WHAT IF you knew how to raise yourself up every day? Drawing wisdom from ancient texts within the Canonical books, the Qumran scrolls, the Tao Te Ching verses, and the Bhagavad Gita poem, “The Messenger” is a reimagined story of personal transformation.
Zachary notes, in an inviting preface, that she hopes that reading this new version of the most familiar (and fought over) of tales will prove a “perspective-shifting experience” for readers. She acknowledges that there’s no record establishing the precise relationship between Yeshua and Maryam, but concludes they must have been close friends, together embodying the “necessary balance of sacred masculine and divine feminine energies.” That balance guides Zachary, who alternates between masculine and feminine pronouns for God and has Yeshua address disciple Shimon’s distaste for Maryam’s prominence among the disciples who “fish for people.”
Zachary sources most lines of her retelling in ancient texts, combining Christian beliefs with other traditions, emphasizing light, rebirth, and knowing the self as a route to healing. (An appendix spells out the subtitle’s “keys for resurrecting your life.”) A spiritual healer herself, she preserves the healing miracles, though her take on the loaves and fishes story suggests Yeshua as a good manager rather than a creator of food. She numbers the lines, offers copious explanations of familiar and unfamiliar terms, and places the words of God in blue text. Readers looking to blend Christian teachings with other spiritual traditions will find much to ponder.
Takeaway: A vivid, deeply researched retelling of key moments of the Gospels, woven through with elements of other spiritual traditions.
Great for fans of: Thomas Jefferson’s Jefferson Bible, Elaine Pagels’s The Gnostic Gospels.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A-