Jesus OriginsDiscovering the original Christianity
The Gospel of Luke…or the Gospel of Domitilla?
Did a woman write much of the New Testament?
95 AD. Rome lives under the shadow of the emperor Domitian’s paranoia. The childless emperor is a reactionary who asserts Roman tradition with malicious cruelty. Introverted, brooding, and ever fearful of assassination, he suspects plots everywhere.
Flavia Domitilla, a young mother in her early thirties, is Domitian’s niece and the last hope for the survival of the Flavian dynasty. The emperor has adopted her two sons as his successors.
Outwardly, Domitilla is a woman of great power and wealth. But Domitilla lives a double life. She has become a Christian—and the Romans execute Christians. When Domitian discovers her secret, he unleashes a tragedy that sweeps up Domitilla, her husband, and her family and triggers the end of the dynasty.
Domitilla becomes a footnote of history. Until now.
This book makes the fascinating case that Flavia Domitilla is the unknown author of the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles, the two longest books of the New Testament. It follows the evidence from the mysterious “Theophilus” of the Luke dedication, through the strange “we” passages in Acts, and down into the catacombs of Domitilla and the revelation of an ancient fresco. The trail leads us to the Jewish historian, trickster, and traitor Josephus and his controversial Testimonium Flavianum, widely regarded as the best evidence for Jesus’ existence.
Along the way, we uncover Domitilla’s story. The book charts the rise and fall of the Flavians and their central role in the cataclysmic collision of Roman and Jewish religion and society—the Jewish War.