Book: The Gospel According to Todd by R.A. Williamscategories: Book, Biblical Fiction, Time Travel, Christian Time Travel, Historical Fiction, Christian Fantasy, Christian Fiction
R.A. Williamsabout this book: I'd always wondered what would happen if an atheist could see the miracles of Jesus with his own eyes. Would that make him reconsider his disbelief? Or would he simply rationalize the experience away as an elaborate hallucination? Would he declare himself insane before he would admit that God is real?
In The Gospel According to Todd, I explore this possibility. Dr. Todd Heller is the antagonist in my first novel, The Class of 86. As an adult, he is an ER physician who stubbornly denies the existence of God. As a teenager back in 1986, he is an anti-Semitic bully who harasses the part-Jewish protagonist of The Class of 86, Jake Simon. When Jake is offered the chance to relive his youth, he learns the true meaning of life—that we are made for the next world, not this one. Heaven is our true, permanent home. At the end of the novel, Jake finds pity for Todd and asks ministering angel, Eleazar, to do whatever is necessary to convince Todd that Jesus is real. So Eleazar sends Todd back to the time of Christ so he can witness the miracles of Jesus with his own eyes.
This book wasn't easy to write. I had to find a balance between witnessing the ministry of Jesus up close while not trespassing on holy ground. After all, I couldn't have Todd chatting it up with Christ himself without bordering on blasphemy. So I had to find a way for Todd to stay on the fringes of the ministry, yet interact realistically at the same time.
To make the story seem more credible, I meticulously researched the period to ensure historical and biblical accuracy. I was constrained by the sequence of events in the New Testament and had to weave my plot into the timeline of those events. At first, I thought this would be a challenge. Finding an exact sequence of events using the four Gospels was complicated, so I consulted the expertise of famed Messianic-Jewish biblical scholar, Alfred Edersheim. I followed the order of events outlined in his classic, The Life and Times of Jesus The Messiah. To my delight, what I feared would be a restraint to my plot, turned out to be an outline of that plot, and all I had to do was fill in the gaps. I used several other books for research as well, each listed in the front matter of the novel.
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