Of all the book reviews I've featured on this blog (more than 100), I don't think I've ever said much about Biblical fiction, a genre I have long enjoyed and from which I have benefited (unless you count The Book of God, which doesn't quite fit, in my opinion). So I thought I'd take a little time to list some of my favorite pieces of Biblical fiction.
So I looked over my reading record (yes, I've kept a record for decades now), and I was honestly a little surprised at how many Biblical novels I had read. Listing them all would be way too work-intensive. So I will choose what I consider, off the top of my head, to be the most memorable among them (though that's an unfair standard for those I read more than a few years ago...but then again, more than half the list are in that category, so I don't feel too bad). Here they are, in the order of the Biblical eras or events they describe
Son of Laughter (Frederick Buechner)
The story of the biblical patriarch Jacob...as told by Jacob. An accomplished, memorable work of Biblical fiction.
Naomi and Her Daughters (Walter Wangerin)
The story of Naomi, and Ruth...and Boaz. I loved this book.
Day of War (Cliff Graham)
An amazing first novel, the first in the Lion of War series on the Biblical story of King David.
The Rebel Prince (Henry W. Coray)
A 1975 novel about Absalom, the rebellious son of King David.
Elijah (William H. Stephens)
Though I read this story of the prophet Elijah many years ago, I remember being engrossed in it.
Gods and Kings (Lynn Austin)
The story of King Hezekiah, Book 1 of Chronicles of the Kings. This story brought to life for me the interplay between the kings and prophets (such as Isaiah and Micah, among others) in the years before the Exile.
Pontius Pilate (Paul L. Maier)
This is also one I read many years ago, which has also stuck with me in my memory (as have the next three).
Dear and Glorious Physician (Taylor Caldwell)
It's appropriate for Caldwell to make this list twice. She probably deserves all ten listings. This novel of the New Testament author Luke is first-rate.
Great Lion of God (Taylor Caldwell)
The story of Paul the Apostle. As only Caldwell could tell it.
Letter to Philemon (Winthrop and Frances Neilson)
Out of print now, I remember this novel bringing to vivid life the story of Philemon--the subject of the short New Testament letter that now bears his name. Utterly fascinating, as I recall.