Biblical References…the back story

On page 12, Marcus says:

And they were killed with their own names. From the Psalms. Beware your name, for it is the first venom. Revelations.”

I was intruguied as to where these came from, what was the exact scriptual reference and context. So I looked it up. Nothing but references to Flame Alphabet appeared in a google search, so I looked in the online Bible. And what a twist when I found out…these references don’t even exist!! Nada! I tried with only key words like kill and name, even used synonyms like poison instead of venom, changed the version from NIV to KJV (different Bible versions), and there was nowhere where there is any such grouping of those or similar words anywhere in any single sentance that vaguely resembled the lines above.

Then I remembered: Sam (the narrator) is Jewish! It might be in the Torah!


Then it hit me that not only is the Bible’s Old Testament all in the Torah anyway, Revelations, in the New Testament of the Bible, isn’t in the Torah, so Sam must have been referring to books in the Bible.

But Sam’s Jewish! Why would he know exact Biblical scriptures (even if they are fake)? Not that that matters, it’s not like he’s not allowed to read a Bible. But then, why would he (Sam) quote fake references? Why would Marcus make fake scripture, especially when so much relevant real scripture exists?

For example: James 3:8 NIV “but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison” or even better (and from a book he actually mentions) Revelation 6:8 NIV “It’s rider was named Death…they were given power over a fourth of the earth, to kill by sword, famine and plague…” IT EVEN USES PLAGUE!

So that’s a curious choice.


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  1. I have similar questions about some of the historical figures/writers cited — real names, but with fictional quotes. Also, he uses the real names of the founders of Reconstructionist Judaism, though the forest religion is clearly his own invention. It’s like the book takes place in a parallel universe. Is there a comment here on our desire for hard fact, even when we’re reading fiction? Or perhaps on the license or even the duty of fiction writers to *be* fiction writers?

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