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This study edition is specially designed to help persons in prison prepare for freedom and get parole. It is based on the short-story collection Manna Stories. These are old stories about lives made new. A man whose young son tragically suffers. A woman under the death penalty for a crime she didn't commit. A hard-luck lawyer. A woman facing death for adultery. A rich young man who can't sleep for worrying. A man healed long ago, who must now give his testimony to the Roman general who has shattered Jerusalem. These stories are based on the New Testament Gospels. They reverently imagine the lives of people we meet briefly in the Gospels, before and after these people met Jesus. They imagine that meeting with Jesus in more detail. This study-edition is designed for use by persons in prisons. Each of the twelve stories has study-questions. The book also contains a glossary and an appendix of passages from the New Testament that the stories are composed from. There are two essays in this edition that the regular edition does not have. One is an essay intended to make essay-writing easier. The other is an essay with suggestions to increase a person's chances of winning parole. A fundamental idea of Manna Stories is that the Bible is dramatic, interesting, relevant, useful, and life-changing - life-changing like the meetings with Jesus described in the New Testament and re-told in this book. Manna Stories follows the tradition of books like "Barabbus" by Par Lagerkvist, which imagines the back-story and the subsequent life of the robber who was freed from his death sentence when Jesus was crucified instead.
The author has been a believer since he was young. He lives in Southern California. This study edition of "Manna Stories" was influenced by the author's former work as a lawyer for persons serving life-sentences, who were trying to win a chance to leave prison on parole. He saw the value of books like this one from his labors behind prison walls, from talking with his clients, and from doing parole hearings. B.Z. Eliphaz is a pen-name.