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The Singer Trilogy: The Mythic Retelling of the Story of the New Testament
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The Singer Trilogy: The Mythic Retelling of the Story of the New Testament

(Singer Trilogy)

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  567 ratings  ·  56 reviews
The Singer quickly became a favorite of evangelists, pastors, artists, students, teachers and readers of all sorts when it was originally published in 1975. Recounting the story of Christ through an allegorical and poetic narrative of a Singer whose Song could not be silenced, Miller's work reinvigorated Christian literature and offers believers and seekers everywhere a de ...more
Paperback, 494 pages
Published September 9th 1992 by IVP Books (first published January 1st 1977)
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4.32  · 
Rating details
 ·  567 ratings  ·  56 reviews

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Apr 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes fiction, poetry, and the New Testament combined
An amazing piece by Calvin miller, and one of my favorite books of all time. It is written entirely in poetry form with smaller poems and phrases as chapter introductions, for example "A god to big to walk in human shoes, has outgrow all hope of human use, and heavy skeptics weighed down with doubt can never rise to find what God's about" (or something really really close to that I'm going by memory) As for the separate books, each corresponds with a portion of the New Testament 'The Singer' - t ...more
Bethanny Moore
Nov 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Poetic. In seeing the New Testament retold, it made me think about aspects in a new light.
Re-read it several times, and memorized The Song from book 3. Great classic that should live on. Loved it.
Burgandy Ice
Apr 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Hugely quotable, thought-provoking.

It's a retelling of Jesus' life & ministry that connects to the Bible with poetic strings only. The Troubadour sings, fights, triumphs.

It's a hauntingly fast read that doesn't beg to be agreed with, just thought about. I love it.
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian, nonfiction
I want to read these yearly! They are deeply moving and superbly written 😁
Aug 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
yes religious, but i am an atheists and still found the poetry beautiful and the images moving. Wonderfully written story.
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Out of the three books in this collection, the second was definitely my favorite. Overall, this was a great read.
Apr 22, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
Part of my childhood God-indoctrination. And my lifelong love of fantastical stuff. And my junior high appreciation of overwrought poetry. I can't decide if it's really wrong or really fabulous that those three things all go together.
Jaymie Starr
Jan 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I used to own this beautiful Trilogy and lent it to a friend only to have it never returned. I forgot how much I loved it and would like to read it again one day. A precious picture of God's redeeming love.
Grace T
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely beautiful writing. I'd read the second book during a class last fall, and getting to reread it in context was great. There may be a few theological issues, but those mainly stem from the difficulties of applying allegory to the Incarnation. And I was bugged a tiiiiiny bit by some approximate rhyming here and there. But otherwise, I really enjoyed this.
Aristae Henricus
Jun 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
An interesting take on the New Testament, it covers from Jesus' ministry and Crucifixion through Acts, to Revelations. The entire book is told in poem-form and there are neat little sayings at the beginning of each section.
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
This takes a while to get into, but once you get the hang of it (allegory), it is intriguingly fresh. It portrays the life of Christ, the early church, and the end of the world, using very different terminology in order to re-express a well known story in a new way.
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Allegory, poetry are not my usual reading material so l found this work difficult at times. But I can still recognize a good story and this, like Dante and Bunyan, is great, maybe not to quite that degree of greatness. Still, it was fun reading his reimagining of Bible stories, easily recognizable.
Rainey Turlington
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Definitely the kind of book that you have to read more than once in order to catch all of the significance and meaning. What I enjoyed most was the way a single turn of phrase would cause me to stop and reconsider my perspective on an element of the Gospel story I thought I was already quite familiar with. For example, when writing of God's decision to enter the world as a man, Miller used the expression, "the Great Reduction has begun." That's fascinating to me, for so often I have struggled to ...more
Jennifer Johnson
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a book that I read multiple times as a teenager! It is one of those wonderful books that becomes real. The images draw you into a deeper understanding of the beauty of the Gospel message.
Jay Budzilowski
Mar 22, 2018 rated it liked it
I definitely see the beauty of Miller's artistry, but I just don't find myself enjoying it.
Geoff Bretches
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Love this trilogy. Very deep, enjoyable, and stirring.
Jun 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderfully entertaining and easy read, infused with the most beautiful prose. You will definitely enjoy this and are well advised to read it.

The singsong rhythm and mythic character of this work imbibes it with a fairy tale quality; and yet the underlying message is solidified within a latent, but primary truth. The underlying truth is that the essence of “wrong” will eventually be repudiated.

As a result of reading this marvelous work, it occurs to me that a story does not have to be
Carrie Ann
Nov 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Meredith Burton
Jan 08, 2010 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who hungers for truth.
No words can describe this magnificent allegory. Calvin Miller examines the life of Christ and the proclamation of His glorious Good News in a vibrant and unforgettable way. I cried and was filled with absolute wonder!
The Singer, son of Earth Maker, is sent on a mission to teach "The Song of Love" to a people held captive by World Hater, The Singer's ultimate enemy. I know this brief synopsis does not sound promising, but believe me, Miller's eloquent poetic use of language far surpasses my palt
Gwen Shipley
Dec 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Gwen by: Beth
LOVED it! Was immediately captured by the poetic language and use of imagery. The Trilogy contains three separate works in one, and I confess that a few pages into the second section, The Song, I was tiring of what was beginning to seem like reaching for what would match the dynamic impact of the first, The Singer, thus 4 stars. Nonetheless, I persevered, and the drama of the third section, The Finale, was the reward. In fairness, the material in The Song is inherently darker, and therefore refl ...more
Jun 05, 2016 rated it liked it
The first narrative in Calvin Miller's trilogy is a masterful retelling of a story both cosmic and quaint, a poetic allegory with themes of incarnation and redemption. Impossible to put down, it powerfully engages the mind, heart, and soul, from the quirky and cryptic sayings at the start of each chapter to the compelling rhythms of stanza and verse. Every page of this enchanting tale stirs the emotions with the compassionate love of the Singer and the deceitful venom of the World Hater.

The tril
Rebekah Hart
Feb 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. It was poetic and broken up into short chapters which set it appart from any other book I've read. The one thing that I did not appreciate was that "the Singer," the representation of Christ, didn't realize who he was until right before his ministry began.
Throughout the book one person often represented many, such as just one disciple. The book covered Jesus' life and death, the start of the church, and Revelations. All in all, it was an enjoyable read and I would re
Sep 16, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This triligy religious historical fiction. Miller uses them to re-tell New Testament events including the mystery of Jesus and the making of the early church. It is with a lot of prose. I read them MANY years ago and remember that I wanted to read the whole series. I will have to re-read them again to get a better feel for the style and content.
Rebekah Gordon
May 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This poetic retelling of the Christian New Testament is best experienced while reading aloud. Calvin Miller uses the analogy of musicians for disciples and song for gospel - using stunning turns of phrase and reframing Biblical stories into a more artistic context. Wonderful meter and unique in format, The Singer Trilogy is one of the only decent epic poems of the modern era.
Apr 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
As a teenager I found this fantastical retelling of the christian gospel an enjoyable read. The storytelling device used by the author is that of presenting the tale in free verse form. Now before you get your hackles up, at least take a look at it. Of course as a devotion filled teen I probably overlooked much that may have been wrong with these books. Even then I would still recommend them.
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Miller's poetic language is captivating and enveloping. I do not think I have ever been so enamored with the language of a story than I was with that oft his trilogy. As a Christian, I was deeply moved by allegory. I highly recommend this series for anyone seeking to know the heart of God more or for anyone who loves poetry.
Jeffrey Williams
Mar 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literature
If you like C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien AND you love poetry, this is the trilogy for you. It isn't long but the story is fascinating. Miller uses his own voice to tell an inspiring tale. This is a must read if you enjoy poetry.
Anthony Risson
Apr 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Very engaging re-telling of the God-story as witnessed by the various gospels. The rhythm and energy of the book is very appealing, and the specific mention of the characters, (eg. Madman, Little Girl, Earthmaker, World Hater, Grand Musician, Miller) give a fresh perspective on gospel.
Nov 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Some people love the Christ but won't step foot in a church. My only disappointment in this one was the fact that the author is a minister of some sort. Still it is "New Age Christianity" at its best. The gospels in fairy tale form.
David Edgren
Apr 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This trilogy is responsible for both a spiritual and relational turning point in my life. My girlfriend and I read this book to eachother - alternatively reading each chapter aloud - and became husband and wife!
The Singer Trilogy is truly inspired.
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Calvin Miller has written over 40 books of popular theology and inspiration. A former pastor, he is professor of preaching and pastoral ministry at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama. He and his wife, Joyce, have two grown children.

Other books in the series

Singer Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Singer
  • The Song
  • The Finale
“Hate sometimes stands quite close to love. God too stands often near to evil—like silent chessmen—side by side. Only the color of the squares is different.” 0 likes
“To God obscenity is not uncovered flesh. It is exposed intention. Nakedness is just a state of heart.” 0 likes
More quotes…