Six Giant Assassins.
Goliath Was Only the First.
LOS ANGELES, CA (EPP) - Brian Godawa, the award-winning screenwriter of To End All Wars, has written a new saga of Biblical fantasy novels called Chronicles of the Nephilim. All of the books have reached category bestseller status on Amazon. The seventh book in the saga is now available in paperback and on Kindle: David Ascendant.
Everyone knows the story of David. No one has heard it told this way before.
In the days of Samuel the Seer, the Philistines are at the climax of a long war with Israel over the land of Canaan. There are still giants in Philistia left from Joshua’s search and destroy mission of holy war generations earlier. Their numbers have grown.
The young Philistine giant warrior Goliath steals the sacred ark of the covenant from Israel. But Yahweh’s curse upon Goliath’s people for that deed sets in motion an obsession of revenge that ends in the Philistine creating a special squad of giants, The Sons of Rapha, whose sole ambition is to kill the promised messiah king of Israel.
The only problem is, Israel’s King Saul is not that chosen one, because he is possessed by the evil spirit of an ancient malevolent ruler who seeks to kill that same spiritually anointed king.
They both discover it is David, son of Jesse, a young insignificant shepherd musician who woos the girls, and who miraculously slays Goliath in a battle contest. But now David is running for his life from both family and foe, gathering outlaws as allies, and eventually hiding in the one place no one would ever dream of: Goliath’s home town, the Philistine city of Gath.
With David in the Serpent’s lair, the queen of Gath trying to seduce him, King Saul and the Philistine giants trying to assassinate him, and his three wives all vying for his attention, this gritty romantic action adventure story will take you places in the Bible you’ve never seen before.
You think you know how it ends. But there is so much more to the story than you ever realized.
Talking Points for David Ascendant:
• David’s story through new eyes that captures his spiritual zeal for God, but his passionate earthiness and nature as a man of bloodshed who also had a weakness for women.
• The first novel about David that focuses on six giants described in the Bible as hunting David, and the strange hybrid warriors the Bible calls, Lion Men of Moab.
• A Biblical epic that uses the fantasy genre to express theological truth. Just like Lewis and Tolkien did.
• Maintains respect for the Biblical text, while filling in gaps with Biblical imagination.
• An appendix that provides the interesting Biblical and ancient Near Eastern research behind the imagination in the novel.
Online Press Materials for David Ascendant:
Amazon.com Link Kindle:
Amazon.com Link Paperback:
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Brian Godawa has been a professional filmmaker, writer, and visual artist for many years. His creative versatility was born of a passion for both intellect and imagination, both left-brain and right-brain. The result: Brian is an artisan of word, image, and story that engages heart, mind, and soul. Just think, “Renaissance Man.”
He is the screenwriter for the award-winning feature film, To End All Wars, starring Kiefer Sutherland, and Alleged, starring Brian Dennehy as Clarence Darrow along with Fred Thompson as William Jennings Bryan. Previously Brian adapted to film the best-selling supernatural thriller novel The Visitation by author Frank Peretti for Ralph Winter (X-Men, Planet of the Apes), and wrote and directed several documentaries, including Wall of Separation for PBS.
Brian’s scripts have won multiple awards, and his articles on movies and philosophy have been published around the world. He has traveled around the United States teaching on movies, worldviews, and culture to colleges, churches, and community groups.
His popular book, Hollywood Worldviews: Watching Films with Wisdom and Discernment has been released in a revised edition from InterVarsity Press and is used as a textbook in schools around the country. His book Word Pictures: Knowing God Through Story and Imagination (IVP) addresses the power of image and story in the pages of the Bible to transform the Christian life.
His main website is www.godawa.com.
Check out the trailer and other goodies for Enoch Primordial and Chronicles of the Nephilim at:
Pictures are linked to high resolution files. Click on Image to download high resolution version.
2014 David Ascendant, Embedded Pictures Publishing, novel.
2013 Caleb Vigilant, Embedded Pictures Publishing, novel.
2013 Joshua Valient, Embedded Pictures Publishing, novel.
2013 Abraham Allegiant, Embedded Pictures Publishing, novel.
2012 Gilgamesh Immortal, Embedded Pictures Publishing, novel.
2012 Enoch Primordial, Embedded Pictures Publishing, novel.
2011 Noah Primeval, Embedded Pictures Publishing, novel.
2010 Omnibus V: The Medieval World, Veritas Press, published chapter,
“History of Dramatic Arts.”
2009 Word Pictures, Intervarsity Press, published book.
Hollywood Worldviews, Intervarsity Press, published book, revised edition.
Apologetics for a New Generation, Harvest House, Ed. Sean McDowell, published chapter “Storytelling and Persuasion.”
2002 Hollywood Worldviews, Intervarsity Press, published book.
2002 The Christian Imagination, Shaw, Ed. Leland Ryken, published chapter, “Redemption in the Movies.”
2011 BioLogos Foundation, BioLogos.org. Contributing writer.
1995-2011 CRI Journal, Charlotte, NC, Contributing writer.
Scr(i)pt magazine, Los Angeles, IL, published articles.
Sacerdos magazine, Rome, Italy, published articles.
samizdat.com, French online magazine, published articles.
Reformation in Poland, Poland, published article.
SCP Journal, Berkeley, CA, published articles.
Cornerstone magazine, Chicago, IL, published articles.
Center for Cultural Leadership, LaGrange, CA, published articles.
razormouth.com, online magazine, published articles.
Rutherford Institute Magazine, Charlottesville, VA, published article.
2008 Change Your Life (Feature) - Screenplay.
Transcendental Media, Long Beach, CA
Choices You Can Live
With (Promo video) – Screenplay & Direction.
Westside Pregnancy Clinic, Los Angeles, CA
2005 The Visitation (Feature) – Screenplay.
Namesake Entertainment, PeeWee Valley, KY.
2002 To End All Wars (Feature) – Screenplay.
Argyll Film Partners, Culver City, CA.
2011 – Best
Narrative Feature, Audience Choice Award, FreedomFest
Best Michigan Film Award, Flint Film Festival
Best Narrative Feature, Made-in Michigan Film Festival
Wall of Separation
2007 – Nominated, Silver Gavel Award, American Bar Association.
Cruel Logic (Short)
2008 – Emerging Cinematographer Award – International Cinematographers Guild
2005 – Official Selection: Dusk Till Dawn Fest, Golden Star Shorts Film Fest, Great Lakes Indie Film Fest, Shriekfest, Bluegrass Indie Film Fest.
To End All Wars
2003 – Showcase selection, Cinema for Peace, Cannes Film Festival
2002 – Grand Prize Best Picture Crystal Heart Award, Heartland Film Festival
Commander in Chief Medal of Service, Honor & Pride, Veterans of Foreign Wars
Picture of the Year, Santa Barbara Film Festival
Played in 13 Film Festivals, being given either opening or closing position.
Our story opens in the heart of Philistia, where we first meet the young giant warrior Goliath of Gath. In a daring raid during a battle with Israel, Goliath steals the ark of the covenant and becomes famous for it. But when Yahweh of Israel curses the Philistines, Goliath is inspired by the Philistine gods, Dagon, Ba’alzebul and Asherah to create a secret guild of giant warriors called the Sons of Rapha, who are dedicated to the annihilation of Israel and her god. Here we meet Goliath’s brother, Lahmi and other Philistine giants spoken of in the Bible, as well as a young Ittai the Gittite, destined for Israel but haunted by a Philistine secret.
Flash forward a generation and we meet King Saul, rejected by God and his prophet Samuel the Seer. Because God will not speak to him anymore, Saul seeks out the spirit of the mightiest ruler of the ancient world who possesses him with his fury and secret agenda.
Then we meet David, a young Israelite shepherd, who loves to play music and woo the girls. But he also is a capable fighter against lions and bears. When he is surprisedly anointed by Samuel the Seer, he begins his long journey of self-discovery that will lead to his ultimate kingship.
But first, he must defeat Goliath, go on the run from King Saul’s murderous rage, and gather his allies, a bunch of discontented outlaws that ends up including the strange hybrid warriors called the Lion Men of Moab. These become David’s Mighty Men, the Gibborim.
The Sons of Rapha, now led by the dead Goliath’s brother, Lahmi, discover David is the Chosen One. They embark on a murderous goal to assassinate David. With both King Saul and the Sons of Rapha hunting him down, David goes the one place no one would expect him to hide out: the hometown of Goliath, the city of Gath.
Achish, the king of Gath sees David as an ally in his own war against Saul. So he protects David from his Sons of Rapha, and employs him to kill Jews in the desert. But David has other plans and deceives the Philistines. Meanwhile, his three wives, Michal, Abigail and Ahinoam, all fight for his attention, while the Queen of Gath tries to seduce him.
When Saul is finally killed in battle, David becomes king of Judah and everyone turns on him. Achish, the Philistines, the Giant Sons of Rapha, and the gods of the Philistines now line up for a climactic battle in the Valley of the Rephaim to kill the Chosen Seed once and for all.
The War of the Seed continues with the Philistine giants vs. the Messiah King of Israel.
Chronicles of the Nephilim is written in the mythic genre of The Lord of the Rings and Narnia, blending fantasy and mythopoeia with history to retell the Biblical narrative with a fresh perspective, while staying true to the original spirit of the story.
A: David Ascendant is a fresh new take on the story of David from the Bible. Everyone knows his story because it is the most detailed personal narrative in the Bible. Of course, everyone knows about Goliath the giant from Gath, who is so famous, people tend to think he is the only giant in Scripture!
But what some Bible readers may not know is that 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles* speak of a guild of warriors called the “Yalid ha Rapha” or Sons of Rapha that were giants who were also trying to hunt down David and kill him. Five of them are listed, such as Goliath’s brother Lahmi, Saph, and Ishbi ben Ob. These giants in Philistia were the descendants of those left alive by Joshua when he hunted the giants in Canaan during the Conquest. This is the penultimate show down between the Seed of the Serpent (The Nephilim giants) and the Seed of Abraham.
I wanted to tell the story of these five giants and their agenda of revenge against Israel as they sought to assassinate God’s Chosen One. I explore their Philistine world of Gath, along with the king of Gath who would become an ally of David. But I also explore the notion of Philistine converts to Israel with the romantic and tragic story of Ittai the Gittite, David’s most loyal Philistine follower.
Of course, the hero is David, so I tell his story of going from shepherd to hero to outlaw to king. He is chased by King Saul, falls in love with two wives, Michal and Abigail, gathers his Mighty Men, and hides out amongst the Philistines at Gath.
This is a tale of spirituality, sensuality and bloodshed during a very brutal and violent era in the history of Israel. David was a “man after God’s own heart,” but he was also a sinner, a man of much bloodshed with a weakness for women. I tell his story with that brutal honesty and moral complication, without losing sight of the holiness and redemption of Israel’s God, Yahweh.
* 2 Samuel 21:16-22; 1 Chronicles 20:4-8; 11:10-14 and 20-25
A: What makes David Ascendant so unique is that it deals with the part of David’s story that centers around the giants who sought to assassinate David, something we haven’t really been taught in Sunday School. The series Chronicles of the Nephilim focuses on the storyline in the Bible pertaining to the giants and the Watchers as the Seed of the Serpent at war with the Seed of Abraham. This next part of that storyline shows how the Messiah King of Israel finished off the giants that Joshua failed to wipe out.
Not only do I tell the story of David, the passionate sinner and saint, but I try to explore the inner world of his enemies, the Philistines and the giants. These are not cardboard cut out villains, they are complex fascinating and tragic human beings (and Nephilim).
A: In David
Ascendant, I have done what I have done in the previous Chronicles; I have
taken some supernatural elements such as the Watchers as territorial powers
over nations as speculative references to demonic reality behind pagan gods
such as Dagon, Asherah and Ba’al.
I am writing theological novels that show the true spiritual reality behind the outer world.
But also, most main characters in my stories are based on Biblical references. The Bible may not say much about characters like Ittai the Gittite or Lahmi, brother of Goliath, so I try to fill their stories with fiction that is consistent with what we do know from the text.
I also play with some of the more fantastic elements of the Bible that we are afraid to deal with. For instance, the Bible talks about these mysterious warriors call Lion Men of Moab. The text hints at the possibility that there is more to these creatures than mere metaphor of “fighting like lions.” Rather, they may have been hybrid “werelions” similar to werewolves. So I embrace that Biblical possibility and tell my story with these creatures, two of which tried to kill David ( 2 Samuel 23:20)
Everything I write in the novels is based on research, including the actual evil that Canaanites were engaged in. The stories are told between the lines of the sacred text, but never against it. Everything fits with the Biblical stories and facts that we do know and doesn’t contradict them. My goal is to make the Biblical stories come alive in a fresh new way that reveals spiritual truths that Christians may have missed, just as I had missed before I discovered this storyline in the Bible. If anything they will make people want to learn more about the Biblical stories because they are so fascinating.
A: The next novel in the series will be Jesus Triumphant. Believe it or not, there are some vestiges of this “War of the Seed” that are not completed until Christ comes as the final Victor over the dark forces that began before the Flood. You will not believe the rest of the story, but it is all based on the Bible, and it centers around Christ’s descent into hell or the underworld. Suffice it to say that when it comes to spiritual warfare, Jesus was no pacifist.
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