Jesus the Son of Man: By Those Who Knew Him

Jesus the Son of Man: By Those Who Knew Him

By: Kahil Gibran (author)Hardback

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For Kahlil Gibran, re-telling the story of Jesus had been the ambition of a life time. He had known it from childhood, when as a poor boy in the Middle-East, he'd been taught by a priest reading the bible with him. Now, in his maturity - and a successful writer in the USA - he wanted tell the story as no one had told it before. With 'Jesus, the Son of Man', (1928) he did just that; set alongside Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, here is 'The Gospel according to Gibran.' Gibran's approach is to allow the reader to see Jesus through the eyes of a large and disparate group of people. Some of these characters will be familiar: amongst others, we hear from Peter; Mary his mother; Luke; Pontius Pilate, Thomas and Mary Magdalene. But many other characters are new, created by Gibran, including a Jerusalem cobbler, an old Greek shepherd - and the mother of Judas. 'My son was a good man and upright,' she tells us. 'He was tender and kind to me, and he loved his kin and his countrymen.' What connects these people is the fact that they all have an opinion about Jesus; though no two opinions are the same. 'The Galilean was a conjuror, and a deceiver,' says a young priest. But then a woman caught in adultery experienced him in a different way. 'When Jesus didn't judge me, I became a woman without a tainted memory, and I was free and my head was no longer bowed.' Not all the women like him, however. A widow in Cana, whose son is a follower, remains furious: 'That man is evil! For what good man would separate a son from his mother?' While a lawyer has mixed feelings: 'I admired him more as a man than as a leader. He preached something beyond my liking; perhaps beyond my reason.' A philosopher is in awe, however: 'His senses were continually made new; and the world to him was always a new world.' With each fresh voice, a different aspect of Jesus' character is explored; and a different reaction named. Gibran concludes by reminding us that all the characters and attitudes presented in the story live on in the world today, with nothing different now from then. The Logician is clear in his distrust: 'Behold a man disorderly, against all order; a mendicant opposed to all possessions; a drunkard who would only make merry with rogues and castaways.' But for Gibran himself, whose Lebanese roots placed him close to the original steps of the Galilean, Jesus is worth rather more; and is present still: 'But Master, Sky-heart, knight of our fairer dream, You do still tread this way. No bows nor spears shall stray your steps; You walk through all our arrows. You smile down upon us, And though you are the youngest of us all, You father us all. Poet, Singer, Great Heart! May our God bless your name.'

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About Author

Kahlil Gibran was born in Northern Lebanon on January 6th 1883. His mother, Kamila, came from a very religious background and he and his older half-brother and two younger sisters were brought up as Marmonite Christians. A local priest taught Kahlil Biblical lessons and, noticing that the young boy was bright and inquisitive, also taught him the basics of various other subjects such as writing, reading, history and science. In his own time Kahlil indulged in the arts and would sketch and draw the beautiful surroundings of the mountainous region the Gibrans lived in. When Kahlil was eight years old his father was arrested for tax evasion after leading the family into poverty and Kamila decided that the family should relocate to the USA, following in the footsteps of Kahlil's uncle who had moved to America a few years earlier. His father was released from prison a year before the family left but he elected to stay in Lebanon. The family settled in Boston's Syrian neighbourhood and Kamila worked as a seamstress and peddler, selling fabrics from door to door. Only two months after arriving Kahlil was already in school and although he didn't speak English the teachers were quick to take notice of his talent as an artist and introduced him to local photographer/artist/publisher Fred Holland Day who helped Kahlil to further his artistic endeavours. Through the Holland Day connection Kahlil became a well-known artist at a young age in Boston but his mother felt that it was all too much too soon and he returned to Lebanon to complete his education. He stayed there for 4 years but during this period his mother, half-brother and sister all developed serious illnesses back in the USA and so Kahlil returned to America to help his family. When he arrived he discovered that his sister had already died and his mother and half brother would follow too not long after. Kahlil sold the family business and began to concentrate on his art and in 1904 had his first exhibition which was a critical success. At the exhibition he met Mary Haskell, a school teacher who would end up financing his burgeoning career. As well as drawing he was also developing his writing abilities and would spend much of his time translating his Arabic writing into English. Mary Haskell convinced him to write in English and also helped him with language, grammar, editing and various other important literary factors that contributed to his growth as a writer. His first written work was published that same year in an immigrant newspaper. His first book, written in Arabic, came out the following year and was followed by more books and articles. In 1918 his first book written in English, 'The Madman', was published. In the book he discusses freedom, spirituality, God and justice taken from the viewpoint of a 'madman'. The book was a critical success and although it only sold modestly his reputation began to grow and he began to move in new literary circles. Two years later his second book written in English, 'The Forerunner', was published in which he continued to concentrate on the expansive themes he had explored in 'The Madman'. Both of these books set the stage for what was to become Kahlil's masterpiece, 'The Prophet', which was published in 1923. In the book a prophet is making his journey home after living away for many years and on his way to board the ship he stops and discusses many moral and spiritual matters with a group of people. There are 26 essays in the poetry/prose style that was so effective in Gibran's hands and the book has gone on to sell millions of copies in over 20 different languages. It has never been out of print, being a particular favourite of the 1960s counter-culture scene. Gibran followed 'The Prophet' with 'Sand And Foam' in 1926 which also caught the imagination of people in the Sixties, most notably John Lennon who borrowed a couplet of Kahlil's for the Beatles' song 'Julia' which featured on their legendary 'White Album'. One of the last books Kahlil wrote was 'Jesus, The Son Of Man' which took various characters from the Bible and imagined what their personal viewpoint of Jesus would have been and this book also won rave reviews in critical circles. By 1928, the year 'Jesus, The Son Of Man' was published; Kahlil's physical and mental health had begun to decline. A shoulder injury that he sustained whilst a child, and that progressively got worse over the years, became so painful that he turned to drink to dull the pain and subsequently became an alcoholic. He distracted himself from his various ailments and injuries by writing but it was not long before the excessive drinking got the better of him and he died of cirrhosis of the liver in 1931 and, as was his wish, was returned to Lebanon to be buried. Since his death his stature has only grown and 'The Prophet', which was one of the best selling books in the US in the whole of the 20th century, is still popular now as are many of his other works.


Foreword James the Son of Zebedee - On the Kingdoms of the World Anna the Mother of Mary - On the Birth of Jesus Assaph, Called the Orator of Tyre - On the Speech of Jesus Mary Magdalen - On Meeting Jesus for the First Time Philemon, a Greek Apothecary - On Jesus the Master Physician Simon Who Was Called Peter - When He and His Brother Were Called Caiaphas the High Priest Joanna the Wife of Herod's Steward - On Children Rafca the Bride of Cana A Persian Philosopher in Damascus - Of Ancient Gods and New David, One of His Followers - Jesus the Practical Luke - On Hypocrites Matthew - The Sermon on the Mount John the Son of Zebedee - On the Various Appellations of Jesus A Young Priest of Capernaum - On Jesus the Magician A Rich Levi in the Neighborhood of Nazareth - Jesus the Good Carpenter A Shepherd in South Lebanon - A Parable John the Baptist - He Speaks in Prison to One of His Disciples Joseph of Arimathea - On the Primal Aims of Jesus Nathaniel - Jesus was not Meek Saba of Antioch - On Saul of Tarsus Salome to a Woman Friend - A Desire Unfulfilled Rachael, a Woman Disciple - On Jesus the Vision and the Man Cleopas of Bethroune - On the Law and the Prophets Naaman in the Gadarenes - On the Death of Stephen Thomas - On the Forefathers of his Doubts Elmadam the Logician - Jesus the Outcast One of the Marys - On His Sadness and His Smile Rumanous, a Greek Poet - Jesus the Poet Levi, a Disciple - On Those who would Confound Jesus A Widow in Galilee - Jesus the Cruel Judas the Cousin of Jesus - On the Death of John the Baptist The Man From the Desert - On the Money Changers Peter - On the Morrow of His Followers Melachi of Babylon, an Astronomer - On the Miracles of Jesus A Philosopher - On Wonder and Beauty Uriah, an Old Man of Nazareth - He was a Stranger in our Midst Nicodemus the Poet, The Younger of the Elders in the Sanhedrin - On Fools and Jugglers Joseph of Arimathea: Ten Years After - The Two Streams in Jesus' Heart Georgus of Beirut - On Strangers Mary Magdalen - His Mouth was like the Heart of a Pomegranate Jotham of Nazareth to a Roman - On Living and Being Ephraim of Jericho - The Other Wedding-Feast Barca, a Merchant of Tyre - On Buying and Selling Phumiah the High Priestess of Sidon - An Invocation Benjamin the Scribe - Let the Dead Bury Their Dead Zacchaeus - On the Fate of Jesus Jonathan - Among the Water Lilies Hannah of Bethdaida - She Speaks of her Father's Sister Manasseh, a Lawyer in Jerusalem - On the Speech and Gesture of Jesus Jephtha of Caesarea - A Man Weary of Jesus John the Beloved Disciple: In His Old Age - On Jesus the Word Mannus the Pompeiian, to a Greek - On the Semitic Deity Pontius Pilatus - Of Eastern Rites and Cults Bartholomew in Ephesus - On Slaves and Outcasts Matthew - On Jesus by a Prison Wall Andrew - On Prostitutes A Rich Man - On Possessions John at Patmos- Jesus the Gracious Peter - On the Neighbour A Cobbler in Jerusalem - A Neutral Susannah of Nazareth, a Neighbour of Mary - Of the Youth and Manhood of Jesus Joseph Surnamed Justus - Jesus the Wayfarer Philip - And When He Died All Mankind Died Birbarah of Yammouni - On Jesus the Impatient Pilate's Wife to a Roman Lady A Man Outside of Jerusalem - On Judas Sarkis, an Old Greek Shepherd Called The Madman - Jesus and Pan Annas the High Priest- On Jesus the Rabble A Woman, One of Mary's Neighbours - A Lamentation Ahaz, the Portly, the Keeper of the Inn - The Last Words of Jesus Barabbas - The Last Words of Jesus Claudius, a Roman Centurion - Jesus the Stoic James the Brother of the Lord - The Last Supper Simon the Cyrene - He who Carried the Cross Cyborea the Mother of Judas The Woman of Byblos - A Lamentation Mary Magdalen: Thirty Years Later - On the Resurrection of the Spirit A Man From Lebanon - Nineteen Centuries Afterward

Product Details

  • publication date: 01/03/2010
  • ISBN13: 9781907661259
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 176
  • ID: 9781907661259
  • weight: 361
  • ISBN10: 1907661255

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