Why read historical fiction about Bible characters?

Some people believe the term “Biblical Fiction” is an oxymoron, because how can the words Biblical and Fiction be joined together. The Bible is truth. And fiction isn’t—necessarily.

That’s what historical fiction does—joins two seeming-opposites together to make something more accessible, like a history lesson or a Bible story. Good fiction helps its characters come alive and makes it easier for readers to identify with them.

Historical fiction based in a Biblical story does just that—it gives you an accurate, researched, story of another time and place told in a contemporary voice. It helps us ask questions—such as, “Why in the world did God choose Ruth?” It gives us answers to others—such as, “Why would God choose me?” It paints a picture of the culture and setting. Historical fiction gives you a hook to remember events, characters to get to know, and applications to your own life—much like Jesus’ parables.

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It’s easy to miss a lot of the nuanced meanings in Bible stories because we don’t know what the characters know—we live in a different century and place. You could do the research yourself or you could let an author do it for you.

If you haven’t read any biblical historical fiction, may I suggest you try it? (Of course, I’d love it if you started with Less Than a Widow.)

 

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