6. Crucified Burial
Crucifixion is the type of execution used to end the life of Jesus Christ. Typically, large nails were hammered through the hands and feet of the offender to affix them to a wooden cross. According to the Bible, Jesus had amassed a group of followers and openly declared himself the son of God. This ran afoul the beliefs of the monarchy at the time who sentenced him to death. The crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ is a point of contention among believers and skeptics. One of the biggest arguments against the storied death of Jesus is that crucifixion was only reserved for the foulest repeat criminals, typically those who engaged in violent crimes or showed no signs of being saved. These men would have been denied a proper burial. It is said that after Jesus’s death, he was placed in a tomb from which he was resurrected before returning to Heaven. If history was to be believed, he would have never even been placed in a tomb because crucified men were not permitted honorable burials.
5. The Pool of Siloam
In the Book of John, many miracles performed by Jesus are described. In chapter nine, Jesus meets a blind man, who he heals by spitting into the dirt and using the mud to cover his eyes. He then tells the man to go to the Pool of Siloam and rinse the mud off then go home. The man does so and his vision is restored fully. For centuries, non-believers and believers alike were puzzled by there being no known location where the Pool of Siloam could have once been.
4. James, Brother of Jesus
For five years, a forgery trial rocked the archaeological community. In 2002, archaeologists uncovered a burial box, also known as an ossuary, that bore the inscription, “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus”. An uproar raced across the Christian community. Had they discovered the bones of Jesus Christ’s martyred brother? The answer is a bit unsatisfying: they do not know. The authenticity of the inscription has been called into question several times, culminating in a forgery trial in which the dealer who had possession of the box was found not guilty of forgery.
3. A Merciful King
The books of Ezra and 2 Corinthians speak of Cyrus the Great of Persia conquering Babylon in a massive military movement then allowing the exiled Jews to regain entry into Israel in a sudden act of kindness that was completely out of character for a ruler at the time. Many claim that the Old Testament story was nothing more than a work of fiction, as no proof of Cyrus’s odd change of heart existed in any story or piece of literature aside from the Bible itself.
2. The First Apocalypse of James
Jesus’s siblings are not mentioned very often in the Bible. He had a handful of brothers and several sisters; the one we know the most about is James. Historians debate whether James and the other siblings were truly Jesus’s direct relatives or if they were cousins; either way, when a text surrounding the life of James turned up in a pile of donkey sale receipts and scrap papers, many heads were turned. The paper was dubbed as heretical by the Church due to it describing James’s struggles in casting off the temptations of the secular world. Demon like creatures called Archons plagued him, causing him to doubt the teachings of Christ and have to fight to not give in to the worldly desires around him.