February 01, 2015
Today finished reading Randy Singer’s The Advocate. It’s fiction, yes. But it is historical fiction. I am sure I’ve read historical fiction before, but it has been a long, long time. Thanks to Singer, however, I can assure you – I won’t wait another long, long time to read another.
The Advocate is a made up story about a real person named Theophilus – the recipient of both Luke’s Gospel and the book of Acts. Singer takes massive amounts of historical facts about the life and times of the first century (history) and infuses them into an imaginary (fiction) story about the life of Theophilus. I absolutely LOVED reading this book!
I recommend this book for several reasons:
First, it’s biblical accuracy. Yes, the story about Theophilus is fiction. But the surrounding narrative about the life of Jesus, Paul, Pilate, evil emperors, etc. are true and validated. This book helps the Bible come alive in a unique way.
Second, the book’s setting. There is so much I just don’t know about the first century world. Though Singer’s work is fiction, knowing the research and effort he put into the work, in an attempt to be as historically accurate as possible, brought a light on first century living that I had never known before.
Third, the plot of the book is both invigorating and suspenseful. The book has it all: Action, Romance, Fighting, Death, Heartache, Rejoicing, Mystery, and Surprises. There was never a time I was thinking to myself, “okay, this book is getting boring.” Instead, I kept thinking, “I wish this book would keep going!” Seriously. It’s that good.
Finally, I recommend the book because it gives the reader a snapshot into the horrific culture in which first century followers of Jesus lived. Following Jesus during this period meant something. Some of Singer’s characters had “seen the risen Christ.” Knowing the reality of Jesus – who, though was dead, but is now alive - changes things. The Advocate really compelled me to think through and evaluate my own faith in a helpful way.
If you like to read, you will enjoy this book.
If you like to read historical fiction, this will be a favorite book of yours in the future.
If you like to read and understand the Bible AND enjoy historical fiction – you must read this book. You’ll be glad you did.