Best Biblical Fiction Authors + 6 Reasons to Read Their Books

ArynChristian Fiction11 Comments

Best Biblical Fiction Authors and 6 Reasons to Read Their Books

Biblical fiction authors can teach us so much, even through fiction, that will grow our faith, and our understanding of the culture and relationships that we can so easily miss.

I realize that there are many awesome nonfiction sources for this information, but as Jesus taught many things through story, I think this is a perfectly wonderful way for us to learn as well.

Some friends and I were out for a Mom’s afternoon recently when the topic of Biblical fiction came up.

Now if you know me at all, you know I read a lot. My favorite categories are historical and Biblical fiction.

I was surprised by how many of my friends were afraid, or at least nervous, about reading Biblical Fiction. I certainly understood their reasons. Primarily it was not wanting to get the Truth and a fictional account confused and mixed up in their minds.

Combine that with the uncertainty of denominational assumptions and other issues, this can be dangerous if you’re not well grounded in the Truth.

It takes some very talented Biblical fiction authors to keep us thinking and engaging with the Bible while giving us a fun adventure.

Please note that this post contains affiliate links for your convenience. If you make a purchase through one of the links, I may make a small commission. I only recommend books and resources that I’ve enjoyed personally, or believe that you would like. You can read my full disclosure here. You will also find information on Scripture translations there.

Best Biblical Fiction Authors and 6 Reasons to Read Their Books

First, Is the Bible Fiction?

I know there are lots of people who wonder, is the Bible fiction? And even more who flat out believe that the Bible is fiction. Let’s take a few minutes to talk about this. It’s a bit more complicated than a straight yes or no.

First, I believe 100% that the Holy Bible is God’s Inspired Word, and therefore every word is Accurate.

Really, Is the Bible Fiction or Nonfiction

Is the Bible Fiction or Nonfiction? Definitely Nonfiction.

Stay with me for a second. That doesn’t mean every word is true. Satan (and men) tells lies. They are accurately recorded, but that doesn’t make them true. There are parables, which are fictional stories to help us understand the truth better (here are a few of my favorite parables in the Bible).

Second, I’ve seen enough historical and archeological discoveries that have meant changes in commonly held beliefs. Things like cities or people recorded in the Bible, with no trace left today, suddenly discovered. But not a single discovery has been contrary to things recorded in the Bible.

That said, there are some pretty important arguments to avoid, as Ken Hamm has shared with us. Some of those discoveries, like the one about finding Joshua’s Lost Day, sound pretty awesome, but aren’t worth arguing over.

So, is the Bible fiction? No. 1000x No. But does that make Biblical fiction something we should avoid? Also no.

6 Benefits of Reading Biblical Fiction

6 Benefits of Reading Books by Solid Biblical Fiction Authors

When Biblical Fiction authors do their homework, and their writing is done really well, you can:

Immerse yourself in the culture and customs and see what Life was like, which helps put some of the pieces of the puzzle together. When Biblical fiction authors take the time to do the research well, they can shed some light on different laws and situations, that may or may not make sense to us.

Our frame of reference is so different, that often we make more (or less) of stuff we encounter in the Scriptures, based on our own national culture and denominational environments.

Yes, there will most likely be some denominational slant in most works of fiction, whatever the genre. That is natural, and kind of cool, to see how others view life. Then we can see others more clearly too, and be able to relate with our neighbors. Sometimes Biblical fiction authors pose questions I never really thought of, and answers them well. Not integral to the story, because it doesn’t alter WHAT happened, but maybe helps us to understand the contributing factors of WHY.

Don’t we all want to know WHY this or that person did what they did? Here we can safely suppose, with what isn’t spelled out in the Bible. Many Biblical Fiction Authors have done their homework on culture, tradition, history, and human nature, and come up with incredibly realistic stories.

These Biblical fiction authors don’t always focus on a Main Bible Character. They let the peripheral or fictional characters take center stage, and talk about what may have gone on AROUND that Big Name. This also protects our fact-memories.

I found the following books by some great Biblical fiction authors to be safe entertainment, and they also were enough of a devotional, that they caused some serious self-examination along the way. Bonus Points!

10 Of The Best Christian Fiction Authors of Biblical Novels

As we’ve seen, the best authors of Biblical stories / Biblical novels have to do an incredible amount of research. And prayer. And research. And Bible study. The authors of Bible fiction that do this well have developed quite a following.

Must Read Biblical Fiction Author: Lynn Austin

If I were to make a top 10 list of Biblical fiction authors, Lynn would be on it! Although her more modern work is also great! (Note, her historical Christian fiction set in more recent time periods is equally amazing!)

First up, Lynn Austin’s Restoration Chronicles

Here Lynn connects facts and events from different time periods, and from different perspectives than the typical places we look from.

First, we have Zechariah’s story, where I found a very plausible explanation for all the added Jewish laws, and the heart behind them (granted, that was not what God desired, and grossly miss-handled as time passed). The passion for rebuilding the Temple, and how easily distractions and difficulties persuade us to set down what we know is right, and do nothing, or do what’s convenient or safe.

Next is Ezra’s Story. Have you ever thought of how the Jews in Babylon, or Judah, would have dealt with Haman’s decree? I had never thought of it from any perspective other than those mentioned in Esther. Then there come the struggles with calling for repentance and obedience. How painful the consequences of our choices can be.

Last, Nehemiah‘s timing, so close to Esther’s-Did you ever consider how that may have effected Nehemiah? Or how Nehemiah’s job as Cupbearer equipped him to do the job of rebuilding the walls/Governing Israel?

These can be read individually, but make an awesome series!

Lynn Austin’s Chronicles of the Kings

King Hezekiah and his family are brought to 3D, painfully human life, fears, hopes and all.

  • How do you think Hezekiah felt when his brother was ‘offered’ to Molech?
  • Or Hepzibah, when she found out she was to marry the King’s Son (especially any son of THAT King?)
  • How did an Egyptian get that high up in a Jewish government?
  • What led Hezekiah to make so many Amazing decisions in between some real Doozies?
  • Have you considered the adventures of building the underground water tunnel, without modern equipment?
  • With all those examples, did you ever wonder about Hezekiah’s son? He definitely had his ups and downs!

Kim Stokely and the Prophet Deborah

Kim Stokely does an amazing job with Woman of Flames

Have you ever thought about how the prophets had a choice? Yes, we all know about Jonah, choosing to run, and being “Caught” and returned to obey. But they ALL had to choose to obey. Just as we have to choose.

Deborah is no different. As a woman in her culture, her choice was definitely more controversial, but no less necessary. This story shows the time of the Judges very well. How everyone “did what was right in their own eyes.”

And Hey, have you ever really wondered why the wife of Heber the Kenite killed Sisera, after offering him hospitality? This book has a reasonable suggestion.

*Note, there are a couple of near misses in the ‘involuntary intimacy’ department. Use your judgment here. They are handled well, but for young teens, or those who’ve been hurt in that way, it may be too much.

If the idea of brand new Top Christian Fiction books mailed right to your doorway appeals to you, you might be interested in the Truly Yours Book Box! Including romance, mystery, suspense, and Amish fiction, you never know what you might get! Maybe sign up with a friend, and have a Christian book of the month club between you!

Tessa Afshar: Versatile Writer of Bible Fiction

Tessa is another of my top 10 Biblical fiction authors. She tends to write a story that draws you in, to the point of not being able to put her books down. Then the story’s message haunts you (in a good way!) for years afterwards.

Pearl in the Sand is a very interesting take on Rahab’s Story. If we didn’t already know the outcome, we’d probably wonder at how this could possibly work out for anyone!

The drama is so well handled, especially the faith of the Caananites (the ones who knew they couldn’t win, their hearts melting with fear). Watching Rahab transition from Outsider to believer, and how hard it can be on BOTH sides (We often forget to be welcoming and accepting, don’t we?)!

I also found the lessons on marriage and communication to be helpful! (a bonus that biblical fiction authors can sneak in!)

In the Field of Grace: This is Ruth’s Story. We all know Ruth left her people, and followed Naomi, even against Naomi’s advice.

  • But what was her home like, that she was eager to go to Bethlehem, where her people were NOT popular?
  • Why was she so eager to go live as two widows alone without support? What kind of witness was Naomi and her family?
  • What kind of welcome did Ruth receive? We read of Naomi’s friends reacting to her return, but not so much how Ruth was treated, other than by Boaz.
  • This story also helps us understand the whole Kinsman-Redeemer thing, in Ruth’s time, and Jesus’ fulfillment.

Jill Eileen Smith: Fantastic with Women of the Bible

Another of my favorite Biblical fiction authors, Jill Eileen Smith has written the “Wives” series. Wives of the Patriarchs and Wives of King David. Definitely a unique experience, and very unforgettable!

The culture and customs laws and traditions become so much more, reading of Sarai, Rebekah, Rachel, as well as Michal, Abigail and Bathsheba. Their husbands and children too!

Jill has also written the Daughters of the Promised Land. Rahab and Ruth, Deborah and Hannah. I’m looking forward to reading this set, particularly Deborah and Hannah. I’ve read several Biblical fiction authors takes on Ruth and Rahab, but only one or two of Deborah, and none giving us the chance to learn more about Hannah.

Related Reading

Connilyn Cossette Taking Over the Promised Land

If the time of settling into the Promised Land intrigues you, I highly recommend Connilyn Cossette’s Cities of Refuge series. You can learn more about it, and how to dwell in the shelter of the MOST HIGH, here.

One really neat way to spend more time dwelling with Jesus is to pick a theme to study. I found this subscription box that looks pretty cool: The Delilah Box. It promises 2-3 books each month, studying a woman of the Bible. It might be Biblical Fiction or a Bible study, or both, plus a few extra items just because.

Nathan Crocker Shows Spiritual Warfare Well

I received a copy of this book from the author. All thoughts are my own.

A brand new book by a man who’s new to the world of Biblical fiction authors, Nathan Crocker takes us back to before “In the beginning” to witness the fall of satan. And the angels who made their choices, to be loyal to God, or their pride. Themes of spiritual warfare, hope, forgiveness, and justice are found in this must-read book.

The Loyal Angel is fantastic! The scope of this book is incredible. You feel like you’re present in every moment shared, from before creation to Paul’s stay in Philipi.

It’s plausible, fun, and exciting from beginning to end.

This book brings understanding to spiritual warfare in a way that both wakes you up to how serious it is and encourages you at the same time. I was very much impressed by the depth and hope filling the pages.

I liked that Malachi wasn’t perfect. Angels see way more than we do, and know things we have to take on faith. But even they need to trust God. They also have free will, or there wouldn’t be fallen angels.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Biblical fiction. And I would ask this Biblical fiction author about a sequel. Who will Malachi {or Grigori} visit next? What stories will he share? The flood / Caanan’s story? Maybe Esther or Daniel?

Shopping for Biblical Fiction

Historical Biblical Fiction

Historical Biblical fiction is a sub-genre that takes place in Ancient History (anywere before AD 60s), takes place in or near Biblical circles, and has characters who trust God. Biblical historical fiction can be beautiful, because it shows more breadth of faith than the Bible has space to cover.

Tessa Again

Tessa Afshar is one of those Biblical fiction authors who also writes books set near the Bible, but not exactly in it. Her Harvest series is more Historical Biblical fiction, because the main characters aren’t in the Bible anywhere, but the story touches on some real historical Biblical events.

In Harvest of Rubies, we focus on Nehemiah’s cousin. Sarah becomes a scribe for the Queen. She solves Mysteries, Learning to Trust God more as time goes on.

God puts her in just the right place at just the right time. Several times. Even when she’s ABSOLUTELY SURE He has made a mistake, and she doesn’t belong there. Scribe to the Queen. Married to THAT Noble.

In Harvest of Gold, after solving another mystery, Sarah and her husband accompany Nehemiah on his journey to Jerusalem, to rebuild the walls. Sarah learns some more lessons about God’s Timing, Faith, and being Honest (with herself and with others)!

Tessa Afshar wrote the Thief of Corinth for sharing with un-saved friends. Themes of love and sacrifice, injustice and blackmail, independence and being trapped are handled very well. The Good News is shared and several are saved, but it’s definitely not preachy.

I could not put the Kindle down after I started reading it. Empathizing with Ariadne, I might have made most of the same decisions she did. Fortunately for me I have not been in her shoes!

Many of her decisions “seemed” justified. They were reasonable. But then, about halfway through the story, Paul showed up in Corinth. Then the ‘reasonable’ became a little less reasonable. And Ariadne fights it. She is stubborn and strong, with enough sensitivity to make the story believable.

Theo, Ariadne’s birthday twin founding, is one of the highlights of the story. His loyalty is stronger than most. The development of his character, well, let’s just say that it’s turbulent, understandable and tugs at your heart!

I received a copy of Thief of Corinth for free through NetGalley. All thoughts are my own, I was not required to give a positive review. (full disclosure here)

Malcolm Lyon’s Quest to Bring History to Life

The Bronze Ladder is Not Quite Biblical historical fiction, being set just over a hundred years too late, but is worthy of mention here, for sure! It’s based on a real prison diary from a Christian woman, martyred in Carthage in 203 A.D.

The last 3rd of the book is almost word for word from her diary, which is an accepted part of church history. The first two-thirds of the book are Malcolm’s own idea of what led to the need for a prison diary in the first place. This book is Fantastic, Dramatic, and Inspiring.

Brand new Christians were very much considered radical and strange. The contrast is well illustrated, making it easier to understand how hard it was, how dangerous, to be a Christian. Their steadfast hope and faith is quite the inspiration!

More Bible Fiction Books and Authors to Consider

Ellen Gunderson Traylor is an author of Biblical fiction that I’ve been reading since I was 10. My mom had one of those big hardbound 2-1 novels, Moses and Joshua. I read that probably 4-5 times as a teen. Now I own 6-8 of her other books, Joseph and Esther, Noah (a bit odd), Ruth

Tim LaHaye and Jerry B Jenkins are fascinating Biblical fiction authors. Whatever your opinion is of the Left Behind series, The Jesus Chronicles are really good! Each book follows the Gospel writers lives, based on scripture, tradition and imagination. The corresponding Gospel is included for you.

I, Saul is another excellent book. A time-slip story, a finding of Paul’s journals, and his early adventures. (I’m eager for the sequel!)

So What do You Think About Reading Bible Fiction by Good Biblical Fiction Authors?

Again, these stories are based on or around the Bible, and are Bible FICTION, and not to be taken as fact, but I found them all to have the truth, well told, with many good points.

I hope you take the time to read a few books by these awesome Biblical fiction authors, and really give it a chance. If you do, please let me know what you think!

Until Next Time, Love God, Love Books, Shine The Light!!

Like What You Read? Pin Me For Later!

Biblical Fiction Authors You Don't Want to Miss

11 Comments on “Best Biblical Fiction Authors + 6 Reasons to Read Their Books”

    1. Julie, I’m so glad you’ve discovered this. This is one of my all-time favorite types of fiction. I have probably 2 shelves of hardcopy, and another hundred or so on Kindle! It was hard to choose for this post, and I will probably have to do a series of posts because there’s so much good stuff out there! (And a few I had to put down, that just didn’t feel right)

  1. Thank you for sharing! 3 others that really brought Biblical stories to life for me are: The Sword and the Sundial (King Hezekiah again!), One Night with the King (Esther) and Francine Rivers’ ‘The Priest: Aaron’

  2. Hey Aryn, thanks for sharing these. I rarely find time to pick up a book- but I’m glad to read the synopsis of these from you? Thanks for linking up with Christian Marriage and Motherhood!

  3. Thank you for sharing! I am branching out to Biblical fiction this month. I always focus on reading historical fiction – which is odd that I haven’t read any Bibical stories yet since I love history!
    I have a few of Lynn’s and Tessa’s on my TBR. 🙂

    1. Awesome! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. The lessons to be learned, and familiarity with the cultures is so cool!

  4. Thank you Arryn for introducing me to some new Biblical based historical fiction authors. Like you some of my favourites are Lynn Austin, Tessa Afshar and Connilyn Cossette. My other top 2 are Mesu Andrews and Francine Rivers. I will look into the others that you recommend.

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