Of Such Is the Kingdom: A Novel of Biblical Times

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PublishAmerica, Jul 8, 2003 - Fiction - 375 pages
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What do a cynical, non-conformist dry-goods salesman, a disgruntled blacksmith, and a musing mendicant all have in common? Down deep, they all seek something better; and eventually, they all find the childlike humility and faith required for true fulfillment. The non-conformist, Manaheem, HerodA[aČa[s foster brother, helps Herod foment an insurrection against Pilate, using the blacksmith, Barabbas, as leader, to the dismay of the latterA[aČa[s Godly but fearful wife. The Mendicant, a young man named Timotheus, joins with an older beggar completely unsympathetic to his musings. Meanwhile, PilateA[aČa[s wife pushes him to take over HerodA[aČa[s territory. When the insurrection fails, Manaheem turns to blackmail, and Barabbas turns to robbery, enlisting the aid of our two beggars. Manaheem almost loses his one true love, his former wife Claressa, with whom he is trying to re-unite. The robbery goes bad, and Barabbas and the beggars get caught and are sentenced to death.

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Review by Viviane Crystal of Crystalreviews.com
Beneath every human beings virtues and foibles, a singular hunger lies waiting for a revelation which will create a powerful direction that
supercedes all other human goals. James M. Becher takes the reader back to the lifetime of Jesus Christ, into the homes, conversations, and deeds of ordinary and extraordinary individuals who were so deeply affected by the birth of this man.
Meet Manaheem, Herod's foster brother, who on one hand attempts to influence history by helping his brother to unseat Pontius Pilate, the Roman Procurator, and on the other hand who knows there is something more to life than the grasping machinations he helps his brother carry out.
Observe Pilate, the ruler who holds a most undesirable position of authority in a world so unlike the Rome he loves and whose spiritual wife attempts to influence her husband from committing acts sure to doom his political career and damn his all too human soul.
Watch Timotheus, a beggar, who is deeply affected by Jesus' appearances but whose openness is constantly redirected by his companion, Lucas's, desire for more money.
Finally, meet Barabbas, a simple blacksmith who is engaged to carry out a coup against Pilate and who turns to robbery after the political plot fails. On the one hand he is portrayed as any ordinary crook but on the other hand has the same innate needs that will promise less futile struggling and more peacefulness and security. The man whose death sentence replaces that of Barabbas continues to haunt him so much that he follows the condemned prisoner's path and demise to its very last moment.
Earthly plots fail and the horrendous dying process Jesus experiences, accompanied by a desperate plea to God, compassionate words, and a moving surrender to his mission, affects everyone involved in this momentous event.
Read this book to discover the fictional yet all too probable, and powerful, effect of one man sent to speak to the heart of every human being within this novel and those who read it.
Very nicely written, J. M. Becher!
Reviewed by Viviane Crystal (www.crystalreviews.com)200.

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About the author (2003)

áJames M. Becher was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, on June 8, 1943 to a Christian family and accepted Christ at an early age. He was an avid reader in his youth, especially interested in stories about other time periods and also science fiction. In Jr. High school, he became interested in writing and drama. He wrote several poems, articles and a few short stories, plays and novelettes.
While attending St.Petersburg Jr. College, he won second prize in a short story contest with the Biblical short story, "Beggarman-Thief."
He graduated from Clearwater Christian College in 1970, with a B.A. degree in Bible-literature, and Biblical School of Theology (now Biblical Seminary) in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, in 1974 with a M.Div.

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