To forge the James inscription, a forger would need to be able to imitate Aramaic letter forms of the first century C.E. and also to avoid any errors in first-century Aramaic usage.

Before publishing the inscription, we showed it to Father Joseph Fitzmyer, formerly of the Catholic University of America and one of the world’s leading experts in first-century Aramaic and a pre-eminent Dead Sea Scroll editor (he edited a number of the Aramaic texts among the scrolls). Father Fitzmyer was troubled by the spelling in the James inscription of the word for “brother;” it is spelled aleph, het, waw and yod. In Hebrew it is spelled simply aleph het. Only after hundreds of years would the spelling on the James inscription appear in Aramaic, and then it would be plural, not singular.

However, after doing some research, Father Fitzmyer found the same spelling of “brother” in the Dead Sea Scroll known as the Genesis Apocryphon. In addition, he found another example in which the same form appeared—in an ossuary inscription in which the deceased was identified as someone’s brother, just as James is here. “I stand corrected,” said Father Fitzmyer.

Either a putative forger had to know first-century Aramaic better than Father Fitzmyer or the inscription is authentic.

To my mind this is one of the strongest arguments for the authenticity of the James inscription.