Who has never heard of Jesus? Omnipresent in Western culture, for more than two billion Christians he is the son of God, sacrificed on the cross; the resurrected messiah, his birth held to be so important that it marks the starting point in our calendar. He is the cornerstone of Christianity, a figure whose story has evolved in accordance with the creed built by the churches over a period of 2000 years. Not until the 18th century and the Enlightenment was the question of historical Jesus really explored. Beyond the religious discourse, who was Jesus really? A man of flesh and blood? Did the central figure in this religion really exist? Believers answer this question by reading the Gospels, the ancient accounts of the life of Jesus.
But how much historical credibility can be attributed to texts written several decades after Jesus's death? Particularly given that the four official Gospels contradict each other on many points. It opens up a vast historical investigation, putting the spotlight on everything we think we know about Jesus. Was he really born on December 25th, as tradition has perpetuated for centuries? What was his life like before he began preaching? What is the exact location of his tomb? Today, by examining the historical traces in Israel, Egypt and Jordan, and harnessing cutting edge science, can historians finally manage to pierce the mysteries of Jesus's life? A two thousand year old conundrum!