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Before Bethlehem by [James J. Flerlage]

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Before Bethlehem Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 1,062 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


"A historical novel set on the eve of the birth of Jesus Christ. 

Set in early first-century Palestine, Flerlage's historical fiction debut is narrated by James, the son of Nazarene carpenter Joseph, who, after his first wife died, went on to wed a young girl named Mary and have with her their more famous son, Jesus. Young James tells the story of normal small-town life spiked with social and political unrest simmering just under the surface. Tension among the Jewish people, their religious leaders and their imperial Roman overseers lurks behind the scenes Flerlage effectively dramatizes. Although many moments are quiet and quite evocative--the larger-scope bitterness is never far away: 'It seems that every time our people protest or revolt, the Romans end up crucifying, spearing, burning, boiling, and ultimately killing anyone in their way, including innocent people.'

Joseph and James travel to the great Temple in Jerusalem, the heart of both Jewish faith and Jewish unrest, and all along, Joseph displays intelligence, impatience with Roman rule and a wry sense of humor. 'How do you know if a man is really speaking on behalf of God?' James asks Joseph, to which he chuckles and replies, 'I have no idea, but if you ever meet a prophet, would you introduce me?' Flerlage fleshes out the story with excellent pacing and dialogue, and he doesn't fail to deliver what many readers will be expecting: Joseph's meeting Mary--their marriage and the babyhood of James' half brother, Jesus. 

A warmly personal portrait of Joseph, earthly father of Jesus.

Readers who've enjoyed religious fiction from Taylor Caldwell and Francine Rivers will particularly enjoy."

- Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

James Flerlage is an experienced writer, researcher and speaker. His articles have appeared in national and international magazines and in syndicated business and technology publications. Among other credentials, he holds a master's in business administration, a graduate certificate in professional writing, and is a graduate of Sewanee University's Education for Ministry program. James is happily married, the proud father of two daughters, and active in his church and community. In his spare time, James enjoys drumming, fishing and reading. He is currently working on his next novel. --This text refers to the paperback edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B00GNIIW8K
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Dreamscapes Publishing; 1st edition (November 16, 2013)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ November 16, 2013
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 1074 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Sticky notes ‏ : ‎ On Kindle Scribe
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 295 pages
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.1 out of 5 stars 1,062 ratings

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James Flerlage is the author of Before Bethlehem, a critically acclaimed historical novel and “2013 Recommended Book” by Kirkus Reviews. In addition to spending time with his family, James enjoys fishing, drumming, and watching Major League Baseball; he follows the Kansas City Royals and the Cincinnati Reds.

Customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5
1,062 global ratings

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Penelope Truscott
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor and factually incorrect
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Ida Halvorsen
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B. Humphreys
4.0 out of 5 stars a satisfying read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on February 14, 2015
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