An inscribed stone that may be the only remnant of Solomon’s Temple has been returned to its owner after an 11-year legal battle waged by the Israeli government. The Jehoash Tablet, also known as the “Bedek Habayit” inscription, is back in the hands of Tel Aviv collector Oded Golan, who plans to put it on public display in a major museum. Golan finally retrieved the tablet and hundreds of other items more than two years after he was acquitted of forging priceless antiquities in a seven-year criminal trial and nearly a year after the High Court finally rejected a last-ditch appeal by Israel’s state attorney and the Israel Antiquities Authority.
As ever Matthew Kalman does a great job of covering things in this breaking report on the final outcome of the Jehoash tablet lawsuit, see his piece in HaAretz here. I look forward to the day that both this and the James ossuary can be viewed by anyone.
The best archive of materials on this and the James ossuary, both for and against the case for authenticity, is here at Bible&Interpretion and the best coverage of the trials is by Matthew Kalman, see his web site here.
What I find interesting among both colleagues and general readers alike is the tendency to state dogmatic conclusions charging forgery, and greed without reading the full evidence on both sides. Oded’s reputation has been slandered by the forgery charges and it remains the case, despite charges to the contrary, that he has never sold a piece of art or an artifact from his antiquities collection. Anyone charged with a crime or misdeed is entitled to speak but by far the majority of those expressing views have not even bothered to read what Oded has written. I recommend this overview where Oded provides a very factual and fair of the entire affair from start to finish: http://bibleinterp.com/articles/authjam358012.shtml.