King David, Israel’s Great King, is one of the most famous biblical characters. Many Christians believe they know the story of King David in and out, but they might be surprised at what they learn in a reinterpretation of this well-known Bible story. Pulitzer prize winner Geraldine Brooks’s The Secret Chord retells the story of King David, revealing some interesting and insightful new historical information.
Biblical and Historical Accuracy
Novelists and filmmakers tend to approach biblical narratives from the angle of entertaining an audience, not informing them. Thus, they often exaggerate or even fabricate details to make a story more exciting. While The Secret Chord takes a few small liberties with chronology of events, assigns the words of Ecclesiastes to young Solomon, and plays up the relationship between David and Jonathon, this fictional take on David’s life has a lot of accurate information to offer Christian readers.
Brooke emphasizes details of the story many Christians may have skimmed over, such as the contempt that David’s eldest brother displays on the front lines. The book takes the impassivity of the biblical account and turns it into a riveting tale without obscuring facts or accuracy. Christians will enjoy this book for its loyalty to the original telling of King David’s story in the Bible, as well as to learn new information and see a familiar story in a different way.
New Perspectives of King David
The Secret Chord tells King David’s story through a narrator, the young prophet, Nathan. This perspective gives us a new distance from King David and unique voice to understanding the story. As mentioned earlier, the book also emphasizes the relationship between David and Jonathon, a decision the author says stemmed from an “unambiguous description of a full relationship” in the Bible. Try this book out for yourself and see what you can discover about one of Christianity’s favorite characters.