By Deseret Book Press Release
Fishers of Men
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- Gerald N. Lund, whose bestselling historical
fiction series "The Work and the Glory" has sold nearly 3 million
copies, introduces a new series of historical fiction. "The Kingdom
and the Crown" series begins with "Fishers of Men" (Shadow Mountain,
$25.95), when a carpenter from Nazareth is being talked about as the
Like a much-loved movie you see over and over, knowing the ending but
finding new things to revel over each time you watch it, this story
is both familiar and vibrantly new. We meet Jesus through the eyes
and views of three families, who have heard about him -- with
curiosity and some skepticism -- and then come to know him.
Following the households in their daily lives, we learn about
lifestyles, customs, religious practices, clothing, foods, and
betrothal and marriage customs (including the tradition of lifting
the bride's veil and the fact that the first prenuptial agreements
date back to at least 400 years before Christ). This was a time in
which the Jewish nation was divided and subdivided into groups that
viewed each other with considerable suspicion if not open contempt.
Dramatically different cultures were living together. Slavery was a
common social institution.
The story begins in the fall of A.D. 29. There is a great commotion
as word spreads about a man called John the Baptist, who is saying
that the long-promised Messiah has finally come. Lund provides
chapter notes detailing the historic background of the developing
story and referring to scriptures, the writing of early rabbinical
sources, contemporary historians such as Philo and Flavius Josephus,
and extensive archaeological excavations. He points out that the four
gospels do not contain any description of either Jesus or his
disciples, nor the ages for anyone except Jesus who was thirty when
he began his ministry. Care was taken to keep the characters of real
people consistent with what is known about them from scriptural
In this first book in the series, the disciples are called. Andrew
and Peter. James and John. Phillip. Nathanael. Bartholomew. James the
son of Alphaeus. Simon. Observing those gathering around Jesus, one
of the book's characters comments: "Every one different from the
other. He's called fishermen. He's called Zealot. Now he's called a
publican. Each of these men have now been called to follow Jesus and
become fishers of men."
These are the days of the changing of water into wine at a wedding
feast; the healing of leprosy and palsy; blind men seeing; the sermon
on the mount; the feeding of 5,000. These are the days of miracles.
Crowds are now following Jesus, and the realization is dawning that
"Jesus works these great miracles because he is the Messiah. He is
not the Messiah because he works miracles."
"Fishers of Men" concludes a few months later with a conversation
between Simeon, the lead character, and Jesus on the seashore.
Subsequent volumes will continue the story through the crucifixion
and resurrection, and the ministry of the apostles that followed.
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About the author:
Gerald N. Lund earned degrees in sociology before pursuing
postgraduate studies in Hebrew and the New Testament. He recently
retired from a thirty-four year career in religious education in
order to focus more fully on his writing. He is the author of "Fire
of the Covenant" and "The Work and the Glory" series, which has sold
nearly 3 million copies.