V RaptureChrist Newsletter
On November 24, 2002 there was a public presentation at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto about the authenticity of the James' ossuary.
According to Hershel Shanks, one of the speakers at the conference and president of the Biblical Archaeological Review magazine, antiquities are not always found from an excavated site. For many years there has been looting, and a black market for antiquities, but that does not make the antiquity less real. In whatever form the antiquity comes to us we should investigate it, and if it is of importance, we should publish these findings for all to partake of.
Eric Myers, from Duke
University, is very opposed to publishing information on antiquities found
on the open market, in other words not found from an excavated site. This
is a topic which is now under much debate by the biblical archaeological
scholars (if antiquities found on the open market should be published
in magazines such as the BAR and others). Today we have important
antiquities that were put on the open market by the Bedouins who found them,
such as the dead sea scrolls.
Professor Fuchs used for his calculation the number of adult Jewish males named James, who had a father named Joseph and a brother named Jesus during the period. He also incorporated literacy rates (it was important for the family to be able to read the inscription) and the affordability factor (the family had to be able to afford this costly custom).
Fuchs' calculations estimate that only one person could be "James son of Joseph brother of Jesus". As far as we know, Fuchs did not even lower his probability from using the right name on the box, Yeshua. See the November 1, 2002 newsletter.
These facts all narrow down the possibilities and make it more likely to be authentic. But ultimately why are we so intrigued by the box? Could it be that inside us all we know that God exists and to see physical proof of that existence just makes us shake? Now God's existence has become more material to us, not anymore just simply an idea.
And who is the owner of the box, this man who in the beginning wanted to stay anonymous, but with the damage of the box to Toronto, decided to go there to view the repairs, and then became known to the world?
The owner is Oded Golan, a 51 year old engineer from Tel Aviv and one of the largest private antiquities collectors in Israel with a collection of over 3,000 pieces. The second son of Eliezer and Rivka, an engineer and a micro-biologist, Oded began his love for collecting antiquities since he was 8 years old.
Aside from his interest in archaeology, according to his brother Yaron, Oded is also a very talented piano player: "He's a gifted pianist, not just another pianist. Even his dog had musical talent."
Oded Golan studied at the Tichon Hadash high school in Tel Aviv, and engineering at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa. He currently works in South Tel Aviv, where he owns two companies. In one, he is the director and the sole shareholder, in the other, his parents and brother are managers along with him.
Oded, according to his mother, showed an interest in archaeology from an early age; he joined Yigael Yadin’s excavation at Masada when he was only 11 years old.
After the Six-Day War, when he was a teenager, he often traveled to the Old City in Jerusalem looking for antiquities. In the early 1970s he bought the now famous James' ossuary. He only paid a few hundred dollars at the time, as this ossuary was very plain and less costly than the rest in the antiquities market. The box has been in his possession for about thirty years, some of this time in a shed.
Last year, French scholar André Lemaire
was in Jerusalem. He attended a private party where he met Golan who asked
him to decipher some inscriptions for him. When Lemaire read the
inscription on the ossuary, he immediately understood its
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