06 September 2021

Veritas - Book Review


Veritas: A Harvard Professor, A Con Man and the Gospel of Jesus's Wife by Ariel Sabar
Publication date: August 11, 2020
Pages: 416 pages
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ☆☆☆☆
Strengths: Extensive research and detailed story
Weaknesses: Kind of dry, lots of back story that couldn't be explained in one book

I've always been fond of religion as a subject, and this non-fiction definitely did not disappoint. The title really tells all the background it needs to - a con man tried to pass off what he suggested was the first copies of the Gospel of Jesus's wife, to a renowned Harvard professor. And in reading the book, it sounds like the professor decided to overlook a lot of red flags and stake her fame on this amazing discovery (the Gospel, which she tried to maintain was not a fraud). 

The author of this book went above and beyond. Even when a particular fact became glaringly not possible, the author would travel wherever needed to check every detail involved to make the verification (or lack of) even more concrete. A lot of the background in the trafficking of old religious texts and artifacts was quite interesting.

This book also makes me want to re-read Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code. As suggested in Veritas, the author notes several similarities between the tale woven by the con man and the Harvard professor, and the 'facts' in the popular fiction book. The timing between the publication and controversy of The DaVinci Code and the reveal of the Gospel of Jesus's Wife was suspiciously close. 

In a nutshell, nothing about this book can be summed up in a nutshell. If religion, religious texts, and the big business behind it all is a curious topic to you, this book is definitely worth reading. I'd give this 4 out of 5 stars, and still honestly feel like there was as lot I didn't thoroughly understand without more background in religion, religious texts, The DaVinci Code, and Harvard's famous divinity school.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for my electronic copy of this book. Receiving the book for free did not influence my review. 

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