Paul L. Maier (born 1930) is the Russell H. Seibert Professor of Ancient History at Western Michigan University. He is also a historical novelist, and serves as Second Vice President of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod.
Maier is the son of Walter A. Maier (1893—1950), founder and long time speaker of The Lutheran Hour. He is a graduate of Harvard University (M.A., 1954) and Concordia Seminary, St. Louis (M. Div., 1955). On a Fulbright Scholarship, Maier studied at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, and Basel, Switzerland. At Basel, Maier studied under scholars Karl Barth and Oscar Cullmann. He received his Ph.D., summa cum laude, in 1957.
Maier's areas of interest include the Ancient Near East; Ancient Greece; Ancient Rome; Christianity and the Roman Empire; and the Reformation Era.
He is the author of sixteen published books, both historical fiction and non-fiction. His historical fiction includes the #1 national best-seller in religious fiction A Skeleton in God's Closet (1993), as well as Pontius Pilate (1968), The Flames of Rome (1981), More Than A Skeleton (2003), and the children's book The Very First Christmas (1998). Maier's non-fiction work includes Josephus: The Essential Works, a translation and abridgement of the writings of Josephus; and The Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius of Caesarea, a translation of Eusebius' Church History. Maier co-wrote The Da Vinci Code: Fact or Fiction? with Christian apologist Hank Hanegraaf. The book is a critical rebuttal of Dan Brown's 2003 topseller The Da Vinci Code. In addition, he has published well over 200 articles and reviews in such journals as Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte, Church History, Harvard Theological Review, Hermes: Zeitschrift für Klassische Philologie, Concordia Theological Quarterly, Concordia Journal, Mankind, Christian Century, Christianity Today, and Christian Herald.
He travels and lectures frequently. In 2004, he was featured on the Christian daily talk show, 100 Huntley Street in Canada for the entire year. He is a frequent guest on the show.
Maier appeared in a 2004 episode of the Showtime TV show, Bullshit!, entitled The Bible: Fact or Fiction?. The show's hosts argued against a literal interpretation of the Bible. Maier was invited to provide both a counterargument and relevant background information regarding the text. He was opposed by Skeptics Society founder Michael Shermer.