The Zombie Bible

The Zombie Bible is an intriguing fictional series that retells ancient religious stories. Masterful storyteller Stant Litore convincingly weaves together history, culture, religion—and zombies—into mesmerizing horror stories that are nearly impossible to put down.

Readers beware! These stories may make you begin to wonder if the undead actually do lurk in the pages of the Bible and annals of history. Based on the clever premise that ancient plagues were actually zombie outbreaks, Litore has plausibly imagined how pre-scientific people might have made sense of decaying, shuffling corpses who feed on the living, who then in turn rise, themselves insatiable.

Stories that move us
“My purpose, first and foremost, is to tell stories that move the heart,” says Litore of the series. “I want readers to encounter these biblical stories as though they have never encountered them before. I want them to come to my stories and be moved and then wrestle with how and why these stories have moved them. Because those are the two things we have forgotten to do when we encounter our oldest religious stories: we have forgotten to be moved, and we have forgotten to wrestle with what it means that the story moved us.”

Zombie stories are horror stories, uniquely gruesome and shocking, but Litore deftly handles his dark subject matter in a serious, well researched way with obvious respect for the original religious texts. Still, these gory, violent stories are not for the squeamish or the faint-of-heart. Litore serves up grisly details in spades, a hallmark of every good zombie story.

Why zombies?
As they stir deep emotions within us, these zombie stories can become quite a cathartic way to wrestle with how too often we are predators devouring the lives of others. When zombies look at other people, they see nothing more than food. “How often do we look at another person and see not a man or a woman made in the likeness of God but only food or fuel for our lusts, our fears and prejudices, our ambitions, or our needs?” Litore asks. “Zombies are a dark mirror of us. Encountering them, we have to not only survive but figure out how we will live with each other: will we prey on each other?”

However, these dark novels are not without hope. “The Zombie Bible is about people trying to live lives of unstoppable hope in a world in which people devour people and in which God is often silent,” says Litore. The protagonists of The Zombie Bible stories, even in the seeming absence of God, teach us to willingly gaze, unblinking, into the suffering of others and act as God’s agents offering hope and a helping hand.

“When confronted with any horror—whether a zombie apocalypse, a genocide, children starving in our city streets, villages without wells, men and women deprived of their rights, or human trafficking, the religious man or woman needs to ask not: “Where is God?” but “God put me here to act for him, so what do I need to do right now to relive the suffering I see?” says Litore.

Finding zombies in familiar Bible stories
In the first novel of the series, Death Has Come Up Into Our Windows, the prophet Yirmiyahu (Jeremiah) is living in Jerusalem while it is under Babylonian siege. The true horror, however, is festering inside the walls where the dead are rising to devour the living.

In Strangers in the Land, Litore reinvents the Old Testament concept of “unclean” as a euphemism for the undead. Prophetess, Devorah (Deborah), leads the heart racing struggle for survival against a deadly zombie outbreak.

In What our Eyes Have Witnessed, Polycarp and the other members of the second century cult “Brothers and Sisters of the Fish,” are blamed and persecuted for the plague of undead that is encroaching on Rome’s upper castes.

Litore is currently working on his next novel, tentatively titled Silence Over The Water. Here is a sneak peek: “In their fury and grief, the people of Kfar Naham in Galilee have dropped the walking dead into their sea, and now fish have stopped coming. It is 26 A.D., and the arrival of Yeshua of Natzeret (Jesus of Nazareth), fresh from the desert, brings back up both the fish and the hungry dead, and everything this small town has refused to face.”

If you are a zombie fan, or can muster up the courage, The Zombie Bible series will be an entertaining read that is sure to move you and leave you wrestling with the deep questions of life—and perhaps looking over your shoulder.

Litore lives in Colorado with his wife and two daughters. He says he sometimes lies awake at night listening for distant moans of the dead. He keeps his machete sharp, but hopes not to use it.

Image credit: Scott Barrie

Keri is a freelance writer from Charlotte, NC. She blogs regularly at keriwilliams.wordpress.com.

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