Reviews – 10

If you’ve bought and read the book “The Missing Years of Jesus” and you’d like to tell me and everyone else what you think of it, then please do so and make your contribution as long as you wish. To be fair to those who haven’t yet bought the book, but are thinking of doing so, please don’t go into detail about precisely what the book contains in terms of evidence, but feel free to say whether you agree or disagree with the conclusions I’ve come to.

If it turns out that I’ve been unclear at any point, or if you have any particular questions, then I’ll try to answer them. I’ll either do this in the form of a short addition to the body of your submission, or else I’ll post it up on the front page as a separate post if it requires a longer explanation.

“Have now read the book; absolutely fascinating stuff and I recommend it to anybody interested in the subject. There’s a lot more in there than just Jesus.”

Phil Gardiner of Gardiner’s World: best-selling author, TV chat show host and award-winning filmmaker.

“This eminently readable and engrossing book is divided into three main parts…..Dennis Price casts the net far and wide, and in the process hauls in a very impressive selection of curiosities, anecdotes and enigmas, meaning that even if some readers aren’t wholly convinced of the basic premise of the book, they will nevertheless find many fascinating insights into the distant history and mythology of Britain, as well as some rather surprising observations on various figures from our more recent past…there are plentiful points of interest throughout a very well written and clearly expressed set of ideas, many of which draw the reader’s attention to people and places that may not be immediately familiar to all.

This book should be of great interest to anyone who likes a good mystery, and wishes to decide for themselves to what extent a discrete set of data points could be assembled to form a coherent explanation to a mystery that has for the most part, never been fully explored in over 2,000 years.

Although I’ve covered some of the salient points raised in this detailed and analytical book, I have by necessity given a greatly abbreviated account in this review, partly because there is so much material to cover, and partly because it should be for the reader to embark upon an adventure which through various twists and turns, makes for one of the most readable books I’ve encountered in a very long time”.

From Tim Jones at Remote Central, one of the very few archaeology sites recommended by British Archaeology.

“Of course, Dennis Price is right. The likelihood of Jesus remaining in Nazareth as a carpenter is surely low?…Certainly, this is a book I would recommend to everyone who is interested in archaeology and in the history of religion.”

Colin Wilson, author and philosopher, one of the world’s greatest living authorities on ancient mysteries.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Robin Melrose April 2, 2009 at 6:24 am

Hi Dennis,

I’ve just read your book and I’m most impressed by it, especially by your (as usual) excellent use of textual and archaeological material. I’m quite persuaded that Jesus was not in the Holy Land for 18 years, that he could have gone and very likely did go to England with his uncle Joseph of Arimathea, and that he would likely have visited Stonehenge and profited from the visit in some way.

I am less persuaded by your speculation on some of the ways in which the visit could have contributed to his character and his teachings, but that’s to be expected, since I am not a person of faith, and faith is required for those speculations of yours which necessarily lack any real textual or archaeological evidence.

I suppose this is a side issue to the book, but I was fascinated by your theory on the function of Stonehenge and why it went out of use after 1600BC – it will take me some time to digest the full implications. In the meantime – I wrote to you a couple of weeks ago about the Boreads, and I can’t see how what I said necessarily contradicts what you said… . You give the origin of the name as people of the stones, and that could be true, but Silures could also mean ‘guardians’ of the sun’ (the same Old European word ‘sil’ that might be found in Silbury, plus the same word ‘urus’ that is found in Arcturus).

In the book you put forward the standard view (which you yourself have argued against!) that the bluestones were brought by sea from Preseli. This seems unlikely because (a) it seems impossible, as Aubrey Burl, contends (b) the stones did not all come from the same place (c) it seems more likely they were glacial deposits brought from Preseli by the Irish Sea Glacier. My theory for what it’s worth, is that some of the bluestones were deposited on the Salisbury Plain, and the rest were deposited somewhere between the Salisbury Plain and the Bath/Bristol region, if not further.

At this point I go into etymological fantasyland, and speculate that the Anglo-Saxon name could be a corruption of an earlier name. The Indo-European word ‘stone’ is from an earlier root that means ‘thickened, congealed’, while there is an Avestan word ‘yazata’, possibly related to the Greek ‘hagios’, which means something like ‘worthy of worship’ (A French academic Hubert La Marle believes that Linear B is an Indo-Iranian language, which gives us a Cretan connection). So Stonehenge could have originally signified the ‘petrified divinities’, making their way from Wales to Stonehenge. One more etymological fantasy: you say that most “Celtic” tribal names are without interest, but it seems that the name Durotriges (I think they lived around Stonehenge) could mean “strong draggers” or “oak draggers” or “door/gate draggers”. I could give you the proof such as I have, but you’ve probably had more than enough. And you can probably guess my alternative etymology for Druid (there are a lot of doors and gates in your book!).

All the best,

Dr Robin Melrose, retired lecturer in linguistics, University of Portsmouth, England.

Hugo Jenks April 4, 2009 at 7:20 am

This is a brief initial review of “The Missing Years of Jesus”. The book contains much detailed information, which deserves a more thorough response in due course.

It does seem remarkable indeed that such a detailed study can be made, given the seeming lack of information, particularly of contemporary written records. Nevertheless, Dennis has gleaned numerous pieces of information, and put them together in a logical and comprehensive manner. His thesis that Jesus spent a significant part of his life in Britain is well argued, and persuasive. Let us hope that this book can be a catalyst for a more thorough study of the life and person of Jesus, so that we can understand him more accurately. (From other reading, it would appear that he has not been accurately understood by traditionalists, although that takes us outside the scope of this review.)

In the pursuit of discovering the truth regarding the life of this remarkable person, it is absolutely necesary to put aside our preconceptions, and look at the available evidence afresh. It seems strange that such a large part of the life of Jesus had been blanked from the records. This book is a bold and significant work, which needs to be taken seriously.

It is clear from reading the Gospels that Jesus made quite a departure from traditional Judaism, which set him at odds with the established priesthood, and which ultimately led to his crucifixion. The question then arises: Did he devise his teachings afresh and in isolation, or was he influenced by existing doctrines? If indeed he spent time in Britain during his formative years, then the latter possibility is credible. The implication then is that Christianity has been heavily influenced by Druidry. This can be an uncomfortable realisation for some!

If something looks right, it probably is right. For me, it seems entirely right and fitting that Jesus would have spent time in Britain. I have also studied ancient monuments in Britain, including Stonehenge, and have also investigated the Preseli Mountains. Something wonderful is indeed waiting to be discovered. Let us continue with our search for the truth!

Frank April 4, 2009 at 8:28 pm

Hi Dennis, this review has been up on our website for a few weeks now, but as you are collecting reviews in one place now:

“Why review this Book?”

It has to be said that books about the life of Jesus do not normally feature highly on my “must read” list.

However, I made an exception when I heard a rumour that this book places Jesus not only in Britain, but in person at Stonehenge, and that it has been written by Dennis Price.

Dennis spent over ten years living within a few miles of Stonehenge, visiting the temple as many as three times a week, including private visits courtesy of English Heritage, and he also attended all the open Solstice celebrations during this time. Not only that, but he spent four years working for Wessex Archaeology with some of the foremost experts on Stonehenge.

He worked on the A303 Stonehenge Test Pit Project and he was closely involved with the discovery in 2002 of the King of Stonehenge, or Amesbury Archer, and the 2003 discovery of the Boscombe Bowmen. He’s done a lot else besides in connection with Stonehenge, he’s often to be seen talking with the archaeologists in charge of the excavations of the Stonehenge Riverside Project and he runs the Eternal Idol site, reporting on and providing original information on Stonehenge – in turn, receiving regular write-ups in the international media.

So, I was determined to get hold of a copy of his book ahead of its release and Dennis’s publishers, Hay House, kindly sent me a review copy.


Dennis approaches his research in highly original way, treating this as a 2,000 year old “missing persons” case. His method and thinking are meticulous, and yet this book is not just totally readable but engrossing and manages to avoid being dry or technical.

With the instincts of a blood hound, Dennis tracks down fascinating clues in the New Testament that make very compelling evidence once they’re identified, pieced together and placed into context, so you will wonder at how you had never noticed them before. Next, he explores the landscape and features of the West of England, bringing into play many archaeological insights about the region in which the legends place Jesus.

Finally, he profiles the prominent individuals and groups who may hold value in this search for the truth. It all paints an intriguing and insightful picture of what Jesus might have been like during his formative years, but I’m left wondering why no archaeologist or churchman has properly investigated this subject before?


The book has an easy flow to the narrative, making it accessible to any reader. A clear differentiation is made between plain facts, archaeological conclusions, assumptions based on circumstantial evidence and personal opinions, and some of these opinions, I admit, made painful reading for me and some I would question. However, no attempt is made to hide supposition within more solid points to justify a theory. He does not choose to use hidden or disputed sources and the integrity of this approach makes the conclusions of the book all the more convincing.


Considering Dennis’s obvious impartiality and the high quality of the mass of evidence he presents, some of which shows certain archaeologists in a very poor light, the many implications of this book are simply staggering.

I fully expect that this book will be the start of much healthy debate amongst Christians and scholars. Perhaps this will be the inspiration for further research and more books on the subject. Who knows? We may see a documentary, a historical drama or even a movie about the life of the young Jesus set in ancient Britain before long…that would be a new take on things!

But there are other implications: I anticipate seeing many more Christians appearing at some of the “Pagan” Sites mentioned in this book. I am not sure how welcome that development will be, given that they have already taken so many of our sacred places and stuck churches and shrines upon them over the centuries.

The most beneficial of the possible impacts of this book is that Christians may now have to reconsider their prejudice against pagans (after all, it now seems beyond any reasonable doubt that we hosted Jesus in our pagan land for many years) and equally many Pagans will need to reassess their outlook towards Christianity, given that the ancestors so clearly accepted its founder among them.

What do I think of it?

Quite simply, this is one of the most exciting books I have read in decades; rarely is a book published that has the potential to be world changing for many people, but I honestly believe that this is one such book.

As a Stonehenge Druid, I’ve always been interested in stories of ancient Britain and I had vaguely heard of the legends of Jesus visiting Britain “in ancient times”, as described in William Blake’s poem “Jerusalem.” I had never heard of any serious investigation into these legends, though, and I suppose I had dismissed them as unlikely.

However, this book is very well researched and the incredible case is presented so meticulously that the burden of proof has shifted dramatically – now those who would contest the idea that Jesus spent up to eighteen years in Britain must prove otherwise.

Even as a non Christian and a Druid, I acknowledge that Jesus was one of the greatest spiritual leaders ever to have lived – he’s the central figure in Christianity and the second most revered prophet in Islam, the world’s two major religions.

I feel enormously proud to think that this amazing man probably met with our direct ancestors when they were in their prime as a free and courageous people (who had twice defeated the legions of the hated Caesar), and that the young Jesus was readily given hospitality, friendship and sanctuary from the threat he faced from the Romans occupying his homeland when he was a stranger and a guest in our green and pleasant land.


To Celtic Pagans, Albion (Britain) has always been a sacred and enchanted land. After this book is released and its evidence considered, I believe that many others will look at Britain as very sacred, if only for the reason that in all probability it has their saviour’s footprints all over it.”

Since writing this review, I have become even more convinced that there is great truth in the legends that Jesus visited Britain, and I have seen healthy debate and interest in this story from friends and colleagues alike. I introduced the book to those assembled at Stonehenge for the Autumn Equinox and for one worrying moment I feared someone would sing ‘Jerusalem’ in our circle, but you should be happy to note that it was well received.


Andrew Tomlinson May 13, 2009 at 12:05 pm

Not being a reader with any professional interest, either in Jesus, Christianity or archaeology, I wondered how this book would come across. I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed the book, I learned a huge amount and it was evident to me that Dennis has a huge amount of information withheld upon which he bases all that he has written.

It’s an Extraordinary story about an Extraordinary mystery. It will be very interesting to see what happens as this book gains readership. I can think of no other subject that excites more column inches worldwide than religion. To some that I have mentioned it to (living in Cornwall), the response has been ‘yes, of course he did’, to others, utter incredulity. Either way, interesting responses; the book is overdue.

In terms of its conclusions, who am I to say? I know far less about the subject than Dennis or indeed most who have already reviewed the book, but it makes for a very interesting and informative read; it opens up a dialogue about a huge hole in our history and that surely has to be a good thing. Stories of Stonehenge and Vatican cover-ups must surely abound hereafter.. Da Vinci Code eat your heart out!

I will certainly be recommending this book to others.

JohnWitts May 19, 2009 at 6:33 am

Dennis says the book “provides all manner of literary, historical, ecclesiastical Biblical, linguistic and archaeological evidence to support ” a “Holy Legend” that Christ was in Britain between the ages of 12 and 30. In a unique study, there is certainly a lot of informative material which goes a long way to support William Blake’s words “Did those feet in ancient time walk upon England’s mountains green?”.

Blake’s poem is based on a “Holy Legend”, which places Jesus in Britain, particularly in Cornwall and Somerset. Is this a fable? Given the natural bent of storytellers, it has to be asked if they could have have resisted emblazoning their story further with made-up wonders? Indeed, it seems strange that over the centuries the “Holy Legend” has been left alone in this respect – it remains simply “Jesus was here”. Perhaps it’s the truth of what it portrayed that discouraged or even forbade such behaviour?

Proving that it was not only feasible but highly likely that the Holy Legend is true, the book considers what Jesus would have done while he was in Britain. The basis of this is necessarily “informed speculation” and involves much conjecture about Priddy and, of course, Stonehenge.

Allowance has to be made for the nature of the material, but the implications perhaps add to something much greater than the sum of the parts. This is due to very clever writing and manipulation of the ideas although even then, for many, this may be not enough to support the statement “even a cursory study of the facts transforms the captivating image from an impossibility to pretty much a forgone conclusion”

The final section of the book is perhaps on more solid ground, dealing with the inhabitants of the Island of Britain. Here, tangible objects and historical facts provide perhaps a more comfortable context. Some remnants of flesh is put on the bones of the “unauthenticated myth” of the Holy Legend and this is highly persuasive in confirming that the legend recalls something of great significance.

Connecting Jesus with the more belligerent Silures whose territory was in South Wales is perhaps more tenuous during the years the book deals with. But subsequent to the crucifixion, South Wales is traditionally associated with the very earliest sites for Christian churches, so the connection is probably a strong one.

In dealing thoroughly with what one of the most significant prehistoric monuments, Stonehenge, had become, and relating it to the most important figure of history (there are historical references to Jesus beyond the Bible), the book provides the reader with many things to consider. In that way, it is not a comfortable read because the mind is constantly racing with the sheer volume of detail thrown at it and what is being proposed.

What does become clear is that the years between the age of 12 and 30 are clearly important in developing a person’s beliefs and skills, and this would not be any less so for Jesus. And if he was in Britain during this time, he would have surely been influenced by the Druids and also developed his powers and skills which were later so evident in the Bible.

The evidence by its nature is suggestive if not conclusive and without concerted effort from archaeologists, it seems likely to remain so. What the book does achieve is not to allow Archaeology to simply dismiss the Holy Legend as unsubstantiated. Dennis has given it substance.

Red Raven December 3, 2009 at 10:15 pm

As someone not from an academic background, and also not being Christian too, my decision to purchase this book may, on the face of it, appear to be a strange choice. My primary interest in this was not to judge the case for the historical (or not) figure of Jesus, but more to do with the case for the possible migration of peoples in the early years around or just after the birth of Jesus. This period in time holds some fascination for me and to get the chance to read and evaluate the material presented by someone with the obvious background and resources of Dennis Price was too good a chance to pass by.

It would appear to me, as someone who places himself outside the sphere of Christianity, that the years between the ages of 12 and 30 would, in the vast majority of cases, be the most influential period in forming frames of references that would guide an individual through the rest of their lives. For these figurative years to be missing from the recorded history of an individual whose influence directly interacts with a third of the entire planet’s population, would at best, appear to be an oversight of gigantic proportions, or at worst, poor judgment or a deliberate omission. When we consider that the current bible consists of four gospels and the fact that it is speculated that it originally may have contained over 40 such gospels, one may speculate if these formative years may have been discussed or revealed in more detail elsewhere.

The fact remains, however, that this omission has not been dealt with in any meaningful way, and as such, is suitable for a serious attempt at speculation.

Establishing the conditions of living around the time of the subject’s formative years is, in my opinion, a good basis from which to start to form some sort of framework with which to demonstrate how these conditions may influence the thought patterns and subsequent actions of any one individual. This is probably the major strength of this piece of work, as the archaeology provides us with some demonstrable facts with which to base our speculation.

As to the human aspect of Jesus based upon the writings of the bible, Dennis’s speculations are consistent, though for me not convincing. His assertions about the possible motives of someone of middle eastern descent wanting to visit Britain would appear to be plausible, and as such, the possible actions required to achieve these motives would appear to be entirely reasonable.

As someone who fundamentally suspects that a lot of folklore is based around some aspect of fact, the amount of material available relating Jesus to Britain, is of a volume that one would suspect, to be significant.

I found this to be both a fascinating, though not entirely convincing, attempt to broach a subject strangely passed over by the ecclesiastical authorities. As such, I would recommend it for both individuals with an interest in this particular period of history, and for any open minded person to consider this “missing” formative period in the life of Jesus.


Bob Cragg March 18, 2012 at 9:10 am

Hi Dennis,
I watched your interview with Philip Gardiner yesterday. My book has been recently released, and there is much in it that you already know. There is however a lot more! Suffice it to say the Joseph of Arimathea brought the young master Jesus to England when he (Jesus) was 11 years of age. The ancient wisdom teachings have been anchored in the ‘Misty Isles’ (England) since the first Atlantean dispensation 23,000 years ago……. there is so much more. Please visit my website which will acquaint you my authenticity, and yes we must stay in touch.

R. Clayton-Cragg

Bob Cragg April 18, 2012 at 7:17 am

Hi Dennis,
I have not read you book but enjoyed your EMTV interview with Phil. Yes there is much unknown about the life and times of Jesus…and also a lot of supposition from many quarters.
Who am I…..? ….just another seeker of truth like yourself, but blessed with many full trance channelled messages on the ancient wisdom/mystery teachings. My book has recently been released but I have not yet begun to promote it, for various reasons. I have in my possession over 40 channelled tapes by the master (Jesus) explaining the truth of his mission and certain events leading up to – and after his ascension.
Suffice it to say that this communication is sincere, and should you wish to share or gain deeper knowledge about him, please feel free to contact me.

In love and truth


chris johnson April 22, 2012 at 11:41 am

This is the best book about the “missing years of Jesus” that I have ever read. Dennis Price is a master story teller; suspending my disbelief, convincing me of his essential plausibility, and then carrying me away on the wings of his imagination.

Whether you end up believing Dennis’ story or not, you will read to the end and become much wiser. Dennis is a fountain of knowledge on early times and intersperses his tale with poetry, philosophy, and interesting facts drawn from his extensive studies. Everybody with an interest in the ancient history of Britain, a love of language, or an enthusiasm to revisit the story of Christ will love this book. His lucid prose style and attention to detail charmed me, and I hope many people who might normally avoid such a slightly nutty theme will overcome their prejudice and give it a try.

As a download from Itunes it is amazingly good value. It is actually the only book about the missing years of Jesus I have ever read and I don’t expect to read another. Dennis makes a strong case for Jesus having lived and worked in Western Britain. It fits with the stories I have heard and it could well have happened this way. William Blake inspired this book and, as he said, “Everything that is possible to be believed is an image of the truth”.

A thoroughly good read and great value!

Leave a Comment