Biblical Fiction or Biblical Fantasy

Biblical fiction or fantasy

The truth about Biblical fiction is that those of us who write in this genre generally believe the Bible. I say generally, because over the years I have read books supposedly in this genre, but the writer has taken a person, or part of the Bible then write a version of their own.

Biblical fiction or Biblical fantasy

I like Biblical fiction and have learnt a lot from good Biblical fiction writers. In the story there might be a character or a few of them who are not named in the Biblical narrative, but the plot line follows the Biblical narrative.  On the other hand, to readers like me, Biblical fantasy takes a person, or situation and then uses it as a base for his or her own version. For readers like me this is more than disappointing.

How to tell if it is Biblical Fiction or fantasy

First to find it.

  • Go to Amazon
  • Find books or Kindle in the drop-down list.
  • Type in Biblical Fiction 
  • Choose a book from the list
  • Read the ‘blurb.’
  • Download a sample if you are not clear from the ‘blurb.’
  • Scroll down and read the categories it is listed in. (In Product details.)

Here are two examples of Product details. One is a by a Biblical fantasy writer, the other is by a noted Biblical Fiction author.

Listing for Biblical fantasy

Under the ‘Best Sellers Rank’ section you will see the categories the book is listed in.

Then you choose what you are interested in.

As an award-winning author

My aim was, and is, to tell the truth of the Bible in a way that brings the people to life. 
This led to months of research, in fact –years. I am still researching, checking facts and comparing articles, Bible studies, and sermons from different sources.

I receive many newsletters offering me ‘tricks’ to have my books ranked more highly on Amazon. In many cases this is listing the books in wrong categories to make them near the top. I prefer honesty.
The Apostle John Series is Biblical fiction based on fact. Yes, there are characters in them that are not in the Bible, there is no record of the Apostle John having had a family. However, all the events are from John’s writings. The books were written with the Bible open on my desk.

You can find a list here.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Susan+MB+Preston&i=stripbooks-intl-ship&ref=nb_sb_noss

The Novellas

Side stories of fictional characters in the books of the series. Not Biblical in themselves, but cover the themes and characters.

I enjoy good Biblical fiction, but each to his or her own taste.

This is been part of a short series of blog posts on Accuracy in Biblical Fiction, and research.

It is my hope that it has been helpful.

God bless

Susan

Did Jesus Keep a Seder Meal?

Seder plate

Was it a Seder meal Jesus kept on the night He was betrayed? Simple answer. No. 

This is what He said to His disciples as they gathered for the Passover meal.

“Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer;”
Luke 22: 14

So, there’s the first reason. Jesus said it was a Passover meal, and Jesus never lied.

Second reason…

There was no need for a Seder meal

The Seder meal replaced the Passover when it was no longer possible to sacrifice the Passover lambs. (Destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem 70AD)

When Jesus was about to be crucified the Passover was still being kept.

Some were keeping the 14th Passover and keeping it as commanded, others would keep it during the day part of the Passover, on the 15th and be part of the Temple Passover. (Remember the Hebrew day began at sunset on the day before.)

So, again, why do I say there was no need for a Seder meal?

While it was still possible for the Passover to be sacrificed, the Seder substitute was not necessary.

To be honest, it is hard to find a reference that does not amalgamate the two. But the Seder meal began after there was no Passover Lamb sacrifice. That’s why only a  lamb shank is on the Seder plate.

Jesus kept a Passover meal

That’s why He said it.

But it was in two parts. (Judas left to betray Christ after the Passover meal, and before the New Testament Passover.)

The Passover ended the First (Old Covenant). Remember my post about the significance of the Covenants? https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/old-covenant-new-covenant/

A covenant could only be broken by the death of the person making the covenant. God had a covenant with Israel. The only way to have a New Covenant was for Jesus, God in the flesh, to die. And that’s the second part of the covenant.

The Passover meal and Jesus Covenant death, ended the Old Covenant and enabled the New Covenant to be in effect.

The bread and wine began the New Covenant. This New Covenant Passover is kept by many Christians today.

Some thoughts to  ponder  upon,

Susan

 

More info about the Seder plate:

Seder plate image
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passover_Seder (

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled GNU Free Documentation License.Seder plate arrangement

Seder plate arrangement
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passover_Seder_plate

Naaman, Commander of the Syrian army

Elisha refusing Naaman's gifts

Naaman was an important man. His story, and his healing from leprosy, can be found in 2 Kings 5, but if you want a simple overview you can read it here… http://lukedockery.com/tag/naaman/

I won’t repeat it, just ask the question– why did Naaman ask for two mules loaded with dirt?

2 Kings 5 17 And Naaman said, Shall there not then, I pray thee, be given to thy servant two mules’ burden of earth? for thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the Lord.

Why did Naaman ask for soil?

There were many clues to answer this question discovered in my research for The Apostle John Series
https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/apostle-john-series-2/

Apostle John Series

(One I overtly used to is in the 4th book in The Apostle John Series, Keep the Flame)

Hint, hint

One of the many reasons the early Christians were hated by their pagan neighbours was their refusal to venerate any of the many ‘gods’ they worshipped. There were house gods, gods responsible for an area, for the beasts of the field and so on. One example is quoted here, “Local areas had local gods, with each city or region often having their own deities that they worshipped.” Just like the Egyptian ‘gods’ Roman and Greeks had similar beliefs.

https://australian.museum/learn/cultures/international-collection/ancient-egyptian/religion-and-gods-in-ancient-egypt/

I found many examples, but the above is a simple overview.

What was the significance of the soil?

If the gods of an area ruled that area, then they ruled the soil. In a different area another god ruled. This is why I brought out the significance of ‘gods’ only operating in their areas in book four of the series. (Keep the Flame) https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/series-overview/keep-the-flame/

Naaman is long gone…

But we can still learn lessons from his story, and be grateful that we do not live with these superstitions, because that is all they were. And yet, although I don’t practice them, I still remember many superstitions from my young years in Scotland. As Solomon says, ‘There is nothing new under the sun.”

God bless,

Susan

For further reading

Wise Men

Wise men

Wise men, kings, Magi? Who were they, where did they come from, and when did they visit Jesus?

Lots of questions, and some theories from research.

So, were they kings or wise men?

According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_Magi “The Magi are popularly referred to as wise men and kings.”

Who were they and where did they come from can be taken as one question… in my mind anyway. Although there are many theories of where they came from, I favour this one.

“The Bible states that they were from “the East,” which would be in the direction of Babylon and ancient Persia. Of all the peoples of “the East,” the Babylonians had many opportunities to learn of the Jewish Scriptures, which contain multiple promises of the coming Messiah. Daniel was an influential government official in Babylon about 600 years earlier, and he foretold the coming of the Messiah (Daniel 9:24–26). Also, tens of thousands of Jews lived in Babylon during the time of the Exile (605–536 BC), and they maintained a large presence there for the following centuries.” https://answersingenesis.org/holidays/christmas/we-three-kings/

The Magi were ‘wise men.’

It says in the quote above that tens of thousands of Jews lived in Babylon…. And they maintained a large presence there for the following centuries.

Centuries?

So many centuries that it is mentioned that the Apostle Peter went to Babylon.

 “The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.” 
1 Peter 5:13, KJV

This raises a number of issues and many theories, most of which I have studied, but this is not the purpose of this post. Let’s just take it at its word.

This next quote explains ‘magi.’ 

The word magi is the plural of Latin magus, borrowed from Greek μάγος (magos), as used in the original Greek text of the Gospel of Matthew (in the plural: μάγοι, magoi). Greek magos itself is derived from Old Persian maguŝ from the Avestan magâunô, i.e., the religious caste into which Zoroaster was born (see Yasna 33.7: “ýâ sruyê parê magâunô” = “so I can be heard beyond Magi”). The term refers to the Persian priestly caste of Zoroastrianism. As part of their religion, these priests paid particular attention to the stars and gained an international reputation for astrology, which was at that time highly regarded as a science. Their religious practices and use of astrology caused derivatives of the term Magi to be applied to the occult in general and led to the English term magic. The King James Version translates the term as wise men; the same translation is applied to the wise men led by Daniel of earlier Hebrew Scriptures (Daniel 2:48).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_Magi

When did the wise men (Magi) visit Jesus?

The traditional view presented in films, such as The Nativity Story, is that the wise men saw Jesus on the night of His birth, but this is highly unlikely. Matthew 2:1 reveals that the magi came to Jerusalem and subsequently visited with Herod after Jesus had been born.
https://answersingenesis.org/holidays/christmas/we-three-kings/

It is highly implausible that the wise men would arrive in Jerusalem at night and immediately obtain an audience with Herod. The king then gathered “all the chief priests and scribes of the people” (Matthew 2:4) so he could determine where the Messiah was to be born. The experts told Herod that the Messiah needed to be born in Bethlehem, which was predicted in Micah 5:2. So, the wise men departed and made their approximately six-mile journey to Bethlehem.

Continuing from another source…

https://www.neverthirsty.org/bible-qa/qa-archives/question/how-old-was-jesus-when-the-wise-men-found-him/

After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Matthew 2:11 (NASB)

Verse 11 states that Jesus was living in a house. This reveals that Jesus’ parents had moved to a house. Contrary to popular nativity scenes and paintings, Christ was now living in a house when the magi visited Him. His parents had moved from the location of the manger to this house. There were no shepherds or angels when the magi stopped to worship Him and give Him gifts.

See previous post…
Traditional Nativity Scenes Are Often Wrong

The Slaughter of the Innocents

King Herod ordered the execution of all male children under two years old.

slaughter of innocents
Duccio di Buoninsegna, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Note:

Much of this post is comprised of quotes from other sources. They are to demonstrate that these are not wild theories of mine. Just food for thought for you to explore and make up your own mind.

God bless,

Susan

Traditional Nativity Scenes Are Often Wrong

Nativity scene often wrong

Why is the traditional Nativity Scene wrong? Because if it is pictured like the one in the featured image the wrong people are there.

Really?

Yes, really.

Why?

Please read on.

Before the Nativity Scene

First comes the account of the birth of Christ, described in detail by Luke in the account he wrote under the inspiration of God.

Luke 2: 2, 3: “(This registration first occurred when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) Then all went to be registered, each to his own city” 

Joseph was of the line of David, who was born in Bethlehem, https://biography.yourdictionary.com/david

Joseph and Mary were living down in the area of Galilee.

Luke 2:4 – 9  “And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the City of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was from the house and lineage of David to register himself along with Mary, who was betrothed to him as wife, and was great with child. And it came to pass that during the time they were there, the days were fulfilled for her to give birth” And she gave birth to her Son, the firstborn, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. Now there were shepherds in the same country, who were dwelling in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night and keeping watch over their flock by night, and suddenly an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shined round about them; and they were seized with great fear”

The time of the birth/nativity scene

Mary and Joseph  were in Bethlehem when Jesus was born because it was prophesied that He would be born there.

No place at the inn, Was it an Inn?

They were in a stable. A little later they were in a house.

The angel announced the birth to the shepherds.

Luke 2: 10: “But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I am announcing to you glad tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. ‘For today, in the city of David, a Savior was born to you, Who is Christ the Lord. Now, this is the sign for you: you shall find a Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth among men of goodwill.’ And it came to pass, as the angels were departing from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go now as far as Bethlehem, and let us see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us'” (vs 11-15).

Angel announces birth of Christ to shepherd
Rembrandt, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Luke 2: 16: “And they made haste, and came and found both Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in the manger. Now after seeing Him, they made known everywhere the proclamation that they had been told concerning this little Child. And all those who heard were filled with wonder by the things that were spoken to them by the shepherds.”

After the birth

Then the Magi, (often called the ‘wise men,’ or ‘three kings’) visited Herod looking for this child who had been born king. After all, Herod was the king at the time.

Now to Matthew’s account…

Matthew 2: 7 – 9: “Then Herod secretly called for the Magi and ascertained from them the exact time of the appearing of the star….And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, ‘Go and search diligently for the little Child; and when you have found Him, bring word back to me, so that I also may go and worship Him. And after hearing the king, they departed; and behold, the star that they had seen in the east went in front of them, until it came and stood over the house where the little Child was. And after seeing the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they found the little Child with Mary His mother…”

This time they were in a house. Note, it also said they found the Child (not baby) with Mary, His mother.

So, it does not seem from these accounts that the Magi came to the stable at the time of the birth.

To me, point proven. Other than Mary and Joseph, only the shepherd boys witnessed the newborn Christ. Most nativity scenes, however attractive, are wrong, and of all the images I looked at the only one where the shepherds are not replaced by the Magi, who were still travelling,  is the Rembrandt one. (Above)

Just thinking

Susan

Blame or Choice?

blame leads to a fight

With all the riots, protests and demonstrations in so many places around the world, blaming someone else is easy. It is usually someone in authority we point the finger of blame at, but are we joining a herd response?

On a personal level, who is to blame for the fact I have not had an Internet connection for a few days?

Does it really matter?

Perhaps.

There were many mistakes, as well as frustrations, but the start of it all was a choice I made.

Nearly every situation that goes wrong can trace itself back to a choice on our part or, in this instance, on my part. It should have moved smoothly but it did not.

The blame game

pointing the finger of blame

Pointing the finger and blaming someone else is not a ‘new’ phenomenon. Currently in many countries in the world there is a lot of pointing fingers of blame. It is more prevalent in recent times, but the history of blaming someone else takes us back to the beginning of recorded human history.

Most people know the story of Adam and Eve and the serpent… some blame the serpent, some blame Eve, some blame Adam.

Which of them was to blame?

My opinion? We can rule out the serpent. As it says in Genesis 3: 1 “Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made…

The serpent did not force either of them to eat the fruit of the tree they were told not to eat. He distorted what God had said, but first the woman chose to disobey God’s instructions, then Adam also disobeyed.

They each made choices, and neither of them accepted the blame for the choice they had made.

When questioned by God later… Adam excused himself by saying “the woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree and I ate.” Gen 3: 12

Interesting. Adam blamed the woman… and is there a hint of blame toward God? ‘The woman whom You gave me.’ Sounds a bit as if there is.

Adam also blamed Eve. Yet Adam had been instructed by God before this incident. He should have intervened.

Was Eve to blame?

Traditionally she has been blamed, but look at her response.

She blamed the serpent. Her response to God’s question was ‘The serpent deceived me and I ate.”

In fact, neither she nor Adam took responsibility for their own actions.

Are we any different? Do we accept blame if we have made a wrong choice?

Each of us is the only one who can answer that. Can we do it honestly?

Interesting story here

If asked, how would we respond if questioned about the actions we took, or chose not to take?

Something to think about,

God bless

Susan

Condition of Entry

condition of entry

There is nothing new about there being a condition of entry – to a place of business, a casino, or to someone’s party. In the Bible there was a condition of entry to a wedding feast in one of the parables Jesus told.

“But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment.
Matt 22: 11
https://biblehub.com/matthew/22-11.htm

The outcome was that the man was put outside. V 13.

There was a condition of entry.

And there is now…

If I turned up at the casino wearing a ‘tank top’ and thongs (called flip-flops elsewhere in the world,) I would be denied entry.

These things are accepted, but this ‘virus’ pandemic has been turning things on its head.

Condition of entry and human rights clash

Some Australian States have mandated (https://www.dictionary.com/browse/mandated?s=t) that masks have to be worn when out in public.

Some stores have imposed the same condition of entry. However, some human rights people disagree and refuse to comply.

Some people have made claims that the mask requirement is unlawful or a breach of their human rights, and have alleged businesses aren’t allowed to refuse them entry if they’re not wearing one.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-07-28/face-mask-melbourne-mitchell-shire-coronavirus-legal-human-right/12494100

Whether or not you agree with wearing a mask, or any of the other recommendations, is it acceptable to ignore State or Store laws?

This brought to mind the short talk I had heard by Ravi Zacharias, and wrote about early in July https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/a-divisive-question-potentially/

The speaker divided up the method of answering a potentially divisive question into three categories… Theo nomos (God’s law.) Hetero nomos (Dictated by leadership), then Auto nomos. As you might have guessed, if you did not already know, ‘nomos’ is the Greek word for law.

Condition of entry…

Would be an example of hetero nomos. A condition determined by leadership, or the business owner. But what I see in the objections in my country are examples of auto nomos.

In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
Judges 17:6. 

However, if my choice differs from your choice, what are we left with? Anarchy? Some would say so. One definition of anarchy is ‘Absolute freedom of the individual.’ The mind boggles.

condition of entry, the mind boggles

In order for society to function, surely while needing to obtain some autonomy, we have to allow others to maintain theirs and cooperate with the law of the land.

If you think the law is unreasonable, use the appropriate channels to change it.

However, if you cannot change it, look to history, or examples in the Bible for inspiration. 

We cannot all have our own way.

Just thinking,

Susan

The Apostle Paul and Law

Apostle Paul and Law

Letters from the Apostle Paul make up a large part of the New Testament. The following epistles/letters are generally attributed to him, although some doubt his authorship of the book of Hebrews.

Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews.

https://www.gotquestions.org/how-many-books-did-Paul-write.html

On the subject of ‘law’ and ‘the Law,’ Paul’s writings sometimes seem contradictory. The Apostle Paul was a Pharisee before his conversion, so he should understand what he was writing and teaching. They had a whole ‘slew’ of laws that they kept.

(I included some of the laws of Judaism in the free series members of my VIP Readers’ Group received.  E.G.

Sample of the Code of Jewish Law

Apostle Paul and Law

The Code of Jewish Law is made up of four volumes and 221 Chapters which attempt to govern every aspect of the life of a Jew.

Chapter 3 deals with Dressing and Deportment.

“It is written (Micah 6: 8) “And to walk humbly with thy God.” Therefore it is the duty of every man to be modest in all his ways. When putting on or removing his shirt or other undergarment, he should be careful not to expose is body unduly. He should put it on or remove it while still lying covered in bed. He should never say to himself: “Lo, I am all alone in my inner chamber and in the dark, who can see me?” For the glory of the Holy One, blessed be He, fills the universe, and darkness and light are alike to Him, blessed be His name; and modesty and a sense of shame indicate humility before Him, blessed be His name.”

Chapter 4 deals with not thinking ‘holy thoughts’ in the lavatory.

Chapter 5 deals with the Cleanliness of Places Used for Holy Purposes.

There are many entries about not praying where there is excrement or urine… or bad odors

Was the Apostle Paul schizophrenic?

It can seem that way. Most of the teaching I received in church, or at Bible College held to the view that Paul said Christians did not have to keep the law.

Why then does he say…?

I do confess to you, however, that I worship the God of our fathers according to the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that is laid down by the Law and written in the Prophets,
Acts 24: 14.  Berean Study Bible

It was important to me to know because my readers deserve an accurate background to the Apostle John Series of books. Then I read something written by a minister which said the definite article was not in the Greek translations of the Bible.

So, wanting accuracy in my books, I checked.

The Apostle Paul knew what he was talking about

With the understanding of Paul’s background, could it be that he sometimes refers to the Pharisaic law (which became Judaism), and the Law of God other times? He had been brought up in the strictest sect, Phariaism, as he said himself. In order to ‘protect’ the people from breaking the law and going back into   captivity these laws were added. In fact, the opposite happened, the Law of God was stifled by these laws.  

This is what Jesus meant in Mark 7: 8 when He said,
Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

So who was wrong, the Apostle Paul or the translators?

Choosing to be kind, perhaps the translators did not understand the two ‘law’ references that the Apostle Paul understood.

Romans 2: 15 is the only scripture about ‘the’ work and ‘the’ law that is accurately translated from the Greek. The definite articles are present.

https://biblehub.com/interlinear/romans/2.htm

It is an interesting study into the writings of Paul to go through them in a reputable Greek/English Interlinear.

The Pharisaic works in Jesus’ and Paul’s day were indeed the heavy burden that Jesus referred to…

Apostle Paul and Law

They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.
Matt 23:4

But Jesus, who advocated keeping the commandments had a different view.

If ye love me, keep my commandments.
John `4; 15

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart; and you will find rest. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:25-30

One question leads to another LOL

God bless

Susan

Hints to writing better Biblical Fiction

Biblical fiction research starts in the Bible

Biblical fiction is the genre I write in (mostly… I do have a book about living on oxygen 24/7 but that’s non-fiction.)

As well as writing Biblical Fiction, I like reading it, and I do have some favorite authors who write great stories. There are some others, and I mentioned in a blog a long time ago that some seem to take their research from the block-buster movies. Movies makers aim to have a successful movie, not stay accurately to facts, therefore is not a reliable research activity.

Here is a link to a blog I had permission from Angela Hunt to re-blog. She makes a good explanation for why we should be trustworthy in our storytelling.

https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/biblical-novelists/

Biblical fiction readers deserve the best

The best what?

Stories? Perhaps… but stories based on the best facts we can find.

A story, or a character in the Bible inspires you to write about them. Well, that’s the beginning of a treasure hunt.

Why?

Because not all the information is in one or two verses.

Take the book of Genesis for example. When I attended a Bible Training Centre one of the lecturers explained how there were thousands of years between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2.

Other teachers and pastors have reinforced that since. And there is the first clue… use more than one source. It’s a weak building with only one or two bricks.

Here’s how I have seen it explained.

Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God created the heavens…”

The heavens first, then the angels. Now how do the teachers come to that? Their research, the Hebrew, and other parts of the Bible.

One of those other parts, believe it if you like, is the book of Job when God answers Job.

“Now gird up your loins like a man; for I will demand of you, and you shall answer Me. Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare it if you have understanding! Who has determined its measurements if you know? Or who has stretched the line upon it? On what are the foundations fastened to? Or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” Job 38: 3-7
(Morning stars and sons of God are a type of angels, as explained in other parts of the Bible.)

Biblical Fiction authors do a lot of research

I can attest to that… and it becomes addictive.

Check out the sources of your research. Some are ‘weighted’ to a particular belief system so can be a little skewed. Another reason to check several sources.

Found an interesting book that reinforces what you think? Well, pray and ask God to lead you by His Spirit, and on a practical level, check the author Bio. What does it say? What are the credentials? Now, a love of the truth is more important than how many university degrees, because some who write commentaries are not even Christian, they are scholars.

More hints…

Download the free one-page PDF of other hints.

So here are some of the hints for your Biblical Fiction Research

Hope these help you make the reader of Biblical Fiction a happy reader.

Blessings

Susan

PS My pet hate in a Biblical Fiction book is modern Americanisms such as ‘scooted across.” I didn’t even know what it meant until I asked an American friend to explain.

According to dictionary.com the word was first used in 1750–60 AD not BC – and it’s the late Middle Ages at that.

Did God Say?

Did God say? Everything has a code

Most Christians will recognize ‘did God say?’ as the question the serpent asked Eve in the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 3.1)

Some translations will add the word ‘really’… as in ‘Did God really say?’

What then did God say?

And Jehovah God layeth a charge on the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden eating thou dost eat; and of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou dost not eat of it, for in the day of thine eating of it — dying thou dost die.’ Gen 2: 16, 17 Youngs Literal Translation.

There are many things that can be discussed from these verses, but my thinking lately has been about what we do with what God did say. First, do we believe it? Here I am asking ‘believers’ not the folks who do not believe.

Everything in the universe has a ‘code’ – or rules it runs by.

If God says something, does it make it a command?

This brings to my mind all the law-breaking I see on the news. For weeks there have been protests in Hong Kong. These continued after the original reason for the protest ended.  Read more here 

Then there were protests over Indonesia’s proposed law changes…

The unrest was sparked by a proposed Bill that includes dozens of law changes – from criminalising pre-marital sex and restricting sales of contraceptives, to making it illegal to insult the president.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/indonesia-violent-law-change-protests-11945346

 

My Way or No Way

It sounds as though this is what we are coming to, if we are not already there.

A simple example…

speed limit sign

How many people obey the speed limit?

It is not a ‘suggestion.’ It is a law.

You will discover this if you are caught breaking it… there is a fine.

Beach closed sign

If you are a beach goer, this might be something you might see. Image: did God say beach

https://thewest.com.au/news/perth/north-cottesloe-beach-closed-after-shark-sighting-ng-b881337656z

Not everyone pays attention though. The result is often an expensive rescue… at taxpayers’ expense.

If you identify as Christian…

That first breaking of God’s word has had some far-reaching consequences.

What do you think about the Ten Commandments? Do you believe they are applicable today?

Well, what about the ‘Two Great Commandments’ as spoken by Jesus?

Are we at the same point as people were here?

In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
Judges 21: 25 ESV

This ended up with the nation sliding more and more deeply into depravity. (There is an interesting, but long, article here.)

Learning from what God said

When I researched the background and culture for the Apostle John Series (https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/apostle-john-series-2/ ) I discovered a great deal.

One, they lived according to what God said.

Two, they often lost their lives because they did.

There were many who claimed to believe, but ‘did what was right in their own eyes.’ They were often the ones who set up false groups.

King Solomon wrote ‘there is nothing new under the sun,’ and there is much evidence of that today. However, consider this… God’s throne is above the sun.

Believe whatever you believe, consider your destination, and treat others as you would like to be treated.

Susan