Dr Freedman here examines the life of Jesus and his mission which has parallels, connections and shadowing in the Old Testament. For instance, Isaac carried the wood for his own death on the pyre - and Jesus carried his cross to his crucifixion; a decree for all boy children to be put to death in the OT but Moses saved in the bull-rushes - and a similar decree occured in the NT but Jesus taken to Egypt for safety. Moses fasted 40 days and nights, as did Jesus. Many incidents in the lives of Adam, Noah, David, Joseph, Isaac, Elijah and others find Jesus in similar roles or making similar statements.
We all know Jesus as a teacher and healer but there is far more to the story. Did he think he was the 'messiah' who was predicted by the prophets or did he think he was 'the son of God'? Did he intend to start a new religion? Did he have a political aspirations? Was he a true King of the line of David and how did this affect his ministry?
As Joseph was sold by his brothers who drew lots for his coat, so Jesus was sold by Judas. Tthe seemless garment worn by Jesus and described in John's Gospel, was gambled by the soldiers at the base of the cross as Joseph's brothers gambled for his coat many generations before.
The ancient tradition of the scapegoat is one of the themes throughout the book. One spotless lamb chosen for sacrifice, the other to be cast into the desert to die bearing the sins of the community upon it. Only someone steeped in ancient Jewish understanding, as this author is, can fully explain the transfiguration and its deep and hidden meaning.
This is a new understanding on the life of Jesus, a very scholarly one, impressive with its new revelations and its attention to detail.
I didn't find the information within the book challenged my own beliefs about Christianity, though it might challenge some. I found these new perspectives broadened and deepened my connection and I enjoyed gazing back into early Jewish thinking. Most of all, I was fascinated by the author's discovery of the authentic Holy Grail which was tracked from its most early beginnings in the Old Testament to the time of Jesus and beyond, into pre-Christian Rome.
Get ready for a treat!
The author lives in London and has a varied background in running a wholefood restaurant in Devon, in property and construction, healthcare, the voluntary sector and more recently, in career coaching.
Also by Harry Freedman PhD:
Reviewer: Wendy Stokes