A Man Called Jesus, A Novel
by Rick Herrick
Herrick’s new book is more than fiction; it’s a controversial, studied picture of the Jesus of history. Just as the Gospel writers set about to convey the nature of Jesus in story, so does Herrick. His Jesus, however, is human and fallible. The man we call Jesus fell into his place in history through good intentions and a bit of naivete.
Buy this book for a thoughtful portrayal of a driven, compassionate man who lived 2,000 years ago. Herrick’s prose is a bit passive; this book just isn’t meant to be a page-turner. He repeatedly tones down the supernatural claims of scripture, sometimes blatantly rewriting the Bible. But that’s sort of the point. Herrick means to provide a reasonable image, true to the atmosphere of the first century, of the most influential man who ever lived.
The book’s real value is in the retrospective analysis that it demands. Readers already familiar with the Jesus of the Bible will enjoy Herrick’s work the most, since it is the rewritten passages which are most meaningful. This is Herrick’s subtle way of highlighting where historical truth escalated into evangelical posturing, particularly in the passion narrative. Thus, the short section at the end, where Herrick discusses the research which led him to portray Jesus in this manner, cannot be missed.
Recommended for all who believe they know who Jesus really was, this book will make you think differently.
Sunstone Press, © 2014, 136 pages