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Although the Gospels of Matthew and Luke support the tradition that there were two Jesus children, the idea was not adopted by the Church. Something of the idea lingered on in Christian art and symbolism, but the full tradition was preserved only in the literature of such esoteric sects as the Gnostics, who did not adopt all the official teachings of institutionalized Christianity. David Ovason explores the literature and art in which these symbols have been preserved, in particular, the ancient Hebrew, Aramaic, Coptic, and Greek literature discovered in the 20th century at sites near the Dead Sea and in Egypt. The texts confirm the belief in the existence of two Messiahs. Ovason explores many fascinating and "apocryphal" texts containing references to the two children, which were later expunged or glossed over by Church apologists. He speculates on the reasons why the idea of the two children should have become so popular in early 15th century Italian art and studies traces of the theme in the work of such artists as Borgognone, Ferrari, Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci.
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Praise for "The Zelator: "This book has "cult classic" writen all over it... one of the most intelligent and interesting books I have read for a long time." - Colin Wilson, "Literary ReviewSynopsis:
This title explores the belief, held by several esoteric Christian sects, that there were two children, both named Jesus, born in Bethlehem to two sets of parents named Joseph and Mary. It studies evidence of the two-children theme in 15th-century Italian art.
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