"Jesus as a Youth" J.J.J.Tissot, c. 1886-94. Tissot's image foreshadows Jesus's final walk on the Via Dolorosa, as if carrying the cross to his crucifixion.
The Bible says nothing about Jesus from the age of twelve until he began his ministry about the age of thirty. What was Jesus like during these, his missing years?
"And did those feet in ancient time, walk upon England's mountains green?" England's national Jerusalem Hymn puts into verse ancient legends that Jesus traveled to Britain during the "missing years" that are not covered in the Bible. The Making of the Lamb brings the legends to life and touches the heart of Christianity.
The Jesus of this novel, an authentic Christian savior but unlike any portrayed before, mixes it up with pirates, druids, and Iron Age Celts. He faces shipwreck and war, and he grows in strength, wisdom, and compassion.
Aware from his childhood that he is the Son of God, he strives to become the conquering, heroic Messiah who will lead the Jews to freedom when he returns home. But one night in Britain he confronts his true fate: a shameful, painful death at an early age. How will he come to accept this? All Creation hangs in the balance.
While driving home the significance of Christ's death and resurrection, The Making of the Lamb will entertain and delight anyone with an open mind and an appreciation for a thought provoking, exciting, and fast moving tale.
Jesus is Found at the Temple" J.J.J.Tissot, c. 1886-94.
Put these characters together, and something is bound to happen!
Jesus: We meet Jesus as he is teaching at the Temple at the age of twelve, the last episode of his life in the Bible prior to the onset of his ministry about the age of thirty. Although he is aware that he is the Son of God, he does not know what that means as many implications of his divine nature lie hidden from him. He expects to lead an heroic life based upon the way most Jews of the First Century would have seen their coming Messiah as a liberator, and he expects to restore the house of his ancestor, King David, and fullfill David's covenant. While in Britain he learns to wield a sword, and he gains renown among the Celts. But all that he has prepared for is ripped away when he discovers his true destiny: the most shameful and painful death imaginable at an early age. He will not strike even a single blow to free his people, and he is not happy about that.
Joseph of Arimathea: Known in scripture as the rich man who gave up his own tomb to bury Jesus, the Arimathean figures prominently in the legends as the merchant uncle of Mary who brings Jesus to Britain and later comes back to bring Christianity to Britain. He does his best to turn Jesus towards the path of peace, but he gets it wrong too, thinking that this will save Jesus from a horrible fate.
Mary: As husband Joseph becomes ill, Mary needs to stay behind to take care of him when Israel becomes too dangerous for her son. She loves Jesus more than her own life, but she keeps to herself a prophecy told to her shortly after his birth that something about Jesus would be as a sword that would pierce her heart.
Daniel: Raised by his widowed father, the Arimathean, Cousin Daniel is two years older than Jesus. Early on, he has a vision of Jesus in divine glory, and he becomes the first, other than Jesus's parents, to appreciate his younger cousin's divine nature. Frequently overshadowed, he discovers that it's not easy being the older cousin of a boy who is fully human and also fully divine.
Pirro: A Greek merchant who is entrusted by the Arimathean to lead them to the mystical port of Ictus to reopen the ancient tin trading route. He becomes jealous as Jesus quickly takes on a more important role in the trading enterprise, and the relationship goes downhill from there.
Elsigar: An enigmatic druid who finds Jesus to be more of an enigma than he is.
Esmeralda: A druidess with no love for outlanders.
Fedwig: A Celtic lad who teaches Jesus the use of the sword and becomes his best friend.
Arvigarus: A rogue of a prince of the Celtic Silure tribe. He encounters Jesus on a trip to North Wales where Jesus secretly carries out a mission from God.
Bridget: A headstrong princess of the Belgae tribe. She falls in love with Jesus, but he cannot return that romantic love. Daniel's love for her, on the other hand, will lead to tragedy.
Click the buttons above or to right to find out more about the novel:
The legendary mists of Avalon at sunrise through St. Michael's Tower arches atop the Glastonbury Tor.
The Legend Trails of Glastonbury will be a companion non-fiction E-Book about the legendary connections between Britain and early Christianity. In addition to the legend of how Joseph of Arimathea brought young Jesus to Britain during his missing years, there are two more Arimathean legends:
Legend Trails of Glastonbury is a work in progress. Author Robert Harley Bear will be sharing the fruits of his many years of research and travel in pursuit of the Legends of Glastonbury. To find out more, click on Legend Trails here or the button above or to the right. The following is a summary of the topics posted so far. More detail will be coming in the book:
Here are some future topics the author is planning on for this site and the book. Please check back for updates.
Ruin of 19th century tin mine on Cornwall coast between St. Agnes and Porthtowan. Photo by N. H. Rhodes.
We know from history and archaeology that Cornwall was an essential source for tin throughout the Classical world and that British tin was traded in the Atlantic trade zone from the beginning of the Bronze Age. Without tin you cannot make Bronze and Cornwall was the place to find it. Click here for more.
If Jesus had traveled to Britain any tim during his lifetime, he certainly would have encountered prehistoric iron age Celts. Here are some sample images. Click here for more.
Iron age Celtic helmet on display in the British Museum
Ruins of Iron Age stone construction at Carn Euny, Cornwall
Reconstruction of Iron Age wattle and daub roundhouse from the former Peat Moors Centre near Glastonbury
Reconstructed interior of Celtic roundhouse from the former Peat Moors Centre.
Battersea shield on display at the British Museum
An iron age Celtic family from exhibit at the Jewry Museum, Leicester.
More than two hundred years ago, English mystic William Blake set the legend of Christ's visit to Britain in verse, and he did so with a series of questions:
And did those feet, in ancient times, walk upon England's mountains green? And was the holy lamb of God, on England's pleasant pastures seen?
And did that countenance divine, shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here, among those dark satanic mills?
Blake's poem never answers its own questions. Instead, it challenges the reader to come up with his or her own answers. The Making of the Lamb is intended to be thought provoking in the same way. It also probes a deeper question of how Jesus came to come to terms with his divine nature and the horrible destiny awaiting him on the cross. To the extent it provides an answer, it must be remembered that it is a work of fiction, and any answer it suggests is likely to be one of several valid ones. Whether Jesus stayed in Israel, journeyed to Britain, or perhaps journeyed to India and the Himalayas as some hold, the author believes that getting people to think about the questions might be as important as the answers they come to.
Throughout the editing of the novel, many profound questions were raised. They ran the gamut from theology, to history, to the plot and its characters. The most thought provoking questions so far are on the "F.A.Q.s" page, and you can get to that by clicking that button above or to the right or by clicking here.
If you have a question or comment for the author, please use the author's contact form.
The Making of the Lamb was never intended to be read as Gospel truth, nor is it even a work of theology. It is nothing more or less than one man's vision of how Jesus might have come to accept his terrible destiny to die the most painful and shameful death imaginable at an early age. No matter how hard I have worked to make this vision as plausible as I can, theologically and otherwise, it is still a work of fiction.
I have had people say to me with great ferver that Jesus was well aware of his destiny well before he taught in the temple at the age of twelve. Others with equal ferver insist that he came to understand that destiny only after he began his ministry. But regardless of how we enivision Jesus realizing where his destiny was taking him and choosing the path of obedience that ultimately led to Calvary, we cannot debate these issues without underscoring the signficance Christ's death and resurrection has to Christianity. I am not seeking to prosteletyze, but I hope that as people are entertained, they will come to some understanding of the hold this strange religion with one God in three persons has had on people for two thousand years.
People who doubt and question are perhaps the largest growing religious group of all. For people of faith I think my book offers an opportunity to show how we ourselves raise questions. As an active member of my church for almost ten years now, I cannot recall a single instance where I felt that I was being asked to check my brain at the door and drink the Kool-Aid. Instead, I have seen all points of view on every question listened to and respectfully debated, sometimes with vigor.
So, let's have at it. It's not hard to post your questions and comments on my blog. It doesn't matter if you like or dislike the novel or even my religion. All I ask is that you stay on topic, that you are reasonably civil, and that you avoid revealing plot spoilers (until I start another blog for those who have read the book). It's easy to sign up for an account and you are all set to start posting and commenting.
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