Alternative Scriptures and Necessary Amnesia

It is difficult to think of a modern “radical” theory about Christian origins that was not pretty standard and mainstream in the decades before the First World War. [Read more…]

The Many Faces of Christ

My new book is just published! This is The Many Faces of Christ: The Thousand Year Story of the Survival and Influence of the Lost Gospels (New York: Basic Books, 2015). I have talked about this topic quite a bit on this blog, but this book addresses the subject in much greater detail. We often [Read More…]

King Jesus

A classic book can change your life. Oddly, on occasion, a much lesser and truly flawed work can have a similar effect. Over forty years ago, I read Robert Graves’s daring 1946 novel King Jesus, which a later publisher’s blurb characterized as “one of the most controversial historical novels of all time.” Not once was [Read More…]


When scholars look at the Bible, or any other ancient religious work, they are well used to the idea of traditions and legends building up over time, as stories are retold. The assumption is that, the further we stand from a historical event, the more embellished it becomes, and that is generally a reasonable statement.  [Read More…]


I have been working recently on the survival of ancient alternative gospels and other scriptures through the Middle Ages and Early Modern period. Ireland especially was a staggeringly rich treasury for “lost” early Christian texts. This would be so important because of the critical role that Irish monks played in the conversion of England and [Read More…]