Bible based fiction

by kalbzayn on January 24, 2007

Warning:  This post is probably going to ramble around a bit.  I’ll try to keep it somewhat short.

There is a book in the bible called “Job.”  In the story of Job, the devil and God make a bet based on how well Job will react to being tormented mercilessly.  God thanks Job will stand firm in his beliefs and support God at the end.  The devil thanks otherwise.  So, they kill all of Job’s animals, screw with his health, and even kill his kids and wife if I remember correctly.

In the end, Job stands firm in his beliefs and God wins the battle.  In the long run, though, I wonder if the devil might have gained more than it might appear at first glance.  Who wants to support a God that would allow somebody to be screwed with that brutally just for a popularity bet?

Anyway, that story popped into my head earlier today for some reason.  The rough week so far might have had a fair bit to do with it.  I’ll probably talk about that some other day.

As a potential fictional piece, assuming you don’t already believe that most of the bible is a historical fiction novel, the story of Job is pretty boring.  Job stands there and takes his pounding until the antagonists decide to leave him alone.  There isn’t much fight out of Job besides a little whining here and there.  At no point does Job stand up and kick the God’s and the devil’s asses.

All of this takes me back to a story that has been brewing in my head for about a year now.  I’ve only written about 2-3 sentences about it so far but it still intrigues me from time to time.  The story is based on the book of Revelations.  It involves Jesus coming back to earth and the challenges that he faces.  All of it is intended to be set in the framework of the way events are detailed in Revelations.  Jesus and his followers have some trouble getting people to take them seriously in the modern world, though.  In a couple spots in Revelations it mentions that 144,000 people will be saved.  Why are there such a small number of people that believe and are therefore saved?  Did I forget to mention that Jesus comes back to earth as a cat?  I’m going to hell for sure.

There’s an even older story idea that I have that involves a modern day story where the sun stops moving in the sky for a while which is also based on a pretty famous bible story.

Anyway, besides mentioning a couple random story ideas, I guess the point of this is that the Bible is a pretty good place to find some really weird ideas if you need some writing inspiration, whether you believe the details or not.

{ 8 comments }

Jim January 24, 2007 at 5:50 pm

Sounds like an interesting tale. I actually have quite a few science fiction stories in mind that have their roots in the Bible.

BTW – Job never once whined, even going so far as to bless the Lord for both giving and taking. And it’s 144,000 prophets, not 144,000 saved. Yes, I’m a pastor’s kid, and I got a minor in Bible in college. ;-)

Bryan D. Catherman January 24, 2007 at 7:31 pm

What are you talking about? Job’s story is a great story of conflict. Sure, it’s not an ass kicking story full of action, but what do you do when you become the pawn in an awful joke? That’s what Job is trying to figure out. His friends come by, they sit around a camp fire, maybe they have some beers, Job scratches his rash covered skin, and they try to figure it all out. The story is the pawn (Job), it’s obvious that God and the Devil play popularity contests.

But the story is even more interesting when you think about the people that take this story literally. I can’t figure out how those people understand God, who could do what he did to Job. That’s a story!

Also, I might be wrong, but I think the 144,000 are Jews, not “people” that are saved or something like that… I’d have to look again.

I agree, the Bible is a great place for stories and story ideas. Many stories pull ideas from the Bible.

kalbzayn January 24, 2007 at 8:50 pm

I forgot the part about the friends coming around to talk about the whole thing. That would be a fun part to write in a modern remake.

Jim January 25, 2007 at 6:40 am

Hey, could you check your spam comments folder? I left a comment on this post yesterday, but I think it might’ve gotten sucked away as spam. For whatever reason, a couple of different WordPress blogs tagged me as a spammer yesterday.

kalbzayn January 25, 2007 at 7:42 am

Found it Jim. But I feel dirty actually having to read through the things that end up in the spam comments folder. I think I need to go home and take a shower. I’ll also make a mental note to actually reread any bible stories before I try to work them into any stories of my own.

Jim January 25, 2007 at 8:40 am

I know what you mean. I take a peak into the spam folder occasionally, just to make sure, but I don’t dally long.

Honestly, I don’t think there’s any problem with taking a Bible story and then twisting it a little to create a new story. Most of the ones I have in mind take a familiar Bible story and then change it into something new and different. I actually end up introducing some sort of science fiction element. :)

Ben January 26, 2007 at 10:03 am

Can’t wait to read what you end up writing about all of this. Very interesting & yes, actually re-reading the parts of the Bible you intend to use as reference may be helpful. BTW, it’s “Revelation” not “RevelationS.” I’ll give you that one for free. ;)
Love,
BW

dad February 1, 2007 at 4:12 pm

As long as you keep in mind that this is true…go with any direction that may one day lead others to just read “the book” I love you. dad

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