A Novel About the Greatest Question of Our Time

 by Earl Doherty

The results of my studies on Christian origins, and of those before me, advocating the non-existence of an historical Jesus of Nazareth, have been embodied in a contemporary novel with a background plot about the state of secularism vs. fundamentalism at the end of the 20th century. The complete novel is now posted on the site, in seven linked "pdf" files, beginning below. The novel is also accessible from the Home Page (last section), where direct links are provided to each of its individual files.

("Cover Blurb")

A Novel About the Greatest Question of Our Time

With the year 2000 approaching and Christianity preparing to celebrate a milestone anniversary, the western world finds itself locked in a momentous struggle between old and new. In the latter decades of the 20th century, society has been coming of age, emerging from a long era of credulity and subservience to ancient religious dogma, and adopting an invigorating and unprecedented secular outlook. At the same time, reactionary forces have been rushing into the breach, attempting to impose a new fundamentalism and a renewed commitment to faith and superstition.

At the center of that struggle rages a bitter debate over the nature of Christianity’s deity, Jesus the Christ, and the historical reliability of the Gospel record which tells of him. The ground-breaking work of the Jesus Seminar, with its rejection of a physically resurrected Jesus together with most of his reputed words and deeds, has stood at the focus of the media eye. A dramatic meeting of the Seminar begins the book’s story.

The Jesus Puzzle is an engrossing and eye-opening novel about the time of change we live in, and about the investigation of the critical question now seizing the western mind at the end of Christianity’s second millennium: What can we know about the real Jesus? How certain can we be that such a person even existed? The central character, Kevin Quinter, is an historical fiction writer and ex-Christian, who is led to research the man of Nazareth in the hope of writing a best-selling novel about the life of this presumed pivotal figure in western history. His search for a genuine Jesus soon becomes an obsession, drawing in his free-spirited lover Shauna Rosen, Jewess extraordinaire, and leading him into a dangerous liaison with another woman who has a mystery of her own to be uncovered. Quinter’s investigation leads him down some puzzling paths, until he reaches an unexpected and shocking conclusion about the Jesus of Nazareth on whom the faith of almost 2000 years has rested.

But Kevin Quinter has also been enlisted to play a part on the larger stage. A University friend and professor has spearheaded the formation of the Age of Reason Foundation, a new organization determined to combat the threat of the nation’s regression to irrationality. The Foundation has gained the commitment of a wealthy and charismatic civil rights lawyer, Burton Patterson, and together they mount a judicial challenge against the renewed efforts of fundamentalist forces to introduce creationism into the schools. When a sinister millenarian cult group starts sending cryptic threats in the form of quotations from the Book of Revelation, the stakes are raised even higher. Both Kevin Quinter’s investigations and the Foundation’s plans gather momentum, to climax in a dramatic courtroom scene in which Patterson takes on the best that the creationism forces have to offer, and the Book of Revelation finally reveals its shattering secret.

Note: The files of the Jesus Puzzle novel are provided in Portable Document Format (PDF). In order to view or print PDF files, you will need Adobe’s Acrobat Reader, a FREE multi-platform application which is easy to download from the Adobe site and install in your computer. This Reader is useful for viewing many files and documents found on a wide variety of Internet web pages, and will be an asset for more than reading the Jesus Puzzle novel. To reach the Adobe site where you can download the Reader (it may take several minutes, depending on the speed of your modem), Click Here.

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The Jesus Puzzle (novel) is Copyright 1996, 1999 by Earl Doherty. All Rights Reserved

To "The Jesus Puzzle" Novel: Novel1.pdf

     Other files in The Jesus Puzzle Novel: Novel2.pdf

Note: The links at the end of each file leading to the next pdf file are sometimes temperamental. If they fail to work, return to this page and use the next link above.  

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