- a statue of Jesus
- a previously unknown book by Philo mentioning Jesus
- an independent eyewitness report of Jesus' miracles by a Roman soldier
- the first draft manuscript of Mark's gospel signed by St Peter
- a previously unknown letter by St Paul detailing Jesus' early life in Galilee
- a letter written and signed by Jesus in koine Greek
- a letter written and signed by Jesus in Aramaic
- a warrant for Jesus' arrest signed by the high priest
- Pontius Pilate's personal notes from his trial of Jesus, calling the accused 'Jesus'
After initial excitement in the media, things take a new turn when Cedric the Sceptic turns to the internet to share his findings. Over to you, Cedric!
"We know this is fake because the Jews' were opposed to graven images. A fraud. Proof of the desperate lengths some Christians will go to in order to fake evidence, not proof of Jesus." [We're giving Cedric a tick for that one.]
A previously unknown book by Philo mentioning Jesus
"Hearsay, and therefore inadmissible. Philo was in Egypt, so he only heard this second or third hand. And he probably heard it from Christians, so it is not independent evidence anyway. Proves nothing. If St Paul is second-hand, this is even more worthless. Not evidence at all."
An independent eyewitness report of Jesus' miracles by a Roman soldier
"Miracles don't happen. Therefore the witness is delusional. No court would accept his evidence. Neither should we."
The first draft manuscript of Mark's gospel signed by St Peter
"The Bible doesn't count. It's not independent evidence. If that's the best you can do, your evidence is very very poor."
A previously unknown letter by St Paul detailing Jesus' early life in Galilee
"Hearsay. Therefore inadmissible."
A letter written and signed by Jesus in koine Greek
"Jesus would have spoken Aramaic, not Greek. Obviously fake."
A letter written and signed by Jesus in Aramaic
"Jesus is never shown with the ability to write even a sentence in the gospels. So this is fake. You've got nothing."
A warrant for Jesus' arrest signed by the high priest
"This is clearly a stage prop from the performance of a celestial Jesus mystery play. This isn't proof that he existed. It's proof that he didn't! Obviously!"
Pontius Pilate's personal notes from his trial of Jesus, calling the accused 'Jesus'
"Clearly a reference to the Jesus Barrabas of Matthew 27, not Jesus Christ. Your evidence is baseless."
- a Pharisee's eyewitness report following Jesus' movements around Galilee
- Jesus' signed confession of being the Son of God
- a disciple's original wax tablets recording Jesus' teachings as he heard them from Jesus' lips
- a previously unseen book by Seneca with a brief mention of him meeting Jesus
"This is probably a copy of a copy of a copy, not the original report. What worries me is that there has been more than enough time for the text to be tampered with. That's what Christians always did. This isn't something anyone could rely on because we don't know what the original said."
Jesus' signed confession of being the Son of God
"This is useless as evidence since we have no other signature of Jesus to compare it with. So we can't verify the authenticity of the signature. And the Greek and Aramaic letters don't count. I've said why."
A disciple's original wax tablets recording Jesus' teachings as he heard them from Jesus' lips
In an unexpected turn of events, a second box is found. When opened, this is what it is found to contain:
Cedric the Sceptic quickly sets to work on this second box. His astonishing conclusions are here shared with the world:
Jesus' thumbprints on file following his arrest
"Another prop from the stage play. See above. You still don't have proof that Jesus Christ existed."
Jesus' birth certificate
"God hasn't been put down on the certificate as the Father, so this obviously is the wrong Jesus. And they didn't do birth certificates back then. So this is a fraud. Christians will stoop to anything."
A photograph of Jesus with his friends Peter, James and John
"Since the camera is from the future, then the photo could be from the future too. A fake to fool the gullible. Proof of time-travel, though."
Mary Magdalene's make-up
"Sexist. If Jesus was perfect, he wasn't sexist. So what is this doing in the Jesus box? So Jesus never existed."
"Jesus definitely would have used a Mac. This is Windows. So it didn't belong to Jesus. Therefore Jesus never existed."
Flushed with success, triumphant sceptics go on to prove that Barabbas was driven past a grassy knoll. The boxes and their contents sell on ebay for £0.73 pence because the owner forgot to put a reserve price on them, and disappear, never to be found again. This sparks a frenzy of conspiracy theories about a Vatican cover-up of something or other. This proves Jesus never existed.
Don't be like Cedric. He doesn't get out much.