Written for adults, these lively bible-based novels explore how New Testament events may have affected the lives of ordinary people of the day. Characters based realistically on cultural and spiritual norms are depicted with empathy and integrity, involving the reader closely in the scriptural narrative. Careful attention to historical detail provides enlightening insight into the Jewish world of the first century, and contributes to a better understanding of the New Testament itself.
The books in this series can be obtained from the following source:
A Time to Hear (Book 1)
In the tiny lakeside community of Banayim, Galilee, the villagers long for the promised Messiah to save them from poverty and Roman rule. Meanwhile their work, quarrels, and gossip go on as usual. Young Dan, the motherless son of Shepherd Ammiel, is confused. Who is the Messiah? When will he come? And what does it all mean? However more immediate more worries crowd his mind. Will his father remarry? What about Aunt Etta and her lazy brother-in-law, Bukki?
Suddenly Dan’s narrow world expands as he meets his father’s first love, the gentle Anna of Cana, her scornful Greek brother, Loukanos, and irrepressible young cousin, Johanan, and the enigmatic Blind Mordecai.
When startling news comes of a bold prophet preaching in the wilderness of Judea, the family are determined to discover whether this is indeed their Messiah. They set out on a journey – a journey which will change everything. Each of them will hear more, learn more and lose more than they could ever have expected.
All of them will find more than they ever could have imagined.
This book may also be suitable for advanced younger readers.It was subsequently made into a musical, performed at the 2014 Christadelphian Conference in Melbourne, Australia, and published in book form in 2017.
A Time to See (Book 2)
The Nazarene is working miracles, so where is the promised Kingdom? Life goes on as usual. But impatient Dan is no longer a child, and his growing confusion is shared by many.
“I don’t know where Loukanos is. I don’t know if he’s even alive. I don’t know how the Messiah will bring deliverance … I don’t know enough about anything that matters.”
Blind Mordecai has his own ideas, but the full story of the vanished Loukanos, intriguingly woven in and out of the narrative, will amaze them all. Meanwhile the village has its own dramas to deal with. Anna and Etta must hide an alarming secret from the local gossip, while Dan and his friends race against time in a desperate search for Loukanos and the Nazarene Teacher – and a madman.
The traumatic events lead to astonishing outcomes, and the family’s faith in Nazarene Jeshua has never been so confident. They travel to Jerusalem for a joyful Passover, only to be unwittingly caught up in a whirlwind of shocking events.
Bitter grief struggles with stubborn faith. Until a man appears in their midst. A man who has been dead, and is now alive. Everyone struggles to comprehend the enormity, nobody can anticipate the consequences. One thing they know, nothing will ever be the same again.
A Time To Speak (Book 3)
Once it had been so simple. The flock, the family, the faith. But now Dan is a young man, and everything is complicated. Messiah has come, and gone, leaving them to continue the work begun … and life keeps getting in the way.
The Nazarene community is thriving against the odds, but communal living brings many challenges, and painful private emotions are rife. Irresolvable heartache looms as Anna faces an impossible choice, while Dan and Johanan’s friendship is tested over Rhoda, but when fiery Rabbi Shaul has disciple Stefanos executed for blasphemy, all else is swept aside.
Escalating persecution scatters the household, with wide-ranging and unforseen consequences. From Jerusalem to Jericho and up to Galilee and far beyond, old loyalties are strained, relationships rediscovered, made or broken. Outwitting Rabbi Shaul is a matter of survival, but spite and betrayal threaten Dan, his family, and his village.
In the midst of manifold perplexities – even tragedy and chaos – however, there is space for defiant celebration, absurdity and laughter – and love is found in the most unexpected places.
A Time To Act (Book 4)
This novel presents the life of Paul the Apostle from birth to the end of his first missionary journey. There are many books about this great man, but this is something fresh and different, a back story creating warm empathy with a complex man who is both anguished and admirable, flawed and likeable. Far more than a mere ‘character’, the passionate Saul Benjamin of Tarsus steps out of the New Testament pages, in a story of ambition, failure and redemption.
The childhood, formative years, friendships, and struggles of this driven man are all depicted in intriguing detail, with lively characters, believable incidents, and a well researched background.
The book also gives insight into what might have been behind the more unusual quirks of his strong personality, which shaped his outlook to life and the gospel.
Culturally relevant, and faithful to the New Testament record, this fictional work takes the reader on a revealing journey of love and laughter, fear and failure, tears and excitement.
For believers and non-believers alike, it is enjoyable as a robust story of Jewish experience and travel in the First Century Roman Empire, and the birth of a momentous new world faith.
A junior version of this book by the same author is also available for younger readers, under the title “The Torchbearer”. See details end of this list.
A Time to Strive – (Book 5)
Paul and Barnabas are back in Antioch, with everyone rejoicing over their successful missionary journey, but already trouble looms ahead. With Judaisers threatening to fracture the brotherhood, a conference is called to restore unity, and deal with the believers’ confusion.
Confusion in the private lives of individuals, however, is not so easy to resolve. Paul finds to his dismay that some inner battles must be re-fought, Loukanos is losing his zest, and in Banayim the past unexpectedly throws a long shadow over present happiness. Young and old wrestle with unruly private emotions – dreams, despair, dark secrets, unhappy revelations and sorrow, sorely test their faith. Yet threaded among their trials is hope and joy, laughter and love, and the assurance that they are not alone.
Continuing the narrative of many key characters in the series, A Time To Strive bridges a gap in the Acts record. Depicting private struggles of the early believers, it explores how these may have shaped attitudes and relationships in the ‘silent’ period leading up to Paul’s second journey.
To that end, it deals with the very human challenges faced by ordinary brothers and sisters, and the apostles, as they strove to live the message amidst the diverse cultural backgrounds from which they were drawn. A time when the ‘glory days’ of the original unity and excitement were being overtaken by ecclesial and personal strife – when maintaining one’s own faith and zeal was harder, yet more important, than ever. In this there are many relevant echoes for us today.