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Book Review–Jerusalem Scrolls by Bodie and Brock Thoene (Zion Legacy series book 4)

Jerusalem Scrolls

Title:  Jerusalem Scrolls

Authors:  Bodie and Brock Thoene

Publisher:  Viking

ISBN:  0670030120

Synopsis:  This entire book is actually a story-within-a-story.  The first layer of the story is that of Moshe Sachar and Alfie Halder, who have gone underground at the fall of Old City Jerusalem to its Arab invaders.  They are apparently the only defenders who have stayed behind to protect what is Jerusalem’s true treasure–thousands upon thousands of ancient scrolls concealed below a synagogue.  Moshe, trained as a scholar and archaeologist, is the perfect person for this job; not only will he protect the treasure, but he will also glean important historical and spiritual insight from it.  Alfie, with his child-like mind and vast spiritual insight, is the perfect companion for Moshe because he takes life just as God gives it to him, with no complaint or struggle to understand.  Thus unfolds the inner story which Moshe reads on the scroll marked by Rabbi Lebowitz as the first one he should read. The story is that of Marcus Longinus, first century Roman centurion, and his lover, Miryam of Magdala.  It is a story of great passion, power, corruption, sin, and ultimately, healing and redemption.  It is an age-old story that many of us will recognize, but it is told in such vivid narrative that we will see it again with fresh eyes.

My Thoughts:  I was sobbing by the time I reached the end of this story.  The miracles wrought by Yeshua were so real and personal to the main characters in this story whom I had gotten to know, despise, pity, and ultimately, love, that I truly did not want the story to end.  Of course, with the Thoenes there is always good news because the story simply picks up with the next novel!  However, if I back up to when I first started this novel, I will be honest when I say that I was not quite ready to leave Moshe, Alfie, Rachel, Yacov, and all the others in twentieth century Palestine just yet.  I have been eager to read the A.D. Chronicles series, but I still want to know what happens to those waging the war for Israeli independence!  As a Christian brought up in church, I have heard most familiar Bible stories hundreds (thousands?) of times, but this novel really brought the story of Mary Magdalene to light in a new way. I have not had time or inclination to research it further, but I was intrigued by the fact that the Thoenes made this Miryam of Magdala the same as the Mary of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus fame, as well as the same as the woman taken in adultery.  Maybe I do not know as much about the New Testament as I thought!  Or maybe this is poetic license?  Whatever it is, it makes for a truly riveting story!

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