ISSA: The Greatest Story Never Told

ISSA: The Greatest Story Never Told

by Lois Drake

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Overview

The Bible explicitly records the life of Jesus, with one exception-his life between the ages of 13 and 30. Yet, ancient Buddhist scripture records the life of Saint Issa, which astoundingly parallels the life of Jesus of Nazareth. ISSA is a story of Jesus's life during the missing years, his journey through Asia, the power within he had to master and the tests of the heart he had to pass before he could change the world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781932890051
Publisher: Summit University Press
Publication date: 08/25/2009
Edition description: Original
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

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Issa: The Greatest Story Never Told 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Snow Mountain Press is owned by Summit University Press, which usually publishes inspiring, truth-based books on practical spirituality and esoteric teachings. Drake's fiction pulls the company into the "anything goes" fantasy-fiction arena and you have to wonder why they bothered. Elizabeth Clare Prophet's book on "The Lost Years of Jesus," which must have inspired Drake, is historically interesting and invites you to tune in to the youthful Jesus through your own heart and imagine what he and his life might have been like. While Drake's novel does offer fascinating information about the Kushan empire, the mystical teenage "Issa" (Jesus) she created is a sometimes brooding, wooden character who can be surprisingly condescending towards his peers, especially his traveling pal, the teenage Kushan prince. Mixing truth and spirituality with fiction and fantasy is always tricky, but assigning personality traits and moments of imaginary adolescent angst to an historical religious figure, like Jesus, crosses the line of artistic and spiritual license.
Sovranty on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"The greatest story never told" remains untold. This is less a story about the lost years of Jesus than it is an attempt to imply the one true god can be reached via myriad of paths/religions and Christian teachings are merely a combination of Buddhist and Hindu teachings retold without an exact definition of Buddhism or Hinduism being applied. The important lessons learned from these supporting religions by Issa were left to the reader's imagination and interpretation, which leaves room for gross misinterpretation by those readers who have little or no knowledge of these religions or the civilizations from which they sprang.Detailed imagery was sporadic. Writing style seemed a bit inconsistent. The reader's ability to develop opinion for characters is taken away, as Drake tells you exactly what to think. The book struggles abruptly for an ending. Overall, the book seemed more like a poorly researched outline for a much larger and more concise novel.
zhukora on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
ISSA is a mediocre book of extremely uneven writing quality and painfully tenuous grounding in either history or the alternate religious backgrounds it purports to draw from. ISSA is meant to be a fictionalized re-imagining of Jesus' youth and training as framed by the scenario presented in Elizabeth Clare Prophet's The Lost Years of Jesus: Documentary Evidence of Jesus' 17-Year Journey to the East. As the basic premise goes, Jesus was taken under the wing of his uncle, Joseph of Arimathea, a wealthy and influential merchant, who brought Jesus to India after Jesus received a message from God that he was meant to seek a powerful teacher far to the East. Along the way Jesus has run-ins with various tagalongs, holy men of various levels of moral clarity, corrupt local warlords, and eventually follows in the steps of the Buddha to achieve enlightenment of a sort.If ever there were a right way to write fanfiction about Jesus' life, this book emphatically is not it. The story reads like a poorly plotted road movie with Jesus undergoing a series of extremely loosely organized episodes of him gaining and losing companions, observing things he doesn't like about society, and supposedly gaining in wisdom through the very vaguely defined act of "studying the vedas". Unfortunately, Drake seems to be violently opposed to the tenets of writing which dictate that an author ought to "show" rather than "tell", and spends relatively little of the book allowing her characters and settings to speak for themselves. In fact, almost the entire first five chapters are devoted to a virtually unending stream of stilted flashbacks and strange introspective interludes as Drake appears to think that these narrative jumps provide a stronger backgrounding to her characters than describing and explaining their actions and interactions in the present tense. Some of these interludes are relevant to the plot, and some are not, but overall they detract much more from the continuity of the story progression than they add in either background details or mood enhancement. Strangely, many of them are much more detailed and atmospheric than the main plot (which is not saying much), which makes for an odd juxtaposition.By chapter six, Drake appears to have decided her characters are well-established enough for her to leave off with the flashbacks, and her writing does become correspondingly stronger at this point. It remains relatively stronger through to the last few chapters of the book when Drake's tendency to tell rather than show comes back in full force as she appears to struggle with how to tie up the loose threads of her ending; she explains, for example, that her character Zhu Ling "Was outgoing and humorous. His words were measured and wise", but does not allow Zhu Ling more than a few sentences in edgewise throughout nearly the entire book, and certainly very few of even those several sentences display any significant wit or wisdom. Given that the book is only 15 chapters long, Drake is not left with a very high percentage of strongly written text in this book.As to the tenuous grounding is history and religious philosophy, Drake's "research" for this book appears to be cursory at best, and complete fiction at worst. Throughout the novel her characters (and I don't refer to Jesus here, as some would argue this was part of his appeal) display feminist and anti-classist attitudes that seem designed to appeal to modern readers and give certain characters a whiff of moral superiority over the Eastern characters, but are extremely inappropriate to both the time and the culture and only harm any bid at realism ISSA makes. Likewise other aspects of the history Drake tries to include in her narrative are not consistent with the actual historical record such as the lineage of Kushan kings (which is puzzling, given that there is record of other kings whose rule actually coincided with the chronology of Jesus' life that Drake could have us
emeraldessence on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love reading Biblical Fiction, and was thrilled to receive a copy of Issa. I had a very hard time trying to get into the book, and I thought perhaps I was having a hard time because of my Christian beliefs. After reading the other reviews on the book I realize this wasn't the case at all. Honestly, if this hadn't been a book that I had promised a review on, I wouldn't have finished it.That old saying is so true when it comes to a difficult read, or one that you're struggling with. "So many books..so little time"Something like that.I didn't enjoy this book at all, which was disappointing, as I was hoping to find a new author to love.
AnamCara1965 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Loved this book!!! I'm usually leery about biblical fiction, and the "maybe this happened" type books, but this is wonderfully done. No preaching, no wild suppositions. Ms. Drake takes a legendary tale from Ladakh and weaves her story around it. The story of Jesus (Issa) during his "missing" years is told in a very realistic manner, not hard to take in, unless you are of a narrow-minded, fixed viewpoint. The reader journeys with Issa in his travels and learning, his friendships and seperation from his family. Despite knowing "the rest of the story," I was left wanting the story to continue, I didn't want Ms. Drake's rendition of the story to end. I hope that she writes more like this, I will definitely keep an eye out for it. I definitely felt a spiritual connection through this book. I also enjoyed being sent to the computer looking up different facts from the book, like the history of the Kushan's and such. Made me wish that the present region would reclaim the unity and glory of it's past, especially after all the tragedy and turmoil that has occured in recent years. I hope that the people can remember it's culture and dignity they had prior to the Taliban and other oppressive regimes and share with the rest of the world the richness and beauty of their forgotten culture.
FrancescaFB More than 1 year ago
Lois Drake tells a story of a teenager from Galilee who travels to a far off land to the east with Joseph of Arimethia in order to avoid Roman scrutiny and persecution. He uses the name Issa. The reader should keep in mind that this is a novel, a fictitious story which is very lightly-based upon some historical manuscripts. If the evidence contained in ancient Tibetan manuscripts do indeed mention Jesus and His location during the lost years of the Bible, then we have a new insight into the influences that helped form the adult Jesus. His missing years of the Bible are interesting to discover. If He did travel to India, Tibet, and the eastern regions, and He did study these religions and spiritual meditations, then we are more enlightened in the understandings of His teachings--and how Jesus became the spiritual leader as we know Him from the Bible.
Wyn More than 1 year ago
This was an interesting story. Jesus (Issa) as a teenager is taken by Joseph of Arimathea to India out of the view of the Romans. There they join with other members of The Order of Melchizedek (Genesis 14:18-20; Hebrews 6:20; 7:1-3), one the wisemen Casper, a King and a teacher; and 3 other teenagers. It is decided that the 4 teenagers will travel across India and Tibet with the teacher and learn about Buddhism and Hinduism. The story is about their travels and what they learn about spirituality and themselves. I learned quite a bit about how the different religions lined up with Judaism. A neat idea incorporated by the author was Jesus learning to meld the stories and tell them to the poor people so that they could understand them ~ a precursor to the parables. Very interesting, easy to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
HelenBeaufort More than 1 year ago
In her first published novel, ISSA: The Greatest Story Never Told, Lois Drake has created a work of religious historical fiction worthy to grace any spiritually-minded person's bedside table. While it's inspired by Elizabeth Clare Prophet's research presented in The Lost Years of Jesus, the author has gone beyond the bare bones of the documented information to imagine an entire story of Jesus' youth - the so-called "missing years" of the Bible. In doing so she manages to weave in an abundance of spiritual teachings and truths as they are encountered and understood by the characters in the novel - Jesus (Issa) and his family, the young Prince Vima Kadphises and his father King Taktu, the prince's friend Sanum, Joseph of Arimathea and his servant Awa, the wealthy warlord Panum Sri Bashir, and many others. Against the backdrop of warfare and the expansion of the Kushan empire in the East, and under the watchful protection of the ancient Order of Melchizedek, Jesus and his friends make their way across India and the Himalayas on a quest of spiritual learning as they seek the guru - Maitreya, "the Coming Buddha". Throughout ISSA, spiritual teachings are touched upon in a way that enhances the flow of the novel, and are more often than not an integral part of the plot. I noted the presence of karma, twin flames, spiritual testing, dharma (mission), Hinduism, Buddhism, inner attunement, heart-centeredness, handling emotions, black magic (focused misuse of energy), miracles, conquering our own dark side, sacrifice, and discerning/following God's Will. The story flows almost seamlessly from one event to another, somehow covering a period of many years in 218 pages without making me feel lost. I was completely absorbed into the characters' lives and world, and was pleasantly surprised to find myself at the end of the story without having had any desire to put the book down during reading. I have seen the book referred to as young adult fiction, probably because of the ages of the main characters, and while I'm sure teens and young adults would enjoy it, I'd lean more towards the categorisation on the back cover of the book - inspirational fiction - as I believe any spiritually-inclinded or open-minded person has a lot to gain from it. As a novel, ISSA has all the right pieces and it's gripping enough to keep you riding the waves. As a spiritually inspiring book, it's thought-provoking enough to allow you to tune into a time and place where the people are God-focused and striving to better oneself is the norm. For that "tap on the shoulder" reminder alone, I am personally grateful. http://www.spiritual-encyclopedia.com/issa-the-greatest-story-never-told.html
MasterR More than 1 year ago
"Issa, the Greatest Story Never Told", is historical fiction and should be understood as that. But, if we can enjoy, learn and make ourselves a better person by reading this book than we owe it to ourselves and Jesus to do so. I suggest the reader will greatly benefit and truly enjoy reading this book. Issa allows a window of opportunity to know Jesus better than we did before. It is an inspiring and interesting read that should be read by all that want to understand and feel closer to Him. Read the book and decide.