Did Simcha Jacobovici find the nails used to crucify Jesus? In 2011 he said he did and I missed that story. He even made a documentary called "The Nails of the Cross," though it doesn't appear to have gotten a lot of publicity.
Photo: Lior Mizrahi/Getty
Jacobovici has a reputation for making dramatic claims about his finds. He once claimed to have found the burial site of Jesus and his family, something which the Israel Antiquities Authority disputed. That claim would also seem to contradict this one slightly: if Jesus really did have a tomb, why weren't the nails there? Why would they be in someone else's?
Moreover, the Israel Antiquities Authority says that nails like these are pretty common in tombs. I'm not sure why they would be common, but if they are then that would cast a lot of doubt on what Simcha Jacobovici is saying. It would also bring his basic credibility into question because this is something he should know.
Jacobovici presented two first-century Roman nails that were bent "in a way that is consistent with crucifixion." He contends that these are the same nails found in the burial tomb of Caiaphas, the Jewish high priest who is associated in the Gospels with the crucifixion of Jesus, although he found them at a lab in Tel Aviv University.
Israeli archaeologists discovered the tomb of Caiaphas in 1990. In the tomb were 12 ossuaries, small stone coffins used to store bones. Two of the ossuaries had inscriptions with the name Caiaphas, and scholars believe the tomb does belong to the family of the high priest.
In the Israel Antiquities Authority's report on the discovery, they mention two 8-centimeter iron nails that were found in the tomb. One was discovered on the ground; the other was inside one of the ossuaries and had limestone residue from the ossuary. Around the same time, Tel Aviv University received a delivery of two nails that fit the description; Professor Israel Hershkowitz, a researcher in bio-history, put them in a safe there.
"Based on the size, shape and condition of the nails, it is possible that these were used in crucifixion," Hershkowitz says in the documentary. ... "I can't say 100 percent that these are THE nails used in the crucifixion, but I connected the dots, and it's certainly possible."
Source: AOL News
Apparently the Caiaphas tomb -- and the Israel Antiquities Authority says that it might not even belong to Caiaphas' family -- has been sealed and a park established on the site. This means that it would be difficult for anyone to return to this site and see if there is any more information to be obtained.
Since little to nothing has really been published about this in the past year, I suspect that other archaeologists aren't taking his claims very seriously. Somehow, I don't find that very surprising, do you?