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Book Review: Blood and Silk: The Hidden Love Story of Mary of Magdala and Jesus of Nazereth by Carol McKay

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“What if God was one of us?” For Christians it isn’t a hypothetical question at all. Do you really believe that God walked and talked and lived amongst us here on Earth as Jesus of Nazareth? The question for many of us is, “How human was Jesus?” In light of popular fiction of the last ten years, many people have seriously considered the possibility that the pure, sinless, perfect savior could have been married. Why? The Rev. Dr. Mark D. Roberts says, “Because virtually every Jewish man in Jesus’ day did marry, especially those who were considered to be Rabbis.” He examines both historical and Biblical evidence to reach his conclusion.

Author, Carol McKay, avoids the controversy of the issue entirely and has chosen to tell her fictitious story based on the assumption that Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene were in fact man and wife. McKay writes in the first person from Mary’s (Magdalene — there were SO many “Mary’s” in the Bible!) point of view.

Blood and Silk: The Hidden Love Story of Mary of Magdala and Jesus of Nazareth begins in the twilight of Mary’s life. She has exiled herself to France to live incognito and rely on the protection of several close friends and confidants. An incident happens in the marketplace that causes her to blow her own cover, and she retires to life in a hidden cave in the wilderness. At the encouragement of her friends, she begins to write her story in an effort to avoid its loss to future generations. Readers won’t miss the irony of McKay’s principal character’s desire to avoid her story being changed over time as this entire work is described as “reimagined history”.

An interesting feature of a “reimagined history” is the ability of the author to fill in the gaps of Jesus’ childhood. For some reason, for all these years, it just never occurred to me that Jesus must have had a bar mitzvah.

McKay offers the reader an opportunity to benefit from her more than ten years research seen through the eyes and felt through the emotions of a fictional character modeled from a historical and Biblical icon. The bibliography lists over 140 “works consulted.” The accurate descriptions of the settings, garments, and social commentary are detailed, picturesque, and sometimes haunting. The construction of prose and choice of words can best be described as simply “beautiful.“ The mind pictures formed by reading her words transport the reader to another place and time, and, in the end, we almost wish it were all true. Release date is October 31, 2010, and it’s available now from Amazon.

[NOTE] — In the author’s note, McKay clarifies that in all her research, she was only able to document that the man who later became Saint Maximinus, “traveled from Judea with Mary Magdalene and that he was the first Bishop of Gaul.”

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