One of the often asserted criticisms of the New Testament records for Jesus is the idea that there are no outside confirmations of these narratives, other than the Bible. In recent years, there have been four archeological discoveries that impeach this argument by stunning evidence.
One of these discoveries is the tomb of the high priest Caiaphas who sent Jesus to the cross, as described by the four Gospels. An ossuary discovered in this tomb, near the city of Jerusalem is the confirmed burial place of Caiaphas and his family members. The actual ossuary of Caiaphas with his name written on the limestone box, proves that this is the same Caiaphas from the New Testament.
Then the people who had arrested Jesus led him to the home of Caiaphas, the high priest, where the teachers of religious law and the elders had gathered. ~Matthew 26:57 (NLT)
Caiaphas was the one who had told the other Jewish leaders, “It’s better that one man should die for the people.” ~John 18:14 (NLT)
Second of these discoveries are two crucifixion nails that are validated from the second temple period, and authenticated as the likely nails of Jesus’ crucifixion. The reason that there is such great certainty that these are the actual nails of Jesus’ crucifixion is the fact that they were discovered in the tomb of Caiaphas. One nail was in the ossuary of Caiaphas, the other was outside and next to the ossuary.
Scientific examination of these nails has concluded that they are two of the only three crucifixion nails known to have survived history. All three nails are Roman, have the specific type of head used for the crucifixion, and are bent at the ends, the manner in which crucifixion nails were used during the time of Jesus’ crucifixion.
A Third archeological discovery comes from northern Israel where a Roman army was stationed after the death and resurrection of Jesus. A cave has been located that was used by a Roman Centurion and his soldiers for Christian house worship. Inside this cave are wall carvings of the Christian Cross, and a Christian Fish symbol that was used during the first century Christians for identity purposes, and various other Roman emblems.
In the Gospels of Jesus Christ from the New Testament, a Roman Centurion is mentioned who was a believer in Jesus. The book of Acts describes a Roman Centurion as helping to pay for the building of a local synagogue. It is apparent that after Jesus was crucified and rose from the death, a Roman Centurion began to tell the men under his command about the events of Jesus Christ and many became believers. This cave that was used by these Roman soldiers, and has survived as archeological evidence that Jesus was crucified, rose from the death, and was believed upon by a Roman Centurion who believed that Jesus was alive after He was crucified.
So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God!” ~Matthew 27:54 (NKJV)
There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always. ~Acts 10:1-2 (NKJV)
And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear to him, was sick and ready to die. So when he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to Him, pleading with Him to come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they begged Him earnestly, saying that the one for whom He should do this was deserving, “for he loves our nation, and has built us a synagogue.” ~Luke 7:2-5 (NKJV)
Fourth of the discovery of a mosaic north of Israel, depicting Jesus where He is described as both God and Messiah by early Christians. An inscription at this site states that a Roman Centurion paid for this Mosaic, in dedication to “The God, Jesus Christ.” This surviving mosaic is empirical, archeological evidence, that Jesus was believed upon by first century Christians, including a Roman Centurion, as both God and Messiah. This is the earliest archeological confirmation that has ever been discovered that early Christians believed that Jesus was both God and Messiah.
This archeological evidence confirms that the texts of the New Testament which described Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, are true.
There are also 121 secular references to Jesus in various historical records from the Romans and Jews who were not sympathetic to Jesus or His cause. These comments are made by hostile terms, describing Jesus as causing disturbances at Jerusalem, His crucifixion during Passover as a major upset to the peace, and that His followers claimed that He had risen from the dead.
When we examine the totality of all the evidence that exists for Jesus; His life, death, and resurrection, we have a multitude of empirical evidences that have been thoroughly examined by scientific and archeological procedures. These evidences have been confirmed as reliable artifacts that prove Jesus, His death and resurrection—during the same period of history in which the New Testament places Him there.
The 1,500 year written Old Testament record also confirms that the Jews had written in over 400 prophecies that a Messiah would arrive during the time of the Roman Empire and perform miracles to prove His identity as the Messiah, and as God.
Jesus’ story did not begin 2,000 years ago with the narratives of the New Testament. The record of Jesus’ miracles, death, and resurrection, began 3,500 years ago by the Messianic Prophecies that Jesus fulfilled in the pages of the New Testament.
See: “Prophecies Of The Messiah”
The provable historical record of Jesus Christ is the best documented, most fully examined and validated record of any person in the history of the world. We know more about Jesus and the events which took place during His life, death, and resurrection, than any other person in the history of the world.
The following video presentations document the archeological discoveries of these four proofs for Jesus’ existence in Israel during the time that the New Testament described Him.
These two videos document the archeological evidence for Jesus and validate that there are extra-biblical evidences which place the Jewish high priest Caiaphas and the Roman Centurion at these archeological sites, in confirmation of the narratives of the four Gospels contained in the New Testament.
First Century House Worship By A Roman Centurion And Mosaic Describing Jesus As God And Messiah
The Tomb Of Caiaphas And The Two Nails Used During Jesus’ Crucifixion
Categories: Agnostics and Skeptics, Archeological Confirmation, Atheists, Empirical Evidence for the Resurrection, Historical Validity of the New Testament, Jesus confirmed by secular sources, Messianic Prophecies, Prophecies Fulfilled by Jesus, Reliability of the New Testament, Robert Clifton Robinson, The Historical Jesus