The Jerusalem Star
The Very Private Newspaper of the Faithful of Yahweh
on the Eastern Frontier of the Empire of Rome

What Is “The Jerusalem Star”?

       The Jerusalem Star is a 20-page fictional underground newspaper, supposedly published by the Jewish community during the time of Jesus. It is the Sunday morning newspaper for the day of the Resurrection, or, to the best of recent scriptural and biblical historical knowledge, on about our April 9th of 786 a.u.c.—“ab urbe condita” (“from the founding of the city [of Rome]”), according to the Julian calendar; or on about April 9th of the year 30 AD (“anno domine”—“the year of the Lord”) on our current calendar.  The newspaper is published “underground,” of course, as some of the opinions expressed by the various “writers” may not have been received very well by the powers of the day, those who were not particularly inclined to Freedom of Speech, let alone Freedom of the Press. Of course, there was no Press at this time for there to be any freedom of! 

What Is “The Jerusalem Star” For?

       It is hoped that the newspaper might be used as just one more means to help religious education students and Christian congregations to reflect on the events that took place during the days of the passion, death, and resurrection of the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

       The tone of the newspaper is strictly that of the storyteller; and the tool is historical fiction, offering a conjectured account of these events. No attempt is made to offer or emphasize any particular theology.  Rather, an attempt is being made simply to help bring alive, as much as may be possible with the written word, a sense of the times and the people who lived them, and perhaps how these historical events may have been perceived by those who either witnessed them, or perhaps even participated somehow.

       The stories are written as well, however, with an ear to how they might sound to an audience of listeners. We hope you might find them suitable for helping to bring to life a classroom storytelling session, or maybe a public reading reflection on the story of, and on the events surrounding, the passion, death, and resurrection of our Lord. Although some of the events were probably actually rather gruesome, an attempt is made nonetheless to depict these events accurately, and yet with discretion in choice of words, so that all of the stories will be considered suitable for even fairly young readers.

What Are the Sources of Its Content?

       The basic historical content for the various stories is taken from the four gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—and a mountain of effort has been expended in an attempt to ensure that nothing of what is contained in their writings has been violated or contradicted. Of course, this is an historical fiction rather than a theological treatise. Therefore, to try to capture as much of the period as might be possible with as much accuracy as possible, it has been necessary to consult a great variety of experts over the years in the fields of Biblical Theology, Biblical History, and Biblical Archeology as well.

       The fictional embellishments are added only after first establishing with certainty that they do not contradict what is known as fact. They are merely there as an attempt to make this already powerful story a little more lifelike and down-to-earth human to our 21st century Christian students and congregations. They are there to help bring the story alive as much as possible; and to help us to take a closer look perhaps at what these events may have been like for those who were so much closer to them than we are, for those who may have actually witnessed them, or who maybe even had some participation in them.

       As a professional writer and editor, and Editor of the American Senior Gazette Newspaper, a senior-oriented newspaper in the Detroit, Michigan metropolitan area, I have assembled the various stories and ads and such along the same lines and with basically the same format as that newspaper, with the added help of some other professional associates in the newspaper field. As my biography states on this website, I hold a master’s Degree in Theology from the Maryknoll School of Theology in New York, which, among other concerns, has caused me to try to be very respectful and careful in my embellishment so as not to contradict what is known as fact, or to offend a hopeful reader or listener with stern opinions or nuances to the far left or right of what is generally accepted to be true.

So What Stories Are in “The Jerusalem Star”?

      The Jewish “reporters” covering these stories are trying to report as objectively as possible the events that they have witnessed. Usually, being Jewish, they are rather sympathetic to this Jesus of Galilee, respecting what he was trying to do or teach as a dynamic man of peace. Some of the writers, however, as may be expected, did not have such an uncritical eye of his activities, and they write from that point of view as well. His activities were, of  course, a bit of a disturbance to the status quo and the lives of those under the rule of Rome and the High Priests at the time, and were likely fairly controversial in the minds of many of his day.

It must also be mentioned that items like the Letters from Our Readers, Today’s Weather, and especially the multiple ads, the Crossword Puzzle for the Day and even the Interview with Pontius Pilate, for instance, are written fairly tongue-in-cheek, in the hope of evoking a couple of smiles of refreshing relief, in the midst of a publication that is otherwise replete with some pretty heavy stuff. It seems that, in this way, it will be a little easier to keep the reader engaged, particularly the more youthful reader.   

With that, the lead stories look at these various events:

Jesus of Galilee Trial a Mockery of Justice!, by Enok ben Kaddesh

Empty Tomb Reported by Disciples—Heads Roll as Palace Guard Summoned to Pilate!  
            by Josef Habakuk, the Scribe’s Son

Earthquake Rocks Sabbath Prayer!, by Benjamin of Jericho, Son of Rabbi Mirth of Hebron

Suicide Note Attributed to Judas Iscariot, One of “The Twelve,” 
            by:  Simhah ben Basheva

Resurrection Hoax?  Or Messianic Miracle?  The Debate Begins! 
            by Rabbi Zacharias the Wise

An Interview with Our Procurator Pontius Pilate

EDITORIAL:  Point/Counterpoint ~ Was This Yeshua the Messiah?
            by Habakuk bar Nathan, Council of Elders vs. Nicodemus of The Sanhedrin 

Sports  ~  Equus Magnus in Death Match In Honor of Procurator Pilate!

                 Marius Adrettus Crowd Favorite in Jerusalem D (500) Chariotmania Death Match!

Death Trek to Calvary Demonstrates Impact of Galilean, 
            by Freelance Reporter Moshe Hurtle, of the tribe of Zabulon

Special 4-Page Special Section Insert:  
    A Crucifixion Like None Other This Reporter Has Ever Witnessed! 
            by Joachim of Sepphoris, Son of Judas the Candlemaker

The Legacy of a Man of Our God:  A Tribute to the Life and Teachings of Jesus of Galilee
            by Rabbi Simon bar Mattheus, Director of the Rabbinical Schools of Galilee

Crossword Puzzle for the Day!

The Star Classifieds

So How Do I Obtain “The Jerusalem Star”?

Prices for various quantities are on this website at The Scripture on Stage Store. Obviously, there are discounts for those who would like to purchase them in higher quantities, for a larger group of students or parishioners, for example.

You can also contact us by e-mail here at Contact Us, or just call us on the cell at 248-219-1348.  We can generally ship these out to you so that you’ll receive them in just a few days.  If you’re close enough, we might even be able to deliver them ourselves, as we’d love for you to have them for this Easter season.

Hope that helps. And thanks so much for asking!

John Dzwonkowski, M.A.
Founder-Scripture on Stage.