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Intersection Column | Not a Cinderella Story

by Angela Hunt


For The Sisters of Corinth, the second book in the Emissaries series, I wanted to begin with a Cinderella-type proposition: after much primping and preparation, two step-sisters are invited to a banquet where one will be chosen to marry the governor’s handsome son.


But the Emissaries series deals with first-century believers in the towns where Paul established churches, and Corinth was not exactly an enchanted kingdom. It was the Vegas of the Roman Empire, a place where wealthy Romans could attend the theater, gamble, invest gold and silver, and satisfy all their desires. What happened in Corinth, apparently, stayed in Corinth.


Back to my sisters: one is a young believer in Yeshua, the other is thoroughly Roman and a devotee of Aphrodite, goddess of love and desire. One wants to please God; the other wants to please herself. One doesn’t want to marry the prince—er, the governor’s son, the other is determined to marry him. So guess which girl he chooses? Of course! Conflict is the heart of story.


After writing The Jerusalem Road series, set in Judea and Jerusalem during the time of Christ, I was itching to tell the stories of the Gentiles who came to Christ in the first century. The Jews who followed Jesus knew about moral living and pleasing God. But the believing Gentiles of the Roman Empire did not know the first thing about what Adonai requires, and they were surrounded by pagans who lived to please themselves.


Just as we are. As I wrote the three novels in the Emissaries series, I kept finding parallels between ancient Rome and our own culture: Disposable children. The worship of pleasure. The ambitious pursuit of wealth. Political corruption. Bloody spectacle passing as entertainment.


The first century believers caused a stir when they boldly stood for righteousness, and today’s Christians are facing the same choice: are we willing to become slaves to Christ? To submit every area of our lives to His authority?


The Romans understood slavery—their society would have collapsed without it. The idea of willingly becoming a slave, even to a God, was foreign to them, but thousands of Romans eagerly followed Adonai and His Son, often paying the ultimate price for their love of God.


In learning about those first-century Christians, I’ve become convicted by their courage. So many times I’ve wanted to remain silent on social media when I know I need to speak out and stand for Truth. For righteousness. For God.


I hope this book—and the others in the series—will resonate with contemporary readers and remind us that being a slave to Jesus has never been easy.


About the Author

Christy Award-winner Angela Hunt writes for readers who expect the unexpected in novels. With nearly six million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the best-selling author of more than 165 works ranging from picture books (The Tale of Three Trees) to novels. Romantic Times Book Club presented her with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006 and American Christian Fiction Writers presented her with the same honor in 2019. Angela completed her doctorate in biblical studies in 2008 and her Th.D. in 2015. 


About the Book

When the new provincial governor arrives in Corinth, the esteemed Chief Magistrate Narkis Ligus, sees a golden opportunity to propel himself to greater power through the marriage of one of his two beautiful daughters to the governor's firstborn son. While Mariana holds steadfast faith in Yeshua, rendering her hesitant to marry a man devoted to the Roman gods, Prima yearns for a life of wealth and status and is willing to go to great lengths to secure that.


Did You Know?

Did you know the Bible mentions three talking animals? A serpent, an eagle, and a donkey. Each of these creatures had a different message. The serpent spoke evil. God used the eagle to give a warning. But the humble donkey gave God’s words of wisdom.


  • Donkeys are mentioned more than four hundred times in the Bible. Far more than the serpent or eagle.

  • Donkeys represent riches and power. Although often viewed only as beasts of burden for menial and difficult tasks.

  • Donkeys were used by kings when coming in peace. A conquering hero may ride in on a horse, but the horse represents war. A victor riding a donkey was representing peace.


Rarely do we think of these humble equines as having value. They are considered dumb and stubborn. We wonder, “Why didn’t God use the majestic eagle to convey His message?” Maybe we would have gotten caught up in the majesty part and forgotten the humble part. Plus, we’re more like donkeys than eagles. We get stuck in our ways and refuse to change. It’s possible God wanted to convey His message in a way we can relate to more. Maybe if we’re more like the humble donkey than the other animals, we’ll hear from Him more often.


-Susan K. Stewart, Donkey Devos


Why I LOVE My Local Christian Bookstore

“I love shopping in person in bookstores. Not only am I lured into the aisles of books—one of my favorite things (alongside ice cream)—but I can also hold them in my hands and enjoy reading some of the text. This is the real deal, and increases the pleasure of shopping over scanning online.”


-Joan C. Benson, Wonder of Life


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1 Comment

Mar 25

The things Angela Hunt has learned about first-century believers is great, and I'm looking forward to checking out her novel. I wonder if it has occurred to her that her story not only parallels the Cinderella tale, but also the story of Esther. (Probably has --- Angela is a smart cookie!)

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