THE SILENCE OF GETHSEMANE by MICHEL BENOIT.
On a Passover night, in the midst of an olive grove, a young rabbi from Galilee is waiting. He knows that his people have abandoned him, that he will be arrested. Alone with the stars, he relives the events which have changed his life – his meeting with John the Baptist, his stay in the desert, followed by his two years of wandering – and reiterates his personal message to the world, a message which was misunderstood by his followers, rejected by the authorities and which ultimately leads to his betrayal and downfall.
Michel Benoît constructs a lively and entertaining novel, based on rigorous research and analysis, and gives voice to an ordinary man whose teachings, subsequently distorted by the church establishment, delivered words of hope on the eve of catastrophe.
..... Outer back cover.
FIRST SENTENCE (Part 1: Chapter 1): In the dark of night I lean back against an olive tree.
MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 79): So it was the son of Joseph, brought up in the purest of Jewish traditions, spent two days among people who had broken away from Judaism, and were hated by his fellow countrymen. Slept under their roof, ate food from the same dish, food that had been prepared by the unclean hands of their womenfolk.
MY THOUGHTS: Perhaps a bit slow to begin with but certainly well worth persevering with, translated from the French by Christopher Moncrieff, overall I thought The Silence Of Gethsemane, a fictionalised account of the ministry of Jesus up until the time of his arrest in Gethsemane, as interesting as it was controversial.
Written by former unordained Benedictine monk Michel Benoît, the thirty years spent researching and analysing certainly show in what is one of the most thought provoking books I'm ever likely to read.
Taking great pains to portray the 'historical' Jesus as opposed to Jesus 'the son of God', I loved the fact that the author went to such lengths to portray and explain Jewish life and the religious laws of that time thus putting the 'miracles' into a different context. That, written in the first person', he had the Jesus of the novel describe himself as an ordinary man, a rabbi, and never the Messiah.
Powerful stuff and so very different from any of the other 'Life of Jesus' novels I've ever read, I can't begin to put into words all of the thoughts this book conjured up for me but I will say that as a non-believer it opened my eyes to the possible ministry and teachings of Jesus the man which makes a lot more sense to me than that of the divine Jesus of the bible.
Disclaimer: Read and reviewed on behalf of the publishers, Alma Books Ltd, I was merely asked for my honest opinion, no financial compensation was asked for nor given.
Protection: All original content on http://pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk/ is created by the website owner, including but not limited to text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title 17 Chapter 512 (c)(3). Reproduction or re-publication of this content is prohibited without permission.
In addition I would also urge that if you are reading this on any other page you contact the original blog owner/reviewer.