On a dig in the Holy Land, archaeologist Elizabeth Rosen discovers a sealed urn which is ultimately found to contain the personal writings of Jesus of Nazareth. While the translated scrolls confirm much of the New Testament, they also contain surprising evidence that suggests that Jesus was more human than anyone expected. Revival tells Rosen's story of revelation in the wake of her discovery.
Most of the world's Christians rejoice at Rosen's discovery. American politicians and evangelical leaders capitalize on its existence to repeal the First Amendment and establish Christianity as the national religion. When Rosen objects, the government declares her to be a heretic. Rosen flees and gathers a following of people interested in returning to Jesus's message.