From topping the New York Times Bestsellers to being made into Hollywood epics, Biblical fiction dominates the Christian fiction charts. If you’ve never read any before here are 7 reasons to pick up a novel in this genre and give it a try.
Reading the Bible verse by verse is not the only way to connect with the world of the biblical characters. Before you go searching for socio-historical commentaries, why not look from a different angle and try biblical fiction instead?
Loves Sacred Song is the story of the Shulamite woman of Solomon’s Song, giving her a face and narrative of her own. Rich in detail, the book is very much a time machine in paperback. You soak up the culture, you inhale the atmosphere, and you walk through a Jerusalem where King Solomon once reigned.
Many authors have conducted in-depth research, allowing you to be captivated by an historically accurate and imaginative book.Goats and chickens ran through the streets as children chased them. Beggars reached out, and musicians strummed their six-stringed lyres”. – Loves Sacred Song, by Mesu Andrews.
Reason 2 - Uncovers Biblical Characters You’ve Never Noticed
Often the Bible’s stories focus on one major character, like Moses. These characters stand in the spotlight for most of the narrative. But the Bible is rich in characters that don’t occupy the limelight and only hints to their backgrounds - like Aaron witnessing those miraculous signs, or the story behind the Roman Centurion.
The Sanhedrin threatened a rebellion of their own unless Pilate ordered the man crucified”. This was a cruel blow. The rabbi had used Capernaum as his base and had even healed Alban’s favored young servant, Jacob”. – The Centurion’s Wife, by Davis Bunn and Janette Oke.
The Centurions Wife transports you back to the Roman occupation of Israel, and the birth of Christianity. You follow the Centurion who had faith to believe that Jesus could heal.
There are hundreds of minor characters in biblical stories waiting to be brought to life by imaginative authors.
Reason 3 - Adds a New Dimension to Your Bible Reading
Have you ever been sitting in church listening to a preacher who explains the true meaning of a Hebrew word? Then the next time you come across that word you get an educational flashback and suddenly the verse jumps to life with fresh meaning and power. Reading biblical fiction is like mining through helpful translations to find cultural clues and historical hints.
With the antelaya, the ladle, grasped in his right hand, he dipped pure water from the urn and poured it over his left hand until it was immersed.– Second Touch by Bodie & Brock Thoene
In the AD Chronicles Bodie & Brock Thoene paint a vivid picture of first century Jerusalem. Readers are transported to Jesus’ era and experience the land and culture as he would have seen it.
Getting to grips with different cultures is never easy - biblical fiction can really bring history to life.
Reason 4 - Re-ignites Your Love For Bible Reading
Some of the most exciting, action-packed, and inspirational stories ever told are nestled inside your Bible. You may have read them hundreds of times, or you may have skipped past them thinking you heard that one in Sunday school. Often biblical fiction authors have had a personal revelation of how incredible these Bible stories are, and they long for you to discover them afresh too.
It is a star, Hadassah, and we give it to you because you are our bright star and because we want you to carry on this family legacy and all it stands for” – Hadassah: One Night With The King, by Tommy Tenny.
Hadassah is Esther’s story retold through her diary entries to the next queen. The highs and lows of her incredible experience are brought to life by the author allowing you to connect in a new way with this historical event.
Biblical fiction expands and animates the stories that sometimes lose their lustre as time goes on. These books can create a renewed desire to open your Bible and read those stories again.
Reason 5 - NY Times Bestsellers
You may be sceptical about biblical fiction, and rightly so. Some may feel they are 'just failed attempts of preachers and bible scholars writing novels with a blatantly obvious Christian message’. Some may be, but the New York Times bestsellers list is evidence of some of the quality just waiting to be discovered.My love isn't a weapon, it's a lifeline, reach out and take hold, and don't let go!” – Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers.
Francine Rivers retells the book of Hosea, set in California's gold country in 1850. With over 20 years in print, Redeeming Love remains in the ECPA (Evangelical Christian Publishers Association) bestsellers list and has sold over 1 million copies.
Biblical fiction, when written by experienced fiction authors, is a first-class read and immensely popular all around the world.
Reason 6 - Covers Every Fiction Genre
Romance is one of the most popular genres for fiction, and Christian fiction is no different. But you'd be wrong to thing biblical fiction is dominated by rose coloured romance. The bible certainly isn't, so why should the novels written around those characters and events be any different?
Little brothers can be so irritating sometimes. That day Andrew proved to be at his irritating best … “I didn’t tell him anything, Simon. I never even mentioned your name. But I’m telling you, somehow he knows about you.” – The Fisherman, by Larry Huntsperger.
The fisherman is a spellbinding first-person account of a rugged fisherman transformed into the 'rock' of the church. It's the gospel through the eyes of Simon Peter. You won't find any intense staring into each others eyes in this book, just the gritty and spiritual journey of Jesus' disciple.
Whatever your favourite fiction genre - biblical fiction can deliver.
Some people are naturals when it comes to talking about their faith. But for many of us, just thinking about the ‘faith chat' makes us sweat uncontrollably with a sudden urge to change the subject to the weather. Biblical fiction offers a tale woven and intertwined with the Bible's life changing truth. You can use biblical fiction to highlight the underlying themes, talk about the significance of the story, and explain what you believe all through the mutual love of fiction.
If you’re looking for a fiction gift with a biblical theme try:
Biblical fiction can be thought provoking as well as entertaining. So if you’re new to this growing genre we hope this gives you food for thought when it comes to choosing your next book.
October 3rd, 2012 - Posted & Written by James Warwood