None Greater

Another recommendation from a reader: retired Lutheran pastor Gene E. Merrell has a book titled None Greater: John the Baptist.

I do think John the Baptist is an incredibly interesting figure! And he is tied in with such easily misunderstood topics like repentance and the kingdom of God! What does Scripture mean when it says there are none greater even though John is standing next to Jesus? What a great topic for a book!

Here’s the Amazon blurb:

In None Greater, John the Baptist, a towering man of God, again gains the honor due him. The last Old Testament prophet, object of predictions by Isaiah and Malachi, called “Elijah who was to come” by Jesus, this Forerunner of the Christ stands as a beacon at the start of the Savior’s redemptive work. Here we encounter a messenger with two themes: “Repent” and “Behold the Lamb of God”. Authentic, historical figures join fictional people to portray John’s milieu, society and land. Christian readers of all traditions will profit from this account of a key person in God’s work of salvation. An extensive index of Scripture references aids deeper Bible study.

If I understand correctly, it’s largely written as a narrative, so there’s bound to be some artistic & historical license taken. Still, what a great way to incorporate the Bible as real accounts rather than morality tales, and story forms certainly are helpful in letting us learn names and places, etc.

Interesting! Makes me also think about how Bo Giertz tried a sort of similar thing in With My Own Eyes, a third-person retelling of the gospels. (Did I ever review that? If not, I should! It was very engaging!)

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