Judas Son of Simon ISBN: 9780997041743, Moriah Books, a novel by Daniel Molyneux.
Plot: Judas, the son-in-law of an Israeli (Sadducee) High Priest, is persuaded to follow a purportedly new Messiah who is gathering large crowds that possibly may lead to unrest among the populace. Such unrest could lead the ruling Romans to unleash their Legions with devastating results. He finds John the Baptist, a teacher who states he is not the one for whom he is looking but introduces him to Jesus, the Son of God and the true Messiah. Judas follows Jesus in his extensive travels through the various regions and gradually becomes converted although still reporting back to his father-in-law. As time progresses, Jesus acquires a total of twelve disciples and gathers huge crowds, while repeatedly performing miracles. The Priests become worried knowing that the Roman tolerance of activity that might lead to sedition and riots will extend only to a certain level. Disagreement also begins to occur within the ranks of the disciples who, still unable to divest themselves of earthly kingdom thinking, discuss and ‘jockey for position’ of who will occupy the most prominent positions in the newly proposed Kingdom of God. Finally, as a result of Judas’ dichotomous thoughts, Jesus is captured, brought before the Sanhedrin which consisted of the total Judea council. They, subject to Roman Law and concerned that Rome might interpret leniency as a threat to Rome’s authority, engineer a sentencing procedure that make the Israelis the ‘death demanders’, allowing Pilot to ‘wash his hands’ of the matter and bow to the will of the people.
Discussion: This book declares that it is a “work of fiction and any reference to historical events, real people, or real places are used factiously ….” and the same with character names, places, etc. Since the protagonist is Judas, a disciple of Jesus who simultaneously is a ‘double agent’ by being in the employ of his High Priest father-in-law, and “All biblical quotations translated and/or paraphrased by author” such a declaration must be acceptable. However, the presentation of the extensive travels and events participated in by Jesus and his followers, and the miracles repeatedly performed by this Messiah certainly follow scripture and the endless teachings of its ministers. More importantly perhaps, is the other volume of less widely disseminated material the author has set forth with regard to such matters as the early history of the “Lost Tribes of Israel”, replacement of Moloch and the Canaanite murderous and degrading activities with Greco-Roman deities and similar sexual and other practices – a slight difference allows it perhaps to be somewhat advanced because they did not require sacrifice of human life. Also, presented is the mater of Rome’s ultimate restoration of peace to the long-standing war over trade routes among the empires of Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, Persia and Greece and the gains resulting to the Israelis who were allowed a considerable amount of freedom, as long as there were no resulting concerns about Roman supremacy. Additionally fascinatingly interesting, is the diversity of Jesus’ disciples at a time when individual animosity was so rife among the different groups. The disciples included businessmen, a highly unpopular tax collector, four fishermen, eleven Galileans, a Judean (Judas) who also was a Sadducee and Galilean. The others were raised in a Pharisee understanding of the law. Jesus was of Essene background. Simon was a Zealot. So this again was a most impossible seeming group – Sadducee, Pharisee, Essene, Hellenist, Judean, Galilean and a tax collector. The author has provided extensive and extremely helpful footnotes for each chapter and three notable appendices.
Conclusion: A novel providing captivating conjecture/fact about the inception of Christianity.
5* Captivating conjecture/fact about the inception of Christianity.