Faber Members get 10% off their first order


Tom Bissell

In this profound and moving journey into the heart of Christianity past and present, Tom Bissell travels across the world to explore the lives and legacies of the Twelve Apostles.

Date Published
All orders are sent via Royal Mail and are tracked: choose from standard or premium delivery.

Peter, Matthew, Thomas, John :Who were these men and what was their relationship to Jesus? Tom Bissell gives us rich and deeply informed answers to those ancient questions.

Written with warmth, humour, and a rare acumen, Apostle is a brilliant and exhaustive synthesis of travel writing, centuries of biblical history, and a deep lifelong relationship with Christianity. Bissell explores not just who these renowned and pious men were (and weren’t), but how their identities have taken shape over two millennia.

Bissell, in his search for this elusive set of truths, has traveled the world, visiting holy sites from Rome and Jerusalem to Turkey, India, and Kyrgyzstan, and he captures vividly the rich diversity of Christianity’s global reach. Apostle is an unusual, erudite, and hilarious book, an intoxicating combination of religious, intellectual, and personal adventure.

Critic Reviews

Tom Bissell’s book is consistently fascinating about the stories that crept as inexorably as lichen over a gravestone around the people closest to Jesus. The travelogue elements make for a pleasant hike out of the archive and into surprising places.

Stuart Kelly, Guardian
Critic Reviews

[An] expertly researched and fascinating book . . . Touring the sites where the Apostles' bones are believed to have come to rest, he . . . mixes lightly worn but learned material about them with some superior, often hilarious, travel writing . . . This is a serious book about the origins of Christianity that is also very funny. How often can you say that?

Marcus Tanner, Independent
Critic Reviews

Apostle is a rewarding read because Bissell has range. He's an astute close reader of biblical texts, teasing out the implications of the gospel's differing accounts and lingering over the most haunting and enigmatic passages . . .Bissell is also an accomplished travel writer who swiftly evokes atmosphere . . . Bissell’s voice is near unique. He is properly caustic and profane about Christianity’s absurdities when necessary, but he is also vividly empathetic and conscious that this is not just one of the most significant stories ever told but also one of the most beautiful.

Jonathan Beckman, The Times
Critic Reviews

Tom Bissell is a wonderful, elegant writer ... and Apostle is a richly entertaining mishmash of travel book, history of early Christianity, journey of religious non-faith and human comedy.

Christopher Hart, Sunday Times