Want a summer read that’s part adventure story, part biography, part introduction to biblical manuscripts, part historical drama, and part faith journey? If yes, check out Janet Soskice’s The Sisters of Sinai.
The main characters are identical twins Agnes and Margaret Smith of Scotland. Their travels lead, among other places, to St. Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai. There Agnes discovered one of the oldest manuscripts of the Gospels ever found.
The sisters’ staunch Presbyterian father, widowed shortly after their births in 1843, raised his girls as one might raise boys in the Victorian era—educated, physically active, and engaged in the life of the mind. And he kept a promise that whenever his daughters learned a language, he would take them to where that language was spoken. Because the twins loved to travel, early on they mastered French, German, Spanish, and Italian. Their deep interest in the Bible and its languages …
My dissertation supervisor told me that the Bible and Shakespeare were the two most-used sources for book titles. How many of these biblical phrases do you recognize?
Absalom, Absalom! William Faulkner 2 Samuel 19:4
An Acceptable Time Madeleine L’Engle Psalms 66:13
A Time to Kill John Grisham Ecclesiastes 3:3
Behold the Man Michael Moorcock John 19:5
Butter In a Lordly Dish Agatha Christie Judges 5:25
I Sat Down and Wept Elizabeth Smart Psalm 137:1
Clouds of Witness Dorothy L. Sayers Hebrews 12:1
Consider the Lilies Iain Crichton Smith Matthew 6:28
East of Eden John Steinbeck Genesis 4:16
Fear and Trembling Søren Kierkegaard Philippians 2:12
The Golden Bowl Henry James Ecclesiastes 12:6
The House of Mirth Edith Wharton Ecclesiastes 7:4
I Will Fear No Evil Robert A. Heinlein Psalms 23:4
If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem William Faulkner Psalms 137:5
In a Glass Darkly Sheridan Le Fanu I Corinthians 13:12
Jacob Have …