â€œI was born to be an advocate for the truth, to fight for justice, to speak for the powerless. But in my greatest test I had failed miserably. I had lost my nerve and at a critical moment abandoned my principles,â€ Theophilus regrets in Randy Singerâ€™s novel, "The Advocate."
At four hundred and ninety-six pages, this paperback targets those interested in Christian fiction during Jesus and the Apostle Paulâ€™s era. With no profanity, the detailed accounts of Roman tortures, beatings, and crucifixions may not be apropos for immature readers. Caution should be noted the author takes fictional liberties with the Biblical account that may confuse those who do not know the Scriptures. This reader wishes all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence.
In this lengthy tome that involves many characters over a three hundred year period during the Roman Empire, it begins with fourteen year old Theophilus writing in first person experiencing being the example of a mock crucifixion during a one of his Roman classes.
Taught to question what the truth is, he is sent to the prestigious Molon School of Rhetoric where he learns how to be an advocate, by detaching from suffering along with humiliation and favoring the Greek gods that supposedly protect him.
Six years later the young man becomes the assessore or chief legal advisor to Pontius Pilate in Judea. When Jesus is arrested and tried, he encourages Pilate to release Barabbas while condemning Jesus to death. Hypothetically writing â€œKing of the Jewsâ€ in three languages on the titlus, he witnesses Christâ€™s crucifixion; the painful event seared into his memory.
As he moves up the rank of advocate back in Rome, he befriends a beautiful Temple of Vesta priestess, a strong-willed gladiator, Nicodemus, the Apostle Paul, and Doctor Luke. Taking on cases of slander, treason, and conspiracy against Caesar, Theophilus becomes the supporter for those that promote the truth or stand up to vicious rulers such as Tiberius, Caligula, and Nero.
With gory explanations of torturous Roman games, beheadings, burnings, and human abuse, he and his friends make spiritual decisions that solidify their faith and put them in danger.
As a detailed, gruesome tale that blends fiction and history of the man only mentioned in the Bible in Luke and Acts, Singer concentrates on how those that commit to their core values and beliefs rise above all obstacles and hardships by focusing on God being the ultimate Advocate.
Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for furnishing a complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the readerâ€™s honest opinion.