Jerry B. Jenkins's new novel is filled with adventure, drama, historic people and places, and even romance. Empire's End tells the story of a man who single- handedly turned the Roman Empire on-end.
- Don't waste your time or money - bad story and worse history
This book would have been better if it was about another person other than Paul. It is entirely fictional, but presented in such a way and in the first person that someone uneducated would think it was fact. Paul did not spend three years in the dessert as presented (Galatians 1:18). Barnabas did not come to him in Damascas; he came to him after he was in Jerusalem (Acts 9:26,27). There is no historical evidence that I know of that Paul met and fell in love with the widow of Stephen. I know some people liked that it contained scripture passages from Paul's writing as if given directly as revelations from Jesus. Paul did have personal encounters, but I am not certain that what Paul wrote was "dictated" to him. It was his personality when he wrote and which God used.
The last problem with the audio book was that the reader was describing very horrible personal experiences in the first person and there was no emotion that reflected the horror. The story is a "journal" from Paul and should have been read as though Paul was telling. I listened to the entire book because I bought it, but I struggled to finish - it was like nails on a chalkboard!!!!
- Apostle Paul: The Novel
Empire's End by Jerry B. Jenkins is a dramatised account of the life, conversion and early Christian ministry of the Apostle Paul. It details his anti-Christian early life as Saul, his radical conversion and getting fellow Christians to trust him as the changed Paul.
It is quite a fascinating account of the story and it has interwoven passages from many of Paul's letters that make up a major portion of the New Testament. I am not sure how accurate the bits outside of the Bible are but I did like the references to Paul's writings throughout the novel.
The narration was really good as the story followed along nicely and the narrator sounded authoritative about the life of Paul.
This book would be a great introduction to the life of Paul in support of reading the New Testament both for new and mature Christians.
This audio book was gifted as a part of the christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. More information can be found about this and other Christian audio books at christianaudio.com.
- Despite my continued affinity for biblical fiction, I've discovered that Jenkins' writing style does not appeal to my tastes.
I find the Apostle Paul to be one of the most fascinating author's of the New Testament. In fact, I devoted 32 weeks last year to reading, studying, and then teaching 1 & 2 Corinthians to a class of elementary aged students. Having spent so much time in Paul's writings helped me to decipher which portions of the Empire's End where fictional from those that were not.
What I admired about this novel is how Jerry Jenkins includes large portions of Paul's writings into the narrative — mainly in the form of God's direct revelation to Paul in the wilderness. Throughout the apostle's letters to the churches, Paul furnishes numerous details about his strict adherence to the law (as a Pharisee), conversion experience, and devotion to the resurrected Christ. What he did not include were solid details of the time between his conversion and the beginning of his gospel ministry. Recreating those in-between years is what Jenkins has undertaken with this book.
Empire's End is the second book I've read by Jerry Jenkins. Despite my continued affinity for biblical fiction, I've discovered that Jenkins' writing style does not appeal to my tastes. Absent from the story, for me, was a genuine love for it's characters. Instead of being drawn into their experiences — joys and sorrows — I remained an observer. Furthermore, Paul's miraculous escape into the desert and the relationship that ignites between Paul and a widow were a little too far fetched for my liking.
Regardless of my dissatisfaction with the story, I found David Cochran Heath's narration of this audiobook to be flawless. His warm tone and steady cadence kept me hanging on to the very end.
I received this book for free as a member of the christianaudio reviewers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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- Irrelevant, boring filler material around Paul's life.
I am a fan of good historic fiction, but this is not it. I gave up after five chapters of irrelevant, boring filler material.