The Jesus Papers by Michael Baigent

jesusReviewed by Jud Hanson

If you have a fragile religious faith or were “ruined” by The DaVinci Code, stop reading now.

The Jesus Papers by Michael Baigent (Holy Blood, Holy Grail co-author) is a no-holds barred look at the man millions of Christians call Jesus. Is he the person most of us has learned about in Sunday School and Church all our lives or were we just hearing propaganda for all those years? This is the primary question that Baigent attempts to answer in this book. He takes an in-depth look at the writings of historians such as Josephus and of the Gospels and points out numerous inconsistencies between what we know of customs and politics of Jesus’ time and what the Bible say-there are more differences then you might think. Baigent also discusses the history of the Catholic Church and how over time, women were relegated to second-class citizens in the Church. Perhaps the most controversial question in the book is if Jesus actually survived being crucified. While there is no conclusive evidence he did, there are clues that point in that direction, such as the painting of the 14th Station at Rennes le Chateau in Southern France that shows Jesus’ body being moved after the beginning of Passover (indicated by the nighttime landscape and full moon in the background on page 50). Baigent uncovers that there were substances commonly available at the time which served as sedatives and could be used to mimic death in an individual.

The bottom line is that this book has more questions than answers and should make even the most faithful people take note.

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