Have you ever read the Bible and felt that you would like to meet some of the people it describes? It’s not always easy.
Magnificent acts of bravery are described in just a few words. Entire lives are summed up in a single sentence.
Amazing miracles are reported clearly and concisely, but not in extravagant terms.
Important people in the Bible are given more space, but the information is still sparse. Love and hate, emotion and ambition, faith and folly – all may be included in the narrative, but briefly, fleetingly.
Much is left to our imagination if we really want to get to know them as people.
As a child, my imagination was fired by the stories in the Bible. Some imaginative stories based on the Bible thrilled me also and I remember reading tales by Enid Blyton who was a favourite author of mine for other stories.
Later as a teenager I started to read Bible-based stories like “The Robe” and “The Big Fisherman” by Lloyd C Douglas and various other authors. Many were enjoyable to read and helped to make events and characters in the Bible feel more real – although the representation of Bible times was not always convincing or accurate.
The one thing which stood out to me was a need for authenticity. The stories I enjoyed and found most encouraging were the ones which were true to both the Bible and history as far as we know it.
When I became an adult, I wondered if I would ever be able to write a story like that, a story that could make the heroes of the Bible come alive for anyone. There wasn’t too much encouragement to start in a hurry. My parents had always laughed at my style of writing stories at school. I always took far too long to work out where to start my tale, so when the time for writing came to an end, I would quickly kill off my characters in a sentence or two – far short of the story I had planned to write.
Life was busy. Education, marriage, children and worship kept me very busy and it wasn’t until I turned 50 that I wrote the first chapter of a story on Jeremiah, a prophet from a disastrous time in Israel’s history.
One of my daughters had been talking about writing a story about a Biblical character, and I was encouraging her to consider actually doing it. Instead, she challenged me to do something to show her how it should be done. Terror on Every Side! The Life of Jeremiah is the result.
I hope you can enjoy the story as it unfolds and find harmony between the Bible and the novel.
May Jeremiah and his times come to life for you.