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Joshua (Joshua)

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,317 Ratings  ·  348 Reviews
Joshua, "A parable for today" is the story of a quiet man, whose benevolence and selfless work in the community prompts amazement as well as suspicions.
Hardcover, First Edition, 310 pages
Published 1983 by Richelieu Court Publications
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ben Zajdel
Dec 17, 2011 Ben Zajdel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What if Jesus came back today? Would we recognize him? Joshua tries to answer that question. A simple carpenter moves to the outskirts of a small town named Auburn, mystifying the locals with his beautiful wood carvings and astute insights into religion. Joshua lives a happy life, making toys for children and fixing furniture for the elderly. People are drawn to him. He is friendly, never too busy to stop and have a conversation. The things he discusses speaks to their hearts. It doesn't take lo ...more
Jul 08, 2008 Meg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
What would you do if Jesus was living up the street from you? A simple man, doing God's will, who is as radical today as he was with the Apostle's? Welcome to the journey of a lifetime, where you are likely to question your understanding of God and Jesus Christ. I first encountered this book in high school, and just re-read it to be in solidarity with my freshmen who have this for summer reading. Some of the lessons I gained were the same, but many were different. I highly recommend that you tak ...more
Dec 13, 2011 Casey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book suffers from the same syndrome that I believe ails most Christian fiction: a fantastic concept with weak execution. I would say the biggest problem I had was with the dialogue. Every page turns into a sermon, and subtlety is nowhere to be found. Moreover, the characters' words are all so stiff and formal that interactions cannot seem natural for the reader. There are a lot of positive aspects of the book, though. As stated, I think the concept is outstanding. How would we interact with ...more
Feb 28, 2016 Jerry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inspiring and heartwarming...but a bit dull, and edgier than one would expect for a novel like this.
Sep 12, 2015 Micielle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book ! I've read it a couple of times because it just made feel good.this one well always be on my book shelf to be read again.
Nicolas Shump
This is a compelling read, but is not the best written book. Girzone tells a pretty good story, but parts of this read like stuff coming out of an intro fiction writing class. The conversations are stilted and artificial.
Nevertheless, the conceit of Jesus coming back to Earth under the radar is refreshing. There is a sort of Will Rogers wit to Girzone's observations about religious practice, all the more interesting coming from a retired Catholic priest.
His riff on marriage is passionate, but in
Nov 22, 2010 Ivy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have just finished this book for the third time and still love this story as I did from the very first perusal. Father Girzone retells the story of Christ through Joshua, a young man who moves into a small town in New York State. Joshua lives a simple life, making friends easily and winning the hearts of the neighborhood children.

Everyone loves Joshua but people are mystified by him, wanting to learn more but reluctant to pry. Joshua, fortunately, makes himself easily accessible and becomes v
Aug 19, 2011 Cappy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
Ugh...This book was a chore to read. Lifeless characters, wooden dialogue, a plot equal parts implausible and telegraphed. There is a refreshingly progressive message, but not at all artfully delivered.
Aug 22, 2009 Paul rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have some mixed feelings about this book. Portraying Jesus in a modern setting is risky business. Sometimes I think there's a little too much of Fr. Girzone in Joshua, but I'm sure that there is also plenty of Jesus in Fr. Girzone. He has a good and thought-provoking message, one that is simply and clearly stated (if often too repetitive) so that many people will be able to understand it and think seriously about it. As an elaborate parable, the story conveys some important messages.

The modern
Oct 02, 2011 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an entirely pleasant and peaceful story about Jesus returning to the world, but quietly. Joshua, a simple carpenter, shows up in an upstate New York town and begins to change those around him through his quiet acts of generosity and kindness. He reaches out to all of the various congregations in the town--the Jews, the African-American Pentecostals, the Catholics, the Episcopalians,the Methodists--and teaches them that religion is not important, kindness is. There are some fairly insight ...more
K.J. Kron
Feb 01, 2010 K.J. Kron rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biblical
Man, I read these books around 1990. Now they seem so dated. At the time I thought they were great - so much so that I read three or four of them. Kind of clever, kind of interesting. How would Jesus be today? At the heart of it, I like the basic message of Joshua - Jesus would be seen as an outcast. But now as I look back at it, Joshua doesn't go nearly far enough - nor could it. The way I view Jesus now as compared to how I did in 1990 is worlds apart. But I'm getting away from the review of t ...more
Oct 21, 2008 Cora rated it it was amazing
I haven't taken time to read Girzone's other Joshua books, but this was an amazing story because the author challenged me to think literally about what the Christ would be like if he walked among un now in the flesh. WWJW bracelets can't come close to the thinking level available through this novel.
Jacqui Karre-magro
I thought as a Catholic that this book is highly heretical. It goes against a lot of the dogma of the Catholic church as well as preaches more with a protestant tone than a Catholic one. The author should not even use the word priest to describe himself any longer. In all honesty I only finished it so I would be able to discuss the book with the Catholic man who loaned it to me. It is a book, which if you read and did not know your own Catholic faith, you would be in trouble. Some of Joshuas cri ...more
May 30, 2007 Sara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This book is not literature- I should make that clear off the bat. Because of the total simplicity in how it was written, I found it really tiring to read. I would say the writing made me think of young adult fiction - not complex at all. But to be fair, the book is really not meant to be a study in beautiful phrasing and metaphor. It is a modern day parable bringing Jesus back to mingle amongst everyday people in the little town of Salem. I still found it a little hard to buy. People were these ...more
Aug 05, 2007 Jennifer rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book had so much potential and failed in most of it. Essentially, Jesus (aka Joshua)arrives in a small American town (Salem - PA, I think, but is from Bethlehem, he tells people), he is a wood carver, he has sheep in his backyard, he makes friends with a woman named Mary....the author wanted Jesus to appear in modern culture but lacked the imagination to make him "fit". It fell flat to have such obvious symbolism throughout the whole story - Joshua meets people in town who respond to him, w ...more
  ღ☆ღ  Brenda
Clearly one of my favorites. It seems to be one my "Go to Books"..... This is the 4th time I have it. It holds special meaning for me,in more ways than one. This story has brought me closer to God and a special bond with my foster son Joshua,who I lost in a car accident at the age of 24. Josh and I had a special connection between this book and us. It helped to bring us closer to each other before his death.So this books will always hold me captive.
Vincent Chough
Jan 04, 2012 Vincent Chough rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These kind of book reviews split me in two. Theres the believer point-of-view and then theres literary criticism. Can I separate the two here? If you love the subject matter, in this case it is Jesus, can you really be objective in a review?

I guess I just have to go with how this book moved me. I read it twice which says a lot. Each time I got something out of it. I didnt agree with all of it, but I did agree with most of it.

Girzones style is kind of simplistic - or is it? The conversations amon
Aug 25, 2009 Marvin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
The story of a man (Joshua) who comes to a contemporary small town in America, lives the simple life of an artist, & has a tremendous impact on the community. He is constantly critical of the Christian clergy for exerting too much authority over their flocks (which seems to me an odd judgment on contemporary mainstream Christianity) and comes into conflict with them. Meanwhile, the people in the Jewish synagogue receive him enthusiastically. Much of what happens has direct biblical parallels ...more
Therese B
Mar 13, 2016 Therese B rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is religious but could be enjoyed by those of any religions. Learn a lesson in life in a very nice way.
May 19, 2009 Kimberlie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm sorry if you recommended this book to me, but I couldn't finish it. The point of the book is that Joshua, the modest carpenter, moves into this town. His life is supposed to parallel Christ's life, and the way the town treats him is representation of the way we may treat him. Fine idea, but the author assumed the person reading couldn't draw their own parallels, and when Joshua carries a five foot beam of wood down Main Street to his shop, I just was done reading. Are you serious?! I don't k ...more
Deborah Milagros
Dec 27, 2015 Deborah Milagros added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Deborah by: Ms. Alcatraz
Eight Grade English Lit

Joshua presents the story of Jesus under a new spectrum. It humanizes and brings him to the current day. The language and structure is simple and the story flows with an easy-going familiarity. The author allows space for the reader to fill the blanks and for the action to describe the thoughts of the characters.

You do not need to be Catholic/Christian to enjoy the book. The essence is similar to many stories in the Bible, but at the same ti
Clancy D.
Mar 15, 2015 Clancy D. marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Joshua: A Message for All Times

This book begins with Joshua, a woodcarver, moving into the outskirts of a small village and venturing into town every week for supplies. The author catches your interest right away by briefly describing the villagers, as Joshua encounters each of them, but in a way that you feel you have known them forever. Their idiosyncrasies and mannerisms come alive.

Joshua is the mystery person who stirs everyone’s curiosity. He is compassionate, friendly, and understanding,
Josephine Winda
Dec 21, 2014 Josephine Winda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Buku ini bagi saya agak 'berat' untuk membacanya. Kebetulan saya beragama Katholik jadi sesuai dengan latar-belakang agama. Isinya kompleks, menyentuh dan membuat kita berpikir seandainya Tuhan hadir dalam hidup kita mungkin kira-kira kiprahnya akan seperti Joshua ini.

Seseorang yang tak lepas dari takdir kemanusiaannya sendiri, dalam hubungannya dengan komunitas, orang-orang di desanya bahkan ada beberapa wanita yang tertarik pada sosok Joshua. Ketertarikan tidak digambarkan dalam hubungan asmar
Apr 16, 2014 Astin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good book for me to ready during Lent. Its a FAST read, and is a lovely 'Christ re-imagined' tale that imagines Christ here, present day.
The downsides: this book is written by a retired priest. He tells a passionate story, but he is not the best writer. This was distracting for me. The other downside: I often felt I was listening to the author as former priest rather than the main character, Jesus as Joshua. The priest's bias and agenda is more present than is believable of a present
Jan 19, 2011 Judy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Maybe it's just dated, maybe it's just me, but I found this book, although it does convey a message that needs to be heard, somewhat stilted, contrived, and overly simplistic. The author lacks imagination, painting his personal point of view too obviously, and the writing screams young adult, even for a high school reading list. Although I like and agree with the message, I didn't need it pounded into my brain over and over. A fast read, but pretty boring.
Tiff Miller
It's always a tricky business, fictionalizing the life of Jesus. I am always skeptical of those who try it, and I have yet to be satisfied in any characterization of Jesus outside the Bible. (And yes, he is all throughout Scripture, not just in the New Testament.)

In this particular rendition, Jesus has shown up in the form of a simple wood carver, in a tiny village within a few hours' drive of New York City. He makes cool things with wood, lives in near-poverty, takes walks in a conveniently pl
Lindsey De Pew
Feb 16, 2008 Lindsey De Pew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spiritual
This was a graduation present from my church, given out each hear to high school graduates. It is a moving book about what Christ might be like if he were to show up today. It reminds us of the most important part of our religion that we usually forget: love. Joshua also reminds us of the downfalls of institutionalized religion and what both christianity and religion in general should be. A good read for a person exploring their faith.
Pauline Barlow
Apr 11, 2016 Pauline Barlow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Girzone wrote this inspired debut book, " Joshua" with devotion and love. Speaking through Joshua he expresses his beliefs. He is a man trying to live in a modern society yet be true to his beliefs about God and the teachings of Jesus. He does it without cramming beliefs down our throats. He believes organized religion religion can and often does move away from the true message of Christ. When a person left Joshua, he felt a deep sense of peace and a renewed enthusiasm for life. He felt that Jes ...more
Dec 27, 2015 JT rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joshua is a piece of true Art. i've read shallow, negative comments on Joseph Girzone's debut novel. I think our world culture could use a bit of constructive controversy. It is a type of spiritual book that evokes, provokes & makes us think. Some Catholics do not adhere to his style of writing. we must overlook this content. there is a golden message of God's Love here, one that pertains not only to Catholics but other believers. I know this book is either beloved or reviled. I choose to Lo ...more
Jan 06, 2012 Susan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
"Trite, preachy, condescending, chauvinistic, theologically flawed, overly simplistic, and a chore to read." These are but a few of the highly accurate descriptors used by fellow reviewers. If I hadn't read this book --and the bad reviews-- I might never have thought to create a bookshelf called "I-Wish-I-Hadn't-Read-That".

I have suffered through two-thirds of this book and now I'm calling it quits.
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JOSEPH F. GIRZONE retired from the active priesthood in 1981 due to health reasons, and embarked on a second career as a writer and speaker.

In 1995 he established the Joshua Foundation, an organization dedicated to making Jesus better known throughout the world.

His bestselling books include Joshua, A Portrait of Jesus, and Never Alone. He lives in Altamont, New York.
More about Joseph F. Girzone...

Other Books in the Series

Joshua (9 books)
  • Joshua and the Children
  • Joshua and the Shepherd
  • Joshua In The Holy Land
  • Joshua and the City
  • Joshua: The Homecoming
  • The Parables of Joshua
  • Joshua in a Troubled World: A Story for Our Time
  • Joshua's Family

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