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3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  286 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
A stunning fictional biography, Testament presents the earthly life of Jesus from the perspectives of four fascinating figures. In powerful accounts colored by their own beliefs and desires, the following men and women tell the captivating story:

Yihuda of Qiryat (Judas Iscariot), a freedom fighter working for Rome’s overthrow who is drawn to the charismatic teacher; Miryam
Paperback, 464 pages
Published April 14th 2004 by Mariner Books (first published 2002)
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Ron Charles
Dec 26, 2013 Ron Charles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nino Ricci is fortunate that Christian leaders aren't currently issuing fatwas, although as Salman Rushdie knows, there's nothing like a blasphemy charge to boost sales. Back before Madonna became a madonna, she profited from fundamentalists hyperventilating over her lyrics, but we haven't really had an energetic heresy debate since Martin Scorsese's "Last Temptation of Christ" in 1988.

On balance, this is a good thing. Fear of censure can smother artistic creativity. And liberal democracies don'
Harry Maier
Feb 09, 2013 Harry Maier rated it really liked it
I am a Professor of New Testament Studies who is well versed in historical Jesus study and has written a few things of my own on the topic. Ricci has clearly done his homework and has spent a good deal of time with the scholarly literature, especially with that from the Jesus Seminar. Jesus is a Cynic like character. Ricci leaves the Jesus Seminarians behind when he has Jesus recruiting followers amongst Gentiles in and around Gerasa (itself a highly contested spot historically). This seems unli ...more
Nov 15, 2008 Skot rated it it was amazing
Phenomenally ambitious and successful. Felt utterly human and true.
Jul 17, 2015 Marlowe rated it it was amazing
If there was a historical figure of Jesus, who was he? Where did he come from and what did he really believe and preach? Ricci explores these questions by composing four new gospels. Although independent stories, and largely covering different points in Jesus’ life, there is some overlap and quite a few “ah ha! That explains it!” moments as events are told from different perspectives.

Testament imagines a human Jesus, a Jesus who is mythologized and divinized by followers who loved and depended o
Aug 07, 2009 Marvin rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
An imaginative retelling of the life of Jesus. Appropriately enough, it's divided into 4 "books," each narrated from a different perspective by someone close to Jesus: Yihud of Qiryat (Judas Iscariot), always a favorite of those seeking to dramatically recount Jesus' life; Miryam of Migdal (Mary Magdalene, ditto; Miryam, mother of Jesus; & the Simon who carried Jesus' cross to Golgotha. This is a decidedly secular telling, with the miracles discounted & Jesus' divinity not really even co ...more
Clownface3 Kinder
Jul 17, 2009 Clownface3 Kinder rated it it was amazing
This book tells the story of the life of Jesus from three perspectives - that of Mary Magdalene, John the Baptist and Judas. The book is total fiction, and nevertheless tells an intriguing story. What is most fascinating is way the story forces the reader to think about different perspectives on history. We may all be present at the same event and yet walk away with an entirely different perspective. I highly recommend this for anyone interested in religious history, social change, and human dra ...more
Nadine Wiper-bergeron
I adored this book. I loved the every day interpretation of Jesus' life and miracles - an easy explanation for the entire series of events. Artfully crafted, it does not take away from the Bible itself, but rather humanizes Jesus. Beautiful. I rarely reread books, but this one is on my list to do so.
Oct 18, 2008 Kristina rated it really liked it
Really outstanding novel.

Nino Ricci divides the novel into 4 parts, much like the 4 Gospels and chronicles the birth, life and death of Jesus from the lives of those around him.

It is very poignant. The "Mary" Gospel is particularly moving.

I read this in less than 2 days I think. It was that good.
Aug 24, 2008 ShareStories rated it it was ok
Shelves: spirituality
This is a fictionalized version of the story of Jesus that, is intriguing as literature, although not as Scripture.
Jan 08, 2009 R. rated it it was amazing
Suppose that Dominic Crossan wrote a novel...
Dora Traynor
Dec 04, 2016 Dora Traynor rated it did not like it
Um, nope! I'm a Christian!
With that said, I have lived my life with an open mind. I have never condemned anyone with different views or opinions that don't coincide with my beliefs. To each his own. As I read this book I tried to keep an open mind, that it is a work of fiction. Someone else's view based on an historical figure. He made Jesus out to be petty at times and temperamental. His birth being from rape and his relationship with his mother and family broken. Of course, it's just a book. I
David Campton
Jul 12, 2013 David Campton rated it it was ok
Shelves: literary-fiction
Not impressed, but not for theological reasons. Whilst Ricci's portrayal of Jesus as a cynic teacher and folk healer is at odds with my own understanding, it was more the literary and narrative styles that frustrated. Whilst the story was told from four different perspectives, the language and phraseology of each narrator was not distinctively different, and all characters, whether narrators or others were hard to warm too. That said there were interesting insights offered that rarely appear in ...more
Jan 01, 2014 Cat. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion, fiction, history
Jesus' life story in novel form, as told by four individuals who knew him, each holding a separate facet of his life up to examine. The first, Judas (Yehudi), leaves off his story before Passover begins. Then Mary Magdalene (Miryam of Migdal) tells her version up to the point of their departure for Jerusalem. Interestingly, his mother comes third and tells the story of his conception and childhood--NOT the story from Matthew and Luke!--and their current relationship which is extremely strained. ...more
Jul 27, 2009 EunSung rated it liked it
i think having theological education makes reading biblical fiction tricky. the author borrows a lot from Jesus seminar and leans heavily towards Jesus (Yeshua) being a Cynic philosopher. I found the Judas character the most appealing and his narrative had better imagery than most of the other narratives. I think he portrays the women a little bit unfairly, even though for women of that time and place had very restricted roles, their thoughts and behaviors could not have been as petty as Ricci m ...more
Daniel Kukwa
Jan 19, 2011 Daniel Kukwa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canadian-lit
The most disturbing novel I have ever read...and I mean disturing in a way that left me shaking...physically & mentally. I have no adequate words to describe how powerful this book truly'll have to discover it for yourself.

This is unlike any other novel I have ever encountered. I'm almost afraid to ever read it again.
Jun 10, 2008 Leslie rated it really liked it
A friend insisted that I read this one, and I had my doubts. I thought it seemed sort of gimmicky (it's the story of Jesus told from the perspectives of four people who knew him). I was actually a very satisfying read, though. Good writing.
May 10, 2015 Shodar rated it really liked it
This was a really interesting book. I quite liked the different veiwpoint characters and how they all look at each situation and other character quite differently. Clearly not intended as historical text, but it does give a historical perspctive
Jill Moore
Aug 10, 2011 Jill Moore rated it it was amazing
I re-read this book just recently, and although it's a slow build at first by one quarter of the way in, I couldn't put the book down. I felt really drawn into the stories, the people and the time period even though I'm not a religious person.
Apr 30, 2015 Belinda rated it it was ok

While the wording of individual sentences was great, the overall picture for the first few chapters I read was quite bland. Sigh, I just could not finish it. Maybe I'll work my way around to it again sometime, perhaps I just was not in the mood for this now.
Mar 27, 2012 Mavis rated it liked it
This book was extremely well written - especially the way the story evolves as you read from the perspectives of three different characters... but it disturbed me and maybe shook my faith a little. Not sure if that is a statement more about me or the book, but, yeah.
Jan 18, 2010 KBev rated it liked it
This book was interesting. It made me really think about a lot of things that I had learned about Jesus growing up. It was not historically accurate at all, but it was interesting nonetheless. But also kind of strange.
May 27, 2009 Aaron rated it really liked it
Fascinating historical fictional account of the life of Yeshua (Jesus). I loved the historical context: learning more about the factions in Judaism at the time, the effects of the Roman occupation, and the interaction between the various regions and peoples of the Holy Land.
Jun 02, 2015 Kristi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting novel from the view of four not heard from in the Bible. Not a speedy read, but worth the time.
Oct 12, 2012 Porterhorse rated it really liked it
Very well composed and researched, intriguing detail about the actual landscape, cultures, and events of the time.
Rick Edwards
Jul 24, 2011 Rick Edwards rated it liked it
I recommend Ricci's novel highly. He tells the Jesus story from the perspective of four characters, including his mother and his betrayer. His fiction is well researched, and a good read.
Jun 22, 2013 Harvey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
- a (non-bible-thumping) retelling of the story of Jesus as told through the voices of four biblical characters: Judas, Mary Magdalene, the Virgin Mary, and Simon of Gergesa
Stefania Vani
Jul 14, 2015 Stefania Vani rated it really liked it
My favourite book after Lives of The Saints. An excellent, earthy portrayal of Jesus and ancient times.
Roxanne rated it it was ok
Apr 04, 2009
Don Smith
Don Smith rated it it was amazing
Dec 19, 2013
Josie Lou
Josie Lou rated it really liked it
Feb 22, 2016
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Nino Ricci’s first novel was the internationally acclaimed Lives of the Saints. It spent 75 weeks on the Globe and Mail‘s bestseller list and was the winner of the F.G. Bressani Prize, the Books in Canada First Novel Award, and the Governor General’s Award for Fiction. In England it won Betty Trask Award and Winnifred Holtby Prize, in the U.S. was shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenba ...more
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