Related Subjects: Author Index
Book reviews for "D'Ancona,_Matthew" sorted by average review score:

The Jesus Papyrus
Published in Paperback by Bantam Books (15 February, 2000)
Authors: Carsten Peter Thiede and Matthew D'Ancona
Amazon base price: $13.30
List price: $19.00 (that's 30% off!)
Used price: $8.00
Buy one from zShops for: $8.89
Average review score:

Very Informative!
I finished this book in two days and found it very intriguing as to a topic new to me. Prior to my reading, I thought that the Egyptian found early 2nd century fragment of John's gospel was the earliest recovered piece of New Testament literature. However, this book proves that 3 fragments, also Egyptian found, are pre-Jerusalem destruction (AD 70) although once dated as 3rd-4th century. This book will be beneficial and faith augmenting to Christians because it shows that Matthew's gospel was written in the 60s of the first century, if not earlier, contrary to the vein of critical scholars who late date the New Testament and claim the real Jesus is clouded by post-destruction inventions. With this earlier, more historically reliable dating of the Matthean fragments, we can put Mark's gospel at an even earlier date! Speaking of the Markan account, this book also goes into some depth in establishing that a fragment found in Cave 7 at Qumran (home to the Dead Sea Scrolls) is indeed a portion of Mark, making its latest date AD 68. The authors do very well in justifying their conclusions, which they do also by juxtaposition of the fragments and other works of antiquity in what seems to be a valid methodology. I feel the Magdalen papyrus (the 3 Matthean fragments as to which the title refers) could very possibly to some extent revolutionize New Testament historical thinking by serving as a new paradigm. Anyone interested in Papyrology or New Testament historicity should read The Jesus Papyrus!

The Quest For the True Cross
Published in Paperback by Palgrave Macmillan (01 June, 2003)
Authors: Carsten Thiede and Matthew d'Ancona
Amazon base price: $12.57
List price: $17.95 (that's 30% off!)
Used price: $8.75
Buy one from zShops for: $8.95
Average review score:

Provoking questions about a rumored truth taken for granted!
Carsten Peter Thiede was already a purportedly controversial and world-class scholar with his work on the roguishly new dating of Mark's gospel when he approached this unprecedented and ground-breaking investigation of the Titulus of Santa Croce, in Rome. The Santa Croce Church, having stood in the same plaque of land for 1700 years prior, regularly housed said aforementioned titulus for those same 1700 years. A titulus, which, for the uninitiated into this area of interest, is the headboard above criminals' heads on a cross, who were put to death by crucifixion, a worrisomely merciless practice of the Roman Empire. The titulus from Santa Croce is the one allegedly belonging to Christ's cross, a disputable and unproven insinuation, one that Thiede nevertheless strives to make a case for in his newest book.

In said book, Thiede submits some tantalizing and, more valuably, convincing evidence for this titulus to specifically be that of Christ's. Number one is the order of languages in which the mocking Roman inscription----which always was used to convey the charge against the criminal being executed----"Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews" is transcribed onto the titulus. Actually, since only a fragment of the headboard remains, this line should be modified to only state "Jesus of Nazareth". In the Bible, this order is written first in Hebrew, Greek, then Latin. This order on the Titulus of Santa Croce is one that violates the order in which the Bible documents the languages as appearing on the headboard. This permeates with credibility, because, had this order on the titulus been fabricated, no one would have crawled to producing such a glaringly bad imitation. Consequently, this can only mean one thing, that, were the Santa Croce Titulus really a fabrication, the professional forger would have been duped into copying the contraband order written in the Bible, because it was more accessible. Secondly, is the suspiciously eye-rasing direction in which the Hebrew inscription "Jesus of Nazareth" is written, which is from right to left. Once again, discounting fakes because of its horrid obviousness, Thiede believes this was inscribed by a Jewish scholar, as it was the traditional Hebrew writing style of the day, around the date of Christ's crucifixion. Thirdly, is the introduction of a specific style of abreviation on the Titulus of Santa Croce, one that died out from common use at the time after Christ's crucifixion, once more linking the headboard to the official one.

Furthermore, to prove that the titulus belonged to Christ, Thiede has to establish a definite connection between the crucifixion and that part of the cross actually coming to the Roman Empire in the 4th century, because said titulus is from Santa Croce, the church in Rome. According to legend, the titulus was recovered to Rome by Helena, Emperor Constantine's 80-year old mom. Constantine seized control of the whole Empire when he defeated his arch-nemesis, Emperor Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge. The Empire had, up to that point, been ostracized into 4 regions, each governed by 4 different Roman rulers. Constantine, allegedly, had a vision of the Cross in the clouds, before crossing the Milvian Bridge in the battle against Maxentius, which implored him to paint a Chi-rho symbol---the 1st version of Christianity's symbol---on all his men's shields. Constantine embezzled that Christianity had granted him his victory-----he then started to oppress Christianity as the official religion of the Empire. As another part of his ambivalent "conversion" of himself and the entire Empire to Christianity, he procured his mom to bring the relic to 3 parts of the Empire as a rallying point for early Christians to have something palpable to believe in.

What Thiede does is to try to produce legitimate connections to the titulus which was carried back by Helena and the actual titulus of Christ by citing logical coincidences of events that could only happen during the specific range of the time of Christ. For instance, nowadays, there exists the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, sitting over the place where Christ was crucified, and believed to have been the site of the titulus. In the catacombs beneath this church lie inscriptional records of early pilgrims' journeys to this site-one such from Crusaders, and another from seafarers who make a definite reference to a biblical psalm in giving thanks for their opportunity to worship at the site, believing it to be the licit place containing Christ's relics, and who wouldn't have risked catastrophic chances traveling across the sea to get there, were they not actually certain of its status. This verifies the already historical knowledge of the fact that, in the 1st few centuries of Christianity, there was NEVER any dispute over the actual holy sites. Additionally, there is evidence of Jews building tombs over this same area, even for the ones stigmatized as "criminals", as proven by the finding of a burial box containing a nail through the heel bone of a foot, and Jesus would have been libeled as a "criminal" by the Jews. Another tying of the Santa Croce Titulus to Christ's time is the fact that in the 1400s, it was discovered in Helena's "palace"-directly behind Santa Croce-hidden behind a fresco because Helena is supposed to have taken it, the 3rd fragment of the entire headboard, back with her after discovering the titulus at the previous site of, 1st, the temple to the Roman god Venus which was then promptly aborted for Constantine's building of a monumental complex to Christianity, all on the same site. Upon the uncovering of the titulus, again, in the 1400s, El Greco used it in a painting of his, further documenting its validity.

These may be circumstantial evidence, but they stimulate the next best thing towards solid proof of this titulus being that of Christ's: raising the question of a plausible feasibility that the Santa Croce Titulus could be that of Christ's.

Rocky Mountain National Park Dayhiker's Guide: A Scenic Guide to 33 Favorite Hikes Including Longs Peak
Published in Paperback by Cordillera Pr (2003)
Author: Jerome Malitz
Amazon base price: $11.17
List price: $15.95 (that's 30% off!)
Used price: $1.99
Collectible price: $8.42
Buy one from zShops for: $2.92
Average review score:

Turns liberal "scholarship" on its head!! Amazing find
This is one of the most interesting books I've ever read. Reads like a detective story. Those interested in the Bible, ancient mysteries, and archaeology will ove this book. I did a review for my Website which is THE CRITICAL REVIEW under Concentric at /~Mando
Ties in indirectly to the Dead Sea Scrolls. Great reading!!

Confirmation of the Gospels literal historicity
I am amazed that this book has not received more attention. The cynicism and skepticism of the Booklist reviewer seen above is evident.

This book provides more evidence that the gospels were written as eyewitness accounts. This is no surprise to evangelical scholars, but it is more vindication nonetheless.

The most amazing fact to me continues to be the lack of attention to this amazing find by the theological, cultural and media establishments. It should rightly turn Biblical scholarship on its head, but this age's disdain for truth in the face of comfortable old paradigns (e.g. holding to the theory of evolution despite mounting evidence that it is impossible in a thousand different ways) is exasperating!!

Makes Papyrus Interesting!
Thiede makes a potentially dry subject interesting. His discussion of ancient writing scripts is reserved but forceful. In short a must read for those interested in the New Testament.

My favorite chapter was the fourth. Its summary of Huleatt, the Victorian missionary and scholar, gives us a small window of life in the last half of the 19th century.

This book is a good counterpoint for those who claim that the Gospels were written long after Christ died.

Eye Witness to Jesus
Published in Hardcover by Doubleday (1996)
Author: Matthew D'Ancona
Amazon base price: $23.95
Average review score:
No reviews found.

The Jesus Papyrus: The Most Sensational Evidence on the Origins
Published in Paperback by Phoenix House (1997)
Authors: Carsten Pete Thiede and Matthew D'ancona
Amazon base price: $
Average review score:
No reviews found.

Related Subjects: Author Index

Reviews are from readers at To add a review, follow the Amazon buy link above.