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Nails Found Attached To Hands Of Ancient Jewish Skeleton

Nails found attached to hand bones of skeleton at Second Temple Israeli tomb largely unknown even to scholars. This is the only case involving nails attached to hand bones from the Roman period thus giving confirmation to the Gospel of John.


St. Louis, MO USA—An ancient tomb from the Second Temple period was discovered in Jerusalem’s Givat Hamivtar district in 1971 by the Israel Antiquities Authority.  An ossuary located inside what is now known as the Abba Tomb contained the remains of an individual with two nails still attached to the hand bones and who had been beheaded.  According to author Joseph Raymond, this is the only case where nails have been recovered attached to hand bones of a skeleton from ancient Israel; however, this find has remained largely hidden from public knowledge ever since.  According to the Gospel of John, the Romans crucified Jesus by pounding nails through his hands.  John 20:25.  However, scholars have debated for centuries whether ancient Romans actually employed this technique.  “We now have proof that the Romans did in fact place nails through the hands when crucifying their victims during the time of Jesus as reported in John’s Gospel,” notes Raymond.
There is only one other reported case where a nail has been found attached to bone of a Second Temple skeleton, the ossuary of Yehohanan Son of Hagkol which was also found in the Givat Hamivtar district.  The Yehohanan Son of Hagkol find involved a nail through the ankle bone and was widely reported throughout the world.  The nearby tomb which contained bones with nails through the hands is known as the “Abba Tomb” because of an inscription found above the ossuary.   The inscription begins, “I, Abba, son of the priest Eleazar.”  The Abba Tomb inscription is well-known to scholars but not the fact that nails were found embedding into hand bones.  This is largely due to the scientific report issued on the find at the Abba Tomb, which concluded the remains were not from a crucified individual.  See Dr. Patricia Smith, “The Human Skeletal Remains from the Abba Cave”, Israel Exploration Journal, Vol. 27, No. 2/3, 1977.  Raymond asks, “How does Dr. Smith think the nails came to be stuck in this person’s hands?  She finds the individual was subject to Roman punishment but then concludes no crucifixion.  Bizarre.”  You can read more of Raymond’s criticism of the Smith report at his website.
Joseph Raymond, author of Herodian Messiah, uncovered the hidden facts about the Abba Tomb bones while performing research for his appearance on the Discovery Channel documentary “Jesus Conspiracies” that aired in April of 2012.  He is a lawyer and author of three books.


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