Ossuaries

Certain Ossuaries are Evidences of the Bible’s Historical Accuracy

There are two bone boxes (also referred to as ‘ossuaries‘) that have made quite a stir in the past 15 years. One quite possibly is the burial box for James, the Lord’s half-brother. The other is certainly that of Caiaphas, the High Priest. Both date within the 1st Century:

“An ossuary box was a bone burial box used from the early Hashmonean Dynasty (about 150 BC) to just after the Bar Kochba (bar Kochva) Revolt (approximately 150 AD). The bodies of wealthy or prominent Jewish leaders in first century Palestine were interred in multi-chambered tombs and allowed to decompose. The process usually took about eighteen months. After decompositionhad been effected, the bones of the deceased were gathered together and placed in a small stone burial box called an ossuary. The bones were broken at the joints to make them fit easily in this small box. The box was hewn to fit the longest or largest bone, the leg bone. So ossuaries could be of different sizes.”
In our excavations in Israel we have found many ossuaries. In fact, thousands of ossuaries dating to this period have been found in excavations in Israel. Some have inscriptions (like the James and Ciaphas ossuaries). Most have no inscriptions. Of those with inscriptions it is common to have the name of the deceased. Many also include the name of the deceased’s father. Only three ossuaries have been found that includes the name of a brother. Ossuaries also come in different sizes. We have found different sizes for men, women, and children.”

Biblical Archaeology and the James Ossuary

James, the son of Joseph and Brother of Jesus (63AD?) – the verdict is out on the authenticity. There are good reasons why a number of scholars conjecture this to be the burial box of the Lord’s half-brother. The key one is that those in the 1st Century would almost never identify who their siblings were on their burial boxes – just who their father was. The only exception would be if the sibling was of great prominence. The box dates to the correct time that Jesus’s brother would have died.

There are good reasons to believe this box is legitimate – this potentially corroborates the existence of figures spoken of in the New Testament: namely Jesus, Joseph and James.
Joseph Caiaphas Ossuary: Named for the High Priest, this dates to 50 AD – this was found in 1991 when a dump truck accidentally fell 10 feet into a burial site thus proving Caiaphas to be a historical figure.

Ossuary

Source of Image: http://www.tfba.org/finds.php

This corroborates the existence of the High Priest Caiaphas who is also spoken of in the New Testament. Again, Scripture is shown to be historically accurate!