Baptist History Homepage
How Did General Lew Wallace Come to Write "Ben Hur"?
The Christian Repository, 1889

      The origin of the famous book, "Ben Hur," is said to be as follows: "Before and for some time after the American Civil War, General Lew Wallace was inclined to be skeptical, especially as to the divinity of Christ. He happened to meet the notorious [Robert G.] Ingersoll, when the conversation turned on religious topics, and the infidel presented his views. Wallace listened, but finally remarked that he was not prepared to agree with Ingersoll as to the non-divinity of Christ. Ingersoll urged Wallace to give the matter the careful study that he had, expressing confidence that after so doing, he would fully acquiesce in his own view. Wallace determined to give the subject thorough investigation, and for six years he thought, studied, and searched. At the end of that time, this is his own testimony: "I am absolutely convinced that Jesus of Nazareth was not only a Christ and the Christ, but He was my Christ, my Savior, my Redeemer. That fact settled in my mind, I wrote Ben Hur.'"


[From S. H. Ford, editor, The Christian Repository, 1899, p. 471; via the University of Wisconsin – Madison, digitized documents. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

More on Various Baptist Subjects
Baptist History Homepage