Next Year in Jerusalem

“John Kolchak is one of a dying breed: a thought-criminal after your own heart.”
-Cintra Wilson, NEW YORK TIMES, S.F. EXAMINER

“Set somewhere in the arid wastelands between Nikos Kazantzakis’ The Last Temptation of Christ and Gore Vidal’s Julian, Kolchak weaves a Hobbesian Palestine where the life of a man is solitary, poor, nasty, brutal, and short, especially in terms of faith and law. A lurid, intense work… a gospel in its own right, even as grim as it is and as it should be.”
-Burke Gerstenschlager, BLEAK THEOLOGY

“Kolchak revels in subversion and profanity, turning many of the most famous New Testament stories on their heads and creating an immensely sympathetic character in Yeshua along the way. This is a challenging book… but a very rewarding one as well.”
-HISTORICAL NOVEL SOCIETY

Click here to read a sample chapter

A brutal re-imagining of the Gospel story, Next Year in Jerusalem follows the footsteps of Yeshua Bar-Yosif—an illiterate, epileptic, bastard son of a Roman soldier on his ill-fated life journey through a land racked by terror.

As first century Judea bleeds from the oppression of Roman rule and the violent uprisings against it, Yeshua, tormented by familial guilt for abandoning his mother, eventually forms his own family of travelers who preach for peace and compassion in the face of internecine savagery. Their wanderings lead to encounters with false prophets, assassins, and a rapidly growing movement of extremist rebels whose leader Bar-Abbas’ mission is to expel the Romans and establish an ethnocentric theocracy.

Chance sends both Yeshua and Bar-Abbas to the court of Pontius Pilate—the dipsomaniac Governor obsessed with leaving a name for himself in the scrolls of history—and the outcome of that meeting alters the fate of the world for the next two millennia.

With urgent parallels to contemporary issues of religious war, this book is both a lament and a warning. It is also a story about the passage of time, the nature of memory, and mankind’s inherent yearning for life everlasting.




Next Year in Jerusalem
A Film by Mimi Hasslof aka Eye Con Mimic