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The Gospel According to Gamaliel is Gerald Heard's fictional retelling of the story of Jesus as seen through the eyes of Gamaliel. Heard writes, "Gamaliel is known to history. His grandfather was the great Hillel, who not only became president of the Sanhedrin, but who also by his deep learning, piety, humility, and passionate love of peace, brought the thought of Judaism into that form which has made it able to survive as a lofty ethic until the present. The favorite maxim of Hillel's group was the Golden Rule. His teaching [stressed] humility, love, patience, that the meek inherit the earth, that gentle righteousness and unwearied forgiveness is the one sacrifice for sin that God requires, that man is forgiven and sanctified by that relationship alone, that all mankind is God's child and men are all brethren. So Gamaliel...was the chief link in that chain which made Judaism a world religion. This narrative sketch is, then, an attempt to see what the dawn of Christianity looked like through the eyes of one who was of great scholarship, of great tolerance, of great loyalty to the Law, and of great love for mankind.
"There is another pressing and topical reason why one brought up as a Christian should attempt to view through the eyes of a Hebrew that channel through which the Eternal Gospel has come to Western man. The differences and tensions between Gentiles and Jews have not lessened in the last two thousand years. Today they are not merely one of the disgraces of our common culture; they are not the least of its perils. One of the causes of that conflict is the different construction put by Christian and Jew on the life of Joshua bar Joseph of Nazareth. Anything which will help Gentiles to understand how much their Christ owed to the Judaism of his day; anything which will help Jews to regard Joshua as great with all the greatness of their beloved prophets, may do something, however slight, to help rid our civilization of one of its worst blots. And, should such a mutual understanding be achieved, it might well do more for the world's peace than any number of pacts.
"A duty lies, therefore, on any writer to attempt, in whatever manner he may, to popularize this 'peaceful good news to all men of good will.' Thus some small contribution may be made toward the spread of that charity, which was never taught with greater beauty than by the last of the Hebrew prophets whose voice has spoken to more hearts than any of his inspired race."
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO GAMALIEL is now available for purchase at the sites below:
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO GAMALIEL
Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi from his Foreword to the 2009 edition of The Gospel According to Gamaliel (read excerpts from his Foreword)
"The book in which [Gerald Heard] astonished me to the core was his The Gospel According to Gamaliel. Heard widens our perspective to see the larger landscape of those turbulent days during which the drama of the life and death of Jesus and the apostleships of Paul and Peter took place. It is meet and just that this book be made available again."Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr
"An imaginative reconstruction of the life of Christ...really quite rewarding. His reconstruction of many familiar gospel scenes...is accomplished with artistic skill and restraint. Heard...imparts a new vividness to the issues at stake in the life and teaching of Jesus, by looking at them from a new and sharply defined perspective."The New York Times
"In his latest book, convincingly written, Mr. Heard has made a bold attempt to assign a narrative of Jesus to the lips of the Jewish Gamaliel, grandson of Hillel and president of the Sanhedrin at Jerusalem."Christian Century
"A profoundly moving and quickening book. There is freshness and insight in his novel treatment of some familiar Gospel incidents. Reading it is both an intellectual pleasure and a spiritual uplift."Edna M. Baxter
"The Gospel According to Gamaliel attempts to give insight into the life of Jesus through the eyes of the teacher of Paul."The Times Literary Supplement
"Mr. Heard writes with force and conviction and his story is ingenious as well as vivid."
Endorsements for the 2008 Wipf and Stock series of reissues
Professor Huston Smith, noted authority on the world’s religions
"There was a period in my early thirties when these four small books by Gerald Heard served almost as my bible. I read and reread them, and invariably found them to be uplifting and inspiring."
William H. Forthman, Ph.D., retired professor of philosophy
"Gerald Heard was an inspiring voice for the life of the spirit. Wipf and Stock is to be commended that Heard's remarkable work is being made available to a new generation of spiritual seekers."
Dr. (Hon.) Rhea A. White, founder/director of The Exceptional Human Experience Network
"Gerald Heard has been a continuous inspiration in my life since the 1950s. His books are modern spiritual classics that will encourage many aspirants on the spiritual path."