Meyer (Bible & Christian studies, Chapman Univ.; director, Albert Schweitzer Inst.) is one of our most notable scholars on the extracanonical mystery literature associated with the New Testament-the Gospel of Thomas, the Secret Gospel of Mark, and the Gnostic Gospels. His new book deals principally with the enigmatic appearances of a naked or near-naked young man both in canonical and extracanonical writings dealing with Jesus. His book includes a respectful review of existing primary and secondary sources and culminates in a thoughtful comparison of the Mark fragments with the apparent mystery-initiation depicted at the Villa of the Mysteries in Pompeii-without, however, directly dealing with the potentially disturbing implications of that comparison regarding Jesus' own role in religious initiation practices. Still, his book is a capably written and thought-provoking discussion of a perennial puzzle in New Testament studies. For most collections. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.