I don’t know if the history is right or wrong; it was close enough from my vantage. The plain fact is that I don’t read historical novels for fealty to events.
When I finished the story, one researcher, a tiny Japanese man about five years past retirement age, jumped up and clapped. He laughed aloud and told me to forget all the crappy stuff I learned in college.
During the first century, one could take their pick from various views of Jesus, the new Christian church, and its relation to other religions. As an orthodoxy emerged, competing ideas were rooted out. ‘Heretics’ were hunted down.
He refused to take any money and said that I could help him with something one day, but I honestly doubted that I had any skill he would be interested in.
He’s not for the timid soul. He doesn’t hold your hand and lead you oh-so-gently down the path to publishing. Bell strikes me as a man of action and his help emphasizes that.