Friday, February 20, 2009

Faith 'n Fiction Saturday: Biblical Fiction...what's your take?

Welcome to Faith 'n Fiction Saturday. If this is your first time participating, please read this post. It will tell you everything you need to know!

Today's Topic
One of area of Christian fiction that is thriving is Biblical Fiction. Biblical fiction, in case you don't know, is when an author takes a story from the Bible and imagines more of the details. Tosca Lee's Havah would be a recent example of Biblical fiction.

What I want to know today is how you feel about Biblical fiction. Have you ever read any Biblical fiction? Did you enjoy it? Do you think Biblical fiction helps us to understand people who lived during Biblical times better or do you think that it's unnecessary? Have you ever read any Biblical fiction that offended you?

My Answer
I love Biblical fiction so long as it doesn't distort the account in the Bible. So little information is provided about most people in the Bible, that if an author wants to do the research and provide "it could have happened like this" scenarios than I enjoy it. The first such book I ever read was The Red Tent. The Red Tent is not Christian fiction, but it's about Dinah the sister of Joseph (of the technicolored deamcoat). I both loved and hated this book. I thought the explanations that Diamant came up with were very likely. In fact, after reading the book and going back to read the Biblical account I realized that many things could have been the way she described. What I didn't like was that Joseph was not painted in a good light. I have always loved Joseph, and didn't like his potrayal at all. But many other aspects of the book could very well have happened as she imagined. She masterfully brought the time period to life.

Your Turn
Just answer the questions above on your blog, link back here, and then come back and drop your answer in the Mister Linky! Be sure to add your permalink and not the general url to your blog.


Jena said...

I read a book once titled Mary Called Magdalene. I think it's probably the only biblical fiction I've read, though I do have The Red Tent on my shelf. I found Mary Called Magdalene to be informative (there was a very interesting note from the author and, of course, a lot of sources in the back, too, explaining why she thought certain ideas about Mary weren't, in fact, likely to be true). The story didn't follow the path I'd expected it to, but then, not much is really known about Mary, so the author had her work cut out for her. (Here are two reviews: and latter review is by MJ Rose.)

SmilingSally said...

A book club tried to get me to read The Red Tent, and I just didn't trust the author. Good topic, Amy. I appreciate you doing this weekly meme. My post is up. Now, I'm going to bed!

Anonymous said...

Another good topic. I've been told the Red Tent is a book I should read be several people. Got my answers up at Free Spirit also

Robin M said...

Great question Amy. I haven't read The Red Tent and will have to think about it. The AD Chronicles painted joseph in a great light - I forget which one it is now, but will find it and really showed his faith and how he stood up for Mary. My post is up now

RAnn said...

Interesting topic. Thanks for hosting!

Sunny said...

Great topic, Amy! I enjoyed Havah, but havent read The Red Tent.

Shauna said...

I agree with you about The Red Tent. Its portrayal of almost all the male characters bothered me, but especially Joseph. I also didn't think it was that well written.

Tosca said...

Thanks, Amy, for this great topic!

Anonymous said...

I think Biblical fiction could be very interesting. I haven't yet read The Red Tent, but have it in my TBR pile.

I started reading Eve earlier this year, and couldn't read more than 20 pages. The problem? When one of the characters told the other character that God wanted her to be crippled. Books that distort God and what God originally intended for mankind is something I can't even stand to read. A god that would want people to suffer is not the god that I've studied about in the Bible. It's those kinds of things that will put me off from reading Biblical fiction.

Beth F said...

Of course in Judaism this is known as midrash and has been in existence more than 2000 years. Is this new in Christianity?

Edgy Inspirational Author said...

I love Biblical fiction especially if it makes me appreciate the scriptures more. It does bug me if it's not Biblically sound, though. Some great examples of Biblical fiction that is inspiring and accurate is Havah by Tosca Lee, The Centurion's Wife by Davis Bunn and Jeanette Oke, the Lineage of Grace and the Sons of Encouragement series - both by Francine Rivers, The Heavens Before by Kacy Barnett-Gramckow, all Biblical fiction by Brock and Bodie Thoene, etc. I just received Michal by Jill Eileen Smith in the mail a few days ago. I read the beginning of this story about three or four years ago before it had been sold to Revell. This is going to be a fabulous read, at least from what I remember.

I've never read The Red Tent and don't care to read it.

One book that did bug/offend me was written by Ann Burton and titled, Women of the Bible: Abigail's story. While interesting, the gist of the story came across unlike how David (later King David) is actually portrayed in the Bible. It seemed like she took too many liberties filling in the blanks and just didn't sit right with me. That's the only one I've come across that way.

CeeCee said...

Great topic. As long as it follows the bible I think it's great.

Janet said...

Tracy Groot's Biblical fiction is outstanding. I especially liked Madman, the story of the demoniac of Gerasene.

Amy said...

Jena...that does sound like a good book!

Sal...I enjoyed the Red Tent, but I didn't like the portrayal of Joseph. It did make think about things, though.

Shauna...well I didn't like the portrayal of Joseph, but I couldn't put the thing down, so I guess I thought it was well written!

Trish...I wouldn't have liked that either. That's what's tricky about Biblical fiction, I guess.

Anonymous said...

I am a firm believer in the risen Lord Jesus and I just finished reading the Red Tent. I read it with my bible open and followed along.
It has more to do with the pagan idol worship and less to do with the ONE TRUE GOD. I found it to be inappropriate for a Christian woman to read. I went to the Author's own FAQ web site and she explained what was true and what was not. Some of the cultural information was interestting, but for me, there was way too much idolatry for me. I cannot even suggest it to my Christian women friends because of the explicit descriptions of sex acts. Though they may have happened, I do not take pleasure in reading such things when I am wanting to understand the people of the Bible.

I'm still in shock after reading it.

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