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Editorial Reviews

With The Jesus Papers, religious historian and author, Michael Baigent, sets out to upend everything we know about Jesus Christ. Armed with over 20 years of dedicated study and unparalleled access to archives of information and artifacts, Baigent details a history of Jesus’ life that most have never heard of. Baigent takes on the task of performing the book himself, and his passion for the subject makes for an engaging listen. Through the course of this audiobook, listeners will learn not just the real story of Jesus’ life, but also why certain false accounts have managed to survive.

Publisher's Summary

What if everything you think you know about Jesus is wrong? In The Jesus Papers, Michael Baigent reveals the truth about Jesus's life and crucifixion. Despite, or rather because of, all the celebration and veneration that have surrounded the figure of Jesus for centuries, Baigent asserts that Jesus and the circumstances leading to his death have been heavily mythologized.

As a religious historian and a leading expert in the field of arcane knowledge, Baigent has unequaled access to hidden archives, secret societies, Masonic records, and the private collections of antiquities traders and their moneyed clients. Using that access to full advantage, Baigent explores the religious and political climate in which Jesus was born and raised, examining not only the conflicts between the Romans and the Jews, but the strife within the different factions of the Jewish Zealot movement. He chronicles the migrations of Jesus' family, his subsequent exposure to other cultures, and the events, teachings, and influences that were most likely to have shaped his early years. Baigent also uncovers the inconsistencies and biases in the accounts of the major historians of Jesus' time, including Josephus, Pliny, and Tacitus. The enduring influence of these accounts in forming our most common conceptions of Jesus reveals that spin is not a new phenomenon.

Taking us back to sites that over the last 20 years he has meticulously explored, studied, and in some instances excavated for the first time, Baigent provides a detailed account of his groundbreaking discoveries. The evidence he has uncovered has lead him to make shocking new assertions that threaten the conventional account of Jesus' life and death and shake the very foundation of Western thought, based as it is upon the assumption of Jesus's divinity. Ultimately, his investigation raises the hope that we may gain a new understanding of Jesus.

©2006 Michael Baigent; (P)2006 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

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  • Overall

More for History, Less for facts

I have been a Baigent fan since Holy Blood, Holy Grail. However this book has little to offer in new revelations. It does a great job of researching the history of Christianity but as usual he makes a pretty wild claim. Baigent says that he has seen a document, written by Jesus to the the Sanhedrin, that says he is not divine. The only problem is that Baigent couldn't read the document he was holding. Can anyone say Mormons? Once again, tantalizing but improbable. Still a great read for more history on Christianity.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Loved it!

What did you love best about The Jesus Papers?

I love the way Michael gives the details on his research!

Who was your favorite character and why?

It was non fiction so that doesn't apply

Have you listened to any of Michael Baigent???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I haven't but this was wonderful.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

What the church doesn't want you to know!

Any additional comments?

If you're interested in the history of the church and religion you will love this book!<br/>

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Intriguing hypothesis

Baigent speculates on some wild theories about the life of Jesus, including the notion that he did not die on the cross but was spirited away to Egypt to quietly teach and grow old. As farfetched as this might seem, when Baigent pieces together relevant historical data the idea seems no less grounded in fact than the widely held beliefs of the faithful. I suspect time will prove at least a few of his theories to some degree, though probably not exactly as the picture he paints. Though most of Baigent's conclusions require quite a big leap of (ironically) faith, the ideas are fascinating and his telling of it captivating -- enough to inspire multiple listenings.

8 of 13 people found this review helpful

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I was hopping for a more factual exposition

There are no facts. simply the possible findings not corroborated of Jesus manuscripts. it seems a desperate attempt at disproving Jesus deity based on assumptions from the author. I am disappointed

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Excellent book!

Excellent work! I hope there will be further evidence forthcoming. I hope the Catholic church does you no harm.

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fans of holy blood holy grail will love it

great book. sort of a sequel to Holy Blood, Holy Grail. great history of esoteric christianity.

  • Overall
  • Alan
  • SydneyAustralia
  • 11-20-06

Cruci-Fiction?

Outstanding presentation of the facts and events that led up to the alleged crucifixion.
To fully comprehend one needs to examine the definition of the word "crucify" or to be "crucified" meaning to die on the cross and not be placed on it.
The information in this book is presented well and the evidence is overwhelming.
I was initially intrigued by this subject matter after reading a paper written by Ahmed Deedat on the subject of Jesus' alleged crucifixion where he uses text from the Bible to substantiate the evidence. A must read crucifixion or cruci-fiction?

5 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert
  • Fort Smith, AR, USA
  • 07-09-06

Outstanding

I have listened to this book three times.I love it.It has so much information I never before.The author tell's you when he is not sure of certain information.This is a great book for that reason.

4 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A Rehash of Holy Blood, Holy Grail

Holy Blood, Holy Grail seemed to be a more thorough work than this book. It repeats most of the ideas already presented in HB, HG.

2 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

drstringqis

This is another fascinating piece in the big puzzle that the Da Vinci Code just scratched. The author considers the historical setting and how it does and doesn't jibe with what we know of the bible. Lots of great history and a really interesting insight in the mystical nature of Christianity.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • Martin
  • 12-31-07

Not much evidence or facts

Of course, the difficulty of this type of book is in finding the evidence to support the theory. But I would have expected a bit more evidence to back up the claims in this book:

The first is that Jesus did survive the crucifixion, either by being removed from the cross early; or sending someone else to the cross in his place. The problem here is that the author offers no evidence at all for this theory. He can't even make up his mind as to how Jesus survived. The only evidence is third-hand hearsay from a retired priest.

The second is that Jesus sent two letters to the Jewish authorities defending his claim to be the 'Son of God'. He claims that he is not actually divine. But there is little or no tangible evidence for this either. There is just a document, seen once by the author, which he could not translate or read.

In case you think I read this book as an advocate of the Church, I should point out that this is not the case. I don't believe that the biblical Jesus represents the real man or times he lived in. However, this book is yet another conspiracy theory, except it has even less to back it up than others.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • keralax
  • 04-07-13

Blown away again

I read The Holy Blood The Holy Grail in the 80's and was blown away by the detail and intrigue ,a very engrossing read. And from its research it exposed foundations for authors like Dan Brown (De Vinci Code)

When i saw the Jesus papers by Baigent i had to have it , again another great endeavor by the author.

I have learnt a lot of interesting facts and plausible theories about the times before, during, and after the man known as Jesus. And of course To listen to Baigen'ts narration gave it an added bonus

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sam
  • 11-16-07

A great take on the life of Jesus

I have read this as well as listened to it. The audio version allowed me to pick up a whole lot more from the book despite being shorter.

Baigent's thesis, while not revonlutionary, is certainly plausible and well presented. I am inclined to believe with much of what he postulates about Jesus and his life and how the truth was covered up by the early Catholic church.

Without spoiling too much, Jesus was not a god but more of a prophet and rightful heir to the Jewish throne, who faked his crucifiction and lived on until after 45 AD. Just as interesting is Baigent's take on Jesus' life before the Gospels. Where did he grow up? In Judea or in Egypt as Baigent believes. And what was he taught and therefore preach...to find out listen to this...

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Paul
  • 08-08-06

Bring it on Dan Brown

In case you havn't read the Da Vinci Code or if you have and think it good or bad, read this and hear the real investigation. A subject that would rock the religious powers that be to the core should they see fit to take the blinkers off.
This didn't make me question my faith, in fact it strengthened it because Jesus became more real. What it did do though was make me aware of just how underhand the church has been. Fasinating, eye opening and sure to cause a stir.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful