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Shadow Of The Galilean Book Review

1762 words - 8 pages

The life of Jesus is one that is often discussed and debated among scholars and authors since the time Jesus walked this earth. Gerd Theissen’ s work, Shadow of the Galilean, takes the unique perspective of a grain merchant who has been enlisted by Pilate to find out information on various religious sects and report back to him. After Andreas, the grain merchant’s, first report he is given the task of finding out more about this Jesus who is gaining quite a following. Pilate and the Romans want to know if he is a threat to them. This book follows Andreas as he goes on a journey to find out more about Jesus from various sources for his report to the Romans.
Theissen starts this narrative ...view middle of the document...

Baruch initially refused help from Andreas and his slaves because it is against the Essene exile rules to receive food and drink from human hands. Baruch does accept Andreas’ offer to help Baruch find food not soiled by human touch (Theissen 38-39). Andreas helps Baruch and Baruch is able to provide Andreas with all the information Andreas needs for his report on the Essenes to the Romans.
The second part of Andreas’ assignment was to find out information about John the Baptist. Andreas had been writing his report on the Essenes when Baruch comes in and said that John the Baptist had been killed. Outside various stories were being told about the cause of the beheading so Andreas decides to go to one of Herod Antipas’ officials, who was also a friend, to find out the real story. Chuza and Joanna happily received Andreas and were more than willing to talk about the news of John the Baptist. According to Chuza, John the Baptist had openly disapproved of Herod’s new marriage arrangement since Herod had wanted to get rid of his first wife even though under Jewish law he could have multiple wives (Theissen 49). Since John the Baptist had a large following he was seen as a threat to Herod and was beheaded as a result. One of John’s followers was a man named Jesus. After Andreas issued his report on John the Baptist his next assignment was to find out more about Jesus and see if he was a security risk. Andreas was interested in Jesus since people everywhere seemed to be talking about him and telling stories of miracles he had performed. Because of his interest he didn’t want to give an account to the Romans of Jesus that would misrepresent him or cause the Romans and Pilate to see him as a threat to their way of life or rule.
Andreas and his friends travelled around trying to collect information on Jesus. He figured the best place to starts would be Nazareth where Jesus was from. There he met a couple who had lost all their sons for various reasons but the youngest had disappeared in order to follow Jesus. Andreas gained some information about Jesus’ ideals and learned a few of his sayings before moving on toward Bethsaida Julias. On the way however they were taken captive by Zealots and taken up a mountain to the caves of Arbela. Initially the Zealots were going to hold Andreas for ransom but his friend Barabbas was part of the group and convinced them to only charge Andreas and his family an annual charge for safe travels. Barabbas and Andreas talked secretly in the night because Barabbas didn’t want his group to know Andreas was a friend for Andreas’ own good. Mostly the two talked about Jesus and how Barabbas thought he was crazy while Andreas seemed to be more impartial and just interested in gaining the facts about Jesus both for his own personal gain but also for his report. The next morning Andreas and his friends were taken down the mountain and released. One of the Zealots had requested Andreas and his friends visit his family and give...

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