Christian Themes

(Literary Essentials: Christian Fiction and Nonfiction)

Two from Galilee is a story of family life, especially as that relates to young adults in the culture of first century Judaism. The societal mores and strong familial bonds cementing the culture are all in evidence here. Layered on this depiction of Jewish culture and daily life is the overarching belief in the centrality of God to life. God as the center is foundational, not only to Judaism but also to the followers of Jesus.

This is dramatically evidenced in the character of Mary as she places herself totally in God’s hands, even to her obvious social peril and detriment. God is also at the center of Joseph’s life: Joseph opens himself to the guidance of God’s spirit and accepts circumstances—a virgin birth—totally beyond his comprehension. Joseph goes about his daily work of making a living and preparing a home for his family in a community that is well aware that he is not the father of Mary’s baby. He overcomes his masculine pride, dealing with both with his own doubts and with social ostracism, to maintain his faith in Mary and in God. Although it takes some time for Mary’s parents to accept God’s will, they eventually do, Joachim with some initial wavering and Hannah, the controlling manipulator, finally accepting that God has truly chosen her daughter to bear the Messiah. Each of these exemplifies true faith in God. This faith is depicted with a realism that reveals the daily struggles to accept God’s will—as a faith that is lived out every day in ordinary life, in the dust of the farm, the carpenter shop, and the kitchen.