Starr’s debut work of genealogy is an ambitious text that promises to deliver the secrets of Christianity.
The topic of biblical genealogy has always been vexed—so much so that Matthew and Luke, the only two evangelists that lay out Jesus’ lineage, totally disagree. Thus, when Starr introduces his book as a project that will delineate not only Jesus’ genealogy but that of King David, Mary Magdalene, Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, the god Zeus and a host of other ancient figures, readers may believe that he’s bitten off more than he can chew. And they would be correct—the author’s list of genealogies comes off as arbitrary, speculative and unreliable. Starr admits early on that “almost all of the content of the book is from the internet,” and continues, damningly, “so the ideas may or may not be true.” The Internet is obviously a dangerous source, and he takes a great leap in using it as primary research material. But worse, his book is entirely undocumented—Starr does not provide his readers with a viable means of checking his facts. The flood of lists and crowded flowcharts rushes by with virtually no footnotes or parenthetical references. Further, the author spices this dubious information with seemingly unrelated reflections on nobility, Kabbalah and the philosophy of war. Starr delivers this frequently indecipherable religious hodgepodge in a stilted prose that is marred by occasional typographical errors and is almost totally absent of any transition sentences. It’s a rough ride that offers illumination but may instead confuse readers.
Muddled and under-researched, Starr’s work would benefit from more explanatory text to provide clarity and unification.