A Conversation with author Daniel Molyneux
What is the central message you want readers to come away with after reading Judas Son of Simon?
The transforming power of love, mercy, and forgiveness.
Why did you choose to write Judas as historical fiction, rather than non-fiction?
It was my goal to create for the reader a dramatic, emotional, and spiritually transformative experience.
But Judas is largely historically accurate, is that correct?
Yes. I set about writing a dramatic book that people couldn't put down. But Judas also needed to be historically accurate.
How did you go about achieving that goal?
The characters in Judas are actual figures, from history and the Bible. The one exception is Judas' wife. We have no information about whether he was married or not. Also, unlike most novels, Judas has three appendices, and extensive notes, to provide the reader with additional biblical, archeological, and historical information.
Judas Son of Simon sounds like a unique novel. What would you compare it to?
In some ways, it reads like the Gospels, which were used as a foundation for the book. But in mood, tenor, voice and drama, Judas shares similarities with Peter Shaffer's play, Amadeus. Amadeus is the story of Mozart, told from the perspective of his arch enemy, Salieri, and his struggle with God. In the same way, Judas Son of Simon is the story of Jesus, told from the perspective of his betrayer, Judas, and his struggle with God.
Is there a film about Jesus you would compare to Judas Son of Simon?
Judas is not a campy Hollywood "bath robe drama" where Jesus and his disciples walk around with saintly expressions, while halos hover overhead. The characters in Judas are real people, living in a real world, facing real dangers, temptations, passions, doubts, and conflicts. Judas' raw emotional power may best compare to the 2004 film, The Passion of the Christ.
You mentioned having a background in theater?
Yes, I have a BA in Drama, and studied at London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
What are your academic qualifications for writing Judas?
I have a master's degree from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, a doctorate from Fuller Seminary, and did post-graduate work at Concordia Seminary. I have also spent time in the Holy Land.
What will surprise readers most when reading Judas Son of Simon?
There are surprises in every chapter, sometimes every page. For instance - people think they know how Judas' died. Circumstances were starkly different than many believe.
Publisher: Moriah Books
Page Count: 282