At the trial of Christ, Theophilus, brilliant young "assessore" raised in the Roman aristocracy, stands behind Pontius Pilate and whispers, "Offer to release Barabbas." The strategy backfires, and Theophilus never forgets the sight of an innocent man unjustly suffering the worst of all possible deaths--Roman crucifixion.
Three decades later, Theophilus has proven himself in the legal ranks of the Roman Empire. He has survived the insane rule of Caligula and has weathered the cruel tyrant's quest to control the woman he loves. He has endured the mindless violence of the gladiator games and the backstabbing intrigue of the treason trials.
Now he must face another evil Caesar, defending the man Paul in Nero's deranged court. Can Theophilus mount a defense that will keep another innocent man from execution? The advocate's first trial altered the course of history. His last will change the fate of an empire.
My thoughts: I typically do not read fiction involving Biblical characters because I personally believe that the Bible reveals what God wants us to know of historical Biblical characters. I realize, too, that history reveals some information about these people that is not actually revealed in the Biblical record.
When given the opportunity to review Randy Singer's newest novel, The Advocate, I declined with mixed emotions. 1) I thoroughly enjoy his style of writing and the fact that he writes good, clean fiction. 2) I respect Mr. Singer because he is a pastor, an attorney, an educator, and a gifted author. However, when a second opportunity came knocking at my door so I decided I would see just what Mr. Singer with his skills and background as pastor would do with this story of Theophilus.
This is a lengthy book of 470 pages. The story flows beautifully and Mr. Singer's style gives the reader a very enjoyable read. The history of Rome as one of the greatest empires ever is recounted accurately as far as I can determine, and Mr. Singer has done tremendous research to be able to bring Rome at the time of Christ alive to the reader. The unfathomable cruelty of the Caesars. The lust for blood. The corruption. The "religion" of the time and place bereft of Christ. All of this is thoroughly exposed in Mr. Singer's story. The story is not for the weak stomached.
Theophilus witnessed much in the trial of Christ. He was edu cated at the feet of men of status and great oratorical skills. He himself experienced cruelty at the hands of his peers. So goes the story as presented by Mr. Singer.
Now I still feel as though I can easily forego reading novels about characters in the Bible even though I found The Advocate to be a good read. This was not my most enjoyable book by Mr. Singer, but I did enjoy how he wrote the book, his style, and his attention to historical detail. I won't recommend it and I won't disparage it.
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DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Family Christian in exchange for my review. Opinions expressed are solely my own. I was not compensated for this review.