Where can I find the story of Ben-hur in the Bible?

I always remember the great film Ben-Hur as a kid and it is supposedly from a character in the bible. I was wondering what book in the old testament tells the story of Ben-Hur like in the movie. I started readings the book of kings and found him mentioned in 1kings 4:8 as one of the twelve govenors during king Solomons reign. What about the story of his whole life like we see in the movie, is that in the bible at all or was that all entirely made up?

It was “made up”…it was a novel written by Lew Wallace in 1880., “Ben Hur, a Tale of the Christ.”

It may be one of the best historical fictions around, but it is still fiction.

Entirely made up.


The story, and I agree that it is great, is set at the time of and after Jesus, so the quote from Kings cannot apply.

Lew Wallace was a Union general during the American Civil War and he wrote Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ after the War. The book has never been out of print since 1880 and is a simply wonderful novel. The novel is far better than the movie although I rank the 1959 movie as my favorite movie of all time.

You talking about the Bible or Ben Hur

Ben-Hur. The Bible has some areas where its a bit more poetry than straight facts, but on the whole I think its a darn good history book.

Perhaps it would be misleading to say it’s in the Book of Jebediah :slight_smile:

This is how traditions - such as that of trusting to the Protevangelium of James as an historical source - begin; the PoJ (& other NT Apocrypha) are no more historical,though much older, than this story. What are the odds that by 3000 AD this book, “The Robe” & “Quo Vadis” are all going to be treated as reliable historical texts ? :eek:

Maybe the distinction between fact & fiction is really not important - if people think that Ben Hur in the story was a real person, does that make any kind of difference that other confusions of fact with fiction don’t make ? All sorts of things that people “know” turn out to be fictional, not factual - but if fictions about King Arthur, or about the visit of the Child Jesus to Britain, don’t do any harm, why should other fictions be any more dangerous ?

To all disbelievers in any named religion, that religion is in effect a fiction: no people are Muslim - except for Muslims: & the same goes for all religions. So truth in religion does not seem to be very important, any more than it is important for history. Truth is what we believe to be true; nothing else. The social effects & ill-effects of belief or unbelief are the same for a society whether a religion is true or false, because beliefs in its truth or falsity are held in all societies that profess more than one religion.

It’s an idea, but most people I know want to better understand truth. There are many perks to a society that religion can provide regardless of how much or little of it is true (I’m a big star wars fan). However there are many things which matter a great deal whither it is true or not. To some people now Moses parting the red sea can be fact or fiction and who cares, but if you where an Israelite in that time Moses being a prophet with God’s power would be a very important thing.

The story of Ben-Hur is not in the Bible. It was a fictional book that was turned into a movie.

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