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Bracketing the question of the extent to which the Bible is historical, I'm looking for Biblical fiction. I'm less interested in books that retell the stories (e.g. for children) and more for imaginative "What if?" or "What was this person really like?" stories. Any suggestions?
I'm especially curious if anyone knows of graphic novels that retell Biblical stories.
Lion's Honey: The Myth of Samson by David Grossman
The King David Report by Stefan Heym
God Knows by Joseph Heller
The Diaries of Adam and Eve by Mark Twain
Cain by Jose Saramago
Queenmaker by India Edghill
Moses, Man of the Mountain by Zora Neale Hurston
Eve: A Novel of the First Woman by Elissa Elliott
J.B.: A Play in Verse by Archibald MacLeish
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
Orson Scott Card's Women of Genesis series: Sarah, Rebekah, and Rachel and Leah
Stone Tables by Orson Scott Card
Life of Christ by Giovanni Papini
A Life of Jesus by Shusaku Endo
The Gospel According to Jesus Christ by Jose Saramago
The Last Temptation of Christ by Nikos Kazantzakis
Ben-Hur by Lewis Wallace
King Jesus: A Novel by Robert Graves
Mary, Called Magdalene by Margaret George
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore
The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ by Philip Pullman
The Gospel According to the Son by Norman Mailer
The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb by R. Crumb
King David by Kyle Baker
Goliath by Tom Gauld
There are some more here: http://www.librarything.com/tag/Bible,+historical+fiction
Two classics you should have on your list (I'm not sure if anyone has ever read the whole of the first of these, but many people have started out with good intentions!):
OT: Joseph and his brothers by Thomas Mann
NT: Barrabas by Pär Lagerkvist
One to add that I read recently - Jezebel by Eleanor De Jong. Not a graphic novel though:)
Haven't read these for ages, but glad for the opportunity to think about them:
Two from Galilee and Three from Galilee -- Mary and Joseph's backstories; Jesus' life before His public ministry
The Big Fisherman -- Peter
The Silver Chalice -- Acts/Early Christianity
and a more contemporary series by Francine Rivers was a "can't-put-'em-down" for me:
Mark of the Lion and A Voice in the Wind are the first two.
This is great! September is Biblical historical fiction month for me, but at this rate I'll have to make October and November the same.
The only one I've read is A Life of Jesus by Shusaku Endo. Right now I'm in the middle of Cain by Jose Saramago.
A little searching on Amazon found some hysterical graphic novels:
The Manga Bible series, in 7 volumes, by Young Shin Lee
The Manga Bible by Siku
The Wolverton Bible by Basil Wolverton
And an old DC comic from the '70s, The Bible (Stories From the Bible, by Sheldon Mayer (no way the touchstone will work on that one!)
Testament by Jim Krueger (another bad touchstone, sorry)
Samson: Judge of Israel by Jerry Novick
I really enjoyed The Preservationist by David Maine. It is a retelling of Noah. The author has written one or two other Biblical retellings.
Depends upon how graphic. Two novels (Perished: The World That Was and The Rise of Shem) have plenty of action, adventure, even romance. These are fictional accounts that depict the behind the scenes stories. Suitable for older teens and all adults. Biblical, yet entertaining. Rated G. Excellent reviews. Best prices at rfrederickriddle.com.
I will look them up. However, I should let you know that self-promotion is considered bad form on this site, and can be flagged. I won't flag you because your post was relevant to the discussion, but we do get fledgling authors on here who can be obnoxious about recommending their own books to others.
That said, what got you started on Biblical fiction?
A couple of books that I liked were:
The Red Tent by Anita Diament(The story of Jacob and Leah's daughter from a woman's point of view)
Dear and Glorious Physician by Taylor Caldwell (the story of St. Luke and early Christianity)
The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglass
Great Lion of God by Taylor Caldwell (the story of St. Paul and early Christians)
Bodie & Brock Thoene have written several enjoyable series with biblical themes.
One in graphic form is "Good and Evil" by Michael Pearl. It covers many biblical stories.
I like Ann Burton's novels - she wrote four, each one about the life of a biblical woman, really going behind the (usually small) mention in the Bible. I read Abigail's Story and Rahab's Story, but there's also Deborah's Story and Jael's Story.
Recently I read Gods and Kings by Lynn Austin, the first in the Chronicles of the Kings series. This book details the early life of Hezekiah and was incredibly good. That one I'd highly recommend.
#11 ... good recs. Have read them all except The Robe. I probably ought to rectify that!
Song of Ruth by Frank G. Slaughter and I think he write some others, but that is the only one I read.
The Gospel according to Mary by Miriam Therese Winter is an imaginative retelling of the gospel by a woman.
The Barnabas Bible by Graham Jeffery is cartoons with a lovely, mildly irreverent take on the basic story. I liked these a lot (and had a difficult time remembering the title).
In the Beginning: The Art of Genesis: A Pop-Up Book by Chuck Fischer is sort of interesting, though not a graphic novel.
My Name was Judas by C.K. Stead
The Liars' Gospel by Naomi Alderman
The Book of Rachael by Leslie Cannold
If you are also interested in books that take place in Biblical times but are not necessarily retellings of Biblical stories, you might try The Pearl-Maiden by H. Rider Haggard.
Here are a few oldies that I don't think anyone has mentioned: Quo Vadis. of epic length by Henryk Sienkiewicz, the often-filmed Ben-Hur by Lew Wallace, and The Silver Chalice by Thomas Costain. Others I have collected through the years include. Charles E. Israel, Rizpah;; Frank G. Slaughter, The Song of Ruth; Sholem Asch, Mary, The Nazarene, The Apostle, and Moses; Julius Bersti, The Tentmaker (Paul); and a good many about King David, including Rev. J. H. Ingraham, The Throne of David; Gladys Schmidt, David the King; and Martin Malachi. King of Kings.
A more interesting one from both a literary and theological point of view is The Son of Laughter, about Isaac, by ordained Presbyterian minister, Frederick Buechner.
Then there’s the heavy-handed satire, Job, published late in his career by Robert Heinlein.
> 26 I was just going to list Quo Vadis myself... a story about life and Christianity in the time of Nero's Rome. A very good read.
I second the recomendation for the Chronicles of the King series by Lynn Austin. I'm not a fan of Biblical fiction in general but she does a great job.
The Call of the Green Bird by Alberta Hawse is excellent. I wish there were more books like it. The central character is not a Biblical character, but rather someone who encounters Biblical characters throughout the story.
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