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The Unauthorized Version

The Bible is moving, inspirational and endlessly fascinating - but is it true? Starting with Genesis and the implicit background to the birth of Christ, Robin Lane Fox sets out to discover how far biblical descriptions of people, places and events are confirmed or contradicted by external written and archaeological evidence. He turns a sharp historian's eye on when and where the individual books were composed, whether the texts as originally written exist, how the canon was assembled, and why the Gospels give varying accounts even of the trial and condemnation of Jesus.
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About the Author

Robin Lane Fox is Britain's most widely admired ancient historian. He was born in 1946 and educated at Eton and Magdalen College, Oxford. He is a Fellow of New College, Oxford, and a University Reader in Ancient History. His other books include Alexander the Great (of which Penguin has now sold over 100,000 copies), Pagans and Christians and The Unauthorized Version. He was historical advisor to Oliver Stone on the making of Stone's film Alexander, for which he waived all his fees on condition that he could take part in the cavalry charge against elephants which Stone staged in the Moroccan desert.


"Magnificent...delivered with authority and verve. Learned but never pedantic, [Lane Fox] is an unfailingly incisive, thought-provoking, humane, courteous, and often entertaining guide." -- The Economist "A remarkable achievement...[Lane Fox] manages, like a skilled juggler, to keep a number of intellectual balls in the air...with wit and grace.... The book could serve as a useful review for knowledgeable readers or as a crash course for the biblically impaired." -- The New York Times Book Review "[A] bracing precis of cutting-edge biblical criticism... The Unauthorized Version reacquaints us with one of the chief achievements of post-Enlightenment civilization." -- Philadelphia Inquirer

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