• by Tom Bissell
  • Narrated by Tom Bissell
  • 14 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A profound and moving journey into the heart of Christianity that explores the mysterious and often paradoxical lives and legacies of the 12 apostles - a book both for those of the faith and for others who seek to understand Christianity from the outside in.
Peter, Matthew, Thomas, John: Who were these men? What was their relationship to Jesus? Tom Bissell provides rich and surprising answers to these ancient, elusive questions. He examines not just who these men were (and weren't) but also how their identities have taken shape over the course of two millennia.
Ultimately Bissell finds that the story of the apostles is the story of early Christianity: its competing versions of Jesus' ministry, its countless schisms, and its ultimate evolution from an obscure Jewish sect to the global faith we know today in all its forms and permutations. In his quest to understand the underpinnings of the world's largest religion, Bissell embarks on a years-long pilgrimage to the supposed tombs of the 12 apostles. He travels from Jerusalem and Rome to Turkey, Greece, Spain, France, India, and Kyrgyzstan, vividly capturing the rich diversity of Christianity's worldwide reach. Along the way he engages with a host of characters - priests, paupers, a Vatican archaeologist, a Palestinian taxi driver, a Russian monk - posing sharp questions that range from the religious to the philosophical to the political.
Written with warmth, empathy, and rare acumen, Apostle is a brilliant synthesis of travel writing, biblical history, and a deep, lifelong relationship with Christianity. The result is an unusual, erudite, and at times hilarious book - a religious, intellectual, and personal adventure fit for believers, scholars, and wanderers alike.


What the Critics Say

"What a fine and wise book this is.... In its wisdom it ought to be a guide for the future." (The New York Review of Books)
"Well-documented, with an extensive bibliography, this is a full-bodied read for the intellectually curious." (Library Journal)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


This book is a great listen. The author is engaging and what he has to say is well worth listening to. The final paragraph and the last sentence in particular is thought provoking to say the least. Complimenti à Mr. Bissell.
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- Amazon Customer

Great travel ogre, good beginners history

Fascinating book. the author is entertaining, insightful, and extraordinarly informative. while he does wear it on his sleeve the author does let his personal bias slip through a little too often. a greater level of detail on the academic background of some of the topics discussed would be appreciated.
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- Alexader

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-01-2016
  • Publisher: Random House Audio