Some who pick up Brian Daniel Starr’s book The Priest, The Knight and Zeus may find it amusing, believing it is a tongue-in-cheek work of humor. They would be wrong. Few readers can be expected to buy into a work of genealogy that purportedly traces the lineage of Welsh and Saxon kings and their modern-day descendants back to the biblical prophets, apostles, and evangelists, let alone to the Greek and Norse gods and the characters of Homer’s Iliad.
Today, few realize that thirteen centuries ago people, especially members of royal families, took this very seriously. The Merovingian kings of the seventh century sought to legitimize their reign over the Franks through genealogical tables similar to those found in Starr’s book. Many among Europe’s nobility claimed similar lines of descent to the Israelite houses of Judah and David or to New Testament figures such as Joseph of Arimathea or Mary Magdalene.
With a dizzying array of charts and family trees, Starr’s entry into this ancient field is not written in the most professional manner. The author himself admits that this information “…is found in one genealogy and may not be correct….” As for his sources, Starr freely confesses that, “I found all this information on the Internet, and I leave it to the reader to say if it is the truth, or just an attempt at the truth.”
Starr divulges that “this book was written with the aid of a genealogy program.” Apparently this program, which he offers to sell to readers for $7.95 plus shipping, can allow almost anyone to “link” their family to that of a pope, prophet, or saint.
Much of the writing is rambling and confusing, especially the sections titled “Mans (sic) Control of the Extra Energy,” “The Apostles Guardianship,” “The Law of the Lord,” and “The Philosophy of War.” The last of these, in which gods and saints are awarded military rank, is particularly puzzling.
Starr, who is obviously a man of faith, has put a lot of effort and love into this book, the fifteenth in a series that focuses on the lineage and descendants of the saints and other religious figures. He also understands that some readers of this particular book may “…utterly reject the entire topic and say it is all false….”
“I would not be in the least surprised,” concedes Starr, “if one reader picked up this book and said, this is so complicated I will leave it to the priest, pastor, reverend and I will go on with my life and forget about this.” Only a truly “gifted reader” will say “I really understand this, and I would like to follow this up with more thought,” admits Starr. Such a reader, the author adds, is “probably a genius.”