The Gospel According to the Romans

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About the author:
Robin Helweg-Larsen was raised on Eleuthera in the Bahamas by his Danish father and English mother. Educated in Jamaica and the UK, he has also lived in Denmark, Canada, Australia, Saudi Arabia and currently Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

He loves history, religion and people.

The Gospel According to the Romans
 

a non-believer's view

Authored by Robin Helweg-Larsen

"Forget the legends. Jesus was a Jew, and he hated the Romans. I know, because I lived with him and his followers for a year."

The man we call Saint Matthew, being the tax collector "sitting at the receipt of custom" in Capernaum, is by definition a Roman agent appointed by Pontius Pilate. As such, he has the additional function of keeping an eye on the Zealots and other religious fanatics who head the insurgency against the Roman occupation. 'Ragheads', the Romans call them. After Jesus recruits Matthew to help purify Israel and overthrow the Romans - 'Pigs', the Jews call them - Matthew continues to feed information to Pilate.

Matthew himself tells the story. He is a Greek-speaking Jew, born and educated in Damascus, with a skeptical fascination for religion and politics. He is an irreligious opportunist and has friends on both sides in the conflict. He dines with the Roman military, spies for them, and wants Roman citizenship. But he also lives with Jesus, preaches for him, and falls in love with Mary of Bethany. Whichever way he turns he will cause the death of people he likes, and, in either camp, whoever suspects him will kill him.

By contextualizing the words and actions of Jesus within the Roman Occupation of Palestine and the repeated Jewish insurrections, a strangely modern picture emerges: a charismatic religious fundamentalist, opposing an occupying superpower.

"Matthew is a fascinating narrator who assesses all parties with equal skepticism, and Matthew's conflicts and ploys become increasingly complex as his allegiances to his livelihood with the Roman Empire, and his friendship with Jesus and the other disciples, clash with greater frequency and intensity. Matthew's conflicted narration will engage even readers minimally familiar with the source material." - Publishers Weekly


Publication Date:
Nov 01 2011
ISBN/EAN13:
1456407082 / 9781456407087
Page Count:
340
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
6" x 9"
Language:
English
Color:
Black and White
Related Categories:
Fiction / Historical




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