“Jesus” is a novel by the much acclaimed Christian writer, Walter Wangerin, who passed away last year, leaving behind a legacy of Christian writing that will continue to inspire and inform generations. This book follows the Gospel of John, partially written in the first person from Johns perspective, taking the reader through the life of Jesus, from birth, through death to resurrection.
Having written Biblical fiction, I am aware of how tricky it can be, wanting to get the balance right between following the facts of the Biblical texts and the urge to add creative content to build the colour. This balance is generally achieved in this book, perhaps with just one or two places where a little artistic licence is taken. But that does not spoil the experience of what is an authentic story, bringing context, following the gospel story with accuracy. And it really is very beautifully written.
Biblical fiction offers context, colour and triggers all the senses to create a deeper understanding of the original text. It is not an alternative to reading the scripture but a useful addition, especially for people who may be more visual in their learning – the description and detail will build on the scripture.
I would certainly recommend reading John’s gospel before launching in to this book, or at the same time, to get a clear grounding in the scripture to enable a true understanding of how it works with the original. Like all good Biblical fiction, it remains in line, offering pictures, description, context and background research to it. It will enhance your understanding and bring the reader closer to God.
This book follows the gospel account closely, bringing it to life and making the stories more accessible for those who may not know it already, but also offering additional insight for those who do.
Jesus : A Novel, by Walter Wangerin, is available here.