- The Jesus Papers
"The Jesus Papers: Exposing the Greatest Cover-Up in History" is a book released in 2006 by author
Michael Baigent. He explores the detailed history of Jesus' life and crucifixion; using papers that, according to Baigent, were covered up. The work documents the political context of Jesus' birth, and then goes on to examine the history of the migration of the family of Jesus, the chronicles of his teachings, and his death.
Hershel Shanks, reviewing "The Jesus Papers" for "
Biblical Archaeology Review", commented on the "foolishness of its central thesis", noting how Baigent had seen papyri written in Aramaic, a language that he did not understand, yet was able to say that what he saw dated from "about A.D. 34" - Shanks noted that archaeological finds cannot be dated so precisely, adding that the two previous famous archaeologists who had allegedly seen this papyri were now conveniently dead. [ [http://www.bib-arch.org/bswb_bar/bswbba3205review.html Jesus’ Confession: I Am Not the Physical Son of God, reviewed by Hershel Shanks] ] Kevin McClure, reviewing the book for " Fortean Times" commented how the author was unable to obtain photographs of the said papyri, adding that "Baigent records no further effort to investigate these supposedly amazing documents, and appears not to have approached any academic body or community for help". ["Fortean Times No 210 (June, 2006).]
There are criticisms that the release of the book was timed with the release of the "The Da Vinci Code" film version in an attempt to cash in on the marketing hype. Baigent's response is on p. 355 of the book, where he points out that the publication schedule had been set by Harper Collins long before. Around the same time of the book's release, Baigent was also involved in a plagiarism lawsuit against author
Dan Brown, which he acknowledges in the postscript. The lawsuit claims that Brown improperly used information from " The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail" (which Baigent co-wrote) for Brown's novel "The Da Vinci Code". This too has drawn speculation that the lawsuit and trial were merely a publicity vehicle for Baigent's new book, although the 3 million pound costs that remain under appeal will likely negate any gain proceeds from the sale of the book. On 7 April, 2006, High Court judge Peter Smith rejected the copyright infringement claim by Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, and Dan Brownwon the court case.
Baigent also appeared on the Today Show in an interview with
Lester Holt, in which he claimed that he had seen the papers referred to in the title. Baigent says the papers themselves prove that Jesus existed after his crucifixion, and therefore he could not have been put to death. Most interesting is Baigent's assertion of Jesus the mystical man rather than Jesus the mythical messiah, and the way he links this assertion to the teachings attributed to Jesus by books that were voted out of the Christian Bible centuries ago.
Michael Baigent also appeared in another similar televised interview on "
The O'Reilly Factor", 26 April 2006. [ [http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,193189,00.html Cover-Up involved in the Story of Jesus?] ]
* ISBN 0-06-082713-0, March 28, 2006, Harper Collins Publications
The Jesus Scroll" by Donovan Joyce
* CNN, [http://edition.cnn.com/2006/SHOWBIZ/books/03/28/life.davinci.reut/ "'Da Vinci' effect: Books come to Jesus"] , March 28, 2006
* "USA Today", [http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/news/2006-03-26-da-vinci-main_x.htm "'Da Vinci' paperback vs. 'The Jesus Papers'"] , March 26, 2006
* CTV.ca, [http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20060328/da_vinci_books_060328/20060328?hub=Entertainment "'Da Vinci Code' rival releases new book"] , March 28, 2006
*"The Jesus Mysteries" by Timothy Freke & Peter Gandy
*"The Laughing Jesus" by Timothy Freke & Peter Gandy
* [http://www.salon.com/books/review/2006/04/07/baigent/index.html Jesus: The coverup, Laura Miller's review of The Jesus Papers]
* [http://www.harpercollins.com/books/9780060827137/The_Jesus_Papers/index.aspx?WT.mc_id=WikiP9780060827137 Sample and audio excerpt] (Official publisher web page)
* [http://www.astraeamagazine.com/baigent_frm.php Interview: Michael Baigent discusses "The Jesus Papers" on Astraea Magazine and Web Radio]
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