The Jesus Papers – Book Review

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Friends,

Recently I read, The Jesus Papers; by author Michael Baigent. This is a very provocative novel similar to Dan Brown’s; The Da Vinci Code. It’s written from a historian perspective rather than a novel format.

The story begins with the introduction; May 28, 1291, The Holy Land: Acre, the Crusader Kingdom’s last port city, lay in ruins. The Arab armies of Khalil al-Ashraf, the young Sultan of Egypt, had first besieged and then attacked the city. The last capitol of the Christian Kingdom was finished. This was a battle between The Marshal of the Templars and the Sultan.

The Jesus PapersMichael Baigent gives the Templars credit for introducing the power of money over the sword by means of checks and safe financial transfers from city to city and country to country. They helped open a space for the middle class, according to Michael.

He and Richard Leigh wrote Holy Blood, Holy Grail. They believe in an important bloodline, a dynasty; that of the Jewish royal lineage, the line of David. They believe the line of David lives in Southern France; a descendant from the marriage of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. The wedding at Cana was Jesus and Mary’s wedding. When Jesus turned the water into wine, they were Mr. and Mrs. Christs, according to Michael and Leigh.

In Chapter 1 Michael writes, during his twenty-year search, he believed when Jesus was crucified, he either had a child by his wife or she was pregnant.

He also writes, both kings and high priests were anointed and were thus a meshiha, a messiah.  In fact, he writes, from as early as the second century B.C. the term “messiah” was used to name a legitimate king of Israel, one of the royal line of David, who was expected to appear and to rule. According to the Gospels, through his Father, Jesus was of the Line of David; through his mother, he was of the line of Aaron the high priest.

Michael restates several times in this story; in his novel Holy Blood, Holy Grail, the wedding at Cana was Jesus and Mary’s wedding. He believes at the crucifixion, Mary already had Jesus’ baby or was pregnant with Jesus’ baby. He claims; if Jesus was unmarried and celibate, Paul would have told us. He admits there is no proof to support his allegation; only circumstantial evidence. He cites the 1977 publication, Nag Hammadi; the Gospel of Philip. Also The Gospel of Mary as his evidence.

His book centers around the concept; The Church is at pains to conceal secrets about Jesus. One incident he cites; Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey. He believes Matthew’s account is filled with cover-ups. He explains his theories in detail in the story.

Michael Baigent also questions Jesus’ death on the cross. In this book, he analyses details in the bible and cross references them with his own understanding of history. He believes God’s Word is impregnated with cover-ups—thus the cover text; Exposing the Greatest Cover-Up in History.

He believes the Church is covering up Jesus’ life on Earth and offers no solid proof to support his claims.

To be fair, I reread John 2: 1-11-NIV; Jesus Changes Water to Wine. “On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, They have no more wine.”

“Dear woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.”

His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Nearby stood six, stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.

Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.

Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”

They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.

Many believe God’s Word is flawless and perfect—without cover-up; and to be followed as written—not manipulated or twisted.  Countless would disagree with Michael Baigent or anyone else’s theory that the wedding in Cana was a wedding between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. And that Mary was either pregnant or had Jesus’ child before the crucifixion.

Hosts would also disagree with Michael’s conclusion that if Jesus was unmarried and celibate, Paul would have told us. Because something isn’t stated, doesn’t presume it to be factual.

Dan Brown’s novel, The Da Vinci Code, was entertaining fiction about the same  hypothesis. I read the book and watched the movie, enjoying both. I’m a big Tom Hanks fan.

Michael Baigent’s story, The Jesus Papers, is about the same topic while also fiction;  without Dan Brown’s writing skills.

My rating: 2 stars

May good fortune guide your path.

J.A. Ireland

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SON of GOD – Movie Review

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Dear Friends,

Recently I had the pleasure of watching the movie, SON of GOD. This is John’s story, from his Gospel of John; he narrates his own story.

Inspiring Movie about Jesus' Life

Inspiring Movie about Jesus’ Life

The movie begins with John1:1. In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God. And the Word was God. He was with God…In the beginning. He was there in paradise with Adam and Eve; the fall of man. He was there with Noah…In the great flood. He was there with Abraham when he was chosen. “Abraham,” God said. “I will make you a father of many nations.” He was there when Moses led our people out of Egypt. “I will be with you,” God said. He was the light shining in the darkness. Jesus is that light. And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.

John; Writer of The Gospel of John

John; Writer of The Gospel of John

John introduces himself. He is one of Jesus’ followers. “After what I saw, how could I not be?” John of the Gospel. John’s story; The Roman soldiers are collecting taxes. Occupied and oppressed—Jerusalem. Crucifixion is everyday and commonplace.  A new governor, Pontius Pilate is in power.

Jesus walked across the rock hills toward the Sea of Galilee as Peter fished below. Peter is frustrated due to another day of no fish. Jesus walks through the water, and with Peter’s help, climbs into his boat. After Jesus waved his almighty, loving hand in the water, fish from the sea gathered around Peter’s boat. He quickly filled the small, primitive schooner.  In bewilderment, Peter asked, “How did this happen?”

Peter- The Fisherman

Peter- The Fisherman

Jesus replies, “Come with me Peter. I will make you fishers of Men.” As Jesus continued his ministry, the numbers grew. All who heard his preaching were amazed at his wisdom and felt his power. Scores of people quickly became followers.

After healing the paralyzed man and forgiving his sins, a jealous Rabbi who witnessed the miracle confronts Jesus. “Jesus replies, “The Son of Man has authority to forgive sins.”  In turn, the Rabbi threatens Jesus with charges of blasphemy.

Matthew soon becomes a follower and Jesus feeds five thousand.  Afterward, Jesus performs one miracle after another.

Matthew- The Tax Collector

Matthew- The Tax Collector

After raising Lazarus from the dead, he declares himself the Messiah that Isaiah prophesied about. He tells his Mother, “It has begun.”

Jesus and his followers journey to Jerusalem for the festival of Passover. Jesus enters the city on a donkey. He goes to the temple and overturns the tables due to merchants selling goods.

The Roman Government plots against him. He declares, “To see the kingdom of God, you must be born again. You must be reborn. Not in the flesh, but in a spirit. The Holy Spirit.”

Soon, the arrest of Jesus is ordered. Jesus has visions of Judas betraying him and his death on the cross. He has the Last Supper  with his disciples. Communion/Eucharist is created.  He gives thanks and hands them bread then wine. “This is my body…This is my blood…Eat and drink…Remember me.”

The Last Supper- Communion Eucharist

The Last Supper- Communion Eucharist

Judas betrays Jesus at the Garden of Gethsemane—with a kiss. He is captured. Later, the Supreme Court of Elders tried and convicted him. Their judgment; guilty of blasphemy and threatening to destroy the temple. Their sentence—death by crucifixion.

Caiaphas and the high priests talk to Pontius Pilate.  Barabbas goes free and Pilate orders the execution. As Jesus is whipped; Judas hangs himself.

During the crucifixion, Pilate says to his wife, “Jesus will be forgotten in a week.”

Pontius Pilate- Rome's Governor

Pontius Pilate- Rome’s Governor

Jesus was in agony while hanging on that brutal cross, in the blistering sun. Later as dark, thick clouds rolled overhead, he said, “It is finished.” After more time, Jesus said, “Father…into your hands I commend my spirit.”  While hanging on that terrible cross, Jesus Dies! Later, after being taken down from the cross, and the crown of thorns removed, Jesus’ lifeless body is prepared and sealed in a tomb. Jesus’ family and followers are devastated, heartbroken,  and lost. Their friend, family member, and Messiah is dead. What went wrong?

Three days later, Mary Magdalene found the tomb empty and Jesus’ body missing. Jesus is Alive!

Jesus before and crucifixion

Jesus’ crucifixion and before

Later Peter starts the first church. Jesus appears and shows them his nail scarred hands.

Forty Days Later; Jesus tells a crowd of believers about the Holy Spirit and ascends to Heaven. Peter said, “We have work to do.” He became their new leader. “On this rock, I will build my church,” Jesus said previously.

John continues his story while in exile. But in the light there was darkness. Persecuted for our preaching, all of the disciples died for our cause.  Except one. I must live out my days in exile. Alone. One day, I hope to see my friends again for they are with our Lord.

John reminisces about Jesus. The people today- they called you king. They think you are the Messiah. “Who do you think I am?” Jesus asked.

Jesus - The Eternal Savior

Jesus – The Eternal Savior

Peter replied, “You are the Son of God.”

Jesus says, “I am coming soon. May the grace of the Lord be with all God’s people.”

The movie ends. As the credits roll, and we see short videos from the movie, Ceelo Green performs “Mary, Did You Know?”

Speaking as someone who has studied God’s Word my entire life, I can say this movie was very accurate. A few things were left out and others moved around a bit, but that is to be expected.

This movie is perhaps the best telling of Jesus and his life that I’ve ever seen. I literally didn’t want it to end. My heart was full of joy as I watched Jesus on screen. I felt emptiness and despair when he died and later ascended. He was gone. I can’t imagine the heartache at the actual moment in time.

This is my review of the mega movie smash hit, Son of God. Watch the movie yourself. I promise you will be moved.

My rating: 5 stars

Thanks for stopping by.

J.A. Ireland

JESUS ETERNAL SAVIOR; Will You Serve Jesus Communion?

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Dear friends,

I am very proud of my  spiritual novel,  Jesus Eternal Savior; Will You Serve Jesus Communion? 

This is a provocative story I wrote in both fact and fiction. I challenge the practices of closed communion.

My inspiration for this thought-provoking novel is that I have attended churches my entire life. I have experienced the practices of numerous ministers and priests regarding communion as well as other teachings and have experienced questionable interpretations of God’s Word to say the least. I explain this in my novel.

 

My Amazon description; Is closed communion Bible based? In this provocative novel written in both fact and fiction, I make my case.

I invite you to read Jesus Eternal Savior; Will You Serve Jesus Communion?  Tell me what you think. Agree or disagree?

It is available free on Kindle Unlimited.

May good fortune guide your path.

J.A. Ireland.