Monday, December 3, 2012

Following Yonder Star by Martin Gibbs

in progress

Following Yonder Star: The Untold Trials of the Three Kings by Martin Gibbs, is a hybrid narrative/ historical tale that chronicles the behind the scenes story of the three Kings depicted in the New Testament biblical narratives of the story of Jesus' birth.  The mysterious three kings, also known as the three wise men are mentioned briefly in the gospel accounts as they follow the star that leads to Jesus, based on prophecy and their understanding of astrology.

 Everyone; religious and  non religious alike, have heard of the three kings which are depicted on holiday cards, Christmas paegents, and popular Christmas carols.  Yet few have actually read the gospel accounts and even those who have, may be left with a thirst for more information.  Gibbs expands on the gospel accounts using historical information as to the national and ethnic backgrounds of the kings. Gibbs fills in the blanks to create a plausible and exciting adventure.  In Gibbs' narrative, the kings are depicted as advocates of scientific advancement in that they are curious, yet objective observers of astronomy.  They are depicted as the ancient equivalents to Copernicus supporting the advancement of science, yet they are portrayed as faithful moral kings leaders with wealth and power and great kingdoms as well. In contrast to the book's portrayal, many people  erroneously assume that the three kings were supersticious, mysterious, pagan seers or astrologers that just happened to be in the right place at the right time.  Gibbs dispels that sterotype of the pagan atrologers by reconciling the three kings with the old testament teachings and  ancient faith of the Judaism.  They are portrayed as embarking on an intentional quest in the fullfillment of ancient prophecy to seek out the savior.  In fact the religious views of the three kings is similar to the faith of the ancient Hebrews who eagerly await the arrival of the promised savior. Apparently they had access to the same ancient Hebrew scrolls that the Jewish priests and leaders had.  The reader can follow along as the kings engage in theological discussions about the need for a savior-  before the birth of Christ!

The story is rich in detail about the Kings  travels and experiences.  The author did not leave anything out. The events mentioned briefly in the gospel accounts are also included and expanded on in this story, but in greater detail such as the stopover to see Herod, the visit to see Jesus and the angel's dream warning them to avoid Herod. As a blogger I received this book for the purpose of writing this review.

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