THE JUSTUS SCROLLS: a refreshing, yet reverent retelling of The Greatest Story Ever Told

Posted: March 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

How does one go about writing a book about the life and times of Jesus Christ without making it preachy? It is well-known that Jesus, before being accepted by a great part of mankind as the Son of God, was just that: a preacher. Thus, it seems like there’s little one can do about the preachy nature of a novel dealing with Jesus and His times, doesn’t it? A lot of people probably think that the time of entertaining books featuring Christ as a character, and written in accordance with His teachings has long gone by.

As it turns out, it hasn’t. I am blessed beyond belief to have found the 21st-century equivalent of such masterpieces as “Ben-Hur”. And I found it in a novel called THE JUSTUS SCROLLS, written by Dr. Paul David Morris, of which I had the tremendous honor of receiving a signed copy. This is definitely one of those books about Jesus that are meant to become classics.

THE JUSTUS SCROLLS retells the life of Christ through the eyes of Joseph Barsabbas, also known as Justus, the man who did not get chosen to replace Judas, the betrayer. The apostles cast lots, the two candidates they had in mind were Justus and Matthias, and the latter got chosen. 

This book is a nourishing feast for the mind and soul. I say it wholeheartedly, for it has truly impressed me. The amount of research that went into it is obvious in the vivid descriptions of ancient places and important figures in the time of Christ. The language is simple, yet profound, and very appropriate for the time and place described in the novel: there is no flowery King James Bible-style language, but the novel is not filled with colloquialisms that would make it sound too modern, just for the sake of reaching a wider audience.

What I love the most about this book is its refreshingly human, yet reverent portrayal of Jesus. Yes, he is the Son of God, but in this book, readers get to see Him both in all His divine glory and all His vibrant humanity: this is a Jesus that miraculously heals diseases and raises the dead, but He is also a Jesus who unashamedly shares laughs with His disciples, confronts the falsely pious Pharisees(I just fell in love with the description of the clearing of the Temple, so gradual that I could see it in the back of my mind, just like a movie), and even owns a very lovable female dog, called Abishag, after King Solomon’s bride. A lot of people seem to find it hard to imagine and portray Jesus as a fully human being with fully divine power, and I find it refreshing that Dr. Morris isn’t one of them. He has found the inspiration to portray Christ as He should be portrayed: as Someone whom it is very easy to love. For this, and the courage of showing Him as the greatest revolutionary of all times, just as I see Him, I would give the book ten stars out of five, but I’m afraid I wouldn’t do it justice! Thank you and may God bless you, Dr. Morris! You’ve created a tale of the Christ for the ages! 

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