Alpha and Omega - A Novel of Jesus
H i s t o r i c a l S e t t i n g
This novel is set in Israel about 30AD. Israel has not
recovered from the disastrous conquests of Assyria and Babylon which
drove its people into exile, slavery, and religious compromise. There
are more Jews liv ing outside of Israel than in, and half the population in
Israel is non-Jewish. The fa ith is in real danger of disappearing by
dilution and comp ro mise.
The leaders have wisely adopted a policy of inc luding the
several diverse groups with in Judais m, rather than e xco mmun icating
them, which would further deplete the Jewish population within Israel.
These groups include the Essenes, Zealots, Pharisees, and the rulers
themselves, the Sadducees.
A program of religious conversion has been undertaken by
which the faith is strengthened among current me mbers, and lapsed
me mbe rs are ca lled back; even pagans are appealed to. The village
synagogues are centers of learning and co mmunity, and Greek and
Arama ic t ranslations of the scriptures are made ava ilab le to the fa ithful.
The temple has been rebuilt and made the tangible focus of the faith
and of pilgrimage. The scribes and Pharisees set a strict standard for
the faith in an effort to prevent its dilution.
The prophesied Messiah â€" priest, prophet, and king â€" is
yearned for. He will drive the Romans from the land, restore Israelâ€Ÿs
borders, convert or exile the impious, bring justice and prosperity to the
nation. The most hopeful vision of the Messiahâ€Ÿs reign has him
bringing Godâ€Ÿs instruction, and salvation to the entire world. Hope in
the Messiah is a refuge for many, who toil to produce a harvest and
provide for their fa milies in the face of so many who strip them of their
earnings. The mean lifespan in Israel is forty years.