Have you ever wondered what Jesus’ life was like other than what we find in the Gospel accounts? If you haven’t, you should. Either way, I recommend Alan Green’s The Silent Years.
I encourage you to read this, and otherwise (on your own or with others) to wonder what Jesus’ life was like because I believe Incarnation is about God being fully human. Reading the bible accounts of Jesus can leave him too far away, to much, well, a bible character rather than an actual person.
I like to remind people, especially during Advent and the Christmas season, that baby Jesus messed his diapers as much as the rest of us did.
Alan Green offers a very readable imaginative version of Jesus’ life. I read a couple of other reviews before writing this one, both of which are concerned with Green’s not portraying Jesus as divine.
I, on the other hand, find this particularly helpful. Green’s Jesus is human enough that he doesn’t presume his own divine nature so as to differentiate himself from others. Green’s Jesus stands out from everyone around him, but does so in very human ways. Green’s Jesus is believeably human and believably divine.
Yes, there is the point at which Jesus (Yeshua throughout the book) confesses having sinned. However, the sin he confesses is a sin – of wanting to kill a man for raping a woman. I’m not convinced that such a thought is a sin. I am more likely to think it a sign of mental and emotional health to feel this way. Even here, Green’s Jesus seems to me very appropriately human.
Even the fact that Green refers to Jesus as Yeshua throughout helps his cause. Don’t you expect more of someone named Jesus? Again, this step helps accomplish Green’s task of pulling Jesus out of the scriptures and into reality. At least it does for me.
So read this book. If you find something in The Silent Years that you believe contradicts what scripture teaches about Jesus, go with scripture. If you think Jesus is or was no more than a Bible Character that you may or may not remember from Sunday School and Vacation Bible School, read this book.