Artefacts discovered in a remote cave in Jordan could hold a contemporary account of the last years of Jesus.
The find of scrolls and 70 lead codices - tiny credit-card-sized volumes containing ancient Hebrew script talking of the Messiah and the Resurrection - has excited biblical scholars.
Much of the writing is in code, but experts have deciphered images, symbols and a few words and the texts could be 2,000 years old.
Many of the codices are sealed which suggests that they could be secret writings referred to in the apocryphal Book of Ezra - an appendage to some versions of the Bible.
Texts have been written on little sheets of lead bound together with wire.
The treasure trove was found five years ago by an Israeli Bedouin and may have been around since the 1st century, around the time of Jesus's crucifixion and Resurrection.
A number of experts have examined the writings, including Margaret Barker, a former president of the Society for Old testament Study with a renowned knowledge of early Christian studies.
She told the Sunday Times how the intrigue surrounding the artefacts was similar to the black market secrecy with the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls.