imageMichele Chabin at Religion News Service summarized the crucifixion nails story for us in Archaeologist Claims to Find Nails from Jesus’ Cross – Beliefnet News

While researching a segment for the History Channel series Secrets of Christianity, host and producer Simcha Jacobovici learned something that startled him: In 1990, Israeli archeologists excavating a 2,000-year-old burial cave discovered two nails crafted by the Romans, but kept the discovery quiet. . . .

But wait. Quiet? Just three paragraphs later:

When Jacobovici found a brief reference to the nails in the official archeologists’ report, “my jaw dropped,” he said. . . .

Brief reference means they probably didn’t think it was all that important.

Finally, on a hunch, Jacobovici approached Israel Hershkovitz, a forensic anthropologist at Tel Aviv University, who is also expert on crucifixions.

Jacobovici asked Hershkovitz whether the nails could have been used to crucify a person’s hands to a cross. Hershkovitz said “yes.” . . .

Could have been used?

Jacobovici, however, is certain his research will withstand scrutiny, even if it seems largely circumstantial at first glance.

It is hard to scrutinize hunches and “could haves.”

“Skepticism is good. As with the Shroud of Turin, you can’t be 100 percent certain, but believers don’t need 100 percent certainty. They need a solid ‘could be,’ and that’s what we’re offering.”

Right now I weigh in as very skeptical about the nails and almost certainly convinced that the Shroud of Turin is the real deal. There is an avalanche of evidence for the Shroud and little circumstantial evidence. It is too bad that Michele didn’t offer that difference to her readers.