Nikola Dimitrov is a FaithWriters member and ministry leader in Bulgaria who has a book available in the FaithWriters book store (where it is part of FaithWriters’ free reads for reviews program) and on Amazon that allows you to look at the life of Jesus chronologically. Read on to learn more about his book, his process, his family, and his ministry.

Joanne Sher: Thanks for being willing to be interviewed, Nikola. Tell us a bit about how you got into writing. Is it something you have always wanted to do, or did it come about later in life?

Nikola Dimitrov: Hey, thank you for this opportunity and Happy Holidays!nikola-3

I love writing and I have been doing it since a very young age, even before I became a believer. After I got saved, I wanted to surrender to the Lord the gift He had given me, and use it to His glory alone. So, during the twenty-two years of my full-time ministry, I’ve written, translated, edited and published more than fifty books altogether. It’s my passion. If I have to dictate my thoughts for a book or a letter, it would be much harder, but as soon as I sit down in front of a computer or start writing in a notebook, the words just pour out of my mind and through my fingers without any hesitation or difficulty. Sometimes I can write as many as 100 emails a day, all to different people, explaining completely diverse Biblical topics and it is an absolute joy and pleasure – no pressure, no stress, no hard work.

Joanne: Wow – your writing is certainly a gift! Tell us a bit about your latest book, The Four-In-One Gospel of Jesus. What motivated you to write/compile it? How long did it take? What kind of reception have you gotten?

Nikola: The idea to make a chronological and contextual story of the life of Jesus, using ONLY the Bible text itself, came to me almost immediately after I got saved and read the Gospels. I knew that each Gospel had a specific purpose, as every other word in the Bible, but I also thought that it would be a good idea for both Christians and unbelievers to read material like this. It does not add to or take away from the Bible text itself: it presents the life of the Greatest Person Who ever lived in a way that is easy to read and follow, without repetitions and yet without missing any detail. It can be used as an evangelistic tool, because I doubt any unbeliever would read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John one after the other, while The Four in One Gospel of Jesus has it all and can be read like a novel.

Please allow me to provide an example, which I always give and which reveals the uniqueness of this project:

The Gospel of Matthew says that Jesus touched the hand of Simon Peter’s mother-in-law, and the fever left her (8:15). In Mark’s Gospel, it is written that Jesus took Simon Peter’s mother-in-law by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her (1:31). Luke says that Jesus stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her (4:39).

Book coverSee how the fact that the fever left Peter’s mother-in-law is the same, while each Gospel writer adds a new element to the “process” of her healing and thus to the whole picture? In The Four in One Gospel of Jesus, this passage looks something like this: “Jesus came, stood over her, rebuked the fever, took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her”. So, we get the complete picture by adding and mixing all the words and details that are unique in each of the four Gospels, thus providing the full story without missing a word from the gospels, and without adding anything from ourselves to the Bible text. When the chronology is applied to the whole story of the life of Jesus, The Four in One Gospel of JESUS emerges.

It took me about eight years and two professional teams of editors, both in Bulgaria and the USA, to finish this project. It’s not so difficult to do, because it’s a mathematical thing, actually, but it is very time consuming to compile the story without missing any word, dot or comma from the Bible text and, at the same time, removing all repetitions.

Since I am from Bulgaria and am not in the USA, where the main market for English books is, I can’t really do much to promote the book, so I can only speak about the response from people who have read the book. I have spoken personally to the directors of some of the biggest Christian publishers in USA and they have all confirmed that there is no such material on the market. The people that have read the book love it and I receive lots of comments, encouragements and letters, but again, the response is much less than I would like it to be.

Joanne: Hopefully, that will change soon – God willing. 🙂 What was your process in getting it published? What different mediums did you consider? What made you decide on what you did?

Nikola: Since I am not residing in the USA, my online attempts to get published by a mainline publisher failed, so I self published with Amazon’s Print on Demand arm – Book Surge. It is the easiest and most inexpensive way (it actually costs nothing), but the marketing was left to myself. So, I have promoted the book in all social media outlets, and have written to all major and not so major Christian bookstores, libraries, Bible schools, churches, magazines, newspapers, radio shows and TV shows. Again, the result is definitely not what I would like it to be, but, everybody knows self publishing is super tough and nobody said it would be easy. So, again, I am very thankful for the opportunity to be interviewed by you for FaithWriters. I feel honored, so thank you very much!

Joanne: You are very welcome – thanks for sharing your process! Tell us a bit about yourself and your ministry.nikola and family

Nikola: I am married to my beautiful wife, Helen. We have two girls, Anna (15) and Mikaela (13). I am more than grateful to the Lord about my family. My whole extended family has been saved due to our testimony, including our parents and even my grandparents, who are still alive and well at respectively 95 and 93.

My wife and I got saved in 1992. We entered a full time ministry right away and have been teaching, preaching, writing, traveling, translating and publishing key Christian materials for the Bulgarian church. Bulgaria had the unfortunate destiny to be under Turkish slavery for over 500 years and  under Communism for more than 45 years right after that. So, the church in Bulgaria is very young and inexperienced, and in need of spiritual knowledge concerning prayer, intercession, praise and worship, leadership, faith, gifts of the Spirit, fruit of the Spirit and basically everything. That’s where we believe we fit in, by surrendering our time and energy and skills to provide the necessary materials and to teach them ourselves. We also try to help the less fortunate and work with children and youth from the minorities. A large part of everything that comes our way, in the financial area, goes to these venues. Bulgaria is the poorest nation in Europe, so we have a lot of people in need of help.

Right now we are in the process of starting a new church and already have a few people to work with, who are hungry and thirsty for God and His Word, which, I believe, is of utmost importance.

Joanne: What is next for you writing-wise? Are you working on anything else?

Nikola: Right now I am more in translating mode, as I found some very key materials which I believe the Church in Bulgaria needs, because we have no idea of our Christian history. Bulgaria is an Orthodox nation, which further deepens the problem, because Orthodoxy itself, though it started out perfectly in history, now is nothing but heathen rituals and practices that have nothing to do with Christianity. So, I am translating a very thick book (almost 1000 pages), about Church history in a practical application, dealing with every major contributor since the days of the early apostles, till today. What they did, how they did it, why they did it, how they fought against the heresies, etc. Beautiful read. I will be working on it at least for a year, so I have no immediate plans to write something myself.

Joanne: Sounds like a huge, but very worthwhile, project! Where can folks connect with you? Where can they purchase your book?

Nikola: That would be the easiest question

We have a website: http://www.life-of-jesus.org

We have a YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/LifeofJesusWebsite

Our Email is: nikolahelen@gmail.com

Our Skype is: nikihelen

Our Facebook profile (in Bulgarian) is: https://www.facebook.com/nikola.dimitrov.bulgaria

The Book can be purchased at the FaithWriters bookstore and on Amazon

Full information about the book can be found here: http://life-of-jesus.org/index.php/the-four-in-one-gospel-of-jesus

Joanne: What advice do you have for people looking to publish their book?

Nikola: That’s a tough one. Advice? The moment the idea enters your mind to write a book, start praying for the Lord to arrange everything and open all necessary doors. Pray before you start writing it, pray while you are writing it, pray after you finish it, because unless you have extraordinary financial means to advertise, it won’t be easy. But, if you get God involved from the start, it will be great and fun. I know it’s an unusual advice and nothing in particular, but it’s as important as every other detail.

Joanne: That is actually GREAT advice – thanks for it!. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Nikola: I would like to wish success to every writer who is writing to glorify God and to teach God’s people, especially in our time and day, when values, principles and concepts are not so adamant as once were. May God give us the grace and ability to serve Him effectively, through writing, and continue to reach people who are hungry to fill their spirit and mind with the Word of God. May God bless FaithWriters as well, for providing this amazing platform, with this dedicated staff. It’s such a pleasure to work with you, guys.

Joanne: Thanks so much, Nikola, for sharing your journey with us. Much prayer for you, your family, your ministry, AND your book!

 In Memoriam: Kenn Allan, longtime FaithWriters member, brilliant poet, 2006 Best of the Best winner, and mentor to many, went to be with his Lord and Savior on December 16, 2014. He battled for his life at the end, with the prayers, support, and love of FW members, new and old, for this very precious man. Please keep Kenn’s family, including his wife Susie, in your prayers. His FW profile is here.

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