By offering a new perspective on the life of Jesus Christ, Steve Lipscomb’s first novel, “RETOLD: The Story of Jesus,” explores the humanity of the son of God. A Bartow County native, Lipscomb currently resides in Topeka, Kansas, where he serves as an Episcopal priest and dean of Grace Cathedral.
“I want people that have an image of Jesus only as a divine entity to recognize and embrace his humanity,” Lipscomb said. “I don’t think Jesus can truly be appreciated for all that he is to us without that realization. I also want people that don’t have much interest in religion but are, perhaps, spiritually minded — or not — to get to know who Jesus was as an historical person, what he was surely like.
“Even nonreligious people would recognize Jesus as a very good man, and an example for everyone to follow in their relationships with others. I hope this book will help people with that introduction of Jesus as an example.”
After wanting to pen a novel on this topic for more than a decade, Lipscomb started writing “RETOLD” a couple of years ago in his spare time. Independently published, “RETOLD” was released earlier this year by The CiderHouse Press.
“RETOLD: The Story of Jesus is a new and unique account of the life and times of history’s most famous and influential character,” according to a press release from The CiderHouse Press. “Based loosely on the narrative accounts of the gospels, this 393-page book includes new tales and details of Jesus’ life, including the ‘lost’ years of Jesus’ life as a child and young man. The author ... takes the reader on an imaginative journey with Jesus as he seeks to discover God’s plan for his life.
“This amusing yet poignant look at the life of Jesus introduces some new characters to the story: a cave-dwelling hermit, a traveling pimp, a Chinese emperor, and an Indian monk, to name a few. It also expands the roles and personalities of the more traditional characters such as Peter, Mary Magdalene, Judas Iscariot, and Herod. Humor, betrayal, murder, sex, and intrigue all come into play in this new telling of an ancient story.”
As noted by Lipscomb, the purpose of his novel was to emphasize Jesus’ humanity and engage nonbelievers.
“I actually had two goals,” Lipscomb said. “One was to present Jesus from his human perspective, or ‘being.’ For Christians, I think we have a much more difficult time grasping the humanity of Jesus than we do his divinity. Christianity understands Jesus to be fully human and fully God, not part one and part the other. Jesus went through all the experiences, feelings and emotions we all do: hopes and dreams, joy and sadness, laughter and love, questioning and frustration and grief. He experienced the entire cycle of life — birth, childhood, adulthood, even death. I wanted Jesus’ humanity to show through in this book. That the humanity of Jesus is just as important as the divine one. Of course, the divine Jesus [is] in the story, too. I just wanted to emphasize Jesus as being fully human. I don’t think we get that much in church or anywhere else.
“I also hoped that this book might introduce Jesus to people that don’t go to church or don’t know the story. I thought a story like this, with a bit more humor and adventure and character detail, might be more attractive than sacred writings. And, I hoped that once introduced to Jesus and his life and times through a novel, they might want to know more and that would lead them to the Bible and church.”
Along with http://www.theciderhousepress.com, “RETOLD” also is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other major book retailers.