John McCarthy returns to the Middle East for the first time since his release, to uncover the story behind the bestselling book of all time.
John McCarthy read the Bible twice-through, in captivity, in Beirut. He wasn't a firm believer, and reading it didn't make him one. But, it did make him think, leaving him with a mind full of questions :-
Who wrote the bible, when and why? How much can we really know about the people in it - Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus? Can we even be sure they existed? And what difference has the Bible made to our world? Has the Good Book really been a good book?
To help him answer these questions, John talks to archaeologists, archbishops, politicians, preachers, believers and non-believers, including Desmond Tutu, Charlton Heston, Lea Rabin, Tony Benn, Hanan Ashrawi, Pat Robertson, Prince Hassan of Jordan and his fellow hostage, Terry Waite.
What emerges is a fascinating portrait of diverse cultures, beliefs and traditions, all shaped by one book. Absorbing and thought-provoking, John's account of his journey, as heard on BBC Radio 4, threads its way compellingly through the multi-layered complexities of a book that has influenced every aspect of our civilisation.