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History Channel documentary claims nails used in Crucifixion discovered

April 13, 2011

A History Channel documentary hosted by Simcha Jacobovici claims that there is “compelling” evidence that the nails used in Christ’s crucifixion have been discovered. The nails were discovered in what may have been Caiaphas’ tomb.

“There is no proof whatsoever that those nails came from the cave of Caiaphas,” said archeologist Gaby Barkay of Bar Ilan University. “There is no proof that the nails are connected to any bones or any bone residue attached to the nails and no proof from textual data that Caiaphas had the nails for the crucifixion with him after the crucifixion took place and after Jesus was taken down from the cross.”

In addition, a spokesman for the Israel Antiquities Authority said that nails are commonly found in tombs.

In 1911, the Catholic Encyclopedia noted that

very little reliance can be placed upon the authenticity of the thirty or more holy nails which are still venerated, or which have been venerated until recent times, in such treasuries as that of Santa Croce in Rome, or those of Venice, Aachen, the Escurial, Nuremberg, Prague, etc. Probably the majority began by professing to be facsimiles which had touched or contained filings from some other nail whose claim was more ancient. Without conscious fraud on the part of anyone, it is very easy for imitations in this way to come in a very brief space of time to be reputed originals.


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  • Posted by: Anselm - Apr. 13, 2011 8:47 PM ET USA

    For the record, The Telegraph is very late on this announcement. This originally was broadcast on the History Channel this past December 18th, 2010 immediately after "The Lost Voyage of Jesus."