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.
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."
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.”
A Novel about First-Century Judaea and the Galilee
Author: Dee Ready
Eight months ago, Jonathan, a scribe in Jericho, committed a reprehensible sin. Now God hounds him to atone; his wife miscarries; demons possess his child. It is all too much: he plunges into a virulent crisis of faith.Then Daniel, a long-ago friend, summons Jonathan to Jerusalem. Daniel has discovered the sin, and prompted by a smoldering animosity, the crafty aristocrat plans to use it as a weapon to destroy John the Baptizer. Daniel presents Jonathan with a choice: spy on John or accept dishonor and destitution.Jonathan's reports from the Jordan lead to the Baptizer's death. For the next two years, the village scribe is confident that his guilty secret is safe. Then, once again, Daniel summons him to Jerusalem. Shattering Jonathan's delusions, Daniel sends him to the Galilee to spy on a man called Yeshua, an itinerant exorcist. (He's better known today as Jesus of Nazareth.)Ever since he and Yeshua studied together in Jerusalem nearly fifteen years before, Jonathan has envied the learning and sensitivity of this man. Now he's been sent to spy on him. How will he use that opportunity?In the Galilee, doubt and envy besiege Jonathan as he encounters pilgrims Yeshua has healed. Deftly, the scribe spins their stories into reports that could lead to the wonderworker's death. But as Yeshua expels one demon after another from desperate supplicants, Jonathan begins to hope that his daughter might be healed by his adversary.Learning that Herod plans to arrest Yeshua, Jonathan puts aside his jealousy and reveals the plot to the exorcist. Together, they escape to Jericho where Yeshua assures Jonathan that his daughter's salvation is his own destiny. When demons next throw her to the ground, the scribe embraces the terrifying convulsions she endures. The demons, subdued by Jonathan's acceptance of his own brooding shadows, depart. Peace now reigns where crippling fear once dwelt. Jonathan embraces his commitment to his God, his faith, his people, and his life as a devout Jew. Out of death, life.
Killing Jesus, the bestselling blockbuster by Bill O'Reilly, claims to be a purely historical account of the events in the life of Jesus leading up to his crucifixion. New Testament scholar Robert M. Price (a member of the Jesus Seminar) shows how unfounded this claim is in this critical review of O'Reilly's work. In fact, he judges the book to be the number one source of misinformation on Jesus today. Ignoring over one hundred years of New Testament scholarship, O'Reilly and his coauthor, Martin Dugard, have produced what Price describes as a Christian historical thriller that plays fast and loose with the facts. Price goes through the key events of Jesus’ later life as described in the gospels and retold in Killing Jesus, painstakingly showing in each case what scholars know and don’t know. Using humor, down-to-earth analogies, and witty sarcasm—not unlike O’Reilly’s own interview style—Price makes it clear that O’Reilly’s book is more historical novel than a work of serious history. By cobbling together the four gospel stories, ignoring the contradictions, and adding plenty of quasi-historical background embellishments, O’Reilly and Dugard have created a good narrative that resonates with a lot of Christians. Entertaining reading this may be, but history it is not. Killing History provides lay readers with an accessible introduction to New Testament scholarship while showing the many problems in O’Reilly’s book.
“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.
Baptized in the Spirit creatively examines the most recent trends in Pentecostal and charismatic theology, especially with regard to the displacement of Spirit baptism as Pentecostalism’s central distinctive. The author begins by focusing on the significance of the Holy Spirit in reciprocal and mutual work with the Son in fulfilling the will of the Father. He also shows how the pneumatological emphases in Pentecostal and charismatic theology can help to correct the tendency in Western Christianity to subordinate the Spirit to the Word.