THE TENTMAKER by Julius Berstl


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First volume in a proposed two-volume fictionalized treatment of the life of Saint Paul, this book is confined to the youth of Shaul of Tarsus. From the sparse facts available concerning the youth of Paul, the author has evolved an engrossing reconstruction of the period and an unusual portrait of the devout young Jew who became one of the founders of the Christian Church. An intense, doubt-beset searcher for the truth, the nervous, sickly boy, leaving home and the protection of his wealthy father to sit at the feet of the rabbis at the Temple in Jerusalem, Shaul flung himself from one school of argument to another and in the midst of study, meditation and self-questioning, attempted to adjust himself to a society where the Jews led an uneasy and often violent existence under the Roman rule. Pageants, the thrilling ceremonies at the Temple, the panorama of peoples and cultures have been caught with skill by the author whose appreciation of the conflicting thought of the three cultures of the period gives a feeling of authenticity. It is only at the close of the book that Shaul is brought into immediate contact with the followers of Jesus, and makes his sacrifices of self-denial to the rewards of ""eternal Love"". Of less emotional stature, perhaps, than the work of Sholem Asch, this story of Paul, has nevertheless, the appeal of revitalized social history, and a fresh treatment of a misty and controversial figure in Christian history.

Pub Date: March 27th, 1952
Publisher: Rinehart