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Two New Fakes

It is Easter time and it is time for two new hoaxes.

Two ancient nails discovered in a Jerusalem archaeological excavation 20 years ago may have been those used to crucify Jesus, filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici says.The nails, discovered in an excavation of a first century Jewish tomb in 1990, have divided historical opinion. Jacobovici’s view is set out in a documentary that will be aired on television in both the U.S. and Israel[Nails Used to Crucify Jesus May Have Been Found, Filmmaker Says]

The nails were found in the tomb of a Caiaphas family. Caiphas was also the name of the High Priest during the time of the crucifixion. So the assumption is that this Caiphas is that Caiphas and for some reason one of the nails used to crucify a man called Yeshua — whom Caiphas hated — was put in his tomb.

Prof. Robert Cargill of UCLA writes, “no, simcha, you didn’t find the ‘nails of the cross’ of christ (a week before easter)”

  • Simcha claims to have found the tomb of the High Priest Caiaphas, a claim which is uncertain becausearchaeologists aren’t even sure that the tomb is Caiaphas’ tomb.
  • The excavation found two nails in the tomb, one in an ossuary, and one on the ground.
  • The nails disappeared (i.e., someone took or misplaced them).
  • The nails “magically reappear” in a lab in Tel Aviv 20 years later.
  • Because Caiaphas is mentioned in the story of Jesus, and the nails “disappeared” for a time, they must be the nails of Jesus’ crucifixion?????

Dr. James McGrath has a roundup from various scholars on this topic.

The next hoax is a collection of 70 metal books from Jordan

Christian Today reports: If the finding is found to be authentic, it would constitute the earliest known Christian writings. Discovered about five years ago, after a flash flood that exposed two niches inside a cave in remote northern Jordan, these codices have divided Biblical Scholars as to how significant these books maybe. The indication that they are Christian in nature is based on preliminary translation of images and symbols. These symbols contained on the books refer to the Messiah and the crucifixion. [Metal books discovery may have ties to First Century Christianity]

Many media houses went to town with the story, but now these books have been provied to be fake.

Caruso’s new analysis of the text corroborates the recent findings of a Greek archaeologist at Oxford, who said the images appearing in the codices, including one of Christ on the cross, are anachronistic. “The image they are saying is Christ is the sun god Helios from a coin that came from the island of Rhodes. There are also some nonsense inscriptions in Hebrew and Greek,” Peter Thonemann told the press. He believes the codices were forged within the past 50 years.[Exclusive: Early Christian Lead Codices Now Called Fakes]

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