In A.D. 325, Brother Barnabas is a student of the ancient holy texts. These books paint a portrait of Jesus that is radical, heretical, and irresistible. In the writings of Mary Magdalene, Phillip, and James, Barnabas finds clues to a secret he must protect at all costs. But the Ecumenical Council of Bishops has just declared his cherished books "a hotbed of manifold perversity." Emperor Constantine has decreed that the documents must be burned and that anyone found copying them will be executed as a heretic. Barnabas's monastery is attacked. Brother Barnabas flees with his trusted companions, but they are being followed, for the True Church cannot allow them to find the most sacred place on Earth. In fact, it will do anything to stop them...