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5 Star IHIBRP Book Review: “The Rabbi’s Gift: Re-telling an Ancient Tale” by Chuck Gould

A Striking Retelling Of The Nativity Story!

Headstrong and independent, Mary is of age to marry, but rejects all suitors even as her father frets more and more over her future. She has yet to realize the deep feelings already stirring in her heart for Yusuf—a lowly craftsman conscripted to construct a mosaic centerpiece for a new addition to her wealthy father’s estate in this striking retelling of the Nativity story.

Stunningly beautiful in its telling, “The Rabbi’s Gift” is an alternative biblical tale about Jesus’ parents explained not form a religious view, but based on historical record, Jewish mysticism, and Babylonian astrology. Highly compelling and intriguing, “The Rabbi’s Gift” ultimately reveals the destinies of those surrounding the birth of Christ in a way that peaks one’s curiosity while stimulating the imagination. Well researched and brilliantly detailed, Gould’s novel provides a glimpse into life at the turn of the millennia—during the period immediately preceding the 1st-century CE—when Judea and Galilee were both under Roman occupation and Herod the Great ruled the region as their installed puppet-king. Rich in detail and lavish in its descriptions, “The Rabbi’s Gift” grabs the reader’s interest with characters that make one feel as though they are alive and present and scenery that often makes one gawk in awe.

Gould brings to life the familiar venue in which this storyline takes place in such a way as to ease the reader into reconsidering the biblically recorded events leading up to the Nativity. His retelling is strikingly honest and realistic as he points to the many historical events and records serving to bolster his tale while staying true to the basic themes associated with the gospel accounts. In both Miriam (Mary) and Yusuf (Joseph) readers will find that the foundations of Jesus’ education are clear. Miriam and Yusuf not only demonstrate the privileges of the rich but detail the daily struggles of everyday people in their time. In Miriam, we see a great yearning for freedom, understanding, and education, while Yusuf exudes a calm sense of practicality, perseverance, and determination. Both reach for their goals no matter what obstacles get in their way. These are the qualities plant the seeds for Jesus’ rebellious political and religious views and form the very foundations of his future mission.

I thoroughly enjoyed this inspired read and I highly recommend it to anyone searching for an understanding of how life was in the time of Jesus as well as how the foundations of his ministry may have been formed. It is a charming telling of two people who overcame all the odds to find love and happiness in a world dependent on strict social standards and traditions. In the end, this novel proves that love does conquer all.

Find “The Rabbi’s Gift: Re-telling an Ancient Tale” by Chuck Gould on Amazon and Kindle at


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