fraud. A team of experts of the Geological Survey of Israel examined the box and the inscription under a microscope and found no evidence of modern tools or tampering.

For more details, read Mario Seiglie's article on this find, scheduled for the January-February 2003 Good News.

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