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Harry Freedman

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The Gospels Veiled Agenda
by Harry Freedman   

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ISBN-10:  1466074712

ISBN-13:  9781466074712


How to read the gospels the way the authors' intended, bu appreciating their using 1st century literay techniques.

The legend of the Holy Grail has captured the imagination of millions of people for hundreds of years. It has been sought in the most unlikely places. But like all good mysteries, we only solve it when we look in the most obvious hiding place. The only thing we know for sure is that the grail is something to do with Jesus. So why not look for it it the books that tell us about Jesus- in the Gospels?

We miss a lot when we read the Gospels today. We don’t live in 1st Century Judea, we don’t speak their language and we don’t share their culture.
The Gospels are radical, political works, containing many coded messages. The code is based on an ancient literary technique known as Midrash. When we decode the Gospels we begin to understand Jesus’s true revolutionary agenda. It was the Holy Grail which gives us the key to his aspirations.

The failure of Jesus’s revolution came about, not with his crucifixion, but long before with the imprisonment and execution of John the Baptist. From this time forward Jesus and his disciples faced an uphill struggle. Their ultimate demise was inevitable, and Jesus knew this, as the narrative bears out.

Understanding the true nature of the Gospels does not diminish Christianity in any way. Indeed, it supports it. If you really want to know what Jesus was hoping to achieve, and if you would like to discover the true identity of the Holy Grail, read this book!

Professional Reviews

The Jewish secrets of the Holy Grail
At the Limmud conference a couple of years ago, one of the bestselling books was an introduction to the New Testament written by a rabbi. It indicated the growing trend of Jewish curiosity about the origins of Christianity, whose sacred texts would once have simply been shunned as antisemitic heresy.

The Gospels' Veiled Agenda is an addition, by the former director of the Assembly of Masorti Synagogues, to the expanding literature on Jesus the Jew. But what will prick popular interest in particular is that it offers a Jewish explanation to an enduring legend, that of the Holy Grail.

Freedman presents Jesus not as the Messiah of Christian lore but as a religious revolutionary who wanted to replace the clerical establishment of his day - a corrupt priesthood propped up through collaboration with the Roman occupiers of ancient Israel.

The priests already faced opposition from the Pharisees, the rabbis who provided alternative leadership through intellectual meritocracy based on knowledge of Torah.

Freedman argues that Jesus chose a different path: he sought to instal a new body of priests worthier to be the spiritual leaders of the Jewish people. This posed a threat not only to the existing priesthood but to the Romans who would be suspicious of a more independently-minded Jewish leadership in the Temple, the centre of national feeling.

The holder of a doctorate in Aramaic translation of the Torah, Freedman deploys his knowledge of midrash with ingenuity, using the techniques of rabbinic interpretation to connect Hebrew sources with material in the Gospels. While his speculations rest on scholarship, he wears it lightly, leading the reader in an easy style to his conclusions about the Grail.

As for that elusive artefact, I am not going to pre-empt anyone's pleasure by revealing the detail of his theory. Only to say that he believes it not to be a chalice but a different kind of sacred object linked to priestly ceremony and critical to Jesus's aspirations.

A fascinating insight
A very readable book which assumes no previous knowledge. Looks at the gospels through the eyes of Jews at the time to give some original insights including a plausible approach to the holy grail.

an approachable and insightful read
This is a surprisingly accessible book, despite the academic nature of its subject and sources.

With a number of fascinating insights into what is supposedly one of the best known stories around, this book challenges received wisdom in and engaging and exciting way, shedding light on the radicalism of Jesus's politcs.

An unexpected page turner.

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