M. James Herbers
The Voice and the Word
A Historical Novel of the Lives and Time of Jesus and John the Baptist
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- Taschenbuch: 308 Seiten
- Verlag: Lulu.com (24. August 2005)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 141163697X
- ISBN-13: 978-1411636972
No man in all of human history has so affected the course of civilizations as has the life, teaching, and death of Jesus of Nazareth, proclaimed as the Christ, the promised messiah. Whether in response to or in reaction from this man, men and nations have risen or fallen, but none has been indifferent.
So great has been the magnification of Jesus that the circumstances and lives of persons surrounding him have been alternately diminished, stereotyped, scorned, or simply enveloped and swept along in the aura of the Jesus story. One such historical personage is that of John the Baptist, he who was given the heaven-sent mission – responsibility -- to “make straight the way of the Lord.” Only thirty-seven unduplicated New Testament verses speak of this man, who was “more than a prophet… and greatest among those born of women,” to whom God gave the second-most critical mission in history. Few words have been written since.
These two men were cousins, John being the elder by six months. Both men lived in obscurity for thirty years until John dramatically stepped forth to preach repentance and preparation for the coming messiah, followed by Jesus a few months later. Recent scholarship and archeological discovery have shed some light on the cultural milieu of their era, but has not, however, been able to inquire into the fundamental questions of their relationship.
This book’s title embodies the well-known titles ascribed to these cousins: “The Voice” who is John, and the “Word” who is Jesus. These men and their heaven-sent missions are as indissolubly linked as are the linked functionality of their monikers. Therefore, it is especially important that this relationship be explored and historical clarity established.
This is a historical novel which has tried to create as true as possible a picture of life in those times, including weather, flora, fauna, and geology; custom and dress and language; history, politics, and commerce. Some Christian-inspired popular “third-world” images and “bible stories” of those times will be exploded as I explore real answers to the sources of Jesus’ education – the “hidden years” -- and the real-life situations he faced. At the same time, this book is faithful to the Bible in developing an understanding of the relationship between Jesus and John, their religious antecedents, and their missions. Accordingly, I take the unprecedented step for a novel by making copious use of footnotes so the reader can check the Bible himself, as well as to furnish bookmarks for further reading for those unfamiliar with the Jewish books of history and the prophets.