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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Just released... Nazareth Neighbors

Number seven in the Five Minute Bible Story(TM) Series, Nazareth Neighbors was released yesterday, just in time for Christmas Kindle reading with the kids at bedtime. It's been a long time growing, from seeds of ideas, to cautious wonderings, to a feeling that this really was how I should tell the tale of Jesus' childhood. No mystery boy raising doves from the dead, no traveler roaming the seven seas with his uncle to Cornwall's shore, no mystic strolling through Asia, nor yet a mystery twin hiding in Japan... Nazareth Neighbors is the tale of an extraordinary boy living an ordinary, everyday life, on the streets and in the synagogue school of a tiny town in Israel.

From the publisher's blurb:

Matthew’s Gospel narrative brings the Holy Family back from Egypt and home to Nazareth in Galilee. He then leaps ahead over twenty-five years and begins his next chapter with John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness. Likewise, Luke sends them to Nazareth assuring us that “the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom...” In the very next verse, Jesus re-appears as a twelve-years-old heading to Jerusalem with his parents for the Passover. Chapter Three makes a second leap forward, telling us it’s now the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar [i.e.: AD 29], Pontius Pilate is governor of Judea, Herod Antipas is tetrarch of Galilee, and Caiaphas is high priest.

So what happened in those hidden years, those intervening decades between the return to Nazareth and the time when Jesus began his public ministry? Ms. Deeth fills this gap using logic, imagination and a subtle sense of humor. In so doing, she presents everyday life in Nazareth for the boy Jesus. Throughout the book’s fifty-plus chapters he assists Joseph in his carpentry work, interacts with friends and neighbors, and experiences the wider world beyond his hometown. The reader meets a young, but self-aware Jesus filled with boyish curiosity yet often wise beyond his years. Ever alert to the world around him, he catalogs the ups and downs of First Century life compiling a treasure trove of memories. And it’s from those memories and experiences that Jesus extracts the nuggets of wisdom for his parables. 


Readers say: “Deeth’s young Jesus is delightful”…“her well-developed stories seamlessly meld with the Gospel narratives”…“an encounter with a Jesus I never imagined”… “true to life and thoroughly believable, your kids will love them.”

But what do you think? Where do you think Jesus grew up? What do you think the young boy did in those long "hidden years" of his life as he grew into manhood? And where do you think he found the ideas for all those famous parables?

Find Nazareth Neighbors on
Barnes and Noble, coming soon!

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