My Novel: The Five Books of Jesus

I'd always thought of the Jordan River as straight.

It's not, of course, as you can see in the cover image. Rivers only run straight in our minds. Between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea, the Jordan twists and turns time and time again. It's wider at some points and narrower at others, sometimes deep and slow, others shallow and swift.

When I was young, I thought I knew the story of Jesus. But just like with the Jordan River, it's easy to overlook the twists and turns when you know where a story ends. 

The core plot of my novel is probably the best known story in the world--a story whose influence reaches far beyond the bounds of religious Christianity. But from the very first chapters of The Five Books of Jesus, I can promise I'll give you that story in a way that feels new, that invites you to notice its forgotten twists and turns. 

Praise for The Five Books of Jesus

"In The Five Books of Jesus, James Goldberg has faithfully and artfully puts the stories of the gospels squarely in their Jewish setting, making vivid connections to the scriptural world in which Jesus's message emerged. Meticulously researched and beautifully written."
-Carli Anderson, Instructor of Hebrew Bible, BYU

"…its real genius was the way the stories grabbed me and made me feel like I was there in the press of the crowd; or walking all night, listening to Jesus tell stories with layers of meaning; or inside the head of a new, confused, sometimes terrified disciple."
-Lee Ann Setzer, Author of Gathered: A Novel of Ruth

This is one of those rare, amazing books that I would recommend to anyone, that makes me want to buy a stack of copies so I can give one to everyone I know […] I want to interrupt people I see reading other works and say, "That may be really good, but I guarantee this will be better."
Katherine Cowley, Associate Producer of Sisterz in Zion

"Its intimate simplicity [...] gives presence to Jesus in a way that lingers with you long after you read its final words."
-Scott Hales, Review Editor at Irreantum 
 "[Goldberg] can string together a sentence so beautiful it belongs in poetry and then work it into prose like it was born to be there."
-Janci Patterson, Author of Chasing the Skip

"True to the spirit and heart of the text [...] an inspiring book that truly helps us see with new eyes."
-Charles Swift, Professor of Scripture as Sacred Literature

How to start the journey

To find out if you would like the book, I recommend taking a look at the excerpts I've posted on this blog. If you'd like a copy, the book is available through Amazon in print for $12.95 or on a Kindle for $2.99. Amazon Prime customers can also borrow it through the Kindle Owners' Lending Library.

The Five Books of Jesus has a Facebook group where I post quotes from the novel, links to reviews, and other updates. There's also a Goodreads page for the book--if you use Goodreads, I hope you'll mark when you start and when you finish, and take time to leave a review when you do. And of course, it would be wonderful if you could leave a customer review on the Amazon page, and if you'd tell your friends what you thought of the book--good or bad, I'll be happy just to know my work is being talked about.
Thank you all for your interest in this project--and to so many of you for your support through the process. I hope you enjoy the Five Books of Jesus, and I hope that someday we get a chance to talk about it!

-James Goldberg
Updated 16 March 2013

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