HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Jesus’ Silent Years Volume 2: Parable
Author: Vance Shepperson
Illustrator: Dorine Deen
Publisher: Carpenter’s Son Publishing, 2021
Related website(s): https://vanceshepperson.com/ (author)
Language level: 5
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 18 and up
Rating: *** 3 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Category: Historical fiction
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Shepperson, Vance. Jesus’ Silent Years Volume 2: Parable (Published in 2021 by Carpenter’s Son Publishing, Nashville, TN). Jesus’ Silent Years: Parable is Volume 2 in the “Jesus’ Silent Years” series. Volume I, Foundations, covers Jesus’s youth from ages 12-18. This second volume continues to follow along in the story of Jesus’ Silent Years from ages 18-23 as He goes to Rome, survives a shipwreck and attempted murder, and falls in love with the emperor’s granddaughter. In it Jesus matures through temptation, doubt, and longing to follow the classic path of the hero. Parable is a bit more raw and earthy than its predecessor. Since Jesus was tempted in all points as we are, it does not bother me that Jesus is pictured as dealing with sexual temptations. As one person said, “Jesus doesn’t have an affair with the Roman emperor’s favorite granddaughter, but the opportunities are certainly there.”
However, what I do not care for are all the discussions about and descriptions of sexual activity, with references to incest, brothels, and such like, and other sex talk. I would not necessarily call it pornographic, but it is rather graphic. Yes, I know the Bible mentions sexual immorality, but it does not fixate on it as this book seems to do. And the language is rather “adult” and some of it what I consider vulgar. Someone was said to be “pissed off.” Another said, “No one gave a rat’s ass about” an individual. There is a reference to a couple’s “hope for getting laid.” Mention is made of sucking “boobs.” A person is described as being “not even an asshole.” And insofar as cursing is concerned, I just cannot imagine Jesus saying that an injury “Stung like hell” as He is pictured in the book.
As a purely literary work, the book tells an interesting story and is easy to read. Just keep in mind the Publisher’s Note. “This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.” The author even made the following admission. “This series of four books, entitled Jesus’ Silent Years, is a work of historical fiction—more often fiction. I worked at telling the truth by making up lies.” And one positive reviewer wrote, “And if you would rather keep thinking of those years in Jesus’s life as ‘silent,’ it’s probably best if you move on.…there’s nothing to see here.” I would agree. Volume III, Journey, covers ages 23-26, and Volume IV is Homecoming.