Saturday, February 18, 2012

Press release: New novel for Kindle


John Evan Garvey
Burbank CA 91502

New novel by John Evan Garvey released for the Kindle Fire

With the religious right now trying to shame every woman into abstaining even from contraceptive use, wouldn’t it be nice to pull the rug out from under them in their crusade to establish theocracy? And to do so with the very book on which they base their crusade? John Evan Garvey’s new novel, The Talpiot Find, an ebook for the Kindle Fire released in February 2012, explores a brief passage in the Old Testament which offers an intriguing clue to the possible fraudulent origins of Scripture. In brief: Priest finds lost scroll during Temple repairs, scribe reads scroll to king, king initiates national reforms based on scroll, greatly enhancing priests’ authority. The passage is II Kings 22:8-13. Since the early nineteenth century biblical critics have suggested that the scroll that was found was an early version of Deuteronomy, synthesized by the priests and scribes from different regional oral traditions and deceptively presented to the people as the writings of Moses. Consequently, if New Testament writers were unaware that the Torah may not have been the work of a single author, then their claim to divine inspiration is seriously undermined. And if the writings of the Apostle Paul are simply the writings of a man living in the first century CE, and not Scripture divinely inspired by an eternal, timeless God, then the religious right has a very weak basis for imposing first-century thinking on a twenty-first-century society.

The novel The Talpiot Find emerged when the author wondered “What if the rough draft of that scroll surfaced?” He pondered the plausibility of rough-draft clay slabs ending up at a potter’s for kiln-firing. When the mistake was discovered, the tablets would have been quickly, secretly discarded in a trash pit. And that location, after centuries of erosion filling in the pit, might now lie beneath a parking lot in the Talpiot neighborhood of Jerusalem.

Synopsis: The Talpiot Find follows a grad student from Los Angeles doing his required fieldwork in archaeology at a dig site in the Talpiot neighborhood. He uncovers ancient clay tablets while excavating a twelfth-century well, and when one of the archaeologists begins translating the tablets, he realizes that this document may have been part of a deception coordinated by Temple priests and scribes in the seventh century BCE. The archaeologists contain the information as long as they can, but a disgruntled student on the dig team leaks it to the public. The archaeological team then learns that anonymous groups want to discredit the tablets and are determined to keep any further information about them from reaching the public.

About the author: John Evan Garvey grew up in a strictly evangelical home environment where life, centered around the church, consisted mostly of prohibitions of activities like dancing, movie-going, and dining in restaurants that served alcohol. This was in New Jersey about an hour's drive southeast of Philadelphia. He attended a Christian high school and college, earning a BS degree in evangelical cinema from infamously racist, sexist, homophobic, unaccredited Bob Jones University. Since Garvey’s midlife crisis in his early 30s pulled the rug out from under him, he has distanced himself from evangelical culture and beliefs and would like to help others in the religious right experience a similar anagnorisis.

ASIN: B0076RL38I
Available at the Kindle Store on Amazon.
Review copy available on request.

More info at the website.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The multilateral rug approach to peace in the Middle East

Pull the rug out from under Israelis and Palestinians simultaneously.

If we connect the dots, we will realize that
"• if the Torah is the work of man and not the word of G-d, • then Judaism can’t be true, and then realize that, • if Judaism isn’t true, • its outgrowths, Christianity and Islam, can’t be true since they assume that Judaism is true, and then realize that, • if the religions of the Book aren’t true, • then no covenant was made with Moses and the people, nor with Abraham, giving them the land forever and • Muhammad didn’t ascend to Heaven from Mt. Moriah and, of all the people crucified by the Romans, • none of them was the Son of God."
The above quote is taken from a novel I've written, an ebook optimized for the Kindle Fire, challenging the notions of the inspiration of Scripture and Israel's traditional claim to the land.

You could say my book is a little controversial.

What it is, is a reasonable novel that addresses these controversial issues. No one has any final answers regarding the modern state of Israel, and I certainly don't, because the conflict is too complex, but Americans can start looking at the realities of Israel with a little more objectivity and maturity. American conservatives see it as the land where the Baby Jesus was born, and so they feel it must be protected at all costs from those terrible Muslims; just ask Sarah Palin. I used to feel that way, too. It wasn't until a few years ago, when I was working on a writing project set in Medieval Jerusalem, that I started learning about how modern Israel came into being. I was amazed. I came across photos of abandoned Palestinian villages where the residents had been forcibly driven out decades ago and the villages have been left to crumble since then. And then I read the harumphing defense some Jews give, that the Palestinians were leaving Israel anyway, they weren't being driven out. Their leaders were ordering them to leave. Uh-huh. I learned that, in a study of radio broadcast transcripts from 1948, the Arab radio stations were ordering Arabs not to leave and the Zionist radio stations were inducing them to leave with exaggerated reports of Israeli victories in the war and with fabricated statements by Arab leaders encouraging the exodus. And on and on, realization after realization. But in my novel I don't pretend to have solutions; I just have people talking about the conflict—rather than avoiding the topic—and thinking about it and about the justification given for the occupation being drawn from ancient sacred literature which could have, very plausibly, originated in a deception like the one I describe in my novel.

And what it is, also, is an enjoyable read. I've created characters who don't take themselves too seriously, and nobody gets preachy. I don't especially enjoy writing or reading dry paragraphs, and I had a really enjoyable time writing the book, so you could make a safe wager that you will enjoy the book too. I created a website to provide some more information about the book, and the website has links to the book's page at the Kindle Store on Amazon.