God and Kings, 1st in this series
This is about Hezekiah as a 5-year-old (or thereabouts) nearly being thrown into fire as the Israelites worshiped their god Molech. This book is about how that traumatizing experience influenced his growing up years until he became an adult and then a king himself.
Song of Redemption, 2nd in this series
This is about Jerusha, a young Jewish woman who is captured by the Assyrians from Northern Israel and experiences their abuse and oppression firsthand. Almost miraculously she escapes and becomes instrumental in Hezekiah’s strategy preparing to face the Assyrians in war.
The Strength of His Hand, 3rd in this series
This is about Hezekiah’s wife Hephzibah’s secret worship of the fertility goddess Asherah, since she was barren. When Hezekiah found out, his rage caused the accident and his critical injury that nearly cost his life. How God used all this in their lives is so touching.
Faith of My Fathers, 4th in this series
This is about King Manasseh and his friend from childhood, Joshua, as they grow apart due to Manasseh’s bitterness over his father’s death. As Manasseh turned to other gods, Joshua ended up fleeing for his life and allowing bitterness to control him.
Among the Gods, 5th in this series
This is about Joshua leading the faithful remnant to a new home in Egypt. His desire for vengeance against his childhood friend consumes him, and how Joshua gets relief from this is absolutely riveting.
About Francine Rivers’ books:
I read her works a long time ago, and from what I remember, her works seemed accurate, as far as I knew. Her series “The Mark of the Lion” is more historical than biblical fiction because the Bible characters (Peter and John) are old and not in the story much. But this series impressed me the most for its entertaining qualities. I would rate most of this series with the same entertaining quality as Austin’s. Some of her other biblical fiction books aren’t too bad for entertaining potential, as well (see more following).
A Voice in the Wind (Mark of the Lion, 1st in the series)
After the first few pages just the first chapter drags a little. The rest of the book is as good as Austin’s. It’s about a young Jewish lady taken captive by Rome when Jerusalem was sacked in 70 AD, and also about a gladiator taken captive in Germania.
An Echo in the Darkness (Mark of the Lion, 2nd in the series)
This whole book is equal to Austin’s entertaining quality. It’s the continued stories of the captive young Jewish lady and the gladiator in Rome, and how God worked in their lives, the lady being a Christian and the gladiator dealing with hatred, being without the Lord in his life.
As Sure as the Dawn (Mark of the Lion, 3rd in the series)
If this book loses just a bit of Rivers’ entertaining momentum in this series, it doesn’t lose much! It follows the gladiator as he’s freed by Rome, finds his child with a widowed Christian woman, and struggles with his rage at Rome when repeatedly confronted by Christianity.
Another Biblical Fiction author, Angela Elwell Hunt:
I read this work ages ago and remember being quite impressed by how entertaining it was.
First Light, by Bodie and Brock Thoene
I was impressed with the entertaining quality of this book. It sounds better researched than the other biblical fiction of the same era that I could recommend, but it covers an era of time when there is so much available to know. So I would be quite disappointed if it wasn’t this well researched, and found the research to be OK, but not great.
Other Biblical Fiction by Francine Rivers:
Rivers is quite a prolific biblical fiction writer and I respect her for that, but due to time constraints, I just can’t fit in reading all her works.
A Lineage of Grace, 5 short stories of different women in the Bible
I usually prefer longer stories but for short stories I vaguely remember these were pretty good.
I would’ve found Mel Gibson’s “The Passion” to be too violent for my preferences, although I suspect this aspect of the story was rather accurate. But there were 13 recommendations Dr James Fleming and others made to the writers of that movie that were rejected. Listen to more of what Dr James Fleming said about the movie.
In my opinion, “The Chosen” is one of the best biblical fiction movies to date in terms of accuracy, but there are still, as far as I’m concerned, two glaring flaws in its inaccuracy. One is that Jesus wasn’t exercising Levitical cleanliness in this series, and the other is the westernizing/modernizing of different cultural aspects with regard to women. Perhaps this is what people in the west generally want to watch. But Jesus fulfilled all righteousness including the Levitical laws, and women were treated much more like Muslims treat their women today.
Changes for my website
Praise the Lord! My students finished helping me with the latest technology and now I’ll be busy all summer with improving my presentations and organizing my material to significantly improve your experience here. If you want to keep tabs on the latest edits, check out the bottom of my blog index.
- Putting out a Fleece, Casting Lots, and Choosing that Hill to Die on February 24, 2020
- False Humility in the NT, Apocrypha, and Pseudepigrapha, Part 3 of 3 February 17, 2020
- False Humility in the NT, Apocrypha, and Pseudepigrapha, Part 2 of 3 February 10, 2020
- False Humility in the NT, Apocrypha, and Pseudepigrapha, Part 1 of 3 February 3, 2020
- Christ’s Temptation as our Inspiration January 26, 2020
– View previous posts –
My Focus in Blogging
My story of forgiveness and healing is quite unrelated to envisioning the Bible world. But since our world is sin and pain infested, I suspect many will want to hear more about my personal experience. I wrote a couple of blogs about this, but mostly I focused on envisioning the Bible world. I learned lots after being in Israel, and now I can share that with you.
Plans for Improved Website:
Now that my documentary links are all moved under the Tour Israel menu heading, I’ll be working to improve the website for visually impaired people and the SEO. This will allow many, many more hits to this website than ever before.
Thanks for your interest.