In this revolutionary work, John Dominic Crossan reveals that the Passion and Resurrection Narratives in the four canonical Gospels are radical revisions of an earlier Gospel account. He argues boldly that the apocryphal Gospel of Peter, discovered in the grave of a Christian monk in Egypt circa 1886, contains the earliest version of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. He describes how the authors of the four Gospels revised the early account of how their revision predominated as Roman authority grew. Lacking in the revision, he suggests, is the very heart of the earlier Passion: its depiction of Jesus' death as the consummation of Israel's pain and the resurrection as the vindication of Israel's faith. ""A gifted writer--lucid, lively, and refreshingly frank. . . . Crossan combines mastery of the material and . . . amazing originality and ingenuity. His research has illuminated, from a new angle, the problem of the growth of the gospels."" --Morton Smith, professor emeritus of history and special lecturer in religion, Columbia University ""Crossan writes with the pen of angels and takes up the formidable task, requiring skill of heaven, of winning a fresh hearing for the extra-canonical Gospel of Peter. . . . Only a scholar of Crossan's perspicacity, independence of perspective, and capacity for persuasive argument could have framed and presented with such elegance this long-neglected Christian writing. No one who cares for the formative age of Western civilization and for the history of religion in that time will want to miss this masterpiece of scholarly with and intelligence."" --Jacob Neusner, Underleider Distinguished Scholar of Judaic Studies, Brown University John Dominic Crossan is Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at DePaul University, Chicago. He has written twenty books on the historical Jesus in the last thirty years, four of which have become national religious bestsellers: The Historical Jesus (1991), Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography (1994), Who Killed Jesus? (1995), and The Birth of Christianity (1998). He is a former co-chair of the Jesus Seminar, and a former chair of the Historical Jesus Section of the Society of Biblical Literature, an international scholarly association for biblical study based in the United States.