Stuff in the ‘Barrie Wilson’ Category

4 August, 2020

Searching for the Messiah, Barrie Wilson

An award-winning historian of religion examines the role a “messiah” plays in Western culture, from its pre-Christian roots to modern interpretations of a savior.

” [Wilson] works through a careful, close reading of Hebrew scripture to explore how the idea of a messiah – an anointed leader with fairly specific characteristics – came about through the anointing of Hebrew kings and priests. In one of the meatiest sections, he examines how messiahship became a global rather than a local concept before ending with a discussion of modern messiah figures: superheroes. Historians and lay readers alike will appreciate Wilson’s ingenuity and deep scholarship.” — Publishers Weekly

Over the centuries, people have longed for a messiah, whether a religious figure such as Jesus, a political leader, or even in popular culture. The messianic quest emerges most acutely during difficult times when people experience a sense of powerlessness and desperation. But the concept of a messiah—a savior—has its root in the writings of ancient Judaism and early Christianity, evolving from an anointed leader to universal savior. Wilson turns to a little understood pre-Christian text, “The Psalms of Solomon,” which set the stage for messianic expectation just prior to the birth of Jesus.

Known today only to a handful of scholars—in marked contrast to the “Song of Solomon”—these important pslams were composed not by a King, but by a devout 1st century BCE Jew who witnessed terrible atrocities under brutal Roman rule. This crucial work encourages us to ask: what is a messiah? Who is a messiah? How would we recognized one should he or she appear? And what is a messiah supposed to do?

In his own lifetime, Jesus directed his followers to search for “the messiah within” in his parables.  Later, Paul changed the concept of “the messiah,” to “the Christ,” when presenting his message to Gentiles instead of Jews. Jesus was no longer a Jewish messiah but a Hellenistic divine avatar.

In Searching for the Messiah, Wilson reveals how this collective search for messiahs throughout modern human history has been fundamentally flawed. Jesus himself rejected the idea of an external fixer, instead formulating his teachings to focus on the role of the individual, their choices, and their actions.

Searching for the Messiah is revelatory and illuminating work of scholarship that will challenge and inspire.


5 April, 2019


A fascinating deep-dive into Old and New testament historiography, SEARCHING FOR MESSIAH will explore our misguided look for a “messiah” in Judeo-Christian tradition as well as our contemporary fascination with demagogues explaining how it is rooted in misconceptions the author reveals in theological traditions.  Author and historian Barrie Wilson, Ph.D is coauthor of LOST GOSPEL and author of HOW JESUS BECAME CHRISTIAN.   (Pegasus, September 2020, World Rights)

8 April, 2015

Simcha Jacobovici speaks

The controversy over the “discovery” of the bones of Jesus and his family has stirred passions.  Simcha Jacobovici, noted documentarian and co-author of THE LOST GOSPEL, speaks out.  51KT+T4c2YL._SY300_

Here’s a link to the NBC clip:


21 November, 2014

Listen to Your Authors: Meet the Publisher of “Yes,”Pegasus

I recently had a rather extraordinary experience.

Let me give a little context.  So often, my clients get frustrated with their publishers.  They are, of course, grateful to their publishers for having selected their boo4k. But when the time comes to plan marketing campaigns, communication often seems to turn to a one-way street.  The publisher sends the author an exhaustive questionnaire to fill out in which the author can share everything he knows, every contact he has that might prove useful in pitching the book to media and for general promotion.   The publisher then keeps asking:  what can you–the author–do for us?  The author, who generally has some level of platform he or she has worked hard to build–jumps and then jumps higher.  The author is smart enough to know that a pro-active author who brings a lot to the table and is cooperative will be viewed as a “good” author.  An author who balks at these tasks or asks too many questions could be labeled “a problem.”

Then we wait.  Publication comes and goes.  Within a week of pub, if the book is not flying out of the stores or off the virtual shelves, the publisher expresses deep disappointment.  The book is not performing well.  The publicist is very busy and stops responding to calls and emails from the author.  The publicist has sent out many pitches, but no, there is little response.  The publicist moves on.  The author, it is sometimes implied, has not delivered.

Imagine a scenario in which two authors who have been previously published, one with an award-winning book and another, with a string of international bestsellers that are often tied to television series, find themselves with a small, but gutsy publisher.  This publisher is unafraid.  This publisher takes risks. This publisher listens to the authors and their ideas.  This publisher doesn’t have a huge budget, but nonetheless, invests heavily, not just in terms of money but also sweat equity.  This publisher actually hires a publicist in the UK, where it is distributing the book, and facilitates a brilliant launch event that spawns publicity worldwide.

This publisher says yes to just about every good idea the authors have.  This publisher is a joy to work with, agreeable, feisty, clever, resourceful.  The publisher is Pegasus, run by husband-and-wife team Claiborne Hancock and Jessica Case. The book in question is THE LOST GOSPEL, by Simcha Jacobovici and Barrie Wilson, and is it extremely controversial.  Claiborne and Jessica fly to London for the press conference launch at the British Library no less, and voila: we are suddenly everywhere with this book.  GMA, CNN, Conan O’Brien, msnbc, on and on and on.  Some posts on social media go viral. The book makes it at one point to 92 on Amazon’s list (before Amazon finds itself out of stock).

Hats off to the publisher of “yes.”  What a concept! A publisher who listens to the authors, who actually believes that perhaps the authors know something about their audience, their subject matter, and how to pitch their book.  How refreshing!  I’m so pleased that this agency has five books under contract to this wonderful independent publisher, and I am looking forward to each and every publication, in the spirit of true collaboration.

Thank you, Pegasus!

–Joelle Delbourgo

20 November, 2014

THE LOST GOSPEL: Jesus’ Marriage to Mary Magdalene, Bride of God, Simcha Jacobovi and Barrie Wilson

In a startling follow-up to the New York Times bestseller The Jesus Family Tomb, a historical detective story that unravels a newly translated document filled with startling revelations and fascinating detail about the life and times of Jesus.

The Dead Sea Scrolls, the Gnostic writings and now The Lost Gospel, a newly decoded manuscript that uncovers groundbreaking revelations about th51KT+T4c2YL._SY300_e life and times of Jesus of Nazareth – a startling follow-up to the New York Times bestseller The Jesus Family Tomb.

Waiting to be rediscovered in the British Library is an ancient manuscript of the early Church, copied by an anonymous monk. The manuscript is at least 1,450 years old, possibly dating to the first century i.e., Jesus’ lifetime.  And now, The Lost Gospel provides the first ever translation from Syriac into English of this unique document that tells the inside story of Jesus’ social, family and political life.

The Lost Gospel takes the reader on an unparalleled historical adventure through a paradigm shifting manuscript. What the authors eventually discover is as astounding as it is surprising: the confirmation of Jesus’ marriage to Mary Magdalene; the names of their two children; the towering presence of Mary Magdalene; a previously unknown plot on Jesus’ life, 13 years prior to the crucifixion; an assassination attempt against Mary Magdalene and their children; Jesus’ connection to political figures at the highest level of the Roman Empire; and a religious movement that antedates that of Paul—the Church of Mary Magdalene. Part historical detective story, part modern adventure The Lost Gospel reveals secrets that have been hiding in plain sight for millennia.

Praise forThe Jesus Family Tomb and How Jesus Became Christian:

A slick and suspenseful narrative. Jacobovici is a maverick, a self-made Indiana Jones.

” (Newsweek)

“Absolutely fascinating. Many would argue the biggest story or one of the biggest stories of our lifetime.” (NBC’s TODAY)

“This discovery is potentially the last nail in the coffin of biblical literalism.” (John Dominic Crossan, author of God & Empire)

“Wilson’s How Jesus Became Christian represents a much-needed sea change in our understanding of how one moves from the historical Jesus to the religion called Christianity. It is beyond doubt one of the most significant works on early Christianity to appear in decades. It is bound to stir controversy.” (James D. Tabor, author of The Jesus Dynasty)

 Simcha Jacobovici, co-author of The Jesus Family Tomb,is a three time Emmy-winning Israeli-Canadian documentary film-maker and a widely published writer and lecturer. His articles have appeared in publications such as the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.  Jacobovici is the host of “The Naked Archaeologist” on the History Channel. t

Barrie Wilson is a professor of religious studies at York University in Toronto, where he specializes in early Christianity. His book How Jesus Became Christian was longlisted for the Cundill International Prize in History and won the Joseph and Faye Tanenbaum Award. Wilson lives in Toronto.

16 November, 2014


Any of you who follow me on Twitter (@jldelbourgo) or “Like” us on Facebook (Joelle Delbourgo Associates) knows that THE LOST GOSPEL, by Barrie Wilson and Simcha Jacobovici launched this past week, creating a storm of controversy in the media worldwide–everywhere from Conan O’Brien and Glen Beck to,, etc.  With its allegations that Jesus was married with two children and many other sensational revelations, all grounded in serious scholarship, it is not a for the faint at heart.  So we are hoping that Costco customers like this one will keep picking it up–and taking it to the cash register.  Lost Gospel at CostcoRead it and decide for yourself!