Tuesday, December 09, 2008

On “Reworking” Bible Characters

I finally got around to reading Thomas Costain’s The Silver Chalice but I only made it 130 pages or so before I gave it up. Costain’s writing skills were sharp enough and the story was interesting but I require higher standards regarding plot and perspective when an author drags biblical characters onto his own pages. The Silver Chalice just didn‘t make it.

For instance, Costain seemed to have an affection for the Bible but a seriously limited respect for its credibility. I had noticed his revisionism a few times earlier in the novel but when St. Luke explained away the exorcisms of demons as Jesus merely easing the “madness” that made the afflicted believe they had demons, I had enough.

I looked at the 400 pages or so that were left in the novel and then I noted the table where several other books awaited my attention and…it was a pretty easy choice.