Biblical Archaeology Review 35:3, May/June 2009

Strata: New Study Supports Authenticity of Yehoash Inscription

BAR has defended the authenticity of the James Ossuary inscription (“James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus”)a and the Ivory Pomegranate inscription (“(Belonging) to the Temple of [Yahwe]h; holy to the priests”).b But we have taken no position regarding the Yehoash (or Jehoash) inscription, a lengthier text on a black stone plaque that records repairs to the Temple. The reason is that distinguished philologists and paleographers of ancient Hebrew have disagreed regarding the authenticity of the Yehoash inscription.c

Now a team of scientists has weighed in on the Yehoash inscription. In a highly respected, peer-reviewed scientific journal, the Journal of Archaeological Science, the five authors state that “chemical, geologic and petrographic analyses support the antiquity of the patina [on the tablet], which in turn, strengthens the contention that the inscription is authentic.”1

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