Jump to content

Welcome to Christian Writers!

We are a friendly community built around Christian writing, publishing, reading and fellowship. Register or sign in today to join in the fun!
Alley

I need advice with fantasy religion

Recommended Posts

I recently changed my historical romance to a historical fantasy romance. I have come across a problem! One of the main plot points was that one of the main characters is hiding, smuggling, and making copies of the four gospels. You know, back when they still had to copy it with ink and quell. The thing is, now that it is a fantasy, saying that these are the words of the apostles seems wrong. Any ideas how to fix this? Is there something else I could call them that would mean religious scrolls, but not leave me feeling that I'm being disrespectful to God? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Depending on the era you could make it some of the apocryphal gospels (e.g. Gospel of Thomas), OR make it similar to one of the early heresies (e.g. Donatism). In the same vein you could also make it the writings of a fictional early church father (e,g, take something like Augustine's City of God and change it to a fictional version).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, Chris Brown said:

Depending on the era

It's kind of a mashup up middle ages, dark ages, and the first century. Basically, it's really to life (no magical elements), but I was killing all historical fact, so I switched from historical fiction to historical fantasy. 

Edited by Alley
Autocorrect tried to eat me!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, lynnmosher said:

Wow! If it's historical, that's a 1350 year span! :oops:

😄 I said, mashup! It's not going to take place over that long of a time, but I took aspects of things that were invented in the first century but was never used for the purposes I used them for until much later. Plus, there are cultural aspects that did not meet historical standards and don't even get me started on not being good at the places in history. Frankly, it wasn't something I was interested in sticking to. So... Fantasy it became. 😆 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Alley said:

It's kind of a mashup up middle ages, dark ages, and the first century. Basically, it's really to life (no magical elements), but I was killing all historical fact, so I switched from historical fiction to historical fantasy. 

The concepts I suggested might work well if you're starting 3rd-4th century and going through the dark ages... Going all the way back to 1st century makes it harder. You could do apostolic letters that we don't have, i.e. other letters from Paul or Peter or John that are not recorded in scripture. If you really want to go fantasy it could be other prophecies that play out in your story (I would just be careful not to cross actual scriptural prophecy). There are a lot of interesting directions to go with it that don't contradict or dishonor scriptures.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Couldn't your stories also be characterized kind of as "alternate history?" As in, there's no magic in them? Or am I remembering wrong?

 

If there's no magic, personally, I would just go for the gospels, like @suspensewriter said. Or at least have that be the exact content of them. You could call them the "something" texts, maybe. If you didn't want to use the word gospels. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you’re pretty much just doing the same thing I am with my current series—it’s fantasy only in the sense that the country/events/people never actually existed, but they totally could have...no magic or mythical creatures. It’s really pretty much alternative history, as Pen Name said. So I see no read why your gospels shouldn’t be THE gospels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Zee said:

So I see no read why your gospels shouldn’t be THE gospels

I renamed the countries, so... I don't know; I guess that's why I feel weird about it. They are not real places, so Jesus didn't actually live in this fantasy world, but... I could make them countries in the middle of the Atlantic, and that would make it fantasy... 🤔 I think, and still, keep the idea that the gospels needed to be protected. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see your point, but if you make the story gospels somehow different from the real ones, then that’s a pretty important story factor lost or changed, right? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, Alley said:

I renamed the countries, so... I don't know; I guess that's why I feel weird about it. They are not real places, so Jesus didn't actually live in this fantasy world, but... I could make them countries in the middle of the Atlantic, and that would make it fantasy... 🤔 I think, and still, keep the idea that the gospels needed to be protected. 

Does it need to be the gospels or any part of the Bible for your character and story to work? Could it be something like Josephus' Antiquities or some other book from the same time period that is important historically, but not scripture? 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Chris Brown said:

Does it need to be the gospels or any part of the Bible for your character and story to work? Could it be something like Josephus' Antiquities or some other book from the same time period that is important historically, but not scripture? 

It needs to be some type of religious school of great importance. Otherwise, half the story dissolves. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CS Lewis did keep the gospels as part of his Narnia series. Not only are the stories set in the fantastical Narnia allegorical or have Christian messages in some way, but Aslan even tells Lucy and Edmund that they "must come to know him by another name" in their world (Earth).

 

Though I do understand where you are coming from, @Alley. If you feel weird about it, don't do it. 

 

5 hours ago, Alley said:

needs to be some type of religious school of great importance

 

Maybe just take real-life examples and translate the name of a writer into another language? Then the content is the same inside, and it avoids what @Zee mentioned. So like, the Gospel of John could be the Book of Ivan (Russian for John). Just a thought. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with the idea of an alternate timeline, branching off at some point after the Gospels were written. That gives you the freedom to quote the Gospels while telling a different history than the one that we experienced.

 

Otherwise, create a satirical religion that tells the story of the Gospel within its own framework.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, everyone. 🙂 I haven't settled on one I like best, but this gives me some great ideas! 😊 (Where is a good lightbulb emoji when you need one? 😄

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, Alley said:

  Where is a good lightbulb emoji when you need one? 😄

 

 💡:D

Edited by Sophie
  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, Sophie said:

 

 💡:D

I see you have got all the good emojis. 😜😄 

Edited by Alley
Autocorrect dislikes me

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Alley said:

I see you have got all the good emojis. 😜😄 

You can almost copy and paste hers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Almost? What gets left?

 

Oh, I hate it when the spell checker thinks it knows what I mean.

Edited by carolinamtne
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, carolinamtne said:

Oh, I hate it when the spell checker thinks it knows what I mean.

We all do! I'm still trying to figure out how we go from carrot cake to carrot hop. 🤨 

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Alley said:

how we go from carrot cake to carrot hop.

Well, rabbits eat carrots, so if you eat carrot cake, you will hop like a bunny. Maybe?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.