I just read this novel by Alan W.C. Green about the years of Jesus' life that are not described in the Bible. I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is simply written, so if you are looking for poetic prose, this is not the book for you. And, at times, it gets bogged down in explanation to make sure the reader understands the historical context.
But I enjoyed it because there were places where I didn't like where the author was taking the imagined character of Jesus and I had to ask myself why. There were scenes of compassion that were moving and I found myself wishing they were in the Bible. There were places that diverge from traditional understandings of Jesus (such as his sinless nature) that made me think. Jesus is incredibly human in this novel. And so are Peter, Mary Magdalene, all of the disciples and his parents, Mary and Joseph. It helped me to imagine the life of Jesus, not just his ministry. It moved me, it made me think, and now I want to talk to someone else about it, so if you ever read it, let me know!
As we approach the Advent season, I look forward to seeing how my recent reading of this novel impacts how I hear the Christmas story.