Research is fun – if it’s in an area of study you love. I truly enjoyed nearly every graduate History class I took to get my Master’s at George Mason University, and nearly every class required a research paper. The grade on that paper usually ended up being your grade for the course. I was fortunate enough to get to do most of my research at the Library of Congress in downtown Washington, D.C.. I never ceased to be intimidated and impressed when I walked into that huge rotunda an picked out a desk to work at. I still tell people that it’s one of the most grand and impressive structures in all of America – maybe the world. That was back in the eighties, but I still love a fun journey into researching a subject.
For The Judas Sword, I actually did a great deal of research on the history of swords – both how they were made and how they were used. Since several different kinds of swords are mentioned in the story, I wanted to be accurate in how I described them. There is a dramatic difference in how swords were made, primarily depending on what materials were available to make them. Ancient Egyptian swords made of bronze, were shorter, shaped differently, and were less durable than swords made once iron and steel was being used. I plan to write more about that in later blogs, and maybe even do a video presentation about swords and swordsmanship. Angels have swords, and they use them to guard and protect what God tells them to guard and protect, and it was/is the weapon of warfare in the spirit realm where the angels of Darkness battle the angels of Light. So, swords were not an invention of my imagination, but rather came from the opening pages of the Bible.
I didn’t do a huge amount of research on angels – both good and bad – or spirit warfare. I relied on my own fifty years of biblical scholarship and my imagination’s ability to fill in the blanks. That’s why it’s fiction. Still, after studying three primary books to help me prepare lessons for my sermon series The Whisper of War, I have been very pleased with how completely my understanding and conclusion match with these sources. If you are interested in studying this books, here are the resources I used:
A Study of Angels, Edward P. Myers
Seeing the Unseen, Joe Beam
The Hum of Angels, Scot McKnight
I recommend all three. They each take a different perspective, so it’s really not a matter of repetition at all.