A vivid, moving, and unprecedented biographical saga of John the Baptist. Traditionally, John the Baptist is seen as little more than an opening act—“the voice crying in the wilderness”—in the great Christian drama. In presenting the epic of John’s life, novelist Brooks Hansen draws on an extraordinary array of inspirations, from the works of Caravaggio, Bach, and Oscar Wilde to the histories of Josephus, the canonical gospels, the Gnostic gospels, and the sacred texts of those followers of John who never accepted Jesus as Messiah: the Mandeans.Gripping as literary historical fiction, and fascinating as a diligent exploration of ancient and modern sources, this book brings to eye-opening life the richly textured world—populated by the magnificently sordid, calculating, and reckless Herods, their families, and their courts—into which both John and Jesus were born. John the Baptizer is a captivating tapestry of power and dissent, ambition and self-sacrifice, worldly and otherworldly desire, faith, and doubt.
A deadly political rivalry that ended in two brutal executions...An intricate love triangle that altered the course of history...A religious revolution that changed the world... THE TREASURE... For two thousand years, an undiscovered treasure rested in the rocky wilds of the French Pyrenees. A series of scrolls written in the first century by Mary Magdalene, these startling documents hold the power to redefine the events and characters of the New Testament. Protected by supernatural forces, the priceless cache can only be uncovered by a special seeker, one who has been chosen for the task by divine providence - The Expected One. THE CHOSEN ONE... When journalist Maureen Paschal begins the research for a new book, she has no idea that she is stepping into an ancient mystery so complex and dangerous that thousands of people have killed and died for it. As a long buried family scandal comes to light, she can no longer deny her own role in a deadly drama of epic international consequences.
The main materials contained in these pages will certainly be new for the vast majority of readers. Moreover the Mandaean narratives, legends and discourses are not only interesting because of their own distinctive matter and manner, but they are also arresting; for they raise a number of problems, some of which are far-reaching and one is fraught with implications of immense importance. The definite solutions of these problems, however, lie in the future, and the most important of them will perhaps never be reached; for, in the absence of straightforward historical information, general agreement on any subject that concerns Christian origins immediately or even indirectly is now well-nigh a psychological impossibility.
This fast-paced novel sheds new light on the story of Jesus and his times. You will meet: · JESUS, who was born, lived and died as a Jew; who drew on his Jewish tradition; who taught the love of man and God; and who saw himself as the Messiah. · JUDAS, who believed in Jesus from start to finish; who became trapped in a political power-play; and who still believed desperately that he was helping Jesus bring the New Heaven and the New Earth into being. · BARABBAS, head of the Zealots, who believed in violence against Rome. · MARY MAGDALENE, a prostitute, who offered Judas her kind of love, while he offered her a different kind of love. · CAIAPHAS, the High Priest, who was under total control of Pontius Pilate, the Roman procurator. · RABBI GAMALIEL, head of the Sanhedrin, who would not deliver Jesus, or any innocent Jew, to death. · PONTIUS PILATE, who saw Jesus as a threat to Rome, and schemed his death. Rolf Gompertz, an observant, practicing Jew, who fled Nazi Germany with his parents, says: "I wanted to create understanding between Jews and Christians, so we may live together, side by side, respectful of one another, in dignity and peace."
Narrated by John, the Beloved Disciple, this story of Jesus' life is told by imagining His interactions with the people of the Gospel story and their reactions to their life-changing encounters with Him.
Raised like sisters, Mariamne and Salome are indulged with riches, position, and learning-a rare thing for females in Jerusalem. But Mariamne has a further gift: an illness has left her with visions; she has the power of prophecy. It is her prophesying that drives the two girls to flee to Egypt, where they study philosophy, mathematics, and astronomy in the Great Library of Alexandria. After seven years they return to a Judaea where many now believe John the Baptizer is the messiah. Salome too begins to believe, but Mariamne, now called Magdalene, is drawn to his cousin, Yeshu’a, a man touched by the divine in the same way she was during her days of illness. Together they speak of sharing their direct experience of God; but Yeshu’a unexpectedly gains a reputation as a healer, and as the ill and the troubled flock to him, he and Magdalene are forced to make a terrible decision. This radical retelling of the greatest story ever told brings Mary Magdalene to life-not as a prostitute or demon-possessed-but as an educated woman who was truly the “apostle to the apostles.” From the Hardcover edition.
“The best one yet!”—Catherine MacCoun, author of On Becoming an Alchemist "As usual, Cunningham provides plenty of juicy controversy embodied by vivid characters and expressed in vigorous action, all in crisply drawn biblical settings."—Booklist "Gleefully iconoclastic. For that dwindling demographic with a sense of humor about religion, Maeve’s profane skewering of the all-too-human foibles of the Church fathers is a hoot." Kirkus Reiews ""Elizabeth Cunningham has again delved into her fabulous treasure trove of impeccable research, and come up with gold. In Bright Dark Madonna, her interweaving of Biblical-Celtic themes brings the first century to life with unexpected freshness and many surprises." —Katherine Neville, author of The Eight and The Fire After playing an intimate role in the mystery of the Resurrection, what is left for Maeve, the Celtic Mary Magdalen? Never a follower, will she emerge as a leader of the early church? Will she retire quietly to mother a sacred bloodline? Will she set sail for France to proselytize and go spelunking? The answer: all and none of the above. No sooner does Maeve open her mouth to preach the gospel her way than a fierce debate begins about what to do with the child she is carrying. Maeve has her own ideas about where best to raise the savior’s scion. When she returns to Temple Magdalen, the holy whorehouse she founded, a custody battle of biblical proportions ensues. Maeve, her infant daughter Sara, and Jesus’ mother flee to the remote Taurus Mountains where they live in hiding among the Galatians until a mysterious man is dumped on their doorstep more dead than alive. When Maeve discovers the identity of the man she has healed, she is appalled and determined to keep her family’s secret. But Maeve has reckoned without the will of her brilliant, angry adolescent daughter who resolves to find out the truth about her father—for herself. Required reading for fans and accesible to those new to The Maeve Chronicles, Bright Dark Madonna takes the reader on a breathtaking journey from the temple porticoes of Jerusalem, to the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, to the south of France, and, as always, to the treacherous, beautiful terrain of the human heart.