There are some highly significant artifacts relating to the study of the New Testament in the Israel Museum.
- The Pilate inscription from Caesarea Maritima (Acts 13:28; 1 Timothy 6:13).
- The ossuary of the high priest Caiaphas (Matthew 26:3). An inscription on the ossuary reads “Yehosef bar Qafa” (Joseph the son of Caiaphas). There are several ossuaries bearing common names of the New Testament period such as Mary and Jesus.
- The fragment of one of the warning inscriptions once in the wall separating the Court of the Gentiles from the Court of the Women (Acts 21:29; cf. Ephesus 2:14). The only full inscription discovered in Jerusalem is now in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum.
- The Theodotus Inscription. This inscription came from a Synagogue of Freedmen (liberated slaves). Stephen contended with some men from this synagogue (Acts 6:9). This item was previously displayed in the Rockefeller Museum.
One item I failed to see (if it was on display) was the “Chair of Moses” from the Synagogue at Chorazin (Matthew 23:2). In some cases the replicas at the site of discovery are good — and they may be photographed. Examples are the chair of Moses and the Pilate inscription.
The Israel Museum should reevaluate the policy of not allowing photographs. There is nothing on display that has not already been published in numerous places. Teachers like to have their own photos to show their students.
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