Saturday, December 03, 2011

"The Silent Years" Not Sinless Years (book review)

The Silent Years, by Alan W. C. Green, is a novel where he imagines what the early years of Jesus Christ (called Yeshua in the book) were like. They are called the silent years because there is very little written in scripture about Jesus in these years. So he takes what there is and fills in the gaps with a story that gives some possible explanations for what we do read in the Bible.

Overall, I enjoyed this creative story. I felt like he stretched my perspective and increased my knowledge of the holy land and several characters in the New Testament during that time period.

I chose to review this book (it was given to me for this purpose) because I hoped it would help me see the Christmas story anew this December. As a pastor, I am always looking for new perspectives on the old story. Mission accomplished!

I have one reservation, however, and I'm afraid it is significant. I may have misunderstood the author's intent here but it seemed pretty clear to me that he had Yeshua sin in his story.

For example, on page 82 of 154 (ebook), Yeshua confesses his sin to his uncle of wanting to murder Roman soldiers raping a woman in front of him. Clearly, if you believe that Jesus was the sinless Son of God, this would be problematic. Therefore, I cannot recommend this book without a warning label regarding this. I don't suggest banning this book. However, this should be considered before recommending it to young readers (physically or spiritually) as it's heretical if I've read it correctly. I realize that this is a strong charge, but I do not know how else to respond.

So while I can tell you that I enjoyed most of the other parts of the book (there were what appeared to me other minor deviations from scripture), I strongly caution the reader to read with great discernment.