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The Ossuary of James the son of Joseph brother of Jesus

The Murder of James the Just (62 CE)

And the Final Years of the Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia in Jerusalem

Part One

Study into the Kahal (Hebrew) Nazarene Ecclesia (Congregation) of Yisra’el (Israel)

Called by Christians ‘The Jerusalem Church’

Commentary by Robert D. Mock M.D.

February 6, 1999

Rewritten July, 2004




The Death of James the Just and the Destruction of Jerusalem

Who was “The Door”?

The House of Ananus as the HaSatan: The thief coming to steal, kill and destroy

The Tomb of James the Just

The Ossuary of James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus


The Death of James the Just and the Destruction of Jerusalem


For thirty two years, the followers of Jesus, called “The Way”, dedicated themselves to a ministry of hope, love and salvation through their Messiah, Yahshua ben Yosef, whom they knew to be the Son of the Living God.  Evidence suggests that over the next three decades after the death and resurrection of Jesus, the Nazarenes built a religious and social culture based on the Torah as given by Moses on Sinai.  It was centered on the ordinances and commandments of the Lord in the Temple of God in Jerusalem.  Yet they incorporated their worship and ritual around a non-sacrificial system of the Pesach lamb, the Yom Kippur heifer and goat, and the sacrificial ashes of the red heifer.  These were all sin offerings for the congregation of Israel. 


The Nazarenes also knew within their hearts that Yahshua HaMoschiach (Jesus the Messiah) had fulfilled the entire typology of the ‘sin offering’ sacrifices.  He alone literally fulfilled all the requirements for Passover as He became the literal human Pesach Lamb offering at the Passover festival in 30 CE.  He alone literally fulfilled all the requirements for the Red Heifer by being crucified on a tree at the Mikphat Altar on the Mount of Olives where the second through the ninth Red Heifers were sacrificed.


The Hebrew Nazarenes had established a utopian community of brotherly love, very much akin to the organization of the Essenes, where all things were shared in common.  Their leader, James the Just (Jacov haTzaddik) the brother of Jesus was their revered and esteem nasi or high priest. 


It was 62 CE when James the Just was stoned and clubbed to death in the temple courtyard. According to the second century Christian historian Hegesippus, who wrote in his Memoirs and quoted by Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical History, that James, who was called Jacob, was recognized as a just and fair man.  He was prodded by the Jewish leadership to denounce Jesus as the Christ on the temple portico wing during the spring Passover festival of 62 CE. 


Hegesippus in his Memoirs - “Some of the seven sects of the people mentioned by me above in my Memoirs asked him (i.e. Jacob) what was the door to Jesus?  And he answered, ‘that he was the Saviour’ from which some believed that Jesus is the Christ.  But the aforesaid heresies did not believe either in a resurrection, or that he was coming to give every one according to his works.  As many, however, as did believe, did so on account of Jacob.  As there were many therefore of the rulers that believed, there arose a tumult among the Jews, Scribes and Pharisees, saying that there was danger, that the people would now expect Jesus as the Christ. 


They came therefore together and said to Jacob, ‘We entreat thee; restrain the people, who are led astray after Jesus as if he were the Christ.  We entreat thee to persuade all who are coming to the feast of the Passover rightly concerning Jesus; for we all have confidence in thee.  For we and all the people bear witness to thee that thou are just and no respecter of persons.   Persuade therefore the people not to be led astray by Jesus, for we and all the people have great confidence in thee.  Stand, therefore upon a wing of the Temple that thou mayest be conspicuous on high, and thy words may be easily heard by all the people; for all the tribes have come together on account of the Passover, with some of the Gentiles also.’


“The aforesaid Scribes and Pharisees, accordingly, placed Jacob upon a wing of the Temple, and cried out to him ‘O thou Just One, whom we ought all to credit, since the people are led astray after Jesus that was crucified, declare to us what is the door to Jesus that was crucified.’ But he answered with a loud voice, ‘Why do you ask me regarding Jesus the Son of Man?  He is now sitting in the heavens on the right hand of Great Power, and is about to come on the clouds of Heaven.’


And as many were confirmed, and gloried in this testimony of Jacob, and said, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David,’ these same priests and Pharisees said to one another, ‘We have done badly in affording such testimony to Jesus; but let us go and cast him down, that they may fear to believe in him.’ And they cried out, ‘Oh, oh, the Just himself is deceived,’ and they fulfilled that which is written in Isaiah, ‘Let us do away with the just, because he is offensive to us’ wherefore, they shall eat the fruit of their doings’ (Isaiah 52.10; Gr. LXX).  Going up therefore, they cast down the Just one, saying to one another, “Let us stone Jacob the Just.’


And they began to stone him as he did not die immediately when cast down; but turning round, he knelt down, saying, ‘I beseech Thee, O Lord God and Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.


Thus they were stoning him, when one of the priests of the sons of Rechab, a son of the Rechabites spoken of and by Jeremiah the prophet, cried out, saying, ‘Stop! What are you doing?  The Just is praying for you.’


Thus one of them, a fuller, beat out the brains of the Just with the club he used to beat out clothes.  Thus he suffered martyrdom, and they buried him on the spot where his tombstone still remains, close to the Temple. He became a faithful witness; both to the Jews and to the Greeks that Jesus is the ChristImmediately after this, Vespasian invaded and took Judea.” (Hegesippus as quoted in Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, Book II, xxiii)


One thing of interest in this passage.  It was a ‘Rechabite priest’ as testified by Hegesippus and later Eusebius who said, “Stop”!  Yet according to the Hebrew scholars on Jeremiah 25, even though the Rechabites were adopted into Israel, there is no evidence that they could have ever provided any Levitical priests.  It was the fourth century historian Epiphanius in his treatise, Against Heresies, who stated that this person was actually Simeon, the son of Clopas, instead of the Rechabite priest


Yet what or who was the ‘door’?  This became the critical focal point of theological conflict between Ananus the high priest and James the Just concerning his brother, Yahshua ben Yosef (Jesus son of Joseph).


Who was “The Door”?


So again, what was the ‘Door’?  It reminds us of the dynamic dialogue between Jesus and the Pharisees and scribes in the temple thirty two years before. It was Yahshua, who said,

John 10:7-18 (parts)
– “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheepI am the door, If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.  The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.  I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. 


The Archetype of the Sefirot of God by Rabbi Luria


I am the good Shepherd.  The good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep…I am the good Shepherd; and I know My sheep and am know by My own.  As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice, and there will be one flock and one shepherd.


“Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again.  No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself.  I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”


Our minds are again reconsidering the role of the “Door” motif in the model of the Sefirot of God.


The Keter (crown) was the dwelling place behind the throne of God where God the Father, the Ein Sof of the sages of Judaism dwelt in a sphere of infinity.  It was the Unknowable dwelling place of the Unknown God of Israel. 


The Keter or the dwelling place of the ‘Crown’ consisted of the top three emanations of the World of the Divine. All life and all the forces that sustain life in both the spiritual and the physical worlds resided in the dwelling place of the Most High. 


But what is the pathway of these life giving energy forces as they proceed from the dwelling place and the Throne of God?  What is the Agent or the vehicle that sends these emanations to all the worlds of creation?  Where is the ‘black hole’ or the primal cause of all creation?  Where is the vortex of energy as it is transmitted to all the universes, the kingdoms of spiritual forces, and to our own universe with billions of galaxies, solar systems and planets? 


According to the sages of Judaism in the 1st century BCE, the energy and the power of the Most High went through the Tiferet, the “Beauty or Glory”.  Here in the minds of the sages of Judea was the kernel of enlightenment on how they would recognize the Moschiach, who was their Lord.  For centuries they participated in temple rituals in which every detail of those rituals, every article used in those rituals pointed to Yahshua their Moschiach. 


The festivals of the Lord were in the ancient days and are today saturated with knowledge about the life and destiny of Jesus as He lived and ministered in 1st century Judea.  These same festivals are also saturated with knowledge about the future plans of the return of Jesus as the then and now Moschiach of The Vine (De-vine) and all who want to be attached to de-vine.  These branches of de-vine were both natural sons and daughters by literal descent of the Houses of Jacob and Israel or adopted sons and daughters that are grafted into unto the De-vine One, Jesus.


So what was the “Door” that Ananus the Younger talking about with James the Just during the Passover of 62 CE. The “Door” was the Jesus, the brother of James the Just, whom he recognized as the Son of the Living God. 


The “Door” was Jesus known as Yahshua who was the precarnate Cosmic Christ, the Creator of the universe, the Creator of this planet earth and all that dwell here.  He was the Creator of all the angelic hosts, the spirit universes and all the other forms of life God His Father found pleasing to create.  The “Door” was the Star Gate to the spiritual dimensions of the Almighty One. 


The “Door” was Yahshua Who was also the keter of the spirit world, the angelic kingdoms of Creation called Beriyah.  He was known as the Metatron, the Angel before the Presence of the Lord or the Cosmic Christ.


The “Door” was Yahshua the keter of the world of ‘Light Beings’ called the kingdom of Formation or Yezirah.  This was the world of all the ‘sons of God’ like Adam living on other universes and planets.  These were the ‘sons of God’ spoken about in Job as Satan went to sit on their council representing this planet he had taken from Adam.  These were the ‘sons of God’ spoken by John the Revelator as the twenty four elders in council around the throne of God which now included the One who looked like a slain lamb.  He and only He had the power to open the first Seal of the Living God.  Here Yahshua who, now sitting on the council representing the world by His death and resurrection, had conquered the dominions of evil and darkness of Satan. 


The “Door” was Jesus, the Son of God and the son of man who came as a humble babe and dwelt among man like the hidden and future king of the land.  He was the keter of this three-dimensional world, the World of Action, the world of humankind. He also is our keter, soon to be called the King of kings and Lord of lords. 


Yet it was Yahshua who also stated;


John 14:10 – “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.”


John 14:31 – “If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I.” 


John 12:25- “The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me.”


Jesus was not only the “Door”; He was also the “Shepherd” who guided His sheep through the “Door”. But what was on the other side of the door?  If Yahshua was the pathway to salvation, to whom was He leading the sheep?  If Yahshua was the “The Shepherd” who led the sheep, and Who was the owner of the sheep?  Yahshua as “The Shepherd” guided His sheep along the pathway to not just “life” but to an “abundant life”.  Yet where did that pathway lead? 


The “Door” out of the sheep fold went to the pasture. The “Shepherd” led the sheep to the pasture. Where else would there be a pasture but in the presence of the Father of Yahshua?


The House of Ananus as the HaSatan,

The Thief coming to steal, kill and destroy the sheep


Remember, it was ‘the Jews’, this time as Ananus son of Ananus the Elder, who came to kill the brother of Jesus, James the Just.  Like the House of Amalek of old who in their descendants the Amalekites carried a pathological genetic desire to destroy the children of Israel, so the House of Ananus the Elder carried a pathological genetic desire to destroy the House of Joseph of the royal house of David


Was the House of Ananus genetically of the ancient House of Amalek?  Agag was the king of the Amalekites whom King Saul of the United Monarchy refused the command of the Lord to kill, he the king and all of his people; men, women and children including all of his possessions including the cattle and sheep.  History had demonstrated that the House of Agag was genetically evil and beyond the point of redemption. They had moved beyond the boundaries of redemption.


It took the prophet-judge Samuel to kill King Agag.  According to the sages of Judah, the daughters of Judah, the concubines of King Saul were given to King Agag for his personal pleasure.  The wives and children of Agag were assimilated into the Israelite culture and the genetic strains of the Amalekites became imbedded into the genes of the Houses of Israel and Judah.   Even the Agagites continued to live independent of Israelites, outside the land and centuries later raised its ugly head of death and destruction in the person of Haman the Agagite, the prime minister of the Persian king Ahasuerus who wanted to kill the people of Queen Esther and Mordecai, the Jew. 


It was probably Ananus (Annas) as a young priest who took the charges of Mariam and Yosef having a child out of wedlock to the high priest in the days of Herod.  It is interesting that in the gospel called The Protevangelion of James, a young priestly scribe called “Annas” discovered that Mary, the virgin, was with child and reported her to the high priest.


The Protevangelion 11:1-22 - “Then came Annas the scribe, and said to Joseph, Wherefore have we not seen you since your return?  And Joseph replied, Because I was weary after my journey, and rested the first day.  But Annas turning about perceived the Virgin big with child. And went away to the priest (high priest) and told him, Joseph in whom you placed so much confidence, is guilty of a notorious crime, in that he hath defiled the Virgin whom he received out of the temple of the Lord, and hath privately married her, not discovering it to the children of Israel. (Forward: Solomon J. Schepps, The Lost Books of the Bible, being all the gospels, epistles, and other pieces now extant attributed in the first four centuries to Jesus Christ, His apostles and their companions no included, by its compilers in the authorized New Testament; and Syriac mss. of Pilate’s Letters to Tiberius, etc, translated from the original languages, Bell Publishing Co, New York, distributed by Outlet Book, a Random House Company, 225 Park Avenue South, New York, New York 10003) 


Was it possibly not this same young priest who later became the high priest, Ananus, in 6 CE in the 12th year of Yahshua’s bar mitzvoth year?  Would it have not been Ananus the newly appointed high priest who questioned Jesus in the presence of the chief elders (Sanhedrin) in the temple during Jesus first Passover visit?


This Ananus (Ananias) was the father-in-law of Caiphas the high priest when Yahshua assaulted the economic bastion of their power, greed and control of the Judean economy while driving out the money changers in the temple courtyard.  This occurred not only at the beginning of His ministry but again in the last week of Jesus’ life during the Passion week. 


This was the Ananus the Elder who was instrumental in conducting the trial of Jesus in His own home and prompting his son-in-law, Caiphas to complete the extermination of Jesus. It was Yahshua who was the most potent rebel against the authority the House of Ananus.  Ananus at the time of the crucifixion had controlled the office of the high priest for twenty three of the twenty four years between the time of Jesus’ bar mitzvoth and his death.


This was the same Ananus the Elder whose’ son Jonathan was the high priest who rigged the Sanhedrin when he brought the Greek Nazarene deacon Stephen before the Sanhedrin and then stoned him to death for blasphemy


This was the same Ananus and Caiphas who commissioned Saulus the young Pharisee in the School of Gamaliel to round up the Nazarene converts in the city of Jerusalem, throw them into prison and with an armed incursion force to enter the Roman province of Syria in the absence of a Roman governor to forcibly extradite the escaping Nazarenes fleeing to Damascus back to the prisons of Judea. 


This was the same House of Ananus who was responsible for inciting King Agrippa to kill James the Elder, brother of John.  He was responsible for the imprisonment of Simon Peter who miraculously escaped with his life with the assistance of white-cloaked ‘angelic’ visitors.  This was the same Ananus the Elder whose son Jonathan the former high priest so aggravated the incoming Roman governor Festus by trying to meddle in Roman politics that Felix hired a Jewish Sicarii assassin to kill Jonathan.


This was the same Ananus the Elder, whose son Ananus the Younger now incited the priests of the temple to set up James the Just for blasphemy in the court of Herod’s temple.  They then stoned and bludgeoned him to death for blasphemy.  Why?  They killed James for stating that Jesus was now sitting at the right hand of His Father in heaven.


Over and over, here were “The Jews”, those controlled by the House of Ananus and Sadducees, Pharisees and Scribes in league with this powerful dynasty of evil, who brought continuous destruction upon all Judeans in the land.  In the name of the God of Abraham, they cloaked themselves with righteousness, vindicated their cause as ‘righteous indignation’ as they sought to use their own designs to save their own people and national independence and sought to destroy and root out the ‘fundamentalists’ within their own people.


Were they also genetic Amalekites now imbedded in the Jewish race?  Only the Lord of hosts knows, but ‘their fruits’ did portray their hearts of evil and destruction.  


Flavius Josephus breathes more political life into this event when he wrote that the instigator of this travesty of the death of James the Just was actually Ananus the son of Ananus the Elder who had just been installed as the current high priest:


Josephus - Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he (Ananus the high priest) assembled the Sanhedrin of the judges, and brought before them the brother of Yahshua, who was called Messiah, whose name was James (the Just), and some others, (or some of his companions;) and when he (Ananus the high priest) had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned: but as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done.  (Josephus, Antiquities 20:9:1)


Who was this high priest and what were his issues that motivated him to do such an evil thing as to manipulate the Sanhedrin, the public and the attending priests to stone and club James the Just to death?  It was the Jewish priest and historian, Flavius Josephus, who affirmed the account of Hegesippus, that the death of James (Jacob) the Just was the most pivotal event that propelled the Jewish province to its eventual destruction including the fall of Jerusalem. This destruction included the largest and most opulent public building in the Roman Empire, the temple of Herod in Jerusalem.  Eusebius quoting Josephus wrote:


Josephus – “These things (fall of Jerusalem) happened to the Jews to avenge Jacob the Just, who was the brother of Jesus called Christ, and whom the Jews had slain, although he was a man most distinguished for his justice.”  (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, Book 2, 23) 


There was one problem.  This quote cannot be found in any of the extant writings of Josephus.   Eusebius cited this quote from the Patrist Church Father, Origin, in his treatise, Against Celsius (1:47).  Origin in tern was quoting Josephus. It was Origin himself who expressed surprise that it was common knowledge amongst thinking Jews that the effect of the death of James the Just was seen the moment in time in which God closed the doors of mercy to the Jews and Jerusalem and the city and temple were destroyed. 


Yet we do know that there was an earlier original Greek edition of the Jewish War, which had as its first published title, On the Capture or Destruction of Jerusalem. (Perihaloseos Hierousalem).  Maybe this was what was meant when in the Antiquities of the Jews, during the era of the last Roman governor of Judea, Albinus, when Josephus ended with this statement,


Josephus  - “In short, none could now speak his mind, with tyrants on every side; and from this date (death of James the Just) were sown in the city the seed of its impending destruction (halosis)” (Josephus, Jewish Wars, Book II, 272-6 cited in Schonfield, Hugh Joseph, The Pentecost Revolution, The Story of the Jesus Party in Israel, AD 36-66, Macdonald and Janes’s, St. Giles, 49/50 Poland Street, London, W.I., 1974, p 218 ).


So ended the legacy of Jacob the Just, the brother of Jesus.  It was he who presided and led Jewish Nazarene Ecclesia from the death of Jesus almost to the time of the destruction of Jerusalem.  As the blood-brother of Jesus, for thirty two years (30 -62 CE), he remained a living legacy of his brother, the Jewish Messiah who was exalted by his resurrection and now recognized as “sitting on the right hand of God”.   Jacob’s fame spread throughout all Judea for his purity before the Law, his wisdom in judgment, and his undying love and care for the people of his nation.  He was a man of the nation, a man of the people, and a true servant of God.  To the believers of the Jerusalem Nazarene Congregation, in their grief it was as if they were witnessing again the death of their Messiah.  According to Hegesippus, they buried him on the spot where his memorial stone still remains, close to the temple.(Schonfield, Hugh Joseph, The Pentecost Revolution, The Story of the Jesus Party in Israel, AD 36-66, Macdonald and Janes’s, St. Giles, 49/50 Poland Street, London, W.I., 1974, p238 ).




The Tomb of Absalom: the Mortuary capt.jrl80111202110.mideast_israel_simon_verse_jrl8011.jpg (24477 bytes)Monument of Zacharias,

father of John the Baptist, Simeon the Elder and James the Just



The Zacharia inscription on the upper left and the Simon the Elder inscription on the right on Yad Avshalom (Tomb of Absalom).  


In the Kidron Valley across from the Temple Mount are three monuments known through the centuries as Jewish shrines. New archeological evidence is confirming the 6th century writings of Theodosius and the 4th century Byzantine documents that at least one of these is a Mortuary monument to three of the revered Nazarenes in the New Testament:  Simon the Just, Zacharia the priest, father of John the Baptist and James the Just, son of Joseph and brother of Jesus.


It was in 2001 that a fascinating discovery was made.  An inscription was discovered by Jerusalem archeologist, Joe Zias of the Israeli Antiquities Authority and deciphered by Father Emile Puech of the East Jerusalem Ecole Biblique, the archaeological and biblical research center of the Catholic Dominican Order. 


On the walls of the Tomb of Absalom, about nine meters above the ground, a 4th century vertical inscription was found which claimed to mark the site of the burial place of the temple priest of Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist who baptized Jesus.  The six lines in the Simeon inscription ran vertically instead of horizontally. The letters are of different heights, slightly crooked in placement and carved out rather shallow.  The horizontal inscription of 47 letters, 1.2 meters long and 10 cm. high read as follows: 


"This is the tomb of Zacharia, martyr, a very pious priest,

father of John,"


Also near the Zacharia inscription was later found a second inscription of six lines which ran vertically.  The vertical inscription on the monument states that this is the tomb of:


"Simeon who was a very just man and a very devoted old (person) and waiting for the consolation of the people."


This latter inscription of Simeon was very close to the verse in the Gospel of Luke 2:25 and is written exactly as it was written in the Codex Sinaiticus. 


In the writings of Flavius Josephus, a Zacharia is mentioned as one of ten Jerusalemites who were put on trial, his head was severed and his body was thrown into the Valley of the Kings. Early on he became known as a ‘martyr’ for our Lord. As noted in an inscription quoted by Eusebius, the same treatment was given to James the Just, the brother of Jesus, who was stoned, clubbed and bludgeoned to death and then his body was thrown over into the Kidron Valley below. 


As Jewish historian, Hugh Schonfield wrote back in 1974,


Hugh Joseph Schonfield – “According to Hegesippus, they buried him on the spot where his memorial stone still remains, close to the temple.(Schonfield, Hugh Joseph, The Pentecost Revolution, The Story of the Jesus Party in Israel, AD 36-66, Macdonald and Janes’s, St. Giles, 49/50 Poland Street, London, W.I., 1974, p238 ).


The Ossuary of James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus


The Ossuary of James the son of Joseph brother of Jesus


Where was this “memorial stone” close to the temple? Was it a spot that still remains intact in the vicinity of the temple Herod today?  As the Christians would later suppress the Jewish roots of their faith, did the Jewish leaders in the 1st to the 3rd centuries suppress the historical sites of the Nazarene saints and the literary and historical evidence of one of their own rabbis in whom a large part of the 1st century Jewish population accepted as the Moschiach (Messiah) of Israel?


In the November-December 2004 issue of the Biblical Archeological Review, international headlines was made with the publication that the limestone ossuary or bone box of James the Just had possibly been found. It was possibly looted from a Jerusalem cave along the base of the Mount of Olives overlooking the Kidron Valley with full view of the temple of Herod.  For many years it was held in a private collection in the land of Israel. The academic community immediately became polarized as they always do with anything that purports to be associated with the Bible.  Many eminent scholars proclaimed that it was legitimate and many proclaimed that it was fraudulent. The name of the collector was eventually identified and then subsequently arrested for forgery of an ancient archeological object. 


Yet to suggest that the ossuary or bone box of the most prominent leader of the Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia has been discovered is astounding.  This historical artifact has only been precipitated by the discovery of the ossuary of the high priest Caiphas who was responsible for trial and death of Yahshua (Jesus). 


Translating the InscriptionFor one thing, international attention was given that Jesus truly had a brother called Ya’akov (Jacob), also known as James the Just.  In the New Testament ecclesia, he was the leader of the first Nazarene synagogue that was built to serve the followers of that Jewish messiah who they called, Yahshua haMoschiach)


Inscription on the Ossuary of James the Just


The ossuary has almost no ornamentation except for a simple, yet riveting Aramaic inscription;


Ya'akov bar Yosef akhui diYeshua,


This inscription translated reads "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus."


According to Andre Lemaire, a specialist in ancient inscriptions at France's Practical School of Higher Studies, the burial artifact appears to provide the oldest archaeological evidence of Jesus Christ and dates to three decades after the crucifixion when James the Just was stoned and bludgeoned to death on 62 CE.


Since the initial evaluation by Lemaire, scholars and scientists have examined and analyzed the box, seeking to expose it for a fake, or to show that it is otherwise impossible for it to be the ossuary that once held the bones of St. James, the high priest and nasi of the Nazarenes known in Christian Bibles as the Christian church of Jerusalem. 


The Jewish traditions of using ossuaries or bone boxes to collect the remains of deceased loved ones lasted from about 20 BCE until the temple of Herod was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE.  The corpses of the beloved were laid in cave shelves long enough for the body to be laid out prone.  After a year the flesh and soft tissue decayed and the bones were collected and placed in an ossuary box and put in a cave.  Israeli scholars have examined over the years 89 ossuariesInscriptions were found on about 200 of them.  Most of the inscriptions were Greek, some in two languages and a few in Hebrew or Aramaic. 


According to Hershel Shanks of the Biblical Archeological Society, the ossuary  was looted from a cave tomb and sold to the owner fifteen years ago for about $200 to $700.  It is about 20 inches long and built in a slight trapezoidal shape. According to the Arab dealer, the ossuary came from Silwan, a Jerusalem suburb with soft limestone tombs honeycombing its premises.  Until this bone box was discovered the oldest documented artifact using the name of Yahshua (Jesus) was a papyrus fragment of the Gospel of John dated to 125 CE. 



Go to Part Two of James the Just  

The Murder of James the Just (62 CE) and the

Blood Libel with the House of Ananus

Part Two


Return to Beginning


Go to Part One

The Primitive “Apostolic” Nazarene Ecclesia


Go to Part Two

Jesus (Yahshua) and Joseph of Arimathea


Go to Part Three

The Birth of the Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia in Jerusalem


Go to Part Four

Crisis in the Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia –

The Sanhedrin and Rabbi Shaul are Coming


Go to Part Five

Joseph of Arimathea and the Friends of Jesus Flee to Caesarea


Go to Part Six

Final Exile of Joseph of Arimathea from Judea to the Isles of Avalon


Go to Part Seven

The Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia after the Stoning of Stephen


Go to Part Eight

Antioch and Agrippa – The Nazarenes evangelize the world


Go to Part Nine

The Royal Family of Cardactus and the Roman Christian Church