True Crimes of the Bible Investigates Bible Characters on the Wrong Side of the Law and God’s Faithfulness to Forgive
Scandal. Murder. Adultery. Dr. Bruce Becker’s new book, True Crimes of the Bible, explores criminals in scripture, their actions and how God responds to their sin. The book doesn’t stop there, however. It offers a novel approach by detailing God’s response to each situation.
“There is nothing new under the sun,” writes Becker. “However, what makes criminals and crimes in the Bible significant for us goes beyond an ancient police report that details the crime. With each of the crimes we will investigate in this book, we’ll also delve into God’s response to each crime as we learn from the Bible.”
From Podcast to Book
True Crimes of the Bible started out as a podcast. “It worked out well,” Becker told The Stream’s Nancy Flory in a recent interview. “It was very popular, and so our team [at Time of Grace] suggested that we turn it into a book.” Becker is the Executive Vice President of Time of Grace, a ministry that “connects people to God’s grace — his love, glory, and power — so they realize the temporary things of life don’t satisfy. However, through Jesus we have access to the eternal God — right now and forever.”
One of Time of Grace’s board members suggested that Becker write the book in the genre of true crimes. “First of all, the Bible isn’t about perfect people, but how God responded to each of them differently depending upon whether the individual had a relationship with God or that God wanted to use that individual.”
‘Anybody is Capable of Committing Any Crime’
The truth is, says Becker, “that anybody is capable of committing any crime. It’s the right circumstances, the right confrontation. We could all be murderers and commit other crimes just because we’re not perfect human beings. [We are] sinful human beings that are capable of anything.” These stories are warnings to us, that we could be criminals but for God’s grace.
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That’s not the end of the story, however. “On the comforting side of things is the fact that our God forgives sin, and even the most heinous of sins, you know, Jesus paid for those too when He went to the cross. So there’s both the warning and there’s also the assurance of forgiveness for those who have committed such crimes.”
God Has a Plan
The takeaway from the book is that “God has a plan for us, and He is there to guide us and lead us, and when we do fall down, to forgive us and pick us back up.”
“On the cover, there’s scandal, there’s murder, there’s adultery, but the thing that we don’t sometimes think about is that the next three words — forgiveness, faith, and hope.” Becker tried to give both the “negative and the positive to these stories in the Bible.”
Becker is already thinking about writing a follow up to True Crimes of the Bible, a part two. “There’s a wealth of criminal activity that’s recorded in the Bible,” he laughs.
Nancy Flory, Ph.D., is a senior editor at The Stream. You can follow her @NancyFlory3, and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.