Discovery No. 1: The people and places mentioned in the Gospels really existed.
Like most figures of ancient history, there is little archaeological evidence for many New Testament figures, including Jesus. However, in just the past few years archaeologists have uncovered some astonishing finds – including the burial box (ossuary) of the high priest Caiaphas and, perhaps, that of James the Just, the brother, step-brother or close relative of Jesus.
Discovery No. 2: Jesus’ followers didn’t make up the idea of a messiah who would suffer and die.
For more than a century, many academic Bible scholars have claimed that the Jews in Jesus’ time had no concept whatsoever of a suffering messiah, let alone a messiah who would actually die.
But in 2008, Israeli archaeologists announced the discovery of a first-century stone tablet, written in ancient Hebrew, that mentioned the angel Gabriel and a messianic figure who would suffer, die and perhaps rise again in three days.