Biblical Archaeology Review 29:4, July/August 2003

Brother of Jesus Ossuary

New Tests Bolster Case For Authenticity

By Edward J. Keall

“By accident most strange,” Shakespeare reminds us in The Tempest, can come “bountiful Fortune.” So, it might be argued, was the case with the tragic accident in which the now-famous ossuary (bone box) inscribed “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus” broke last fall on its way from Israel to Toronto for exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM).a It arrived in a cardboard carton encased only in layers of bubble wrap, which, when removed, revealed a soft limestone bone box that had broken into five pieces.

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