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Two Jerusalem Artifacts Could Be Destroyed

Israeli judge threatens ‘judgment of Solomon’ on controversial items

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Oded Golan (artist's rendering).(IMDB)

While many archaeological treasures may have suddenly materialized in Israel, as Alex Joffe reports today in Tablet Magazine, none have quite the prestige of two artifacts that, tomorrow, a judge could order destroyed. Judge Aharon Farkash will decide the fates of two pieces that found their way into the hands of collector Oded Golan, whom Farkash acquitted of well-publicized forgery charges. Golan is a fascinating guy, and in fact was the subject of a lengthy New Yorker profile by Tablet literary editor David Samuels.

Farkash, who has evinced massive anger at Israeli police for damaging the artifacts in the course of inspecting them, has suggested he might pursue the Solomonic route (his analogy) and order them destroyed.

What are the artifacts? Just a stone box and a black tablet. Except the black tablet details repairs to the Temple almost 3000 years ago, and microscopic bits of gold on it suggest it may have been in the Temple and survived a fire—as in, when the Temple was burned. And the box, roughly 2000 years old, declares that it contains the bones of one “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.”

Judge to Decide Fate of Ossuary, Jehoash Tablet [JPost]
Related: Mideast Antiquities Roadshow [Tablet Magazine]
Written in Stone [The New Yorker]

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herbcaen says:

If Mr Farkash destroys the artifacts, the owner, Mr Golan, has a tort and can sue the judge for damages. Since the artifacts were not proven counterfeit, Mr Golan could ask for their value if genuine, which would run into the millions of dollars. I think Mr Farkash would have a problem coughing that up. In addition, destroying artifacts would put Israel into the company of Egypt and Afghanistan, countries that routinely destroy artifacts. If this story is true, it makes me wonder about the quality of judges in Israel

shloime says:

quick, check the date!  is this april fool’s or what?

an “artist’s rendering” of oded golan that just happens to look like a copyright infringement of harrison ford as indiana jones?

and the inscription on the ossuary is a forgery, whether golan was the forger or not.  “jacob son of joseph” is not a very unusual hebrew name.

what this fails to mention is, why are these artifacts in court in the first place?

Paula Saunders says:

The name Jesus is not correct.  It would start with a Y.  There is no J in Hebrew and he was a Jew.  Also, the other names would reflect Hebrew spellings.

Paula Saunders says:

The name Jesus is not correct.  It would start with a Y.  There is no J in Hebrew and he was a Jew.  Also, the other names would reflect Hebrew spellings.

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Two Jerusalem Artifacts Could Be Destroyed

Israeli judge threatens ‘judgment of Solomon’ on controversial items

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