Dr. Theckedath Mathew's New Historical Fiction, JOSHUA: THE ODYSSEY OF AN ORDINARY MAN Named Top Five Finalists for ForeWord Firsts' Winter 2013 Competition

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Finalists for ForeWord Firsts' Winter 2013 competition includes JOSHUA: THE ODYSSEY OF AN ORDINARY MAN, by Dr. Theckedath Mathew. The award contest recognizes the brightest self-published and independently published works of debut fiction.

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Finalists for ForeWord Firsts' Winter 2013

The imaginative brillinace of the author reconstructs the misty mornings of those first century days of Christian history with intimate clarity. Simplicity at its best.

NRS Babu, Editor, Author and Literary Critic

Dr. Theckedath Mathew was born in a Catholic family on the southern cape of India and grew up in a Hindu civilization. His parents wanted him to become a Catholic priest. Early on, he became an altar boy. He believed that most priests were righteous, aesthetic and almost saintly. He also realized that there were a number of miscreants, as well.

He found a disconnect between what the priests were saying from the pulpit and what he read in the bible. Quite suddenly, Dr. Mathew began to regard Joshua of Nazareth as a bold man, a prophet of significance. For this reason, he decided to become a priest.

When he was eleven years old an incident happened. One of his neighbors, a Brahman family, had a thirteen year old girl. Her family married her off to a forty year old man. Two years into the marriage, the man died of a snake bite. On the day when the funeral pyre was being built, the elders of the family assembled around the young girl. They shaved her hair off, clad her in white clothes, smeared ashes on her forehead, and then dumped her into the back alley behind their house. She was to spend the rest of her life without leaving the house. Later on, he learned that this girl committed suicide. It was at this time he learned about the practice of sati. Sati is an honor killing, practiced in India from time immemorial until the practice was declared illegal. The wife would willingly jump into the funeral pyre, or the family would make sure that she would go in by coercion. The practice of sati started from a very ancient sage, Manu. He is akin to Moses in Judaism. Manu said, “A woman does not deserve freedom. She is only the shadow of a man. What good is a shadow when the object is gone?” Therefore, it is much better that she end her life by jumping into the funeral pyre.

After completing his studies, Dr. Mathew became a physician. He had the privilege of practicing in four continents; Africa, India, Europe, and America. One day a girl was brought to the emergency room. She belonged to a migrant family from Somalia. She was almost dead from bleeding, dehydration and a gross infection. When Dr. Mathew examined her, he became nauseous over what he discovered. Her external labia and clitoris were cut. She suffered from heavy bleeding and a fulminate infection as well. Fortunately, the girl survived.

Dr. Mathew developed an interest in religion, especially about the atrocities against women. The first book he read was the Old Testament. Next, he read the Torah. He found numerous passages about violence against women. There are many examples. One example is on the day of a marriage it is presumed that the man and women consummate their marriage. If the man has any suspicious about his wife, he would state so. The next morning, the elders of the village would come to their bedroom and examine the bed sheets looking for a token of virginity, which is a drop of blood. If the blood is not seen, the woman is presumed not a virgin. Then she would be taken to the house of her father and men of the village would stone her to death to regain the honor of the family and the village.

Dr. Mathew studied the New Testament, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Babylonian history and civilizations, Egyptian, Greco-Roman and Persians. By the time Jesus of Nazareth came to the world there had been a number of prominent philosophers such as Arkhenation from Egypt, Cicero from Rome, Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle from Greece, Buddha from India and Confucius from China. All of them made great contributions to mankind. However, Joshua of Nazareth stood distinctly different from the others. He witnessed a stoning scene of a harlot. She was surrounded by a ring of men holding stones. Joshua broke through the ring and held the harlot by her wrist and raised her arm toward the sky. “Who amongst you without sin may cast the first stone?” Joshua was the first man to stand up for a helpless woman and her rights. Dr. Mathew began studying Jesus of Nazareth and that research lasted just over fifteen years. Joshua: The Odyssey of an Ordinary Man is the result of Dr. Mathew’s research of the most prominent philosopher the world has ever known.

Whether you are a Christian or not, this historical journey will captivate your soul with intense details and wonderful narration. SC, 586 pages, $19.99 ISBN: 978-0-9887130-2-4 Available: Amazon & B&N

eBook, $9.99 ISBN 978-0-9887130-1-7 Available: Amazon, B&N & iTunes

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