What was it like to be there while the New Testament was being written and compiled?
In The Parable of the Messiah Scrolls, the New Testaments are being written and compiled, and you are there! Doctrinal strategies, murders and intrigues and quarrels, moments of luminous inspiration, and the joy of working with other Jesus Followers to record eyewitness testimony and craft messages for all future believers, for all time.
You are invited to collaborate with me on The Parable of the Messiah Scrolls, so that more people will read and understand, through annotated historical fiction, what it is like to put into practice the Old and New Testament verities - in our lives.
Jesus Christ told his disciples to keep secret good works and not boast, letting our lights shine in suffering service under obedience to Him, shunning self-appeasement, worship of appearance and status, and materialism. Sadly, we Christians have kept it secret – from ourselves; we are effectively ignorant of what the Testaments could teach us. If it weren’t so we would act more faithfully, live honestly in the world, and treat others differently than we do now.
In 1988 The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy professed in its opening section that the Bible and the Old and New Testaments are the literary and values bulwark of Western Civilization. Hmmm...
However, beginning back in the 1960s and building on a movement that started with the enlightenment, and built on postmodernism, a certain unaffiliated "None-ism" has shredded the textual and literary basis of the Christian Community. While many households still own Bibles, today nominal or cultural Christians (the shoe fitting mostly the Boomers down to the Millennials) no longer read, study and internalize the content of the Bible and its sustainable insights as to how to live life.
Too many people (regardless of belief) of our generation are simply not familiar with the textual and literary material per se that tells what the first century Jesus taught. These august historical documents are likely the most frequently possessed and yet least frequently read and practiced upon. Yet the documents themselves invite all to be informed, and if they so choose, to be obedient. (This is said with heavy heart under my own indictment; see Matthew 7: 1-3 and Romans 12: 9-19, “Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord.”)
In our world of attention deficits and budget deficits, authentically understanding the Scriptures of our faith is the Christian's new currency. Within ourselves - when Christians live within this currency, leveraging the psycho-social benefits of truly knowing our faith - then and only then can we make earnest Christ-embedded decisions, aiding all our brothers and sisters (Christian and otherwise), our homes, our communities, and the world in which we live.
It is hoped that many efforts are working towards this goal, but the goal of The Messiah Scrolls is to help to stir up its readers’ interest in once more engaging with the many questions raised by the foundational documents of our faith.
Would you be willing to help?
Aware of the significant amount of existing lay beliefs and academic scholarship with respect to our Testaments, we are seeking editorial annotated contributions. If you interpretatively disagree with a particular scene or scenario within a chapter, or find it necessary to rewrite a scene or add an entirely new chapter – please – we welcome your insights and contributions. The hard copy of The Messiah Scrolls, second edition, to be printed in 2015, will contain all annotations accepted by a board of editors.
In The Messiah Scrolls, currently a “Truth within Fiction” E-literature novel about the first Christians and the origin of their community – an online web-book launched on this website – there will be a wide ranging and thorough attempt to understand how Apostle John, leading a dozen rag-tag apostles under their cult leader, Jesus, built hundreds of Messiah Communities that established Christianity as the dominant individual, social, cultural and economic force in both the ancient and the modern world, 2000 years in the future.
The goal of our collective writing & editing efforts: to show the first century saints struggling to form community, and burn these freshly minted, exciting and sustained literary images into our hearts and the hearts of our readers.
Issues for Discussion and Annotation
Some of the controversies discussed in The Messiah Scrolls include:
The web-book shows real and fictional heroes, descended from an ancient Double Falcon clan of leaders from the Isle of Thera in the Mediterranean fused with the Joseph clan of Jacob, who settled in Ancient Rhakotis on the shores of what was to become North Africa and joined with the Judah clans in Judaea at the Advent of the Messiah ... fulfilling Ezekiel’s prophecy to that effect ... and creating Christian Community Zero.
Perhaps the most important questions are: what leadership lessons can be gained from the way our first-century ancestors read and interpreted and lived what Jesus taught? Are there "rules of community"? What insights and practices do these early saints have for us today?
The Annotated Parable of the Messiah Scrolls: a work of collaboration
Lay and academic scholars of this web-book are invited to bring their own insights and expertise to bear in providing editorially selected annotations to the published hard cover version of The Parable of the Messiah Scrolls – hopefully with the effect of encouraging Christians and non-Christians alike not only to read but also to engage with the underlying biblical beliefs and practices of the first century Christians. Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the Word Implanted, which is able to save your souls. - James 1:21
Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, please join me in editorial additions, in your annotations, in the discussion boards, in the preparation of public domain study materials, working in hope as we bring fresh images of the developing first century Christian communities into the modern day.
Thank you. Don Chatelain Messiah Scrolls Web-Books