Kathleen O’Neal Geer and W. Michael Geer
Forge, Jun 2008, $24.95
The Ecumenical Council of Nicea met in 325 AD to decide what texts go into the New Testament codifying the Scriptures of Christianity. The Council was convened under the auspices of the Emperor Constantine who demanded a definitive version of Jesus’ life that will in turn solidify his rule. He orders people who know the truth including members of the church killed and heretics defined as such by him burned.
At the Monastery of St. Stephen the Martyr in Egypt, Romans order the monks to burn the texts. They poison the food killing almost a hundred monks, but three survive because they were overlooked having been in an obscure section of the church. Barnabas the scholar grabs as many books as he and the others can carry. He escapes with the help of former Roman aide to Constantine Cyrus and the newest monk Zarathan and the beautiful Kalay. The Romans pursue the trio wanting to capture Cyrus and kill the others. Barnabas takes them to the secret cave of his mentor who provides the fleeing trio with a map that leads to the greatest treasure of all.
This captivating biographical fictional account about the life of Jesus does not fit the official Church doctrine as the Geers draw a different conclusion than the Nicea Council did. The authors make a case for a radically dissimilar interpretation of the events and the personality of Jesus; insisting that three plus centuries later the victors rewrote the history. Those who objected to the True Church tenet were declared heretics and subject to torture to gain confessions and ultimately burned at the stake (still relevant today). THE BETRAYAL is a terrific thought provoking historiographic action thriller that delves into the life of Jesus by focusing on those who wrote the doctrine in the fourth century.