Top 10 Biblical Archaeology Discoveries Since 1945. Part Two

6. Ossuaries of James, Brother of Jesus, and Caiaphas the High Priest

An ossuary (a limestone container for the bones of the dead) with an inscription reading Joseph son of Caiaphas was found in 1990 in a cave located in the south of Jerusalem, which was allegedly sealed in AD 70.

The ossuary is said to have belonged to the high priest who lived in the times of Christ (he is mentioned in Matthew 26; Luke 3:2; John 11:49; John 18; Acts 4:6 and in the works of Josephus). The ossuary contained the bones of six people: a man aged 60 (possibly the high priest himself), two infants, a toddler, a teenager, and an adult woman. Another ossuary, with an inscription James son of Joseph brother of Jesus, has caused great controversy. It caught public attention when Oded Golan, an Israeli antiquities collector, presented it at a conference in 2002. It might ostensibly contain the bones of Apostle James, the brother of our Lord Jesus Christ.

7. Pilate Stone

This artifact was found in Caesarea Maritima in 1962 by a team of archaeologists from Milan. Originally, the inscription Tiberieum …Pontius Pilate …prefect of Judea was carved on a stone tile of a public building named Tiberieum, which was built by Pontius Pilate in honor of Emperor Tiberius.

Later, the tablet was re-used in the reconstruction of the local theater in the 4th century. Luckily, it was turned upside down, which helped to preserve the text. It is our first archaeological testimony of Pilate’s historicity.

8. The House of Peter in Capernaum

Franciscan excavators found a 1st-century house 33 yds from the Capernaum Synagogue in 1968. The items they discovered pointed at the possible use of this private house for Christian meetings in the middle of the 1st century.

They found inscriptions where Jesus was referred to as the Lord and Christ, and where the name Peter was mentioned.

The house was a site of Christian meetings for more than three centuries. A Byzantine church was built over that site in the 5th century. All in all, the findings lead us to believe that it was Holy Apostle Peter’s house.

9. The Pool of Siloam

Partially excavated in 2004 by Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron.

Their discoveries allowed scientists to pinpoint the exact location of the place where Jesus had healed a blind man (John 9:1-11) and explain the details of the biblical text. The pool possibly served as a mikvah (ritual bath).

10. Sea of Galilee Boat

This ancient fishing boat was found on the bottom of the Sea of Galilee in 1985 and excavated in 1986. It is dated mid-1st century BC to mid-1st century.

It matches the Gospel account of Christ and his disciples sailing the Sea of Galilee. A boat like that could be propelled by sail or by oars (four oarsmen and a helmsman) and carry up to fifteen people.

Translated by The Catalog of Good Deeds

Part One

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