ISSA: The Greatest Story Never Told, by Lois Drake
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Snow Mountain Press (September 25, 2009)
Rating (1 to 5 *): *****
There are few people, religious or not, who have never heard the Greatest Story Ever Told: the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. Probably equally as well known is the story of His death, when the Jews crucified Him and He rose from the dead three days later. What is not known is what happened for a large portion of His life—what was He like as a teenager? Where was He when He was 20? 25? How did He become the man that people devote their lives to studying and emulating?
Issa: The Greatest Story Never Told is a fictional story, but it is based in part on research presented in the book The Lost Years of Jesus: Documentary Evidence of Jesus’ 17-year Journey to the East, by Elizabeth Clare Prophet.
The story begins with a young Jesus, who realizes it is time for Him to move away from His family for a while to find the teacher who will help him on His journey to teach the people about the Father. A family friend, Joseph of Arimathea, spirits the young Messiah away in the middle of the night, and the journey begins.
Many miles away, the young prince Vima of the Kushans, a lost race, must also journey far from home, but his purpose is to stay safe from the Huns, who are out to destroy his whole family. Soon, Vima and Jesus find themselves traveling together, along with a few other friends, in search of Maitreya—the teacher. In order to protect their identities, they change their names. Jesus becomes known as Issa. While Vima is destined to rule his tribe but be otherwise forgotten by history, Jesus is destined to save the world.
While I am not educated enough in religious history to comment on the plausibility of Lois Drake’s story, it is a fun, entertaining tale. It is fun to explore this possibility of what Jesus’ life might have been like, if the reader is willing to suspend what they have been told about Him. The characters—including a highly intelligent monkey—are engaging and some of the adventures are exciting. Issa: The Greatest Story Never Told is a fun and thought-provoking read!