Catholic Dictionary




A bone casket, notably that of a person buried in the Near East in the first century. Ossuaries contain inscribed names commonly used by the Jews in the time of Christ, along with rarer ones. They testify to the historical authenticity of the name used in the Gospels, as also of such titles as "master" or "teacher" (didaskalos), although the designation previously had been cited as evidence of a second-century date. (Etym. Latin ossuarium, a bone urn.)