Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Relics attributed to Jesus

There are many relics attributed to Jesus that people believe or believed to be authentic relics of the Gospel accounts.

The Shroud of Turin is perhaps the most well-known relic; its authenticity was questioned due to radiocarbon dating, performed in 1988, the accuracy of which has itself been subsequently questioned. The earlier-measured sample was generally agreed to have been thrown off by contamination on the shroud, though retests are also debated, and it remains a controversial item.

Other alleged relics include:

Naturally, there are no alleged relics of his bones, because of Christianity's belief in Jesus' bodily resurrection.

Many modern Christians, however, do not accept any of these as true relics. Indeed, this skepticism has been around for centuries, with Erasmus joking that so much wood formed parts of the True Cross, that Jesus must have been crucified on a whole forest.

In 2002, an ossuary with the inscription Ya`aqov bar Yosef akhui Yeshua` ("James son of Joseph brother of Jesus") came to light under questionable provenance and was thought by some to be historical evidence for Jesus's brother James. On June 18, 2003, the Israeli Antiquities Authority published a report concluding that the inscription on the ossuary is a modern forgery based on their analysis of the patina. It appears that the inscription was added recently and made to look old by addition of a chalk solution. The dealer, Oded Golan, was arrested at his Tel Aviv home July 21, on suspicion of forging ancient artifacts. He was released on July 25; as of August 8 charges had not yet been filed against him. Allegedly, authorities found forgery equipment and partially completed forgeries in Oded Golan's home.

In the work Asarim the Sudarium (John 20:7) is described as a Turban. The fact that it was set aside in the tomb when found points out that Jesus had removed it from his head himself and that the tomb had not in fact been robbed at any point in time. It can in fact be seen in the Cathedral of Oviedo, Spain.


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