My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Of all the controversy over the contents of the New Testament, probably no question is more contentious than whether or not Jesus actually died on the cross. In Jesus After the Crucifixion, author Graham Simmans took the position that he did not, supporting his argument with documentation that is subject, admittedly, to interpretation. His premise, in which he is far from alone, is that Jesus survived and left Palestine for the south of France, along with wife Mary Magdalene and their child(ren). Simmans believed that this family settled ultimately at Rennes-le-Chateau, and that this is the secret that was discovered by the now infamous priest Sauniere.
Simmans goes on to argue that Jesus was brought up in Egypt and trained by gnostic Essene scholars. He did not ever claim to be divine, and would be astonished to learn that he is now thought to be. Christianity as we know it, he holds, was founded on the ideas of St. Paul. Simmans also wrote of his conclusions from his study of Essene healers, Cathars and Templars. What he did not insist is that anyone else adopt his way of thinking on all of these topics. All food for thought. But Simmans never expected that all of his readers would accept his version of things, and there is the ring of truth about some of his hypotheses.