Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I am very pleased to announce that with help from a lot of you, offering suggestions and corrections, our first novel has hit the bookstands today. And boy do I have a deal for you. Oregon has no sales tax, and so my publisher Pickwick Press (owned by Wipf and Stock) has deep discounted the novel if you order through the link here---

Are you tired of bad and shlocky Christian fiction, which not only offers bad interpretations of Biblical prophecy and Biblical history (think the Left Behind series), but frankly offers bad writing as well? Well, here is your chance to give someone an archaeological thriller than can prompt a conversation about Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and how we ought to treat one another. Here is what Tom Morris, the popular Christian philosopher said about this novel---

The Lazarus Effect is a rare, gripping, fast-paced, intelligent thriller that can keep you entertained, and actually change your worldview. It's a wild ride through a tumultuous part of the world where you'll discover surprises that can make you think more deeply about some of the most important things in your life. Once you start to read it, you won't be able to put it down!

Tom Morris
Author of The Art of Achievement,
If Harry Potter Ran General Electric, and
The Logic of God Incarnate

And here is what Anne Rice and A.J. Levine said about it---

There's no thriller quite like an archaeological thriller, and when we find ourselves in a biblical mystery, the suspense and the drama are especially delicious. Set against the intense, exotic, and vivid backdrop of modern Israel, yet delving into the deepest mysteries of the time of Christ, The Lazarus Effect won't fail to entertain and inform. Highly recommended.
-Anne Rice, NY Times best-selling author of The Vampire Chronicles and Christ the Lord.

"Ben Witherington, the accomplished and acclaimed biblical scholar, offers a fast-paced, entertaining archaeological thriller with occasional winks to the biblical studies guild, the popularization of biblical studies in magazines and television shows, and recent controversies over ancient artifacts. Even better, The Lazarus Effect neatly portrays both the necessity of interfaith friendship and the dangers of defensive fundamentalism."

-Amy-Jill Levine, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of New Testament Studies, Vanderbilt Divinity School, Graduate Department of Religion and College of Arts and Science

So, stock up now. Buy a bunch and give it to folks for Christmas. Its guaranteed
to be a conversation starter if its a stocking stuffer. Let's see if we can market this in the same way Christian word of mouth Marketed the Shack.


Jc_Freak: said...

Hey Ben! Can you give us a hint at the plot? Like what you would get if you read the back?

Bill Kinnon said...

Too bad they don't take Canadian orders.

James F. McGrath said...

Congratulations! I recently published a book through BookSurge. The title is The Burial of Jesus: History and Faith. I'll let you know if I have any tips for effectively spreading the word - apart from announcing it on one's blog, that is. I've been asking friends and family to recommend it for purchase by their local library, and so I've done that for The Lazarus Effect in our public library system. If you feel The Burial of Jesus might be a good addition to your university and/or local public library, feel free to return the favor! :)

I look forward to reading your novel - congratulations once again!

Wieland Willker said...

Frank Herbert (Dune) already wrote "The Lazarus Effect" sometime in the 80s.

Ben Witherington said...

Actually Mr.Herbert's book has a slightly different title (without the words a Novel in it). Those eager to see some of the plot, if you just go to the website where it is sold there is a synopsis, or if you type into the search engine on this blog, you will find samples of the plot. Actually they do take Canadian orders I think Bill.


Marc Axelrod said...

Congratulations on the release of the novel. I ordered my copy last night.

Last year, I read Andrew Lincoln's John commentary, which I thought was a wonderful read.

But he goes into great detail making a terrific case for Lazarus being the author of the 4th gospel, then he says "But this isn't likely because Lazarus was a creation of the evangelist." If I had any hair left on the top of my head, I would have pulled it out.

Peggy said...

I just ordered my copy ... am curious to see the difference between the published copy and the draft I read ... looks like you have expanded it somewhat (based on page count).

Once I get my copy, I will be happy to review it on my blog. I might also do a review for my church ... have to think about that a bit. I don't normally do fiction.

Steve Pressley said...

Well, I ordered the novel, and I look forward to reading it. But surely you don't want it marketed like The Shack. You're not interested in getting rich like William P. Young, are you?

Ben Witherington said...

Steve I would gladly forfeit making even a penny on this novel if it meant I could get its message out the way the message of the Shack has gone out. Its important in an uncivil world full of religiously motivated hatred.


Chris Spinks said...

Bill Kinnon et al.-

We do take orders from Canada. We'll take orders from anywhere in the world! We can't process an international order on our website (, but we'd be glad to take your order by phone (541-344-1528), fax (541-344-1506), or email ( There's no reason why The Lazarus Effect couldn't take Canada by storm too!

I had a great time working on the book. Ben's a wonderful author to work with and the book itself is a delightful read, even if I did have to go through it with an editor's eye.

D. Christopher Spinks, PhD
Editor, Wipf and Stock Publishers
199 W. 8th Ave, Suite 3
Eugene OR 97401

Corpus Christi Outreach Ministries said...

Ben I was thinking of getting the book, but I am going to wait for the book review. Some ministry is going to put it out soon. Do you know them? the guys name is Viola :-) all kidding aside, I really am not one for novels, but after i stubmbled across your site I have been keeping an eye out for your scholarly works. I will snap them up as soon as I find them. God bless, John

crystal said...

Congratulations! It sounds really interesting. I hope it eventually comes out in audio disc form for those like me who can't read print very well.

Chris Spinks said...


I should have done this in yesterday's comment. For any of the readers here who want to click through to the web page of your book (instead of cutting and pasting the URL), they can click here.

By the way, and in relation to my comment yesterday, I just got word today that some orders from Canada were made this morning!

mafutha said...

Now that I ordered the book How do I get you to autograph it?


Looking forward to reading it of course.

Ben Witherington said...

Send me your copy, I will autograph it and send it back.


mafutha said...

Sounds good. Where do I send it and do you was returned postage for it?

Ben Witherington said...

Send it to the seminary--- Asbury Theo. Seminary, N. Lexington Ave, SPO, Wilmore, Ky. 40390.


Reverie said...

Brilliantly written. Enjoying each moment of the read. Intriguing case for the identity of the Beloved Disciple.

Came upon the book when googling for refreshing theology. Delighted with this find.

Congratulations Ben and Anne ... will be acquiring Roman Numerals forthwith.