I Am

A Novel Approach to the Gospel of Jesus Christ

Christian - Historical Fiction
393 Pages
Reviewed on 09/11/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Jonathan E Ruopp Sr has been a Spirit-filled Christian for forty-one years. At age twenty-one, Jonathan began studying the Bible, and God began revealing to him His spiritual message. Led by the Spirit of God, Jonathan moved from the Philadelphia, PA suburbs to Oklahoma where he completed a seven-month study of the entire Bible. While studying, Jonathan began compiling spiritual definitions found in the scriptures—a list which evolved into a spiritual concordance. Because of his spiritual understanding, at age twenty-two, he was ordained an elder at an independent Spirit-filled church. When his father died, he returned to the Philadelphia area to comfort his mother. Despite having no formal religious or academic training, Jonathan wrote a book to explain the significance and use of his concordance—compiling the concordance and writing the book, A Table Prepared, took twenty-six years to complete. During this period, Jonathan married his wife of thirty-two years and moved to Ewing, NJ where they raised two children. It was also during this time that he was laid off from his senior analyst position at a pharmaceutical company where he had worked for fourteen years. Taking advantage of this lapse in employment, Jonathan finished his book and went back to college, where at age fifty-seven he graduated summa cum laude from the Philadelphia Biblical University with a Bachelor of Science degree in the Bible. He has since written two unpublished biblical plays and his second book, I AM: A Novel Approach to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

I Am: A Novel Approach to the Gospel of Jesus Christ by Jonathan E Ruopp Sr. is a creative and heartwarming rendition of the story of Jesus and his mission in the form of a novel. In a chronological manner, the author writes the story of Jesus, starting with the myth of creation and the image of the word that was at the beginning, the word that was with God, and the word that became incarnate: Jesus. The narrative moves on with the work of prominent figures like Zechariah and the prophecy and then the Immaculate Conception, then the signs from the heavens, through the birth of Jesus and his life’s work. We follow Jesus, the son of God, through the hardships of life, as Mary journeys to Egypt to shield him from the wrath of Herod, then his public life, and some of the key moments of his life, including the crucifixion, the resurrection and his appearance to the disciples after that.

I studied in the seminary so I am very familiar with the Gospels, which I still read every day, but I fell in love with this inspirational novel based on historical facts and the scriptures. The story doesn’t just introduce readers to Jesus but entertains them equally. The narrative is filled with biblical allusions and it is written in a contemporary style. It is filled with religious themes — the fall of man, the Mercy and Goodness of God, Redemption, and discipleship. While Jonathan E Ruopp Sr. sets out to entertain readers, he also provides powerful insights into Jesus's work. There is so much in this book for readers, including spiritual guidance, an understanding of the life and mission of Jesus, and powerful hints of history. I Am: A Novel Approach to the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a gift of faith and a story that inspires faith in the reader; it is well-crafted and compelling.

Gobi Jane

I Am: A Novel Approach to the Gospel of Jesus Christ by Jonathan E. Ruopp Sr. is a fascinating story that most people have heard, the story of Jesus, but written as a novel. In this book, the author starts with the enigmatic, creative WORD that was, and that took flesh in the person of Jesus. Ruopp recounts an amazing story that takes the reader from the prophecy with biblical characters like Zacharias, through the Annunciation, the Immaculate Conception, the birth of Jesus, His early life, works, betrayal and crucifixion, and His resurrection and encounter with His disciples. The story is filled with names that will be familiar with Christians and it features events that are narrated in the Gospels.

This is an amazing book about the life, mission, suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus, and Jonathan E. Ruopp Sr. does a great job in capturing the spiritual ethos of the time in this narrative, allowing elements of the setting to also come out. It has strong historical hints and follows a chronology that makes it easy for anyone who doesn’t know Jesus to have an encounter with Him and follow His life as it evolved. Readers are introduced to a man born in mysterious circumstances and who, because He is unique and different, and challenges the status quo, creates enemies, and eventually gets killed. But it is more than that because death doesn’t beat Him. It is a story of hope about a man who redeems humanity by conquering death. This author provides a wonderful alternative to reading the Bible, especially for readers who are just discovering Jesus.

Tammy Ruggles

I AM: A Novel Approach to the Gospel of Jesus Christ by Jonathan E Ruopp Sr. is a compelling work of historical fiction based on the gospel of Jesus. It's a dramatized account of His life, work, and deity told in the Bible. The author adds in his own extra material that shapes it into a fiction novel, in the hopes of explaining some of the political and cultural customs and meanings of biblical accounts, and giving the audience some information about Jesus that will lead them to read the Bible for themselves. Combining the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, Ruopp tells the story of Christ in chronological order.

The author has written an entertaining and informative account of Jesus Christ, but keep in mind it's a work of fiction, not meant to replace the Bible, but a tool to point you toward reading the Bible for yourself. It isn't meant to be an exhaustive study, although you could take notes as you read if you want to. Reading this book twice would be helpful to audiences. The first time, read it as you would a fiction novel. The second time, read it as a study guide to glean nuggets of truth, wisdom, and Jesus' teachings. Ruopp has created a story with a good flow, and I like that.

Instead of starting the book with Matthew, as one might expect, he starts with the book of John to make it chronological. The first chapter lays the foundation and background and reads more like a study guide, but the second chapter takes off like a novel, as promised, with Zechariah in the temple being visited by an angel to tell him that he and his wife Elizabeth would have a child named John, who would later be known as John the Baptist. It seems that the author took great care to faithfully render the four Gospels into one cohesive narrative. I AM: A Novel Approach to the Gospel of Jesus Christ by Jonathan E Ruopp Sr. is an intriguing elaboration on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and what He means to the world.

Jose Cornelio

I Am: A Novel Approach to the Gospel of Jesus Christ by Jonathan E Ruopp Sr. uncovers the face of Jesus to readers. In this narrative, readers encounter the same Jesus they have met in the Gospels, the only difference is that they can follow a chronological story of his life as narrated in the different Gospels as a single story. It is written for entertainment and to give non-Christians the opportunity to discover Jesus. The story starts with references to the creative Word in the book of Genesis and then moves on to establish a link with Jesus, the Word-Made-Flesh, and his life.

This novel answers the question: Who really is Jesus? In a compelling style and great writing, Jonathan E Ruopp Sr. narrates the circumstances in which Jesus was conceived and born, his plight as he enters the world, his work, and eventually, his arrest, judgment, crucifixion, resurrection, and appearance before his disciples. I Am: A Novel Approach to the Gospel of Jesus Christ is well-plotted and I loved the historical and cultural hints and how the author brilliantly recreates the dialogues to reflect the biblical events. To say that the book is filled with biblical allusions would be an overstatement. In fact, it is inspired by the events in the Gospels. The only difference is that the author has rendered the biblical narrative in modern language and in a style that non-Christians can enjoy. The story is filled with religious themes and the characters are well-developed, reflecting biblical characters. An enjoyable and inspirational story to read and pass along.