I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God
so that you may know that you have eternal life. [1 John 5:13]

Monday, December 14, 2009

Interview with Frank Ball, Author of Eyewitness

Eyewitness - The Life of Christ Told in One Story offers a unique perspective about the life of Christ. Because the author has taken years to painstakingly compile and compare the four gospels to create one single storyline, Jesus' life unfolds in a new and intriquing way!

As a Christian storyteller, I'm going to use this book as a resource for developing some of my characters. As a Christian writer and speaker, this book serves as a remarkable reference!

Please take the time to read the interview with the author, Frank Ball:

1. The gospel stories have existed for some two thousand years. Why put them chronologically together now?

Nine out of ten Americans own a Bible, but the people who most need to hear the message don’t often read the book. They believe Scripture is outdated and too difficult to understand. Would they read the story of Christ if it were presented as a single story that is easy to understand? Most of them say they would, so Eyewitness answers that need.

2. Why do the Gospels appear to have conflicting stories?

At a crime scene, eyewitnesses always have different testimonies about what happened. Because each gospel writer had his own point of view and spoke to a different audience, the information is actually complementary, not conflicting. The apparent conflicts disappear when we use each viewpoint to compile a complete and compelling story.

3. How was writing and recording events different two thousand years ago?

We now use a computer keyboard to rapidly type and edit text that prints on our laser printers. In the first century, writers had only their parchment scrolls in which every word was hand written, one character at a time. Cut-and-paste editing and simple rearrangement of details into chronological order didn’t exist. Writers naturally put down information as it came to mind, giving us a flow of thought that isn’t always in date sequence.

4. What is the significance of John’s gospel being the last one written?

If John were to introduce his book to us today, he might say, “Let me tell you the rest of the story.” There wasn’t much need to repeat what had already been written, so he gives us clarification of events that were already being told and retold, as well as eyewitness reports that are found nowhere else. Unlike the other writers, who were not always chronological, John unfolds most of his story in date sequence in relation to the Jewish feasts. This gives us a chronological guide for putting all the biblical information in order.

5. In what way do you think the readers of Eyewitness will have a clearer understanding of the nature of God?

Jesus said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” If we can see what Jesus is doing and hear what he is saying, we become eyewitness of God’s nature. Because the words in Eyewitness are more like what we would read in a novel, readers are able to visualize themselves as present at the gospel events. It’s the next best thing to actually being there, walking with the other disciples.

6. How many different Bible translations were necessary to complete this project?

Hundreds of scholars have invested countless hours in the production of good translations. In the development of an easy-to-read wording for Eyewitness, translators’ handbooks and more than fifteen popular translations, as well as the Greek and Hebrew texts, were considered.

7. Is the Bible flawed in presenting the life of Christ in four separate books?

No, not at all. Each author’s report has its own perspective and meets a different audience need. Matthew points to the fulfillment of ancient prophecies to prove Jesus was the Son of God. Mark, the shortest of the Gospels, is the quickest to read. Luke, being a physician, gives many important details. And John adds clarity, chronology, and new information. Eyewitness was written for those who don’t read the Bible and for people who are helped by seeing how the story unfolded, chronologically.

8. Why do you think Eyewitness appeals to people who seldom attend church?

Even professed atheists and agnostics have questions about the meaning of life and what happens after we die. Eyewitness isn’t a book of difficult-to-understand rules that threatens punishment if we don’t do everything exactly right. The life of Christ is presented in a way so people can easily understand the value of loving our enemies and helping people in need.

Where can we find out more or purchase a copy of Eyewitness? Please feel free to visit my web site at www.eyewitnesstools.com.

Frank, thank you so much for allowing me to host you on the blog tour! I thoroughly enjoyed you book!

Find out how to have Frank speak for your group, church or writer’s conference: CLICK HERE.

Would you like to win a copy for Frank’s book? Leave a comment to be entered in a drawing for a free copy of Eyewitness – The Life of Christ Told In One Story.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Anthologies with Calls for Submissions-Still time to enter in 2009!

Deadline: 12/31/09.
Submit to: A Cup of Comfort. Submit via online form: http://www.cupofcomfort.com/memberlogin.
Theme: For Golfers.
Type: Personal essays (2,000 words MAX).
You will need to join in order to log in and submit an entry.

The following Payment Terms apply only to the standard anthologies (non-Christian):
  • A one-time payment of $500 is paid to the Author of the lead story in each book (the "grand prize" winner).
  • A one-time payment of $100 is paid for each of the other stories published in the book.
  • Each contributor receives one complimentary copy of the book per story.

The following Payment Terms apply only to the Christian books:

  • A one-time payment of $50 is paid for each story published in the book.
  • A one-time payment of $25 is paid for each devotional published in the book.
  • Each contributor receives one complimentary copy of the book.

Deadline: 12/31/09.
Submit to: Whole Terrain. Editor, Antioch University New England, 40 Avon Street, Keene, NH 03431-3552, or e-mail to: whole_terrain@antioch.edu (preferred).
Theme: The Scale of Significance.
Type: Poetry (3 poems MAX), short stories, and essays (2,000 words MAX).
URL: http://www.antiochne.edu/news/news_detail.cfm?News_ID=733

Whole Terrain pays upon publication in copies and a lifetime subscription.

For more information, please contact:
Rowland Russell

Deadline: 12/31/09.
Submit to: What Doesn't Kill You... E-mail (via attachment) to coeditor Murray Dunlap at murraydunlap@gmail.com.
Theme: Stories of struggle (real or imagined, physical or mental).
Type: Short stories or personal essays (10,000 words MAX).
URL: http://www.press53.com/whatdoesntkillyou.html
There is NO reading fee. Please limit submission to one story. Previously published works are acceptable, as long as you hold all rights.

Contributors will receive a complimentary copy
of the anthology plus the opportunity to buy unlimited copies at a discount.

Contributors will also have one page in the back of the anthology for his or her bio, photo and story comments.

Deadline: 01/05/10.
Submit to: Bona Fide Books. E-mail to: submissions@bonafidebooks.com with "Permanent Vacations" and title in the subject line, or mail to: Bona Fide Books, PO Box 550278, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96155.
Theme: Permanent vacation: Living and Working in our National Parks.
Type: Essays (5,000 words MAX).
URL: http://www.bonafidebooks.com/permanent-vacation

Writers will receive $100 for their story and one copy of the collection.

Let me know if you win!

Blessings on your journey