What is The Bronze Bow about?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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Elizabeth George Speare's The Bronze Bow is a book set in ancient Judaea, describing the rise of Christianity through the eyes of Daniel bar Jamin, a young Jewish boy. Its description of the conflicts between the Jews and Roman Empire and  the emergence of Christianity is highly fictionalized, and expresses a strong pro-Christian bias rather than being an accurate representation of the cultures of the period.

The protagonist, Daniel bar Jamin, is a young boy whose father has been crucified by the Romans, and whose mother dies a few days later. Daniel and his sister Leah are sent to live with his poor peasant grandmother, but as the grandmother cannot afford to feed both children, Daniel is indentured to a blacksmith for 10 years as an apprentice. Daniel, motivated by hatred of the Romans, joins one of the groups of Jewish rebellions against Roman rule, which act in essence as a terrorist cell. He returns home briefly to care for his dying grandmother and his sister, and eventually converts to Christianity.


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