Speculative Biblical Epic by Brian Godawa
Theological Action Adventure Jesus
The story of Christ like you’ve never heard it before. Told through the eyes of the two thieves on the cross and the spiritual warfare hidden from mortal men.
Demas and Gestas are Jewish brothers whose parents were killed in an uprising against Rome in Judea. Demas has lost his wife, and with her, all reason to live. He risks his life as a “bestiarius,” a fighter of man-eating animals in the arena. Gestas is an actor in the theatre, playing heroes like Hercules and wooing ladies of the aristocratic elite. When Gestas is spurned by an offer of marriage to a Herodian princess, he too becomes bereft of hope in a world set against their ethnic and economic heritage.
When the brothers visit a secret meeting to listen to a Zealot revolutionary named Barabbas, they are attacked by Roman soldiers and are unwittingly pulled into the cause in order to save their own lives.
Their first task from their new leader Barabbas is to track down his missing companion, Simon the Zealot, who was investigating an itinerant rabbi, called “the Nazarene,” causing trouble in Galilee. If this rabbi is an ally of the Zealots, they will unite their groups in common cause. If he is an enemy of the revolution, then they will kill him and Simon.
But can they accomplish their goal before a ruthless Centurian, Longinus, charged by Pontius Pilate, can hunt them down and capture them? And how can they kill Simon when he makes a lot of sense in his explanations of Messianic hope in the Nazarene?
What none of the humans know is that the Watcher gods of the land have discovered that this Nazarene is the Messiah, the Promised Seed of Eve who will crush the Serpent and his Seed. Satan unleashes the spirits of the dead Nephilim, and leads his minions against this rabbi who would be king.
Everyone expects a military Davidic king to lead the revolt against Rome, but no one is prepared for the spiritual battle that the Messiah must achieve by going into the bowels of hell to accomplish his victory over the spiritual powers that have enslaved man.
The War of the Seed is about to climax in this eighth volume of Chronicles of the Nephilim.
Jesus bar Joseph
Called “The Nazarene.” Itinerant rabbi, Galilean troublemaker. Declared by John the Baptizer as the Son of God. But if he is the Messiah deliverer of Israel, where is his army of Sons of Light? Why will he not rise up against their Roman oppressors?
What no one around him realizes is that his journey to strange non-Jewish towns like Tyre, Sidon and Caesarea Philippi are not just because he’s supporting Be Kind To Gentiles Month. It’s because those are strongholds of supernatural evil, the gods of the land. When it comes to spiritual warfare, Jesus was no pacifist.
Demas is a Jewish bestiarius who fights man-eating animals in the arena for the entertainment of the masses. He risks his life because he has a death wish. His parents were killed in a revolt against Rome when he was a child, and later, a Roman soldier killed his wife. All he has left in life is his brother, Gestas, and when Gestas gets captured by the Romans for sedition, Demas joins the Zealot revolutionary Barabbas to rescue his brother and use his fighting skills against his Roman oppressors. But his greatest fight will be against spiritual forces in the heavenly places.
Brother of Demas. Gestas is an actor in the theatre, playing action heroes like Hercules. Along with his brother, he lost his parents in a revolt against Rome when he was a child. After seeking to ingratiate himself amongst the aristocratic Herodians, he is rejected and finds himself caught up in the hypnotic leadership of Barabbas, the Zealot. When he is rescued by his brother from the Romans, the brothers are charged with finding out what happened to Barabbas’ missing comrade, Simon the Zealot. Simon was investigating the itinerant Rabbi, Jesus, the Nazarene. But Gestas is impressed by the rabbi and begins to think that he may be the Messiah who is to lead them in military triumph over the Romans.
Mary of Magdala
This is the mysterious woman out of whom Jesus cast seven demons. She didn’t get possessed by being a prostitute as some people think. She was something far darker. And that is why she is able to see what the other disciples cannot: the spiritual powers at war over Jesus. She has more importance to his victory than most of the disciples.
Simon the Zealot
Originally an Essene scribe from the Qumran community. He left it along with Barabbas and joined the armed Zealots because he wanted to do more than talk, he wanted to change the world through revolution. But when he went to investigate the Nazarene in Galilee to see if he was an ally or enemy, he became a follower and refused to return to Barabbas. His scribal knowledge of the Scriptures and other Jewish literature of the Second Temple period makes him a faithful narrator of the theological and supernatural reality behind the historical events they are living. He also has a crush on Mary Magdalene, the hot new convert.
Jesus Bar Abbas
Leader of the revolutionary Zealots. Originally, a member of the peaceful Qumran community on the Dead Sea, Barabbas quit because he wanted to be an agent of change instead of a preacher of mere words. Instead of waiting for the Messiah to come rescue them from heaven, the Zealots believe they need to help bring about heaven on earth. Their slogan: “No King but Yahweh.”
Barabbas begins to believe his own image and starts to act like he may be the Messiah himself. The only problem is, he has to find out if this Nazarene rabbi is an ally or an enemy. If ally, then they can join forces against the Romans. If enemy, then he will send his followers, Demas and Gestas to kill him.
Marcus Lucius Longinus
An older centurion of ruthless discipline and skill in killing the enemy, especially those brigands, the Zealots. He is charged with hunting down Barabbas and the two brothers, Demas and Gestas. As a man of Law, he is devoted to justice, but his conscience is in conflict because of his participation in an atrocity ordered by Pilate. Is Caesar the savior of Rome, or is he living a lie of mere power?
The greedy power hungry Jewish ruler who kills John the Baptizer and conspires with Rome to defeat the Zealots. The Herodians are the ruling Jewish elite who are considered traitors to their people by god fearing Jews because of their sympathy for Rome. The consumate politician, and sellout.
Eleazar the Giant
A captive of the Parthians, Eleazar is given as a diplomatic peace gift to Caesar, through the help of Herod Antipas. On his journey from Mesopotamia to Antioch in the north, he hears about the Nazarene rabbi who fulfills the prophecies of Messiah, the Seed of Eve. As a Seed of the Serpent, the Messiah is his archenemy who cursed his people. So there is only one thing Eleazar is set upon doing: escaping his captivity and hunting down the Nazarene to kill him.
The archangels have fought against the Seed of the Serpent through the entire series of novels, and they are not going to stop now, as they protect the Messiah and bind the gods of the land as part of his victorious triumph over the principalities and powers.
The four key angels are back, the elder Michael prince of Israel, the smaller and witty Uriel, his constant bickering companion, Gabriel, and the quiet Raphael, are joined by the three others, Saraqel, Remiel, and Raguel.
The principality of Rome, and therefore god of this world, since Rome rules the world. He has gone by many names in the past; the satan, Sammael, Mastema, Adversary. Now that the Messiah has finally arrived, he must stop him or lose everything he has worked for over the millennia. He is not going down without a fight. A very dirty fight.
God of the Underworld. Though he is the least of the deities, he has managed to get his claws the deepest into Israel by owning the valley of Hinnom, or Gehenna, on the south and west side of Jerusalem. Molech is the most despicable of deities who loves to consume children by having them pass through the fires of sacrifice. He hides in a labrynth of tunnels below the earth that will make it near impossible for the angels to find and imprison him. He is like a rat, but rats can be fearsome when cornered.
“Lord of the Flies.” Also known as Ba’al for short. The god of vegetation and storm, the head of the pantheon of gods in Canaan. A muscular powerful deity who cannot be beaten through sheer strength. He has returned from imprisonment in the earth before. It’s hard to keep a bad god down.
The goddess of Tyre and the Sidonians, the “Lady of the Sea.” Mother of the Gods. She has ruled Israel with Ba’al for centuries because Israelites have committed spiritual adultery in worshipping her. Jesus is coming to Tyre, but she is ready for him. And she has a few tricks up her battle dress.