Stones of Jerusalem.
Thoene, Bodie (author) and Brock Thoene (author).
Mar. 2002. 304p. Viking, hardcover, $23.95 (0-670-03051-1).
This is the fifth installment in the best-selling Thoenes’ Zion Legacy series about the founding of modern Jerusalem, but in The Jerusalem Scrolls [BKL Ag 01], the fourth entry, they jumped back 2,000 years to tell their version of the ministry of Jesus. They continue that “flashback” here with the story of Miryam, who experienced the worst sort of misery before coming under the influence of Yeshua. Now she prospers in the faith, founding a home for the poor and abandoned--particularly unwed mothers. Marcus Longinus, the Roman centurion and Miryam’s old lover, slowly turns to conversion, in the process rediscovering Miryam as a radiant Christian. Marcus becomes the Good Samaritan of Yeshua’s parable, saving the Sanhedrin Nakdimon (Nicodemus) from the bandit and would-be revolutionary bar Abbas (Barabbas), in a merging of biblical stories with the necessities of plot. Both Marcus and Nakdimon seek out Yeshua to bring reports back to Pilate and the Sanhedrin, respectively; others, like three woebegone children, seek him out in order to be healed. Yeshua appears in the last third of the novel, a stirring presence not entirely bound to verses in the Gospels. As the narrative ends, revolution is brewing, pointing to at least one more novel to conclude this historical aside. In fact, the trilogy within the series, if that’s what it turns out to be, is a more compelling narrative than the framing story that encloses it.— John Mort