This is a lovely book. It is written in simple language but the concepts are as eloquent and beautiful as the high ideals behind them. I feel like Yeshu does what Anne Rice attempted to do with her Christ the Lord books. Kleymeyer does it better than Rice however, as I found the Christ the Lord books to be stuffy and rather dull.
Yeshu is readable and relatable. Perhaps there are those with deep seated convictions about the inerrancy of the Bible and who will be too steeped in their own interpretation of the story of Christ to be open to this reading of the New Testamant.
While there are certainly supernatural elements at work within the story (lots of visions and dreams foretelling the future) but much Christian superstition is swept away in favor of a more inclusive message of love. Love for others, love for nature, love for the community.
“I am God. You are God, too,” he said. “And we are God.”
Though it’s framed around the Christ-myth it is a story that is accessible to everyone (including this atheist) because it’s really a story about humanism. The philosophic roots of goodwill towards man are deeper than the theistic tradition in this telling.
I take your hand, you take mine; we walk forward together. Treat others as you would have them treat you; serve your neighbors as you would your family. Build up your community by discovering and sharing your gifts – we are all responsible for one another. Rage is a blister to be lanced and healed with acts of love.
Additionally, an emphasis on nature and respect for the earth are ever present in this narrative. Yohanan is a fascinating character who could be read as nature-incarnate.
A community is a boat, and everyone in it a lifeline. Take from the earth only what you need, leaving the seeds and the roots imbedded and the soil richer than before. Day in, day out, always make time to laugh, dream, show love, seek God.
This book reminded me most of Siddhartha by Herman Hesse.
My biggest problem with this book was the length. I don’t mind large books but Yeshu, even as tender as the writing was, had the tendency to drag. At nearly six hundred pages it starts to become tedious. I think a good editor could have cut half of the book and still told a compelling and full story about the life of Christ and his followers.
Pick it up, try it out.