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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Iscariot review

Iscariot: A Novel of Judas Description:

Based on extensive research into the life and times of Judas Iscariot, this triumph of fiction storytelling by the author of Havah: The Story of Eve revisits one of biblical history’s most maligned figures and brings the world he inhabited vividly to life.

In Jesus, Judas believes he has found the One—the promised Messiah and future king of the Jews, destined to overthrow Roman rule. Galvanized, he joins the Nazarene’s followers, ready to enact the change he has waited for all his life. But soon Judas’s vision of a nation free from Rome is crushed by the inexplicable actions of the Nazarene himself, who will not bow to social or religious convention—who seems, in the end, to even turn against his own people. At last, Judas must confront the fact that the master he loves is not the liberator he hoped for, but a man bent on a drastically different agenda.

Iscariot is the story of Judas, from his tumultuous childhood to his emergence as the man known to the world as the betrayer of Jesus. But even more, it is a singular and surprising view into the life of Jesus that forces us to reexamine everything we thought we knew about the most famous—and infamous—religious icons in history.

My Review:

Judas has always been an enigma to me.  A man who walked with Jesus, witnessed miracles, was privy to his inner circle, private teachings and thoughts who for some reason set into motion the death of the man he called master.  I have read many theories but this one seems to ring truest to me.  Judas was a man looking for a warrior king, a messiah who would rescue them now.  Jesus confused him.

Tosca Lee manages to bring Judas to life, to give us a peek into what his thoughts might have been, why he acted as he did.  We begin to perhaps understand his actions, even to consider that had we been in his shoes we might have acted similarly.

What I also enjoyed is the view of Jesus.  We all seem to get this image of a man who had a glow behind his head and always seemed so peaceful and clean.  Here we see him presented as a man.  Gaunt, dirty, tired after 40 days in the desert.  We see why his family said,  “He is out of his mind,” (Mark 3:21) during his ministry and how they might have thought that.  We see his love for others and we see that perhaps the death sentence that loomed over his life may have weighed on him.

I also found it interested to read that perhaps the trial of Jesus may not have been as illegal and irregular as I had always been taught.  Quick research on my part has shown that there may be some truth to the scenario that Tosca Lee presents in this novel.

It is important to note that this is a work of fiction.  As such the author inevitably takes some liberties.  However I feel like Tosca Lee has made good effort to stay true to both Biblical and historical facts.  Iscariot  opens the door for further study, which is something I always enjoy.

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