"Each man became the victim of what he could not control."

The book compares and contrasts the lives of two boys from different time periods. Gottlieb and Jesus each had a teenage mother who was impregnated outside of wedlock.

Megnin proposes that Jesus’ mother was raped by a Roman soldier. Joseph agreed to marriage even though Mary was pregnant. He accepted Jesus as part of his family, teaching him carpentry. Rabbis at the temple recognized Jesus’ understanding and wisdom at twelve years old.

Gottlieb’s mother worked in her father’s inn. Coaxed into drinking too much wine by a travelling guest, Roswina was raped and redressed while unconscious. Told to keep quiet about the event, one she herself did not understand, Roswina shortly discovered the pregnancy. Her father refused to allow the child to be seen in his inn. Because he was labeled him a bastard, Gottlieb couldn’t attend school or be apprenticed. Roswina taught Gottlieb in her room, where he stayed until after his grandfather’s stroke.

On reaching manhood, each boy left his hometown in order to pursue divergent goals. Jesus’ attempt to challenge the Jewish establishment in Jerusalem resulted in his death on a cross. Gottlieb moved away and became a valued citizen. He could not master the strong drink instrumental in his birth as well in his unfortunate death.

The author knows both boys more intimately than by legend. Megnin is to be commended for telling the painful story of his own German grandfather, born a bastard, and the abuse the boy endured because of local custom. Likewise, the author’s Christian ministry experience helped him recognize the possibility of a similar origin for the virgin birth story.

This 132-page book appears to be a compilation of several variations of each boy’s tale. A consolidated narrative and a single summary would have improved the reader’s experience

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