Pericope: A Novel of an Adultress Examines the Impact of Grace in a World Ruled by Power and Wealth

Author Jeff Keene II and WordCrafts Press are celebrating the release of Keene’s debut Novel, Pericope: A Novel of an Adultress, which released on March 1, 2022, in hardback, trade paperback, and all major ebook formats. The novel, set in First Century Jerusalem, examines the plight of the unnamed woman caught in the act of adultery which sparked Jesus Christ’s culture-shattering response, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”

The story is resonating with readers with the novel impacting multiple Hot New Releases charts, including hitting Number 6 in the Religious Biblical Fiction category, Number 16 in Biblical Fiction, Number 18 in Religious Historical Fiction, Number 50 in Inspirational Religious Fiction, and Number 53 in the Ancient Historical Fiction category.

The novel ascribes the name, Pericope, to the unnamed woman caught in adultery as detailed in the New Testament Gospel of John. But Keene’s novel explores the unfortunate woman’s story both before and after that traumatic trial, creating a journey of faith that contemporary audiences can easily relate to.

“Simply put, the story paints a picture of salvation, forgiveness, sacrifice, and perseverance,” says author Jeff Keene II. “I think most Christians can remember what it felt like before they were saved. Making decisions without Jesus’ influence is something no believer ever wishes to experience again. But what happens to a Christian after salvation? Do all the struggles and tribulations fade away or cease immediately once you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Pericope’s trials actually worsen. Only through faith and an open-minded approach to problems with Jesus as her role model does she prevail.”

From the Novel

Pericope had reclined in this third story window every evening for the last week basking in the warm rays of the setting sun. Each time, the view teased at her lofty dreams to escape her reality. Much had taken place to lead her to this bedchamber. A bedchamber not her own.

She closed her eyes and breathed in the Holy Temple’s splendor. Brilliant light shining in every direction from its gilded spires emanated a unique glow fueling her hopes. The golden structure gleamed in the setting sun’s rays. It reinforced her understanding of why the Jews sincerely believed their god dwelled within the temple’s walls of stone.

She tore her gaze from that hallowed place. Guilt gnawed within her. Self-loathing banished her moment of peace. She knew what she was in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of God.

She was an adultress.

“Of all the characters in the Bible, few evoke as much empathy—and dare I say, pity—as the unnamed woman caught in the act of adultery,” says WordCrafts Press publisher, Mike Parker. “It is emotionally painful to picture the horrific situation she was in, and it is equally painful to imagine the words of Christ, ‘Let he who is without sin cast the first stone,’ because everyone knows in their hearts that we are also guilty; perhaps not of adultery, but of some other hidden transgression that is equally worthy of punishment. I’ve heard it said that when you give something a name, you give it a soul. That is certainly true of Jeff Keene’s marvelous novel, Pericope. Jeff not only gave this woman a name—he also gave her a soul and an unforgettable story.”

About the Author

Jeff Keene II holds degrees in biology, chemistry, and linguistics. His writing path began when his high school teacher assigned him the task of creating an original screenplay. Twenty-five years later, that screenplay was published as a short story in a Long Island newsletter. But the writing bug really began when developing a textual criticism about a New Testament story in a master’s level seminary course in 2012. Since then, Jeff has had the undying urge to write about unnamed characters in the Bible who’ve met Jesus.

He has served as a volunteer firefighter where he suffered a line-of-duty injury resulting in the loss of his right foot below- the-knee, worked on a NOAA research vessel for 17-days at sea, and even applied to the NASA Teacher in Space program. He currently serves as a public school teacher.

Jeff lives with his wife, Andria, in Central Florida. They have two adult children. Connect with Jeff online at: