This is a partial transcript of "The Big Story With John Gibson," April 3, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

JOHN GIBSON, HOST: A controversial new book claims Jesus Christ not only never died on the cross, but he married Mary Magdalene. And, once he survived the crucifixion, moved to France with the daughter that he and Mary Magdalene had.

The author of "The Jesus Papers" Michael Baigent — am I pronouncing it right?


GIBSON: Baigent joins us now. This is so hot it's hard to even touch. Your theory about Jesus was that he was a revolutionary and that he was a zealot, that his activities and his actions were in revolution against the Romans and then in the process he angered the priests of the temple.

BAIGENT: He began as a revolutionary but he broke with them. And what he did is gave Pilate the most incredible dilemma because Jesus stood up and said pay the taxes, which for a revolutionary he just should never have done. The other revolutionaries...

GIBSON: Render unto Caesar.

BAIGENT: Exactly. The other revolutionaries must have hated him but Pilate was in a dilemma because all that Rome required was taxes were paid. Exactly. So suddenly he couldn't execute this man but he had to get him out of the way because he wanted peace in Judea and this dilemma led to a mock crucifixion which he must have survived.

GIBSON: You say that he survived and as part of the proof you say that he was seen in A.D. 45, which would make him near his 70s, right?

BAIGENT: This is a very curious set of incidents that I go into in my book. The background to the historical investigation of my book is this clandestine antiquities market and there are a lot of materials out there and one document which was out there which claimed that Jesus did survive the crucifixion and was alive in 45 A.D. And the fellow who translated it said that he thought this had ended up in the Vatican but, of course, there are a lot of other documents. I have been in a bank where two great chests were filled with papyrus documents.

I have seen other documents which are on papyrus which say that the messiah is saying, no, no, no. I'm filled with the spirit of God. You see the thing is we have to take this clandestine market seriously because out of this clandestine market that the Dead Sea Scrolls came, look what came from them. Or the Nag Hammadi Scrolls, look how important they have been.

GIBSON: I can't let you go without asking you about the lawsuit. You are suing Dan Brown for lifting ideas from your earlier book for "The Da Vinci Code." You are waiting another week or two for a verdict, correct?

BAIGENT: That's right.

GIBSON: How do you think it stands?

BAIGENT: Haven't a clue, which is the worse position for me at all. I absolutely haven't a clue. I don't know which way it can go. It's a question of intellectual property. As a writer, I feel what I create — I create intellectual property and that's something I can protect. The laws of copyright are there to help me protect that. Has my intellectual property been unfairly exploited or not?

GIBSON: If he did, why didn't he include in his story that Jesus survived?

BAIGENT: Well, perhaps he was too cautious.

GIBSON: And you are not. Michael Baigent, the book is "The Jesus Papers." It is fascinating.

Michael, thanks very much. I hope we give you a little goose on Amazon. Appreciate it.

BAIGENT: Thanks very much.

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