As a youngster in North Carolina, “Jimmy” Boswell saw two televised Easter films that caused him to become intrigued by Jesus. He started attending the Disciples of Christ church in his hometown, Wilson, and was soon delving deeply into the gospel accounts of Jesus. When he began to get upset by some of the inconsistencies he found among the gospels, he was encouraged by mentors in the church and, later, Barton College, to make use of good scholarship in seeking to understand such discrepancies. That kindled in him a lifelong interest in searching for “the historical Jesus.”
In 1973, Boswell went to Germany intending to write a play about Jesus, but when he came across Joachim Jeremias’ newly published The Proclamation of Jesus, it acted as a counterweight to some of the extremely skeptical scholarship Boswell had earlier encountered. He then decided that he must write a novel about Jesus, and has spent the last forty-five years pursuing that goal. His previously written Yeshua bar-Yosef (Jesus Joseph-son) has never been published.
The Dead Sea Gospel, which he began some thirteen years ago, is his latest effort, and he thinks and hopes, his best.
Boswell has served or been involved with churches in six American states (see below). At one point, he traveled around in Israel for several weeks and then spent a year on a Greek island, writing. He lived for about eight years in Germany where he met and later married Dr. Elke Segelcke, who is professor of German and European Studies at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois where the couple and their cat now make their home.
“THE DEAD SEA GOSPEL is a serious and honest attempt to lift up certain truths about Jesus,” Boswell says, adding that “because the field of Jesus research is such a much-plowed field, I hesitate to say what I am about to say: Audacious as it sounds, I feel that in this novel I may have been able to give voice to three or four compelling insights about Jesus that are rather unique, and -- I hope -- correct. I am not going to reveal just now what those insights are, for I want to wait and see whether readers and/ or scholars will discover and possibly affirm them on their own.”
Boswell’s The Dead Sea Gospel is available on Amazon. He welcomes and encourages honest comments about it there and on this site, both positive and negative.
from the Acknowledgments page--
DEEP GRATITUDE TO
Disciples of Christ faith communities in
Wilson, Cove City, Raleigh, Williamston, Bath, Pantego, Greenville,
Engelhard, Middletown, Rountree, Stokes, & Rocky Fork, NC;
Brookside (UCC), NJ; Newtown, KY; Overland, MO;
Chula Vista & Oceanside, CA;
Bloomington, Normal, Colfax, Arrowsmith,
Bellflower, and Gibson City, IL
and to Barton College,
East Carolina University,
Drew Theological Seminary,
Lexington Theological Seminary
and to professors
Mildred Hartsock†, C. H. Hamlin†, Gene Purcell†,
Carl Michalson†, Norman Rosenfeld†,
William O. Paulsell, Sharyn E. Dowd, and Tony Dunnavant†
and to helpful readers and critics
Barb Dennis, Andrew Weeks, Jim van der Laan, Louella Pence,
Steve Larson. the Culpeppers, Russ Rutter, Dennis Pendleton,
Ron Bell, Steve Newman, Jim Turner, Jim Pryune, John Kirk,
Laura Owens, Mary Lou Steadman, Scott Woolridge, the Jumpers, Bob Livermon, George Hastings, Franceine Perry†, Sallie Smyth,
Debbie Hensley, the Hubbards, Kenneth Lester, Jerry Riddling,
Carol Colvard Cason, Mollie Ward, Jackie Clement
and special thanks to Mary Knutsen for helping me find courage
and to my wondrous sister Debby, & especially my beloved Elke
and to Mom† and Dad, so dear to my heart
and to influential scripture scholars
E. P. Sanders, Paula Fredriksen, Bart Ehrman, Reza Aslan
Joachim Jeremias†, John P. Meier, Dale C. Allison
and to Christopher D. Schmitz for help with the self publishing.