Top positive review
Meticulous, original, stimulating: but the subtitle's superlatives are inaccurate
on 11 July 2016
I am somewhat paraphrasing Morgaine's review, because she says so much I agree with:
Dennis spent over ten years visiting Stonehenge up to three times a week, and attending all the open Solstice celebrations. He spent four years working with experts on Stonehenge, and the A303 Stonehenge Test Pit Project, and he was closely involved with the 2002 discovery of the Amesbury Archer, and the 2003 discovery of the Boscombe Bowmen. He's often to be seen talking with the archaeologists there and providing original information on Stonehenge.
This is all good validation of Dennis' expertise.
Dennis then approaches his research in highly original way, treating this as a 2,000 year old `missing persons' case. His method and thinking are meticulous, and yet this book is a great read. Dennis tracks down fascinating clues in the New Testament that make very compelling evidence once they're identified, pieced together and placed into context. Next, he explores the landscape and features of the West of England, bringing into play many archaeological insights about the regions in which the legends place Jesus. Finally, he profiles the prominent individuals and groups who may hold value in this search for the truth. A clear differentiation is made between plain facts, archaeological conclusions, assumptions based on circumstantial evidence and personal opinions. No attempt is made to hide supposition within more solid points to justify a theory. He does not choose to use hidden or disputed sources and the integrity of this approach makes the conclusions of the book all the more convincing.
I too am left wondering why no archaeologist or churchman has investigated this subject this carefully in this kind of way before. No, it has not been done before. I am left wondering at the superficiality of some of the reviews here, which miss the importance of thoroughness, and of working from indisputable evidence and from a intelligently commonsensical grasp of human nature, in order to justify extraordinary conclusions. If his conclusions then sound dogmatic and unproven and wild if taken out of context, this seems to merely show the inability of the reviewer to grasp the meticulous care that has gone into the journey of proof.
As a Christian with Druid sympathy, I've always been interested in stories of ancient Britain and this stands alongside the best - yes, alongside Gordon Strachan and Carmina Gadelica. It is just different, the music has a different beat.
The one thing missing is appreciation of the corpus of legends and evidence of Jesus travelling East, both before his work in Israel and after - yes, after - the Crucifixion and Resurrection. Look at the work of Holger Kersten for starters. Add the Aquarian Gospel, the Book with Fourteen Seals, and Anna the Grandmother of Jesus, for perspective. Watch the DVD "Jesus in India" concerning years he spent in Jaganath, before the age of 30. There is a great deal of evidence, if one looks carefully.
My impression is that Jesus' journeys west took place between the age of 12/13 and about 20. Up to that age, he was also a student, as "ben Joseph" together with "ben Zacharias", in the Essene community of Qumran, according to another extraordinary account, "Jesus and the Essenes". Feared discovery of his Essene connections is another reason it could have been seen as good to have Jesus travel far away after revealing how (uncomfortably) deep his understanding already went.