Review of The Incarnation

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Lorna Philip Enslin
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Review of The Incarnation

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[Following is a volunteer review of "The Incarnation" by Arthur Telling.]
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4 out of 5 stars
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[๐˜๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ข ๐˜ท๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ธ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง "๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ" ๐˜ฃ๐˜บ ๐˜ˆ๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ ๐˜›๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ.]

Arthur Telling, in his historical novel,๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ: Cleopatra's Story of Jesus, takes us on a fascinating journey where the narrative starts with Cleopatra VII in Alexandria in the first century BC. An earthenware jar containing manuscripts was found near the village of Nag Hammadi in Egypt. They lay there for some sixteen hundred years until they were stumbled upon by a Bedouin nomad in the year 1945. Detailed texts were uncovered, telling the story of the early years of Christianity in ancient Egypt from the Apostle Paul's perspective, the heretic Gospel of Thomas and other historical events.

In the late 1960s, large volumes of early Christian books were discovered in file cabinets at Harvard University. This assemblage came to be known as the Nag Haminadi Library.

In this scholarly New Testament study, we are apprised of an unorthodox modern translation of the birth of Christianity. The author cleverly combines fictitious dialogue and narrative with authentic texts, providing readers with a new and very different story, emerging from a far deeper and grander lost history. The Nag Hammadi document is the only recorded, genuine, full text of the Jesus document ever found. The Gospel of Thomas, containing 114 sayings of "the living Jesus, "remains a heretical Gospel, rejected by the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches to this day. There is no mention of a Crucifixion but we are reminded that we can obtain eternal life by striving to understand the sayings within the texts.

I enjoyed reading the translation of the Gospel according to John and found some missing pieces which provided me with a clearer understanding of this early time in a world of chaos and uncertainty. I was particularly drawn to some of the passages contained in Hebrews, "For the word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword" and "there is no creature hidden from his sight: but all things are naked and open before the eyes of him to whom we are to answer." The underlying message is clear throughout the book and the list of reliable references and well-structured chapters ensured an enjoyable read.

The book was written using Biblical text and wouldn't always make sense to those unfamiliar with the language of the day therefore it was difficult to ascertain what were genuine grammatical errors and what was Biblical text. I found this aspect somewhat disconcerting and for this reason, I rate the book 4 out of 5 stars.

I was appalled at the cruelty meted out to Katherine of Alexandria by her husband Maxentius and found that I could barely turn the page for fear of discovering some new tortuous horror he had planned for her. Overall, this was a solid read which I would recommend to those who are open to a different perspective of Christianity and would not appeal to those who believe in the orthodox version.

The Incarnation
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