My absolute favorite authors are Bodie and Brock Thoene. They’ve written the “Zion Chronicles”, the “Zion Covenant”, “Jerusalem Legacy”… and a whole slew of other series. Their most recent series is entitled the “A.D. Chronicles.” Their writing focuses on the Jews and their plight through history. Their writings are so historically accurate, they are used to teach some college level courses! They’re also recognized by the American Library Association and Zionist libraries around the world. You want accurate historical novels? These are it!
The “A.D. Chronicles” follow the life of Christ from the point of view of “lesser” characters in the Bible – like a shepherd at his birth, the blind man from birth that was healed, a healed leprous girl, etc. I love these books. They bring the history around the life of Christ alive. Events and circumstances and ways of life that the Bible doesn’t elaborate on are recorded in these books. Amazing. They also make you think about how things might have been, in a very real sense. On top of all that – they explain Hebrew Scripture in ways I never would’ve known. Makes me want to study Hebrew even more than I already do!
Here’s some quotes from the book “Sixth Covenant.” Jesus has just barely been born and here are some quotes I thought were really thought-provoking:
Mary Speaking: “So soft. Yosef, don’t you know? It’s why he was born. Why he chose to live with us. He’s here, like this, because you and I – everyone, I think – couldn’t imagine what he was really like.” … Joseph’s thoughts: “Blessed are you, O Adonai! How could we approach you as you were in heaven – The Eternal Light, God’s Son – so lofty and holy and beyond ourselves! Before this day our minds could not grasp you!” Mary’s explanation tumbled out. “I’ve thought about it a lot. The why of it all. I knew the minute I saw his sweet face, looked in his eyes. He came to earth the same way we all have come. He came so you and I can see him and hear his voice and, yes, love him. He came to live in our family so we can learn how a family is meant to live. So we can care for his needs for a while and love him as our own child and let him love us – mother and father, aunts, uncles, and cousins – his family, you know? And I think he will show us how to forgive one another too. He came to us like this so we can rock him gently in our arms and sing to him. And you will carry him on your shoulders and never, never be afraid of him again.”
Jesus has been brought to His first Shabbat (Sabbath) meeting, just days old. The day’s text was the story of Joseph revealing himself to his brothers and telling them how he was sent ahead to deliver them from the famine: Joseph of old had proclaimed his identity to his brother shepherds, telling them he was sent by Yahweh to deliver them. Now, here in Bethlehem, Yahweh had sent a fulfillment of that prophecy. Vayigash (“Draw near to me”) was the message of love, forgiveness, and deliverance to the shepherds of the Temple flocks and to a people yet unborn! Vayigash! Draw near to me, declare the Lord. I love you so much I lay aside my awesome power and open my arms to embrace you as the brother you rejected. The family rift between God and His beloved children, as foretold in Scripture, was about to be healed forever by the only Son of the Living God of Israel! … “Vayigash! Bring forth the One who is sent! Lift high the Lord! Vayigash! Draw near to the One who is sent to deliver his brothers! Reveal our Savior to his people! We have not come to him! Our Savior is sent to us from heaven!” … And the reading was a promise to all who worshipped the newborn King that morning: Vayigash! Draw near to me and do not delay! And you will be near to me – you, your sons, your grandchildren, your flock and your cattle, and all that is yours. And I will provide for you there. So you will not be destitute, you, your household, and all that is there.