A Dead Priest. An Ancient Coin. A Catholic Conspiracy.
A renowned scholar-monsignor is killed in a mysterious hit-and-run in Rome. A Roman coin is recovered from a wreck off the coast of ancient Judea. It’s up to his young American protégé--a Jesuit priest--and a vivacious, brilliant archaeologist to connect these seemingly disparate events and unravel the tapestry that conceals in plain view the greatest mystery in the ecclesiastical world.
Together they pursue their passion for truth—while fighting to control their passion for each other. What they uncover is an ancient Roman imperial stratagem so controversial the Curia fears it could undermine the very foundations of the Roman Catholic faith.
From the ancient port of Caesarea to Rome's legendary catacombs and the sacred caves of Cumae, this contemporary novel follows their exhilarating quest to uncover the truth about the historical existence of the real "Christ Savior."
Kenneth John Atchity Buries Dan Brown with Intelligent Religious Thriller
Kenneth Atchity's The Messiah Matrix is one of those fascinating books—a rara avis--that works on many levels including those that, ironically, the writer may not have been aware of in the beginning. The story of the discovery that the historical Jesus was really the Roman Emperor Augustus (neé Octavian), a secret kept under wraps by the Society of Jesus acting, as many Jesuits do, in the best bad manners of 19th-century "novels of sensation," The Messiah Matrix is the latest in a stream of fiction popularized by The Da Vinci Code though having a pedigree among a number of so-called heretical novels, previously having garnering fanfare in Irving Wallace's 1972 novel, The Word.
What separates Atchity's book from the tiresome vulgate of the roman historique is the firmness of Atchity's unadorned style, a style seemingly embedded in Atchity's erudition as a Classicist. (If ever one wanted to study good English prose written by someone well-versed in highly inflected languages such as Attic Greek or Classical Latin, without having to grapple with Chase and Phillips' Introduction to Greek or Gildersleeve's daunting grammar tome, then Atchity is your meat.) Also, even though Dr. Atchity's bona fides as a well-traveled academician are beyond me, I can certainly appreciate a fellow who apparently knows his way around Rome when writing about Rome. (I imagine Atchity could blindly find his way from the Mausoleum of Augustus on the east bank of the Tiber River to the Temple of Jupiter near where the Via Flaminia pierces the center of The Eternal City.)
With plucky heroes such as devout archaeologist Emily Scelba and quavering priest Father Ryan, both desperately fighting the forces of darkness (and trying to stay one step ahead of a Holy See that would preserve the myth of our well-known Χριστος as well as Jesuits hell-bent—literally—on bringing on the advent of the Deified Augustus as the true Christ—The Messiah Matrix lives up to its mission, providing thrills couched in provocative questions.
A matrix is defined as “ A situation or surrounding substance within which something else originates, develops, or is contained.” Within the pages of this intricate novel we learn about the origins of situations in the past the have reflected themselves in the present as the author takes us back in time to 70A.D. when Flavius Josephus the Historian decided to add 100 words that would change the course of history and the perspective on the existence of one man who was and still is crucial to the Church and Christianity, Christ. Did he really exist?
...Characters that are quite interesting and a storyline you will have decide for yourself whether you believe or not. As you read the final chapters and hear the voices from the past of the Emperors, Virgil as he is honored and allowed to sit with the Emperor.
...Was the real Jesus the one born in a manger or was Jesus: Jesus Augustus? You decide after reading this outstanding novel whose research and an ending that will bring it all full circle.
Destined to be highly controversial – A Very Fine Novel
Dr. Kenneth John Atchity has created a novel that is not only an absorbing story, but it is also a platform for re-thinking the beginnings of Christianity as we have been taught. This fact will doubtless unsettle many right wing religious conservatives - much the way that Darwin's concept of Evolution has always caused them problems. And if that is an afterburn of reading this novel then we should hope it gains a very wide readership.
Atchity is a scholar, highly regarded among academics, and it is this aspect of his novel THE MESSIAH MATRIX that gives him the edge. The ideas he poses are scientifically grounded and so well developed, based on archeological findings and research, that the themes of this book cannot be disregarded. Add to that the fact that Acuity writes with an elegant style, not only in a manner that makes his story propelled forward at all times but also he creates a compelling atmosphere - both above and below the waters of the sea!