Next Year in Jerusalem

Next Year in Jerusalem

4 (24 ratings by Goodreads)
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A brutal re-imagining of the Gospel story, Next Year in Jerusalem follows the footsteps of Yeshua Bar-Yosif--an illiterate, epileptic, bastard son of a Roman soldier on his ill-fated life journey through a land racked by terror.

As first century Judea bleeds from the oppression of Roman rule and the violent uprisings against it, Yeshua, tormented by familial guilt for abandoning his mother, eventually forms his own family of travelers who preach for peace and compassion in the face of internecine savagery. Their wanderings lead to encounters with false prophets, assassins, and a rapidly growing movement of extremist rebels whose leader Bar-Abbas' mission is to expel the Romans and establish an ethnocentric theocracy.

Chance sends both Yeshua and Bar-Abbas to the court of Pontius Pilate--the dipsomaniac Governor obsessed with leaving a name for himself in the scrolls of history--and the outcome of that meeting seals the fate of the world for the next two millennia.

With urgent parallels to contemporary issues of religious war, this book is both a lament and a warning. It is also a story about the passage of time, the nature of memory, and of mankind's inherent yearning for life everlasting.

Against this background of violence emerge three figures whose fates collide to change history forever: Pontius Pilate, the dipsomaniac governor of the territory engulfed in endless uprisings; Yeshua Bar-Yosif, an illiterate, epileptic, carpenter's son and reluctant leader of a new religious movement; and Yeshua Bar-Abbas, the ruthless leader of the "Sicarii" - violent insurgents intent on ridding Judea of the occupying Roman army through terror and self-sacrifice.

With prescient historical parallels to the endless wars and conflicts that continue to plague the same part of the world today, this story is both a lament and a warning.

It is also a book about the passage of time, the nature of memory, and of mankind's inherent yearning for life everlasting.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 276 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 16mm | 408g
  • English
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 0984013032
  • 9780984013036

Review quote

"Set somewhere in the arid wastelands between Nikos Kazantzakis' The Last Temptation of Christ and Gore Vidal's Julian, Kolchak weaves a Hobbesian Palestine where the life of a man is solitary, poor, nasty, brutal, and short, especially in terms of faith and law. A lurid, intense work... a gospel in its own right, even as grim as it is and as it should be."
-Burke Gerstenschlager, BLEAK THEOLOGY

"Kolchak revels in subversion and profanity, turning many of the most famous New Testament stories on their heads and creating an immensely sympathetic character in Yeshua along the way. This is a challenging book... but a very rewarding one as well."

"John Kolchak is deconstructing the Bible. He took the book apart at the seams and sliced and diced the words til blood red and midnight black ink gushed all over his hands. He licked his stained hands, and the "word of God" made his tongue tingle and his soul writhe. He saw the truth....This is an interesting, thought provoking book."
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Rating details

24 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 46% (11)
4 29% (7)
3 12% (3)
2 4% (1)
1 8% (2)
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