By: Stephanie Duncan
Pearl in the Sand, released this September. This book falls into an intriguing genre, merging creative fiction and biblical history as Afshar tells the story of Rahab through a narrative lens. Think Prince of Egypt: the popular film which entranced audiences with its drama of Moses and the Israelites. Francine Rivers has also written a series titled The Lineage of Grace in which she elaborates on the lives of Bathsheba, Ruth, Tamar, and more.
We've heard these Bible stories before...why then do we gravitate towards them yet again when they get new cover art? It seems dangerous, too..."re-writing" Scripture and filling in details that are not in the text. How does an author, thousands of years after the character actually lived, write about their words, motives, and actions with integrity?
Yet I believe these stories stir our imaginations, offering fresh perspective and personalizing the saints of the past. Narrative retellings of Scripture can bring life to the Old Story, brightening and bringing color to the events that seemed perhaps distant before. New dynamics are introduced. Fictional description can give Jonah a face, translate the culture of the days of David, and illuminate the mannerisms of Rachel.
A few other titles of note in this genre:
The Brother's Keeper by Tracy Groot
His name is James. He was the brother of Jesus Christ. The Brother's Keeper is a story imagined from the few known facts of the life of a real man. The book tells the story of the latter part of Jesus' ministry, up through his death and resurrection, as seen through the eyes of His own family. Tracy Groot takes readers, with James, on a journey from unbelief to belief as James grapples with the question of who Jesus is.
A Tale of Three Kings: A Study in Brokenness by Gene Edwards
This best-selling tale is based on the biblical figures of David, Saul, and Absalom. For the many Christians who have experienced pain, loss, and heartache at the hands of other believers, this compelling story offers comfort, healing, and hope.
I would like to hear from you! Does this type of literature appeal to you? Why or why not? Do you have a favorite novel based on biblical events?