Q&A with author Judy Salisbury
1) Talk about that moment when you felt led to write this book.
I was in my office having my quiet time and after reading Luke 24:27, I had this huge WOW! moment. And I truly felt the Lord leading me to accomplish the task. By the end of the day, it was confirmed to me in my heart that I better get started. That was January 31, 2008.
2) Who is the audience for The Conversation?
Jewish and Gentile folks who seek answers to Jesus’ identity, Christians, Messianic Jews, and anyone interested in knowing more about the life of Jesus.
3) Which character can you relate to the most, Cleopas or the Narrator?
I have to say I can relate to both on various levels. I identify with the Narrator in the area of his insecurities, and Cleopas in his pursuit for the truth, no matter how much it hurts.
4) Many people picture Jesus/Yeshua gently hugging the children or carrying a lamb but you’ve caused us, through this book, to focus on another aspect. Talk about that.
I think we forget what He endured, the opposition He faced from places that should have been his greatest support; such as the religious leaders, His own people who longed for the Messiah, His family and eventually his closest friends. I think it’s a powerful thing to consider what He knew He’d endure, and told us He’d endure, but did it anyway all for those who would embrace Him as the true Messiah, Redeemer of the World .
5) What are your hopes for The Conversation?
I pray it helps people to remember the time of His suffering which, until the “Passion of the Christ” came out in theaters, folks seemed to prefer to sweep under the carpet. I pray it brings believes to a place of gratitude and deeper devotion to Him; I pray it answers questions for those who seek to know Him; I pray it has an impact in leading many people to Jesus the Messiah. And even though those are hard things to talk about it is written in such a way that it is engaging and makes you want to continue reading.
6) What was the hardest thing about writing this book?
Making sure it was as accurate as it could be even though it is a fictional account. I tried not to put any more words into the Stranger’s mouth than was necessary to move the story along. And ultimately, I felt a great weight of responsibility on my shoulders for writing a fictional book with the Risen Lord as the main character.
7) The book is dedicated to a man named Clarence Nagel. Who was he?
Clarence was a family friend who I met less than six months before I founded Logos Presentations in 1994. He eventually came to live with us. He had a boldness to share Jesus that put me to shame. One of the last things he did before he died at 102 was to clutch the manuscript and petition the Lord for His blessing upon it.
8) How does this work differ from other things you’ve produced?
Everything I have produced before The Conversation I did because I saw a particular need and I simply filled the gap. However, The Conversation was not something I set out to do. It was truly an out-of-my-element, completely-over-my-head project where the only one who should get the glory is the centerpiece of it all, Yeshua our Lord.
9) How do you see believers using this resource?
The Conversation is an extremely powerful apologetic tool that I believe will excite them when they see just how many prophecies there are concerning His suffering, death, burial, and resurrection. Of the 80 footnotes in the book, only two are not Scripture references. The rest (78) represent about 200 passages for the reader to investigate for the validity. It is truly an awesome Easter story they can share as gifts for evangelism or to simply answer questions for themselves and others. This is the perfect gift for Jewish people because it answers actual objections many of them have.
Reviews of The Conversation
“This little book does a big thing. It takes the age-old truths of the prophetic accuracy of the Bible and communicates it in an appealing literary format. In so doing, it portrays one of the great apologetic tools of the Christian faith in an engaging and readable form.” -Dr. Norman L. Geisler, Distinguished Professor of Apologetics, Veritas Evangelical Seminary
“Fictional in the sense Salisbury embellishes on this verse, but nonfictional in that it accurately portrays in the form of a dialogue how exactly Jesus can be shown to be the Messiah…unique and engaging…” – The Christian Critic
“Fiction – sure, but compelling and poignant and real. Recommended for those who enjoy Bible studies, but also for those who question the relevance of the Old Testament for today.” – Title Trakk
"Judy's touching, sensitive, and creative retelling of the Emmaus road story stands in a class by itself. She handily employs theological insight by connecting the Old and New Testaments. This she does, not through bland exposition, but by unpacking its particulars, and by lacing her narrative with colorful and creative conversation."-Dr. Jeffrey L. Seif, formerly with Zola Levitt Ministries
“Well-organized chapters that would lend themselves to personal or small group study. Recommended.” – Christian Book Previews
“Well-written and quite possible accurate retelling of the conversation that took place in [Luke 24]…you will want to purchase multiple copies [to give away]…” – Christian Book Notes
“Unique and innovative weaving together of Old and New Testament prophecy with the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus…” – Christian News Northwest
“You feel as though you are the fourth person on the road to Emmaus, eavesdropping two steps behind the men, eager for more words.” – Phantom Tollbooth
“The Conversation is an excellent sketch of the sort of things that might have been said by Jesus and the two on the way to Emmaus after the Resurrection. It presents a good number of the prophetic passages that we have reason to believe were recognized as Messianic in the early church. It gives us a good feel for how Cleopas and his friend might have reacted to these things as ‘their hearts burned within them.’” -Dr. Robert C. Newman, Professor of New Testament, Biblical Theological Seminary, Director, Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute
“The Conversation is the most concise explanation of the Old Covenant foretelling Yeshua that I’ve ever read. It’s brilliant. I love it. In fact, the buildup was great and when I got to the why, I couldn’t put it down.” -Joan Phillips, Writer/Editor, The Christian and Missionary Alliance