Ashland Seminary Professor Writes Historical Novel

Ashland Seminary Professor Writes Historical Novel

9/23/15 ASHLAND, Ohio – Dr. David deSilva, trustees’ distinguished professor of New Testament and Greek at Ashland Theological Seminary, released a novel about events in Judea during the decade leading up to the Maccabean Revolt, which broke out around 166 BCE. The book is called “Day of Atonement,” and was published by Kregel Publications in late June.

“There are so many important events and developments within Judaism that many Christians never learn about,” deSilva said. “I wanted to bring one of the most important to life for readers who might pick up a novel, but would never likely pick up a copy of the Apocrypha.”

The Maccabean Revolt ended a brutal persecution of Jews in Jerusalem under Greek rule and eventually brought political independence to Judea for the first time in 400 years. It is celebrated yearly in the festival of Hanukkah.

“Judea was caught between two powerful forces,” deSilva explains. “Should it ‘modernize’ and adapt to the Greek empire that had conquered it, or should it remain faithful to its ancestral way of life?”  Characters in the book explore a wide range of answers to this question. “The novel explores the question: ‘how far is too far’.”

deSilva has written several non-fiction books on the Apocrypha and the period between the testaments.  He also was closely involved in the translation of the Apocrypha for two Bible translation projects – the English Standard Version and the Common English Bible.

“Day of Atonement” is available through online booksellers like and 

Ashland Theological Seminary is a graduate division of Ashland University. With campuses in Ashland, Detroit, Cleveland and Columbus, Ashland Theological Seminary integrates theological education with Christ-centered transformation as it equips men and women for ministry in the church and the world.