Maccoby's book, written for the intelligent general reader, presents in clear and persuasive but controversial form his thesis that Paul synthesized Judaism, Gnosticism, and mystery religion to create Christianity as a cosmic savior religion. According to Maccoby, Paul's Pharisaism was his own invention, though actually he was probably associated with the Sadducees. Maccoby attributes the origins of Christian anti-Semitism to Paul and claims that Paul's view of women, though inconsistent, reflects his Gnosticism in its antifeminist aspects. A Talmudic scholar, Maccoby believes that Paul's wide variance from the Jerusalem Church (Nazarenes, under James and Peter) led to the separation of Christianity from Judaism. Recommended for theological and larger public libraries. Carolyn M. Craft, English, Philosophy & Modern Languages Dept., Longwood Coll., Farmville, Va.