Timmerman, F.B. The 40 Days – A Novel. Janesville: Cardamom Publishers, 2011. 200 pp. $12.95. Purchase at Amazon for much less.
“He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3). Other than a few details concerning appearances to the disciples and apostles (most seemingly right after His resurrection), that is all that is mentioned of Christ’s post-resurrection life here on earth. Author F.B. Timmerman seeks to take what is not known and engage in telling a story about the impact He would have had on those whom He conversed with. The 4o Days – A Novel is meant to make the reader think and is not meant to take the place of Scripture.
You can read more about the book at its website.
What begins as an archaeological dig for a father and daughter turns into a trip down memory lane as they unearth a diary of a shepherd and his special needs son. In this diary, we read of a visit from one Jesus Christ who spent a few days talking with the father and the son. The father has a ton of questions for Christ which He patiently answers. Along the way, the conversation will provide biblical answers to everyday questions from a 1st century Palestinian setting though, as with Scripture, applying to today’s world with today’s issues. In other words, “There is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).
One must always be careful when writing a work of historical fiction…especially with Scripture. Timmerman does a nice job of keeping the essentials straight and accurate. While not everyone will agree with his perspective on some answers given by Christ, they cannot do so because of extrabiblical influence. Instead, they will be forced to wrestle with the Scriptures themselves as he, the author, offers biblical support (almost 500 separate footnotes!) for each and every answer that comes from the mouth of Jesus. Perhaps the best aspect of this book is the timeless, biblical wisdom offered in a story format that will surely cause the reader, believer or not, to pause and consider what the Bible says about ________. And yes, the Bible speaks to just about every problem man faces.
The 40 Days is a nice work of historical fiction. More importantly, the author painstakingly supported every answer with Scripture. For those who are looking for a good read, I recommend this novel. I would also caution the reader to be discerning. Not that there is anything heretical, but you never want to fully agree with 100%…especially in a subjective work of fiction where, more often than not, we are reading the author’s perspective. That being said, I would recommend this resource to anyone…believer or not.