Another Ossuary: Caiphas & Family


(Larry Hurtado)  On 29 June, the news story broke of initial scholarly analysis of an ossuary (bone-box) from the second-temple period with an Aramaic inscription:     מרים ברת ישוע בר קיפא כהן דמעזיה דבית עמרי

The proposed English translation:  “Miriam, Daughter of Yeshua, Son of Caiaphas, Priest of Ma’aziah from Beth ‘Imri”.

In 1990 there was a previous ossuary naming Caiaphas, and so this item essentially adds further data, in this case naming other members of his extended family.

For a fuller preliminary engagement with the item, see the following link:


About larryhurtado

I'm a scholar in New Testament and Christian Origins, currently Professor of New Testament Language, Literature & Theology in the University of Edinburgh (since 1996), and previously Professor in the Department of Relgiion, University of Manitoba.

One response »

  1. Thanks for posting this, Larry. There are some really useful links on this website, especially the photos. I was suprised how small the ossuary seems to be. The ‘Caiaphas ossuary’ had the remains of several people inside, but you’d be struggling to get more than one smallish woman in here, I’d have thought.

    Its very interesting how a few ossuary finds lately have helped to build up our knowledge of the first century priesthood. It would be wonderful if this one linked up with the ‘Caiaphas ossuary’ and if they all related to the Caiaphas of the gospels but of course these are all pretty big leaps. The ‘Caiaphas ossuary’ itself reads קפא most often, which could equally be qafa or qofa, and the identification with the high priest is far from certain.

    Its too bad this wasn’t found in situ, but it will be interesting to see how the story unfolds . . .
    Best wishes,

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