There are a few reasons I rarely read New Testament-inspired Biblical Fiction. From their lousy theology to adopting modern-day Jewish practices, it can be incredibly difficult to ignore the errors and focus on the plot. When I first saw The Shepherd’s Wife on NetGalley, I thought it would be an exciting read; unfortunately, this might be my first and last Angela Hunt novel.
The second book in the Jerusalem Road series, The Shepherd’s Wife follows the lives of Yeshua’s two sisters, Pheodora and Damaris. Married to a shepherd from Bethlehem, Pheodora is content with her life. However, when her husband is thrown into debtors’ prison, she and her daughters return to her hometown, where they must rely on the kindness of her brothers and put their faith in the two pregnant she-goats her husband meticulously bred for the Yom Kippur sacrifice.
Absorbed in her luxurious lifestyle after marrying a wealthy merchant’s son, Damaris has never understood her sister’s willingness to marry a lowly shepherd. Nevertheless, as she watches her sister work to feed her family and earn money to pay her husband’s debt, Damaris learns that love is more than possessions and social rank.
While it was interesting to imagine how Yeshua’s siblings might’ve responded to His ministry and sacrifice on the cross, there were too many inaccuracies to turn a blind eye. From insulting God’s name by regularly using the Jewish term HaShem (the name) to including modern Jewish practices that would not have been observed in Yeshua’s time (women lighting the Shabbat candles, celebrating ‘Rosh Hashanah’ instead of Yom Teruah, only the Pharisees wearing blue on their tzitzits, and more), The Shepherd’s Wife is a great example of why all believers should learn the Hebraic roots of their faith and stop using Christianity and Judaism as the rod to guide them through the Bible.
*Thank you, NetGalley and the publisher, for providing me with this pre-release copy of the book. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own!*