Silva, unusual for him, does include one charming mystical touch. Gabriel gets the first page of the “Gospel of Pilate” from a sandal-wearing Father Joshua, and later encounters him during a Venice flood: “The priest seemed to move across the floodwaters without disturbing the surface.” Gabriel, wondering how Father Joshua made it into the Vatican’s “Secret Archives,” says, “Your name doesn’t appear on the staff directory. … You weren’t wearing any identification that day.” Joshua responds, “Why would someone like me require identification?” Gabriel: “Who are you?” Joshua responds, “Who do you say I am?” Hmm. Joshua says, “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus,” and raises a bandaged hand. Then he disappears.
Silva grew up in a Catholic home, married a Jewish CNN correspondent, and converted to Judaism. One of his characters says, “I decided I could be both a Christian and a Jew. After all, Jesus was a Jew.” As a convert myself I understand different tugs, and enjoy spy novels from a variety of perspectives—but a writer should do his homework. The better response to anti-Semitism is: add, don’t subtract. Instead of trying to eliminate a verse, read it in the context of other verses, such as John 4:22’s “salvation is from the Jews.” Yes, remember that Jesus and all His Apostles were Jews. Remember not to eliminate Matthew 19:19 and 22:39, Mark 12:31, Luke 10:27, Romans 13:9, Galatians 5:14, and James 2:8: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”