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In the Beginning, there was . . . The Word.
The classic thriller of an ancient manuscript, a secret society committed to hiding an explosive truth, and the man who must uncover that truth--if he can stay alive long enough
In the ruins of the ancient Roman seaport of Ostia Antica, an Italian archaeologist has discovered a first century papyrus, its faded text revealing a new gospel written by James, younger brother of Jesus. This discovery will show the world a new Jesus Christ, fill in the missing years of his ministry, contradict the existing accounts of his life--and potentially destroy the foundation of 2,000 years of Western civilization.
First published in 1972, The Word remains a classic of brilliant storytelling, authentic detail and breathtaking narrative power.
"I, James of Jerusalem, brother of the Lord Jesus Christ, heir of the Lord, eldest of the Lord's surviving brethren and the son of Joseph of Nazareth...herewith...set down a brief testimony of my brother Jesus Christ's life and ministry..."
A momentous archeological discovery, the greatest of all time - and the immediate effect it has on the varied group of men and women whose lives are intimately touched and altered by it - is at the heart of this exciting novel.
In the ruins of the ancient Roman seaport of Ostia Antica, an Italian archeologist has discovered a first-century papyrus, its faded Aramaic text revealing a new gospel written by James, younger brother of Jesus, the original source of the four gospels of the New Testament. The discovery offers the modern world a new Jesus Christ, a real man who lived and walked on earth, fills in the missing years of his ministry, contradicts the existing accounts of his life - and of his supposed death.
To the world at large, The Word - if it is genuine - will come as a revelation, a call to revived faith and hope in an age of doubt and fear. To the syndicate of international Bible publishers and their theologians, who have guarded the secret since its discovery and gambled their lives and fortunes on its authenticity - The Word is a consuming obsession as well as a business enterprise of such magnitude that they cannot let it be touched by the slightest tinge of doubt.
To Steven Randall, the cynical and successful young New York public relations man who has been hired to introduce the International New Testament to the world, the assignment offers more than an awesome challenge. Haunted by a broken marriage, a problem daughter, a demanding mistress, he sees in it the promise of a spiritual regeneration, a last chance to save himself from the pointlessness of life.
But from the moment that Randall decides to investigate the new gospel, he is caught up in a web of intrigue - involving an ex-nun, a homosexual Dutchman, a crippled secretary, a monk on womanless Mt. Athos, a German printer hiding a scandal- that tests both his courage and the authenticity of The Word. Rediscovering his faith in his fellow man and his capacity to love, Randall desperately pursues the source of The Word, searching for the truth at the risk of his newfound relationship with the daughter of the man who discovered the lost gospel, Angela Monti, challenging the austere and enigmatic Reverend Maertin de Vroome, the radical religious reformer who is fighting The Word and its orthodox sponsors.
Swiftly, recklessly, Randall eludes the vast international organization known by the code name Resurrection Two, which has been created to exploit the new Bible. Moving from New York and London to Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt, Rome - from the British Museum to a French radiocarbon laboratory, from the Dutch Westerkerk to a monastery on a Grecian peninsula - Randall continues his pursuit of the shadowy, mysterious figure - convict, madman, genius - who alone knows the truth about The Word.
With his brilliant flair for authentic detail, with his incomparable gift for storytelling, Irving Wallace has created in The Word his most explosive, controversial, and breathtaking novel.