Barrie Wilson, PhD

scholar, educator, author, speaker.



Building upon the view that Paul - not Jesus - invented Christianity, Barrie Wilson demonstrates conclusively where and how this is so. Paul's religion differed from that of Jesus and his first followers in terms of its origin, beliefs and practices.

More provocatively, he demonstrates how this new religion became attached to Judaism, showing that the New Testament Book of Acts is a literary fiction designed specifically for this polemical task. Discussing how Christianity separated from Judaism by attacking not only Torah but the Jewish leadership, and its understanding of covenant, he exposes the real roots of Christian anti-Semitism.


Order online or instore from any major bookseller.


Canada – Vintage Canada paperback 2009
USA – St. Martin’s Press – hardcover 2008. St. Martin’s Griffin Paperback to be released Fall 2009
UK, Australia, New Zealand – Phoenix paperback 2009

PUBLICITY - to arrange media interviews, speaking engagements, book signings, please contact:

Canada – Ms. Catherine Whiteside, Vintage Canada --
USA – contact Barrie Wilson directly
U.K. – contact


Media Reviews have been superb.

  • “Wilson…provides a variation on a theme that draws a sharp line between what he calls the Jesus movement and the Christ movement. Typically, Christians and others have tried to smooth the jagged edges between Christianity as a Jewish sect and as an worldwide religion by making it seem as if the latter evolved from the former….Wilson offers long, fascinating…arguments about why this seeming evolution was more church propaganda than fact, which he backs up with descriptions of the kinds of early Judaism that allow Jesus his place as a Torah-loving Jew who would find Paul’s view anathema.” -- Booklist USA --Ilene Cooper.
  • "Wilson...offers a point-by-point rebuttal to Paul's reading of Jewish scripture as accommodating a divine Christ."  -- Boston Globe
  • "This book is certainly controversial." - The Times, London
  • “A well-researched and thoroughly fascinating look at the historical Jesus and the early church. Praise for How Jesus Became a Christian is outmatching its critics in the world of Biblical scholarship, and it’s a good read for any serious person of faith who espouses the Judeo-Christian tradition.” – Knoxville News Sentinel
  • "Move over, Dan Brown, there's a new Jesus conspiracy theorist in town." —Kirkus Reviews
  • "Barrie Wilson has produced a significant and sensational work of scholarship. And it is truly religious dynamite."  Globe and Mail
  • "This theological detective story deserves wide readership and discussion." - Hamilton Spectator (Canada)
  • (cover story: Jesus Has An Identity Crisis) “[How Jesus Became Christian} “is primarily concerned with arguing that St. Paul and later ‘Christifiers’ hijacked Jesus the Jewish rabbi through a campaign of anti-Semitism…” – Macleans Magazine
  • CHRISTIANITY has very little to do with Jesus - in fact the historical Jesus would be horrified by the religion which sprang up in his name. That is the bold argument put forward by religious historian Barrie Wilson in his fascinating new book. – Birmingham Mail (UK)
  • "The New Testament Gospels, particularly the Acts of the Apostles, are presented as early examples of sophisticated spin… the book is certainly controversial" -- The Times (UK)
  • Regardless of whether we agree with Wilson’s controversial conclusions as such, he presents convincing arguments, based on existing historic facts and scriptures. More than anything it brings the credibility of the conventional Christian version into question. And since historic facts play an important role in Christianity, this does of course mean a less stable reference point for contemporary Christian in their interpretations of Jesus’s words and thought in relation to contemporary issues.” -- Scientific & Medical Network Journal (UK)
  • “There are many sources for the following historical interpretation [of how the religious movement we now call Christianity came together], but the most readable and well argued is by Prof. Barrie Wilson, a respected biblical scholar at York University in Toronto….” – the Huffington Post.


Scholarly reviews have highlighted its important contribution to the study of early Christianity

  • "...beyond doubt one of the most significant works on early Christianity to appear in decades." --James Tabor, Chair, Religious Studies, University of North Carolina - Charlotte and author, The Jesus Dynasty.
  • "How Jesus Became Christian is a groundbreaking and highly controversial work that is sure to provoke considerable attention." -- Prof. Patrick Gray, University of Toronto.
  • "Wilson's learned foray into the great debate over Christian origins is to be heartily welcomed. Agree or disagree, the eager reader will be gripped – and at times possibly shocked – by the author's bold investigation of one of the greatest mysteries of all time: how did the Christianity of the earliest Church become the orthodox 'churchianity' of the mid-fourth and all succeeding centuries?" – Tom Harpur, author of The Pagan Christ
  • "A tour de force." Simcha Jacobovici, Producer/Director, The Lost Tomb of Jesus.

Reader reviews typically rate it 4 or 5 stars:

Jesus surrounded by Zodiac figures, Greek Orthodox church, Mani peninsula, Greece.
Jesus surrounded by Zodiac figures, Greek Orthodox church, Mani peninsula, Greece.