A lawyer dusts off the files of Western civilization's premier trial and execution--and concludes that the Jews were framed for the Roman crime of crucifying Jesus of Nazareth. While this interesting exercise in speculative history and law is clouded by the vagaries of myth and theology, German lawyer Fricke finds it ""surprising. . .that lawyers have seldom concerned themselves with the [execution] of Jesus."" The book so thoroughly challenges the historicity of the Gospels, the apostles, and all the pertinent data about Jesus' birth, upbringing, career, trial, and crucifixion, however, that it seems all the more fitting that theologians, not lawyers, should walk upon these waters. Fricke nonetheless presents much evidence, citing texts and the written testimony of experts, to establish that the occupying Romans were chiefly responsible for arresting, trying, and crucifying ""Rabbi Jesus"" for the dangerous political crime of being a messianic pretender--""King of the Jews"" never taken to infer a spiritual throne. To establish the motive for framing the Jews, Fricke argues that Paul's revisionary, Hellenistic Christianity dominated and sided with victorious Rome. The earlier, Hebraic element of Christianity was on the wane, and it was expedient to remain pro-Roman to gain converts among the pagans of the dominant world power. The anti-Roman Pharisee party, Jesus' own affiliation, was therefore made into the villain of the developing story. Whatever their own religious predilections, readers will appreciate Fricke's masterful job of making sense out of this controversial mess.