Do you have a favorite story in the Bible? How about a favorite fictional retelling of that Bible story? Retellings are a pretty popular trope, although you’ll usually see them as fairy tale retellings. However, within Christian fiction, we have some books that are Bible story retellings. More so in a historical setting (I’m sure most of us are familiar with Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers which is a retelling of Hosea and Liz Curtis Higgs’s Lowlands of Scotland series which retells Jacob, Esau, Rachel, and Leah), but there are some that have been placed in a modern world. The very first one I ever read was The Road Home by Tommy Tenney and Mark Olsen. I read this book over ten years ago probably and I still remember so much about it. It’s a retelling of the story of Ruth and Naomi. Ruth is from Moab (get it? because in the Bible she’s a Moabite. I thought it was really clever!) and Naomi is going back to her roots in Amish country. Some other Ruth retellings are How the Light Gets In by Jolina Petersheim and Another Shot by Brooke St. James.
The Prodigal Son is also a fairly popular retelling in Christian fiction. One of the characters can have a Prodigal Son arc or the whole book can be devoted to retelling one of Jesus’ most famous parables. Two that immediately came to mind were Long Way Gone by Charles Martin and The Last Way Home by Liz Johnson.
THE PRODIGAL SON
Honestly, from here it seems to get a little sparse when you’re looking for Biblical retellings in a modern setting. Here are a few more that I know of:
True a novella by S. E. Clancy
The Paris Betrayal by James R. Hannibal
ISAAC AND REBEKAH
The Isaac Project by Sarah Monzon
The Esther Paradigm by Sarah Monzon
Oh, did I not mention that I wrote two modern Biblical retellings? I told you I liked them! ;) What other books reimagine a Bible stories in a modern world? If I were to write another book like this, which Bible story would you like to see me retell?
This is such an interesting topic. I haven’t read any retelling of Bible stories but I’m now keen to do so and will check out yours and some of the other ones you’ve mentioned, particularly the stories of Ruth as that’s my name! I have come across modernizations of fairy tales and these can work well.
I like the stories of women in the Bible which can be really inspirational because of their strength and relationship with God, so maybe telling the stories of Hannah, Mary Magdalene, Sarah and Elizabeth.
Oh those are good suggestions!
Lori R says
I haven’t read many Bible retellings. I did enjoy The Last Way Home by Liz Isaacson and enjoyed the book. Maybe a retelling of Deborah Ruth or Esther?
I don’t think I’ve read one about Deborah. That would be interesting.
Laurie Larsen says
I’ll have to check these out! I love the idea of retelling a Bible story in modern day but I haven’t read many!
I haven’t found too many in modern settings. There are more for historical though that are also good.
TONI SHILOH says
Esther would be a great one or even the woman at the well. Which, now that I think of it someone did. Kept by Sally Bradley I believe is that story.
Oh! I didn’t even think about Kept.
I don’t think I’ve read a contemporary retelling, but I’ve read some good historical ones on Ruth and Naomi, Esther, Abigail, and Rachel. There have been some I’ve read that you could say were loosely based on the Prodigal Son. I’ll have t check out the ones you mentioned!
There are definitely more retelling with a historical setting.
Kendra Muonio says
No I have not read a retelling of a bible story
Then you have a whole world awaiting you! :)
Alicia Haney says
Hi, I would love the story of Samson and Delilah retold.
Ooooo that would be a good one!
These are always so fun to read! I loved Krista McGee’s books that were inspired by different biblical stories. She wrote First Date inspired by Esther, Starring me inspired by Isaac and Rebekah, and Right Where I Belong inspired by Ruth. They were all wonderful books and they are perfect for teen girls.
Ive never heard of these before! I’m going to have to look them up.
Andrea Conner says
The story of Ruth and Boaz
That’s always a favorite. Probably why it seems to have been retold the most.
Jessica B. says
Many years ago I read Divine by Karen Kingsbury which is loosely based on Mary Magdalene but that’s the only modern retelling I can think of. I will definitely be adding the above titles to my TBR list!
Sarah Monzon says
I hope you find some you enjoy!
Priscila Perales says
The only one that came to mind was “Sixty Acres and a Bride” by Regina Jennings, but, as you mentioned, it’s a Historical retelling. I knew of yours, but they’re still on my TBR pile. You’re also right in that it’s easier to find a Prodigal Son arc in CCR books. Thanks for sharing your recs!
That was a good book. :)
Natalya Lakhno says
Bell of the Night by Allison Wells is reminiscent of the classic Redeeming Love.
I’ve never heard of that one!
Lelia (Lucy) Reynolds says
I’ve read a couple of these and really enjoyed them. Thank you for sharing. Blessings
I’m glad you enjoyed them. :)
Mary Preston says
I have yet to read any re-tellings of this nature. Taking note of titles and authors.
Oh yay! A whole new world for you to discover.
Carolyn Miller says
What an interesting topic, Sarah – thanks for discussing it today. It’s funny how we have a million contemporary fairytale retellings but not too many Bible stories. Obviously there’s a world of Bible stories waiting to be discovered – and written. I’m checking out some of your recommendations!
It’s so true. But I’m glad more authors are writing them. :)
Debra Pruss says
I cannot think of any others tonight. One that maybe interesting would be the story of Deborah. Thank you for sharing. God bless you.
Deborah would be interesting!
Sonnetta Jones says
One of my favorite stories in the Bible is The Bleeding woman. When I read The Land of silence by Tessa Asfar I started to really think about her life and interactions with her community.
That book made me ugly cry soooo hard. So good.
Oh, I would love to read this!
Cindi Knowles says
I’m new to the whole genre so I don’t have anything to suggest.
Enjoy all the new to you books!
I love the story of a Ruth and Boaz, and “attempted to retell” this story in my novella “The Colours of Orange”. My main character is from the Philippines, who has embraced the Australian culture after she married. Then, after becoming widowed, followed her mother-in-law to a regional town (called Orange), which is all the more foreign to her :-) I don’t think I could ever do the Boaz character justice. But I just loved loved loved their story.
What an interesting genre. Thank you for all the recommendations. I’ll be checking them out.
The only modern take of Ruth I read was by an English writer:
Rosie – Note To Self (Lipstick Confessions Book 1) by GP Taylor and Claire Connor.
They have two other books, one about Abraham and Sarah and the other about David and Bathsheba all modern settings in Britain.
I wonder if a modern take on Aquila and Priscilla will be a good idea?
I’ll have to look those up!
Ooooooo that would be interesting!
Lori Smanski says
my favorite stories in the bible are: Ruth and Boab and Rahab and the bride in Song of Solomon
Those are great
I love well done Biblical re-tellings. I think a retelling of Joseph’s story would be good.
maybe Noah’s Ark
Sarah Taylor says
I have not read any but I know these would be amazing to read!
I really enjoyed your book The Isaac Project. I don’t remember if I’ve read any other modern day biblical retellings, but have many historical ones.
Abigail Harris says
You’ve mentioned several of my favorite Biblical retellings, including yours!