The first draft of my book, GOD’S POOR, was really a very difficult job, if you can imagine that it took me four years to complete it after many re-writes. The final version for the contemporary scene was everything I hoped it would be and satisfied most of my colleagues who reviewed it.
It took me such a long time to complete the book because a lot of research was necessary. Although I am a scholar of history and archaeology, I confess the era of the first centuries of Christianity isn’t my expertise.
First, I needed the help of a Bishop, and then I had to research in murky and deep waters, a faith long ago forgotten. Legends and facts were mixed and questions aroused everywhere. The track of the great heresy of the Paulicians through the centuries was indeed unbelievably difficult. They survived till our days using different names in different countries under constant persecution by Emperors, Sultans, Patriarchs and Popes. They always pretended to have another faith. The ancestors of today’s known Bosnian Muslims were all Bogomils, a sect of the heresy of Paulicians. Even certain sects of Calvinists have been influenced by the Bogomils. As you know, Calvin was the founder of the Presbyterian Church.
I had to trace Paulicians back through the centuries in order to find their origin. Then I discovered Marcion and his teachings which give another dimension to faith. I also had to read the “Apocryfa”, the other “Gospels.” The Gospel of Thomas, which was particularly used by the sect of GOD’S POOR, is entirely different from any other. Dualistic and under the influence of Gnostics, it gives the reader excellent food for thought. What about the “blasphemy”stating that Apostle Thomas was the twin brother of Jesus?
If the heresy was capable of finding its way till our days and their leader was capable of doing miracles, then you have a story. And if you add Jerusalem, you have an extraordinary novel that mixes reality with legend. And don’t forget HAARP, the end is never certain.
I am almost sure that the reader will never be the same person, same that happened to me I confess.
Mike Manos is professor of Economics and a scholar of History and archaeology. He is also a poet and a freelance writer.
God’s Poor is his first novel.