The winged figure on the cover of my book A Star out of Jacob is called a "Faravahar." The Faravahar is an ancient Persian symbol, believed to date back to the Zoroastrian period. It survives as the national symbol of Iran today.
A Star out of Jacob
In the century leading up to Christ's birth, and throughout the Hellenistic world, there was tremendous interest in the eotic, including dream interpretation, secret cults and the mysterious wisdom of astrology. There was a widespread restlessness and the conviction that some cataclysmic change was about to happen. The stars--believed to govern men's lives--moved in a preciously unknown manner. A new star constellation would son dominate the sky, ushering in a "New Age." Some saw the impending New Age in a golden light, as a return to virtue. Others warned of an apocalypse. Among the Romans, unsettling oracles abounded and even the Phoenix was rumored to be returning. But Hebrew prophesies predicted the coming of a Messiah, a righteous King who would rule the entire world and set things right.
Against this backdrop, the magi made their way to Bethlehem, following a Star. This is the story of their journey, and the story of how God--to this day--uses holy scripture, pagan superstition, and the most advanced sciences known to mankind to lead us to the Light.
The Gospel According to . . .
Explanation of the wooden placard on the front cover of The Gospel According to . . . In Roman crucifixions, a titulus or inscription was placed on the cross above the victim's head designating what crime he had committed. According to John's Gospel, Pilate commanded that a sign be nailed on Jesus's cross stating "JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS" in Latin, Greek and Hebrew. My book cover illustrates how the sign might have looked to one standing below the cross.