THE LOST GOSPEL OF BARABBAS: a gritty, fast-paced story of vengeance and faith.

Posted: September 18, 2018 in Uncategorized

The figure of Barabbas, in my view, is the most intriguing in all of New Testament history.  We know so little of him, he is almost a footnote, and the connotation he was given over the years is decidedly negative. And yet, when looked at from a certain perspective, he suddenly gains symbolic weight: he is the one person who directly felt the power of the love of God on that fateful day which Christians have come to know and revere as Good Friday.  From what we are given in the Gospels, we know him as a „robber” who „committed murder in the insurrection”, which, given the time period in which the Greatest Story Ever Told takes place, could have only meant that he was a Zealot.

From this alluded, but intriguing idea, Mr. Kevin Brooks has embarked upon a journey of epic proportions to uncover the truth of who Barabbas may have been beyond the obvious negativity he was portrayed with over the years.  The novel Mr. Brooks wrote is called THE LOST GOSPEL OF BARABBAS, and boy, oh, boy, does it ever deliver.

We meet Barabbas as the son of a ship-builder, and find that Barabbas is not actually a name in itself, but more of a „moniker”, so to speak, that his father, Jeshua, gives him. Barabbas, as per the richness of Jewish culture, has a very profound meaning. „Son of the Father”.

The young Barabbas is devout as can be and truly believes in the coming of the liberating Messiah  who will give Israel its glory days of long ago back.  He is taught by his father to stand against the pagan idolatry of Greeks and Romans and remain steadfastly devoted to the One true God of the Jews.

What I loved the most about the book was how easy it was to relate to Barabbas. Mr. Brooks has taken a character that the Bible gives us little to nothing about and turned him into one of, if not the most  compelling angry young man that has  ever graced the pages of a Biblical novel. Reading what Barabbas goes through at the hands of the Romans, one truly gets to understand how and why the young Zealot first felt the fire of vengeance burning his heart. Oh, and  his supernatural visions are absolutely chilling.

Readers will experience a story they have always wondered about, and see one of the most mysterious figures in the Gospels in an entirely new light. The highs and lows of the life of Barabbas, as they are presented here, will put a compellingly human face upon a name known only through the crime of its bearer in the Scriptures. This is a young man literally battling for his soul, and it is utterly heartwrenching to feel the anguish he goes through when the Romans commit the ultimate injustice against him, fueling his desire for revenge. Tormented by visions of crows that flock madly around him, Barabbas is almost always on the edge in this roller-coaster of a novel.  At some point, one wonders how much bitterness and death one man can go through until he finally snaps.

I loved the character of Samuel, the priest who takes care of Barabbas after a very traumatic event in his life. The idea of a servant of God actually teaching someone survival skills, such as hunting, is a breath of fresh air in Biblical fiction, where we often see priests arguing semantics with the Lord.

To those who enjoy their Biblical fiction as sharp as the edge of a dagger,  THE LOST GOSPEL OF BARABBAS is a must-read, as much as it is to those who want their faith challenged and then refreshingly confirmed. This is one of those books that linger in the mind long before they are closed.  Great, great job, Mr. Brooks. Solid 5 out of 5!

Though Mr. Brooks was kind enough to send  me a copy of his work for review purposes, the thoughts herein are mine in their entirety. And I am a spiritually richer human being having read this book.

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