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We hope you enjoy this book review by Cy Hilterman.

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The Lost Epistle of Jesus is an excellent story based on Evan Drake Howard’s thoughts as to how events could have occurred told in every day language easy to understand. Who are we to say that many of today’s authors writing on this subject are not at least partially correct in their thought-provoking writing?

As I read this book, I thought of the many stories that we know throughout the bible and were included in Evan Howard’s base story. His inclusion of the thoughts and ideals that Jesus presented to so many during His time on earth were a continual part of the story and kept it flowing, having the reader feel the meaning and its inclusion into their own lives. As I read, I also continually said to myself, “That is a part of my life and must be included in any review I might write!” But there are so many of these occurrences in the book that make one think deeply. Most of them will stay in my heart and mind, along with Jesus and God.

Judith Silva’s wedding to Gabriel Latronum is about to occur. Judith likes Gabriel but she has too many doubts of her love for him and does not think she can marry him. Judith loves Gabriel’s brother, Dismas, and has planned for Dismas to come to her window the morning of her scheduled wedding to Gabriel and take her away and marry her. Turmoil grinds through Judith as her thoughts go from one situation to another, and she finally decides to go with Dismas. She knows this will devastate Gabriel and her family, but she has to go with her true love. So this story commences. Gabriel takes off after his brother and the woman he dearly loved, not understanding how Judith could leave with Dismas.

A wise Pharisee, Nicodemus ben Gorion, a friend of the brothers’ family, finds Gabriel in despair. This Pharisee appears throughout the novel. Jesus wrote him an epistle after they talked at night. Nicodemus keeps the epistle hidden from the Romans and preaches the same good that Jesus preaches as He goes from area to area meeting with any who will listen to His lessons of love and forgiveness.

Dismas and Judith travel through very harsh, dry, and unfriendly land to join Barabbas and the Zealots in their fight against the Romans and the moneychangers. Judith realizes she will be leaving her family and her social status to join people who live a hard and crude life, but she feels she loves Dismas and finally they marry in a small ceremony in the wild country.

Gabriel is hurt. He has lost his love and his future life with Judith. He turns to Nicodemus for advice, knowing that Nicodemus lives the life that Jesus preaches to all who will listen. Nicodemus explains to Gabriel, “We are children of light, created in God’s image with an eternal purpose to fulfill. Dying through our heartbreak and being born anew gives us the spiritual awareness that Jesus has.” Gabriel does not completely understand the meaning but feels better for listening. Nicodemus uses many of Jesus’ words and thoughts to attempt to get Gabriel to rethink his sadness and sorrow and to be loving and forgiving to his brother and Judith.

Mary Magdalene and Jesus have deep feelings for each other; however, he tells Mary that she can heal her sexual yearnings by seeking an intimate male/female relationship within herself. This becomes extremely hard for Mary and Jesus to understand but they do form a nonsexual bond forever.

Dismas continually leaves Judith alone as he attempts to gather more Zealots to fight the Romans. Judith starts having doubts about her decision to leave Gabriel, go with Dismas, and marry him. She never knows if Dismas will come back alive, will be wounded, or will not come back at all. She longs for her home and family. During one of these times when Dismas is away, Judith encounters Judas Iscariot, another of the Zealots, while changing his bandages on a wound he suffered during one of the battles against some Romans. This gives Judas an opening to gain friendship—and he hopes much more—with Judith. Judas also has deep feelings for Mary Magdalene, now giving him two beautiful women to attempt to lure to him.

Jesus, his disciples, and many others close to him move about the countryside, gathering more listeners and followers as they go. The Son of God preaches His love and forgiveness to all that will listen. Many of His words contained in the Bible, as well as in His Epistle, flow to those who listen.

Dismas plots to rob Nicodemus’s home to get money for the Zealots and to impress Barabbas. He insists that Judith go with him. During this robbery, events occur that change her thinking and her life completely. She knows that she must get back to her parents and Gabriel to explain all the things she has done.

I will not go any farther into this excellent book. I do not want to ruin the great enjoyment you will get as you read this book. You will get chills through your body. You will think differently as you read the words from the Epistle of Jesus. You will cry as you read the terrible treatment that Jesus received in his last days. You will cringe as you wonder how such cruelty could take place. You will, hopefully, gain much knowledge of those times so many years ago and what could have occurred as well as what did occur. Read this book with an open mind. As I said before, these things could have occurred in many different ways. We don’t know. We know the stories of the Bible in general and we all have questions about certain areas, wishing we knew more. In this book, Evan Howard tells us his version of what could have happened.

I now look forward to the next book in this series that Evan Howard is now writing. He knows how to put his thoughts in every day language that allows the reader to absorb actions without having to find a dictionary.

A huge THANKS to Evan Drake Howard for his thought provoking and very interesting story.



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