What a generous review from scholar Nijay Gupta!
Many books I read are just fine. Some are good. A few are outstanding. David deSilva’s latest offering, Day of Atonement, is in a league of its own. The subtitle is: A Novel of the Maccabean Revolt (Kregel, 2015). This is a work of historical fiction that places the reader in the world of early Judaism with a specialist interest in Hellenization and the negotiation of Jews in the Greek and Roman world.
I read fiction from time to time and I think that I have relatively high standards for good fiction. I know that sometimes biblical scholars try their hands at fiction (for pedagogical reasons) and most of the time I can tolerate the amateur fiction-writing because it is in service of better learning through narrative. But Day of Atonement is really good fiction. David deSilva completely blew me away with his gripping writing style. I have…
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