Not much is clear when we consider the history of first-century Israel. We know it was a nation in turmoil, with constantly shifting politics and ideas. Crippled by kings who were unable to keep their thrones, governors who were evicted from office soon after taking it, Israel was beset with brutal, violent outbursts and equally brutal suppressions. In such a climate it was inevitable that there'd be no shortage of populist leaders all pretending to know what was best for the people. But something happened, and whatever it was, it was to determine the history of the world for the next two thousand years. We all know the familiar story. But what if it didn't happen like that?