INTREPID MEN OF GOD
JUST WHAT IS A BIBLICAL HISTORICAL NOVEL?
It definitely is not adding to the Bible. That would be sacrilegious and disloyal to God who told us just exactly what he wanted us to know. I have too much respect for the Bible.
A biblical historical novel is a COMMENTARY IN NARRATIVE FORM. I spend an average of 300 hours researching for each novel I write.
What I do is give A POSSIBLE PREVIOUS LIFE to the Bible character that might have caused him to do and say what the Bible says he did and said. All my novels begin in the character’s youth, sometimes even their childhood. I sometimes add what their attitudes may have been at their death as a result of their earlier encounter with God.
(By far the most difficult death scene I ever wrote is what Stephen’s thoughts may have been as a young deacon, possibly 29 years old, leaving behind a wife and small children. I struggled with that and walked the floor for two days before writing it.)
Yes, in some ways I play PSYCHOLOGIST. I try to convey how the character possibly grew spiritually through the years before the events we read of in the Bible.
I also play SOCIOLOGIST. I research each city the character lived in or even traveled through, along with the ancient highways that existed then. I learn the languages spoken, the street layout (from archaeological digs), who the magistrates were then, how they dressed, what they ate, what form of transportation they used, what other religions were prevalent there, who the country’s king was, what wars were they involved in at the time, etc.
I play LINGUIST. As I study deeply into the Bible account, I look up major words in the original Hebrew or Greek. Translators do not have the luxury of doing more than giving a single English word. If they gave a phrase for each word translated, the Bible would be zillions of pages long and we’d have to carry it in a wheelbarrow. For example, when the Bible says the soldiers took Jesus up the hill of Golgotha, the word “took” in Greek is to carry like a bowl.
I try to both educate and entertain.
NICODEMUS: OF THE SANHEDRIN
ARISTARCHUS: THE SILVER WORKER
PHILIP: TRAVELING DEACON
ZEBEDEE: THE FISHERMAN
CLEOPAS: FATHER OF APOSTLES
APOLLOS: EGYPTIAN SCHOLAR
JOB: ARABIAN SHEIK
AQUILA: THE TENTMAKER
SECUNDUS: THE BARBARIAN
DIONYSIUS: THE ATHENIAN
JULIUS: THE CENTURION
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