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What if something we’ve always assumed turned out to be incorrect? Latayne Scott’s new novel, A Conspiracy of Breath, challenges a common conclusion about the book of Hebrews. Whether this is accurate or not, it just may challenge you to dig into your Bible and your faith! Before we visit with Latayne, let’s take a quick look at the story.
In a critically-acclaimed, controversial and provocative literary work, award-winning author Latayne C. Scott examines: What would it have been like to be a woman, a Gentile, and someone onto whom the Holy Breath moved — to produce what became the mysterious Epistle to the Hebrews in the Bible?
“This book changed me, deepened my love for The Breath, and swelled my appreciation for those who sacrificed so much to ensure people like me…could turn the parchment pages and read Truth for ourselves. I didn’t want to leave this story and fear Latayne has spoiled me as a reader. That’s how thoroughly it captivated my heart and rearranged my definition of elegant and life-altering storytelling.” Cynthia Ruchti, Golden Scroll-winning author of A Fragile Hope and Song of Silence.
You can purchase a copy of A Conspiracy of Breath here:
Welcome, Latayne! What an intriguing premise… What inspired you to write A Conspiracy of Breath?
I had heard for years that there was a great mystery about who wrote the Epistle to the Hebrews in the Bible. Some people suggested it could have been a woman. When I began looking for more information, I found that several scholars have persuasive reasons for the idea that Priscilla, the wife of Aquila, and co-worker with Paul, was that woman. I began to wonder what it might feel like for a woman to feel the breath of the Holy Spirit, and to receive revelation in the way that Peter and John and others did.
It’s always interesting to try to imagine what life would have been like for various people in the Bible, especially those we don’t know much about. Who is your favorite secondary character in this story?
I love the character of Cordelia. For most of her adult life, she carries inside her a fully formed fetus that has calcified (a lithopedion or so-called “stone baby,” a medical phenomenon that happens even today.) The child does not come to light, so to speak, until Cordelia dies; and in a similar manner, the writing of the book of Hebrews is a mystery that does not come to light until much later.
Wow. I’ve never heard of such a thing! Did you do any traveling for research? If so, could you tell us about it?
One of the great blessings of my life was a research trip to Israel and Jordan. On that trip, I was part of one of the first groups of people to go through the recently-excavated sewers of Jerusalem. When that city was sacked by the Romans in AD 70, many of the wealthy Jews of the city loaded themselves up with jewels and coins and tried to escape through the sewers. Roman soldiers were there to meet them – a very sad story that seems to seep from the moss-covered walls. Here is a photo I took of some men who were walking ahead of me in the cramped sewer.
Can you imagine trying to escape through those tight quarters?! If you could live during the time period of your novel, would you? Why or why not?
No, I’d just like to visit. I’m not sure I have the kind of courage that it took to be a first-century Christian. We owe them so much for the way they preserved the Gospel; all the writings about Jesus. Even though they were the most-favored generation of all time – to live when Jesus did—it seems to me that they suffered more than any other generation.
They certainly did not have it easy! Would you tell us about something crazy that you’ve done or would love to do?
Well, I’m a climber. I’ve backpacked up to the three highest peaks in New Mexico; and once on a trip to Cuba I climbed up a reeeeeeaaaaally high ladder to a US military guard tower that allowed me to look, through binoculars, at the Cuban guard who was looking at me through his binoculars.
How funny! But yes, I would count climbing really high ladders as pretty crazy. 😉 What accomplishment means the most to you?
My husband and I raised two children who are faithful Christians, married to faithful Christians, and are raising their children in the Lord.
Praise the Lord for that! Thanks for taking the time to visit with us today, Latayne!
Your turn! Would you want to live during the first century, with the early Christians?
More about Latayne:
Latayne C. Scott writes controversial books. Her newest one, the critically acclaimed A Conspiracy of Breath, is based on the scholarly theory that a woman wrote part of the Bible. She has won awards for her writing, including from Pepperdine University, its “Distinguished Service Award.” Her first book, The Mormon Mirage–also controversial– has stayed in print almost continuously for almost 40 years. She has nearly two dozen other published books.
One notable recent book is about the discovery of the ancient Biblical city of Sodom (Discovering the City of Sodom.) Her first novel is a murder mystery revolving around a code developed by the early Mormon church. Both are…. controversial.
She’s also won a national award for humor. Her kids say she’s not so funny, but she just holds up the prize check.
With her sole-authored theological books, she is patron-supported and publishes those books exclusively with TSU Press.
You can connect with Latayne online:
A Conspiracy of Breath Giveaway:
Latayne has generously offered to give away two copies of A Conspiracy of Breath: one print and one e-copy. The print copy is available to US residents only; the e-copy is available internationally. Giveaways are subject to the Giveaway Policy.