web site hit counter The Advocate - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

The Advocate

Availability: Ready to download

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 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.


Compare

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 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.

30 review for The Advocate

  1. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Vellacott

    This is the third Randy Singer book that I have tried to get into although slightly different from the other two due to the historical element. Singer has created a story around the events of Jesus' death and resurrection. It reminded me a little of Ben Hur with the descriptions of gladiators and the types of violent entertainment provided by Emperors like the notorious Nero. In the author's note, Singer states that it took him five years to write this book due to the research required. He wrote This is the third Randy Singer book that I have tried to get into although slightly different from the other two due to the historical element. Singer has created a story around the events of Jesus' death and resurrection. It reminded me a little of Ben Hur with the descriptions of gladiators and the types of violent entertainment provided by Emperors like the notorious Nero. In the author's note, Singer states that it took him five years to write this book due to the research required. He wrote other books in his normal crime/legal genre alongside this one. Unfortunately, I didn't get on with this book either so it must be Singer's writing style that I struggle with. I found the book very long and lost interest after just a few chapters although I forced myself to read to the end. The Jesus storyline felt like it had just been tagged onto the rest of the narrative because the author wanted it to be there. I didn't feel Singer did a good job of merging the characters to immerse the reader in the events of the day. He also glossed over the resurrection and the Gospel message was a little vague in places. The events surrounding Jesus and the Apostles had been lifted straight from the Bible even to the extent of having Luke and others appear in the story. This was a difficult area because I appreciate that Singer tried to be faithful to the biblical text which many Christian writers fail to do but I felt that it would have been more interesting to include other fictional perspectives of the events in question. Any writer can copy huge chunks of the Bible but making the story come alive in a fictional narrative is tricky and I don't think the writer has succeeded here. There is a lot of graphic violence and torture--I have found this in all of Singer's books. Indeed, I abandoned the first one I tried to read as the violence sickened me. I have read other Christian books recently that manage to include violent scenes to make the story realistic without being graphic. Singer includes too much for my tastes. As far as I can recall there were no sexual scenes and no bad language. I am rating this as "okay" due to the attempts by the author to bring the Gospel to people. However, I don't recommend it due to the violence.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Phillip Cole

    Reading the books of Luke and Acts, you'll see the name Theophilus. The books were written by Luke and addressed to Theophilus, but who was he? Though we don't know that for sure, Randy Singer provides a fictional account of this man is The Advocate. Beginning with his training in rhetoric and going through his presence at the trial of Christ and his conversion, the book covers the majority of Theophilus' life as a Roman citizen. Always on the fringes of the elite people, he often finds himself t Reading the books of Luke and Acts, you'll see the name Theophilus. The books were written by Luke and addressed to Theophilus, but who was he? Though we don't know that for sure, Randy Singer provides a fictional account of this man is The Advocate. Beginning with his training in rhetoric and going through his presence at the trial of Christ and his conversion, the book covers the majority of Theophilus' life as a Roman citizen. Always on the fringes of the elite people, he often finds himself the target of their ire. As he matures, he becomes a supporter of the underdog and the truth. In the end, he supports and accepts the Truth. Though it is historical fiction, the book is more than just entertaining. Details are added to complete the story, but the gospel and its power is very evident and presented faithfully. Theophilus wants to do what is right, at first because it is the right thing to do. But, it becomes his nature as his love for others in Christ grows, even leading to his forgiveness of those who persecute him. Singer did a marvelous job in writing The Advocate. It flowed well, and kept me wanting to find out what was going to happen next. Seeing the change that Christ brings in the hearts of believers in the book underscores what He can do for each of us. I received a free copy of the book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for this review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    AlegnaB †

    4.5 -- I enjoyed this. It wasn't packed with action, so it probably would bore some people, but I found it very interesting. I found myself caring about the main characters and wishing certain things for them. The story got me looking up info about Roman emperors and other things having to do with Rome's history. Since I enjoy learning, I like when a novel spurs me to look for more info on a subject. The story was thought-provoking, getting me to consider some info in ways I had not before. I no 4.5 -- I enjoyed this. It wasn't packed with action, so it probably would bore some people, but I found it very interesting. I found myself caring about the main characters and wishing certain things for them. The story got me looking up info about Roman emperors and other things having to do with Rome's history. Since I enjoy learning, I like when a novel spurs me to look for more info on a subject. The story was thought-provoking, getting me to consider some info in ways I had not before. I now want to read other books that the author read that helped him in writing this story.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    3.5/5 rounded to 4. It was fascinating how the author has used the theory that the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts were actually intended as legal briefs, written to a man named Theophilus about whom we know not much more than his name. Singer has created a full-fledged, believable sympathetic character for this man. In the author's conception he was a lawyer back in the reigns of Tiberius through Nero. He is sent to Judaea to act as legal advisor to Pontius Pilate and in spite of his best d 3.5/5 rounded to 4. It was fascinating how the author has used the theory that the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts were actually intended as legal briefs, written to a man named Theophilus about whom we know not much more than his name. Singer has created a full-fledged, believable sympathetic character for this man. In the author's conception he was a lawyer back in the reigns of Tiberius through Nero. He is sent to Judaea to act as legal advisor to Pontius Pilate and in spite of his best defense efforts at the trial of Jesus, fails. Returning to Rome, we see different trials at which he always defends a "lost cause" where he feels the defendants are wrongly accused and difficult cases: a senator accused of treason, a Vestal accused of breaking her vows of chastity with a gladiator.... He finally takes the case of the Apostle Paul with its shattering effect on his life. I was captivated from the very first sentence introducing Theophilus as a schoolboy, learning law and rhetoric from Seneca along with his classmates. They, including the odious Caligula, are guinea pigs for acting out crucifixions--no, they are not not carried out completely, but the boy gets a taste of what it might be like. The story of the passage of Theophilus's years and experiences sprang to life immediately for me. It kept me enthralled, though I'd call the writing pedestrian. I felt the last part involving Paul and then the killing of Christians in the arena as human torches was too preachy for my taste. I did see the author's earnestness and sincerity. I caught three "okay"'s and the author used our system of dates and time, rather than that used in those days, for example: Sept. 9, days of the week. I learned something about the Roman judicial system. That first part is seared into my mind. Recommended.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

    Wow, what an incredibly moving and impactful historical novel! When I started this book, I was not one to read historical novels. Having ready some of Randy Singer's other books, I took a chance on this one. Quickly I was catapulted into the story and just completely captured by the storyline. Chronicling the life of Theophilus and his ups and downs, I found him to be such an authentic character with lots of depth--not that he was perfect--in fact, he was far from it. However, that is what sets t Wow, what an incredibly moving and impactful historical novel! When I started this book, I was not one to read historical novels. Having ready some of Randy Singer's other books, I took a chance on this one. Quickly I was catapulted into the story and just completely captured by the storyline. Chronicling the life of Theophilus and his ups and downs, I found him to be such an authentic character with lots of depth--not that he was perfect--in fact, he was far from it. However, that is what sets the backdrop for Theophilus' interactions with Paul the apostle. You might find that part-way through, you want to put the book down and not read any more because it is longer, but do yourself a favor and DON'T! This book made me think so much about what the early church went through. My problems as a Christian are nothing compared to what they went through--we need to be reminded of that. I must tell you there were no dry eyes on this girl after finishing the book--in fact, the tears were just streaming down my face as I sat reflecting. I know now why this book took Mr. Singer five years to craft--it is such an amazing story! Read it, you won't regret it! Thank you to Tyndale House Publishers and NetGalley for allowing me to preview this book--the opinions which I wrote are my own.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Angel Parrish

    Saved $10 because I Snagged @ the Library Okay, this book is fabulous. If I have any complaint, it would be the length...however, I can't think of much of anything I'd leave out. If you are a fan of Historical Biblical Fiction, this is a must-read. (But like I said, be prepared for a very long book.) This book brings to life Theophilus--the person to whom Luke and Acts are addressed, but no one knows who he is. Randy Singer takes a great "what if" scenario and creates a fictional life for this rea Saved $10 because I Snagged @ the Library Okay, this book is fabulous. If I have any complaint, it would be the length...however, I can't think of much of anything I'd leave out. If you are a fan of Historical Biblical Fiction, this is a must-read. (But like I said, be prepared for a very long book.) This book brings to life Theophilus--the person to whom Luke and Acts are addressed, but no one knows who he is. Randy Singer takes a great "what if" scenario and creates a fictional life for this real character, and interweaves him into the Roman Empire during the lives of Christ and Paul. The result is no less than extraordinary. Biblical fiction often focuses on the Jewish point of view during any given time period. This story presents to us the glory of Rome and sets the stage of Biblical stories in the context of the Great Roman Empire. We get to meet several Caesars, Pontius Pilate and his wife, and we get a real look at the politics and laws surrounding the death of Christ, the trial of Paul, and the persecution of the early Church. This story is literally a counterpoint to the book of Acts. I seriously cannot recommend this highly enough. I have no warnings, no caveats, no disclaimers. This is just a seriously compelling (if long) book. Read it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Josh Morgan

    This review first appeared on my blog, Jacob's Café (jacobscafe.blogspot.com). In most hermeneutic discussions of the Bible, I've traditionally heard a lot of talk of the Jewish context. That makes sense, especially with the Old Testament. After listening to the historical fiction The Advocate, I am realizing how important knowing and recognizing the Roman (and Greek) context of the New Testament is. Randy Singer's story revolves around his imaginings of who Theophilus (of Luke and Acts fame) coul This review first appeared on my blog, Jacob's Café (jacobscafe.blogspot.com). In most hermeneutic discussions of the Bible, I've traditionally heard a lot of talk of the Jewish context. That makes sense, especially with the Old Testament. After listening to the historical fiction The Advocate, I am realizing how important knowing and recognizing the Roman (and Greek) context of the New Testament is. Randy Singer's story revolves around his imaginings of who Theophilus (of Luke and Acts fame) could have been. I realized through the course of this book how little I ever really learned about Roman culture (I'm kind of surprised about this frankly). The audiobook is 15 hours, so it took many days to listen to. During this process and the few days since completing it, I have been starting to view various New Testament passages differently, considering the Roman culture in which much of it (especially the texts attributed to Paul) were written. It helped me challenge some assumptions about interpretation and really pushes against some traditionally conservative interpretations (in my opinion). I have long firmly believed we have to interpret Scripture in the original historical and cultural context (as much as we are able). The Roman context is absolutely central and very unique and different from traditional Jewish contexts. Suddenly, various stories make even more sense. For instance, the phrase "Jesus is Lord" seems particularly significant in contrast to Caesar is Lord of the Roman Empire. The divinity of the emperor was standard belief, and acknowledgement of his role and power was in that phrase. While I've heard pieces of that before, becoming immersed in a fictional framing of the culture gave the phrase new life. It also reminded me of the particularity of much of Scripture to a particular time and place. Would we say "Jesus is Lord" if the Incarnation occurred today? It doesn't have the same meaning that it did living in the Roman Empire. Especially post-Constantine, much of Western Christian culture specifically is derived from Roman culture (probably more than Jewish culture). I wasn't familiar with the tradition of the Vestal Virgins; ladies who were married to the state and sworn to remain virgins (until their 30 year duty was completed). Could this have been the precursor to the Roman Catholic nun tradition? Even the trial and execution of Jesus was centered in Roman culture. Yes, the Pharisees may have brought Jesus to Pilate, but Pilate has a backstory (and Singer's characterization is compelling) and thought process that is distinctly Roman in origin. We mustn't forget that crucifixion was not a Jewish rite. It was Roman with a long history in asserting power and dominance. One of the more disturbing parts of Singer's book is the vivid explanation of the violence and fundamental lack of value of human life that was prevalent throughout Roman culture. When reading Scriptural references regarding the ways people treat each other and the role of slavery, having a better understanding of what this looked like in Rome (rather than in US history) really helps us better interpret the Bible. Verses that seem to reference a penal substitutionary theory of the atonement are given a completely new clarity in this Roman context, providing a particular framework for people to understand Jesus' sacrifice in a way they could understand. One of the things that I really appreciated about this story is how Jesus' story was presented as rather tangential for the vast majority of the book. While some Christians may not like this, it really puts context to the initial impact of Christ's life on the Roman Empire--people didn't pay too much attention. Even when Paul is introduced (far past the halfway mark), he doesn't initially seem to be a major player in Theophilus' life. This approach helped me better understand the possible context Paul is entering and speaking to when he pursues his ministry to the Gentiles. The flow and content of the book was rich and engaging. It's been a while since I listened to an audiobook that I wanted to keep running after my commute was over. David Cochran Heath's narration accentuated this, bringing dynamic life to the characters. The characterizations of famous historical characters and events sparked my interest and prompted me to spend a good amount of time reading even more about Roman history. Again, it's been a while since a book prompted me to do further research on a topic, so I give Singer a lot of credit! Readers/listeners should remember this is historical fiction, and it is not intended as a hermeneutic guide, as far as I'm aware. But it's one of the stronger Christian fiction stories out there. It's definitely one that is not as cheesy as many and doesn't get too heavy-handed. It takes a fairly traditional view of how Scripture was written, for better or for worse, but I think people of all stripes can enjoy the story as an opportunity to explore a possibility of the origins of Theophilus and the books of Luke and Acts. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. 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.”

  8. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    Singer returns with another of his legal thrillers, but spins his usual fare into something highly complex and thoroughly entertaining. Taking the reader back to the time of Christ, Singer introduces us to Theophilus, a young student in Rome. The story revolves around the life of Theophilus, from student to young 'assessore' (legal advisor) and throughout his professional life. Theophilus moves from Rome to Judea where he is assigned to work with Pontius Pilate during those trying years made fam Singer returns with another of his legal thrillers, but spins his usual fare into something highly complex and thoroughly entertaining. Taking the reader back to the time of Christ, Singer introduces us to Theophilus, a young student in Rome. The story revolves around the life of Theophilus, from student to young 'assessore' (legal advisor) and throughout his professional life. Theophilus moves from Rome to Judea where he is assigned to work with Pontius Pilate during those trying years made famous in the Bible.When Jesus is sent before Pilate, Theophilus offers up some legal advice, which backfires, and leads to crucifixion and torments Pilate for years to come. This period of time commences a life of interesting legal adventures for Theophilus the assessore. Singer details a narrative that has Theophilus make a name for himself during the Roman senatorial trials and shows how he tries to curry favour with the Emperors of the day, all while trying not to be accused of treason. His life takes a turn when he faces a ruthless dictator to defend the honour of the woman he loves. When, decades later, he is asked to act as legal counsel for Paul of Tarsus in his trial before Emperor Nero, Theophilus faces his toughest challenge yet, but one that also opens his eyes to this new religion and all it has to offer. Theophilus grows exponentially on this religious and personal journey, bringing the reader along with him. Powerfully written and full of intricate details of the time, Singer does a masterful job and keeps the reader begging for more as the story advances. To say that this was a powerful book would be an understatement. While I find Singer tries the inculcation method of instilling Christianity in the reader, the story is strong and themes deeply rooted. This novel is more than the tale of two of the most famous Christian trials in early history, but also a snapshot of life in Roman times and the way in which the law developed. Singer surely spent hours researching the details and spins a seamless tale to entice the reader. While there are some strong Christian themes and sermons in the text, the Roman and Greek god worshipping is just as detailed and quite profound. Whether most of the background on Pilate's time in Judea (as well as the senatorial trials in Rome) is true or woven fiction, the story is so clear and the narrative so strong that suspending reality is not hard to accomplish. Historically stunning and legally profound, Singer deserves as much praise as can be lauded on him for this wonderful story. Kudos do not seem enough for you Mr. Singer. I will surely recommend this book to others, and not just for its religious overtones.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Henrieke

    This was a better read than I expected. This is a book which is equal in quality to Ben Hur and The Flames of Rome. Instead of it being a boring story about just one person, Singer does a great job at writing from different perspectives. The pace of the story differs per period, which is not disturbing but rather makes it a good read. The lifestory of Theofilus spirals out of control and has a dramatic ending, but it is very believeable. Also, Singer explains what has made him write this story an This was a better read than I expected. This is a book which is equal in quality to Ben Hur and The Flames of Rome. Instead of it being a boring story about just one person, Singer does a great job at writing from different perspectives. The pace of the story differs per period, which is not disturbing but rather makes it a good read. The lifestory of Theofilus spirals out of control and has a dramatic ending, but it is very believeable. Also, Singer explains what has made him write this story and where he got his information from. He has done some thorough research. The one downer in this book was, I thought, that some events were almost too good to be true. How close to death Theofilus often came, but it didn't happen. Also, him being so close to several emporers didn't seem very logical. However, it could have happened and thats why it is called fiction. All in all, this was a good read and I wouldn't mind reading more books by this author or more books about this period in history.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    I am generally leery of Biblical fiction because I really have issues when an author changes Scripture for the sake of a story. This does occur in this book, but not too frequently. The story was very compelling and brought the early Christian era to life for me. I also found it much less predictable than I expected. Recommended.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Larisha

    I found myself in the coliseum and at Jesus' trial and crucifixion as Singer wove his story of the main character being Pilate's advocate at Jesus' trial and the impact it had on his life. His meeting and representation of Paul was lifechanging and the reader experienced it with him. The first half of the story progresses with details about Theophilus, his career, his lifelong love, and the Roman emperors that nearly toppled the empire. The last half of the book captured my heart. It's definitely I found myself in the coliseum and at Jesus' trial and crucifixion as Singer wove his story of the main character being Pilate's advocate at Jesus' trial and the impact it had on his life. His meeting and representation of Paul was lifechanging and the reader experienced it with him. The first half of the story progresses with details about Theophilus, his career, his lifelong love, and the Roman emperors that nearly toppled the empire. The last half of the book captured my heart. It's definitely a page-turner .

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Knobloch

    I had a harder time getting into the book the first few hundred pages but was SO glad I finished it because the end and overall picture is amazing. But you definitely have to get to the end to appreciate this book in my opinion!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sheri Spears

    Thankful I read it I started this book fearful of all the characters, length and Roman history I would need to enjoy or understand this book. I shouldn’t have been. Randy Singer made it easy to understand and easier to fall in love with the characters. My faith as a Christian also helped me with some of the events. My husband also wants to read this book. I had tears at the end, Will he?

  14. 4 out of 5

    Samuel Guńka

    The advocate wasn't that kind of book like you can't go even to the toilet, but it was quite interesting and educating. I am highly recommending this book if you want to know something about the political situation in Rome in Jesus times. The advocate wasn't that kind of book like you can't go even to the toilet, but it was quite interesting and educating. I am highly recommending this book if you want to know something about the political situation in Rome in Jesus times.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lynda

    I have read several of Randy Singer’s books in the past, including one for my book club. After reading it, we were able to have a chat over the internet with him about what we read; from the time of that discussion, I have been eagerly anticipating this latest novel, The Advocate. It differs from his other work in several ways, most notably in its historical setting. The detail and setting are incredible. I learned a lot about life during Biblical times, especially how difficult and fearful it wa I have read several of Randy Singer’s books in the past, including one for my book club. After reading it, we were able to have a chat over the internet with him about what we read; from the time of that discussion, I have been eagerly anticipating this latest novel, The Advocate. It differs from his other work in several ways, most notably in its historical setting. The detail and setting are incredible. I learned a lot about life during Biblical times, especially how difficult and fearful it was to live in opposition, even secret opposition, to Caesar. The story spans four different Caesars: Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero. Just the breadth of time in this novel is impressive, and we are witness to many events in Roman history, following the fictional character Theophilus through the course of his life, from student to retired advocate, or lawyer. Theophilus is a well-drawn character, very fleshed-out, very human. He is largely an honorable man who tries to do the right thing in the right way, despite living in a dangerous and often vicious culture. He makes mistakes, but this adds to the realism, and he struggles with many things that still plague people today. For me, the best part of this novel was reading a fictionalized perspective of the trial of Jesus before Pilate, and then later, of Paul before Nero. I learned many new things about how trials worked at the time, and even gained some insights that deepened my understanding of the Biblical accounts, too. I would recommend this novel to historical fans, especially those of Biblical fiction, but with a caveat: due to its sometimes graphic content, I would suggest it is appropriate for mature readers who aren’t disturbed by details of crucifixion, torture, and a few descriptions of pagan worship in Rome. While Singer’s fans will go willingly down this historical path with him, I would not necessarily recommend it for those who devour other modern legal thrillers as this book is very different from his other work; fans of Biblical fiction, however, may be encouraged to try other novels he has written after reading The Advocate. I received a complimentary copy of this book through The Book Club Network (bookfun.org) in exchange for this honest review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bethany Marks

    What a conclusion! Randy Singer takes us through Jesus and Paul’s trials and you won’t believe how he wraps Theophilus’ attorney/advocate journey. The Advocate starts out with a crucifixion and builds through multiple Caesars' reigns-of-terror. Theophilus grew up with many Roman and Greek gods. It takes his philosophical mind a while to be convinced that Jesus is God. As Pilate’s advocate he was a integral part of Jesus’ trial. Later, he meet Paul under house arrest and various followers of Jesus What a conclusion! Randy Singer takes us through Jesus and Paul’s trials and you won’t believe how he wraps Theophilus’ attorney/advocate journey. The Advocate starts out with a crucifixion and builds through multiple Caesars' reigns-of-terror. Theophilus grew up with many Roman and Greek gods. It takes his philosophical mind a while to be convinced that Jesus is God. As Pilate’s advocate he was a integral part of Jesus’ trial. Later, he meet Paul under house arrest and various followers of Jesus in The Way. But, once Theophilus did get baptized, publicly stating Jesus was his God, “he was all in,” ultimately housing and caring for Christian refuges on his own estate. Flavia is a Vestal Virgin and Theophilus meets her just after a ceremony where she is drenched in the blood of a bull. She loves a gladiator—a crime against Rome which, if discovered, would get her buried alive. There are so many cruel Caesar’s in The Advocate, but Caligula is hell-bent on revenge because Flavia rejects his advances. Caligula frames her on a night when she was with him, not her gladiator lover. How can Theophilus save her? I so enjoyed witnessing the intriguing way Randy Singer ties scriptures we all know with his legal mind. Time after time Theophilus wins trials against all odds, utilizing incidents of his own life intersecting Jesus’. How does the woman who was caught in adultery tie into the winning strategy at trial, for example? Read The Advocate to stand in the middle of the action. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Randy Singer for the first time and in a favorite category of mine, historical romance/suspense. I will definitely be reading him again. I received a complimentary book from The Book Club Network at bookfun.org in exchange for my honest review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    The description of Randy Singer's The Advocate immediately caught my interest: "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 sur The description of Randy Singer's The Advocate immediately caught my interest: "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." I couldn't wait to read it and it's one of those books you hate to put down. The story pulled me in from the first page and didn't let go. I felt like I was literally in Bible times as I read it - I love the rare novel that is so realistic you feel you've been transported back to the biblical era. It's definitely a unique book and extremely well written. I got wrapped up in the character's lives and didn't want the story to end. Get this book and read it. You won't be disappointed. I'd recommend it to anyone who loves historical Christian fiction.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Iola

    The Advocate is the imagined memoir of Theophilus, the man for whom the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts was written. It begins with a memorable opening line: “I was fourteen years old when I learned what it meant to be crucified.” The narrator is Theophilus, who is training to be an advocate, a lawyer, a profession which brings him into contact with many of the famous figures from early Christian history. The author truly brings the time and place alive (perhaps too alive at times). Historical The Advocate is the imagined memoir of Theophilus, the man for whom the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts was written. It begins with a memorable opening line: “I was fourteen years old when I learned what it meant to be crucified.” The narrator is Theophilus, who is training to be an advocate, a lawyer, a profession which brings him into contact with many of the famous figures from early Christian history. The author truly brings the time and place alive (perhaps too alive at times). Historical characters include Pontius Pilate, Caligula, and Nero, as well as Jesus and Paul. The first half of the novel was written entirely from the viewpoint of Theophilus, and is excellent. He’s an intelligent man with an engaging voice. He is well able to analyse and interpret the historic events he finds himself part of, especially as he is writing across a passage of many years. I found this brought the days of the early New Testament to life, and provided an insight into the culture and politics of the times. The story then moves into a combination of first person and third person, and I didn’t find that worked so well. The writing was still good, but I found the movements between Theophilus and the other viewpoint characters weren’t as smooth as I would have liked. But it then switched again, and the final portion of the book was a powerful and challenging read. Recommended.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Today I have a very special book for you. This book is going down on my top three favorite books of all time - not to build it up too much or anything. ;) While I did receive a copy from Tyndale House via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion, this is one of those books that I would have reviewed anyway because it was that good. I have read every book by this author, and this is by far his best. I love this book so much, I really hope I can do it justice. So, with no further ado, I give you Today I have a very special book for you. This book is going down on my top three favorite books of all time - not to build it up too much or anything. ;) While I did receive a copy from Tyndale House via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion, this is one of those books that I would have reviewed anyway because it was that good. I have read every book by this author, and this is by far his best. I love this book so much, I really hope I can do it justice. So, with no further ado, I give you The Advocate by Randy Singer, a fantastic legal thriller meets biblical fiction. Summary (as provided by the publisher): 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. *While I normally write my own summaries for books, I chose to use the publishers in this case, because I did not want to give too much away. What I liked: First, the story was well thought out. Very little is known about who Theophilus was, or if he was even a real person. Mr. Singer did a fantastic job of creating this man's story, and fitting it in with Scripture and history. You can tell that Mr. Singer is well versed in the law, and Biblical history, as both parts are portrayed well. The story flowed nicely and every piece made sense and had a purpose. While there were parts that didn't make sense at first, once I got past them, I saw how they fit into the overall narrative perfectly. Second, I really enjoyed that the majority of the book was written in first person. There are two ways this can be done. The first, you know you are reading first person and it is somewhat distracting. The second, it is no longer about reading, you become that person, and it's like you are really there. This is what The Advocate does. I felt like I was Theophilus, that I was in first century Rome and Jerusalem. I could see the places and hear the conversations around me. Mr. Singer made it so REAL. He brought it all to life in a way I have never experienced in a book before. He reminded me that the people in the time of the New Testament were the same as you and me. They went to sporting matches, they gambled, they drank, they played politics, they had to pay rent, they had friends and enemies, and they fell in love. Third, I loved the characters themselves. They were all so well written. Everyone was more than a character, they were real people. I often found myself looking things up to find out if that person really existed or not, because of how real they seemed. From what I can tell minus Theophilus, his love interest, and a few other minor characters, the majority of the people in this book really existed. Caligula was entirely too creepy to me, until I realized that Singer didn't cover the half of it! Many other well known first century people appear as well. Seneca, Tiberius Caesar, Nero, Paul, Luke, Jesus, Pilate and Procula, along with pretty much every person that Paul and Luke mention as being in Rome in their New Testament works. I also really appreciated how historically and biblically accurate this book was. I learned so much about Roman culture and law without it feeling like I was learning. As I mentioned earlier, I often found myself pausing to go see if something was real or not, and almost every time, it was, down to the names of the people involved. As for biblical accuracy, it was fun getting to see the author's theories on things that scholars have wrestled with for years. For example, there is a nod to the theory that Luke used Mark as a source document, the reasoning behind Paul's abandonment by several "friends" in Rome, why Luke wrote the Luke-Acts, and why Acts ended so suddenly. He even throws out a theory about what happened to Paul after his trial with Nero - whether he was killed or went on to Spain. My favorite though, is the explanation of Romans 10:9-10. All of these things are woven into the story in such a way that if you didn't know about them before hand, you would never notice them. . What I didn't care for: The only complaint I had actually answered itself later on. The first quarter of the book follows Theophilus' growing up years, and his time in Jerusalem. The next half of the book returns to Rome and there is no mention really of Christianity or the Way or anything. It is entirely about Roman life, religion, and culture, with some legal stuff thrown it. It is great, but at first I was confused as to why it was there. I kept reading, and it all made sense with the last quarter of the book, where Christianity comes back to the forefront. I realized that you need to have that middle section in order to understand Rome, and why things happened they way they did. The last quarter of the book takes place under the rule of Nero and the rise of Christianity and persecution in Rome, which I understood better because of the middle. Takeaway: I already mentioned some of the cool biblical stuff thrown in up above. One of the other ideas I found interesting was not spelled out in the book, but was something I was able to infer because of what I had learned about Roman law and culture. All my life, I've heard that tradition states that Peter was crucified upside down, and Paul was beheaded, but I never really knew why that was what tradition said. Why was Peter crucified, but Paul wasn't? It wasn't until reading this book, that I was able to piece together a theory. Crucifixion was the worst death Rome could inflict on someone, and was reserved for their enemies. No Roman citizen could be killed by crucifixion. Granted, Nero found a way around this, but that was the law. Since Paul was a Roman citizen, he was probably beheaded, because beheading was considered the most humane death. Crazy stuff. Aside from trivia, this book challenged me to live my faith to the fullest. It reminded me that confessing with my mouth is not just speaking aloud, but is me claiming that my life if forfeit. When Rome conquered a new area, they forced everyone to confess Caesar as lord, or be killed in the spot. So when Paul speaks of confessing Jesus as Lord, this is what he is referring to. It was the potential for a death sentence then, and many places around the world, still is. Is my faith strong enough to withstand that? Am I really saying my life is forfeit but for Jesus when I call him my Lord and Savior? If that day comes when my life will depend on my answer, will I give the right one? Will you? This is one of those books that I think every Christian should read. It does have some very intense (and sometimes creepy) scenes, so I'd say it is for teens and older. The end is so powerful, I wept the last several chapters. If you want a fantastic read that will challenge you and bring the New Testament to life, you will love this book! I also want to point out that while this has a bit of legal drama in it, it is not just a legal thriller. It is so much more than that. This is a story that makes faith come alive. It challenges the reader to live their faith to the fullest, to understand what "confess with your mouth" really means, and what the true cost if salvation is. Happy Readings, Sarah K. http://sarahksbookreviews.blogspot.co...

  20. 4 out of 5

    John

    Randy Singer, a lawyer by trade, imaginatively step into the sandals of Theophilus. Theophilus is the man (or perhaps group of people) who Luke writes Luke and Acts to. Luke begins his account this way, “Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past Randy Singer, a lawyer by trade, imaginatively step into the sandals of Theophilus. Theophilus is the man (or perhaps group of people) who Luke writes Luke and Acts to. Luke begins his account this way, “Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus…” Acts begins similarly, “In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach…” Randy Singer imagines that Theophilus was a Roman advocate, tutored in Rome by the Roman philosopher Seneca and then takes his first post under Pontius Pilate where he stands behind Pilate during the trial of Jesus of Nazareth. At the end of Theophilus’s life, he is placed in the crosshairs of this Nazarene again, this time as the advocate for Paul. It is here that Theophilus asks for legal briefs from Luke to provide a defense for his client, Paul (and thus Singer’s backstory to the writing of Luke-Acts). Singer has done his research and it shows. The storyline takes the reader through the reign of four Caesars and while, in the genre of historical fiction Singer has to plant his flag on his interpretation on a number of debated issues during this period, Singer does so in a compelling and interesting way. I highly recommend the book and have only the tiniest quibbles with it, the most significant being the final pages of the book (but I won’t ruin that for you here). One note to set your expectations is that quite a bit of the narrative involves the intermediate years between Jesus’ crucifixion and Paul’s trial, so if you pick up the book expecting a book that only traces the pages of scripture be prepared to spend quite a lot of time in Rome. This is the first book I’ve read by Singer and it certainly won’t be my last. I know that he hasn’t written any other historic fiction works like this one, but I hope more are in the offing! For more reviews see www.thebeehive.live.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Anna Jackson

    I was loaned this book from a friend and mentor whom I adore. It is her favorite book of all time. Because of this, I REALLY wanted to like this book - no I REALLY wanted to LOVE this book. However, I honestly think it was only ok. I think my main issue was that I felt the author's writing style was a little on the bland side. The characters were not extremely emotionally compelling (at least not to me). And honestly, I was hoping for a bit more of a conversion story at the end - it was not very I was loaned this book from a friend and mentor whom I adore. It is her favorite book of all time. Because of this, I REALLY wanted to like this book - no I REALLY wanted to LOVE this book. However, I honestly think it was only ok. I think my main issue was that I felt the author's writing style was a little on the bland side. The characters were not extremely emotionally compelling (at least not to me). And honestly, I was hoping for a bit more of a conversion story at the end - it was not very convincing, and after reading it I honestly wondered why they chose Christ. (Which is a bad thing for a Christian to be thinking, right?) (view spoiler)[ Also, Flavia's insult to Nero at the end was impassioned and all, but was it very Christ-like??? I had to groan a bit because there was so little emotional connection to the characters in the rest of the book, but he tried really hard in the last few pages...and it fell so so flat. (hide spoiler)] My husband and I recently went on a trip to Italy, and so I enjoyed reading about the sights, sounds, and smells of ancient Rome. Theo's (can I call him Theo?) early life and time spent in Judea was very interesting and I appreciated the way Singer used the Biblical narrative in this way. The details about Rome and Roman culture were a highlight for me, and added a lot of reality to the story. I also liked all the historical characters that Theo interacted with along the way. (And after watching numerous documentaries, I enjoyed their story lines as well.) Overall, though, this was not supposed to be a history book, it was supposed to be a novel. And the poor characterization kind of lost that for me. However, I can understand why some people would enjoy this book - I was just hoping for more and was slightly disappointed.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Dunnett

    I loved this book. Reading it as a 16 year old, it was far from what I was used to, but it wasn't something that I struggled to get into at all. From the first page I was interested in the story, or to be accurate the multiple story lines weaving together. I loved the way the story is told throughout many different times of the main characters life and the different people he comes in contact with. You get a great image of what roman culture was like in this time period, including the way sexualit I loved this book. Reading it as a 16 year old, it was far from what I was used to, but it wasn't something that I struggled to get into at all. From the first page I was interested in the story, or to be accurate the multiple story lines weaving together. I loved the way the story is told throughout many different times of the main characters life and the different people he comes in contact with. You get a great image of what roman culture was like in this time period, including the way sexuality was dealt with and the intricacies of the law system. While the book is routed in Christianity and that does come out more near the end of the narrative, it isn't a heavy part of the entire story and I think it's dealt with in a way that both Christians and non-Christians alike can appreciate and enjoy throughout this novel. While some parts could be slow or wordy for some readers, The Advocate in my opinion is a great book for anyone and a good starter into more historical fiction, especially time periods that aren't explored as much, and crime and law novels.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mary Vogelsong

    Great read in preparation for Easter! I'm usually not too big on the Christian Fiction genre, because I like to keep what is true and holy separate from anything that is not, so there is no blurring of the lines. But for some reason I took a peek at the first few pages and I was immediately captivated by the writing style and the story itself. I bought the book. I kept thinking the author, Randy Singer, put forth the tastiest tidbits first and I would become less engaged as I got further into the Great read in preparation for Easter! I'm usually not too big on the Christian Fiction genre, because I like to keep what is true and holy separate from anything that is not, so there is no blurring of the lines. But for some reason I took a peek at the first few pages and I was immediately captivated by the writing style and the story itself. I bought the book. I kept thinking the author, Randy Singer, put forth the tastiest tidbits first and I would become less engaged as I got further into the book, but that didn’t happen. Singer stayed true to the Bible while opening a whole new world (for me) of Roman culture, law, and history. The book postulates the identity of Theophilus, who is mentioned at the beginning of both Luke and Acts. Singer also unfolded the story in a way that, despite knowing a smidge of history and Bible, I remained captivated throughout. Hard questions of commitment are raised for the Christian reader, as they vicariously put themselves in the martyr’s place. This is my first read of Singer’s work, but certainly won’t be the last. Highly recommend!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mary E

    Without giving anything away, I found it good but didn't like the ending. I liked the hero and his wife, but I just don't like "realistic" endings such as these. I like "happily-ever-after" endings and found this finale, though true to life, depressing. My granddaughter read it and really liked it, though she did tell me that it was a bittersweet story. She likes all sorts of stories, being eclectic in her tastes, and can read historical novels such as this, with endings that can go either way ( Without giving anything away, I found it good but didn't like the ending. I liked the hero and his wife, but I just don't like "realistic" endings such as these. I like "happily-ever-after" endings and found this finale, though true to life, depressing. My granddaughter read it and really liked it, though she did tell me that it was a bittersweet story. She likes all sorts of stories, being eclectic in her tastes, and can read historical novels such as this, with endings that can go either way (happy or sad), without feeling let down or sad at the end. However, not sharing my granddaughter's tastes, I wouldn't read it again. (Though I will say that I've read other Randy Singer stand-alones and liked them. He is a good writer. My feelings on the story are not to take anything away from him OR the story. I'm certain people, such as my granddaughter, will like it. I'm just not of that vein.)

  25. 5 out of 5

    Hank Pharis

    Who was Theophilus? Luke addresses his gospel and Acts to him but that's all we know about him. Randy Singer imagines his story in a very entertaining and engrossing way. The book starts a little slow but then gets better and better. He begins with Theophilus in "elementary" school with the infamous Caligula (who is already awful). He imagines Theophilus seeing Jesus a couple of times but not becoming a believer until decades later. And he imagines Theophilus and his wife being martyred in the Co Who was Theophilus? Luke addresses his gospel and Acts to him but that's all we know about him. Randy Singer imagines his story in a very entertaining and engrossing way. The book starts a little slow but then gets better and better. He begins with Theophilus in "elementary" school with the infamous Caligula (who is already awful). He imagines Theophilus seeing Jesus a couple of times but not becoming a believer until decades later. And he imagines Theophilus and his wife being martyred in the Colesseum. I tend to be skeptical of books like this but by the end I was very moved by the story. (Note: I'm stingy with stars. For me 2 stars means a good book. 3 = Very good; 4 = Outstanding {only about 5% of the books I read merit this}; 5 = All time favorites {one of these may come along every 400-500 books})

  26. 4 out of 5

    Anne Rightler

    The Advocate, by Randy Singer, is historical fiction at its best. The author did an amazing job of research for this story of Theophilus, the man Luke addresses in the books of Luke and Acts that are included in the Bible. The Advocate is rich in period details, vivid descriptions of action scenes, courtroom drama, and a sweet romance, all of which are masterfully woven together to bring the reader a compelling read. I enjoy fictional stories based on real-life individuals and I have enjoyed thi The Advocate, by Randy Singer, is historical fiction at its best. The author did an amazing job of research for this story of Theophilus, the man Luke addresses in the books of Luke and Acts that are included in the Bible. The Advocate is rich in period details, vivid descriptions of action scenes, courtroom drama, and a sweet romance, all of which are masterfully woven together to bring the reader a compelling read. I enjoy fictional stories based on real-life individuals and I have enjoyed this author's books over the years. I was thoroughly captivated by this book. I won a copy of the book through The Book Club Network several years ago and I listened to a library copy of the audiobook. The narrator, David Cochran Heath, did a fantastic job of telling Theophilus' story, making for an enjoyable listening experience. I was not required to write a review and the opinions are my own.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lorri Coburn

    I gave this three stars only so I would not hurt the author's ranking, because I did not like this book. I've read one of Singer's mystery novels, The Justice Game, and intend to read more, as The Justice Game was excellent. However, The Advocate was not a mystery and I could not get past the gruesome depictions of crucifixions, gladiator "games," and other barbaric Roman practices. This is not the fault of Singer; in fact, maybe because his writing is so vivid did I need to put the book down. H I gave this three stars only so I would not hurt the author's ranking, because I did not like this book. I've read one of Singer's mystery novels, The Justice Game, and intend to read more, as The Justice Game was excellent. However, The Advocate was not a mystery and I could not get past the gruesome depictions of crucifixions, gladiator "games," and other barbaric Roman practices. This is not the fault of Singer; in fact, maybe because his writing is so vivid did I need to put the book down. Hence, I did not get to the philosophical musings of Theophilus, who was an aide to Pontius Pilate. In the storyline of this book, Theophilus was the one who suggested to Pilate that he let the crowd decide whom he should release, Jesus or Barrabas. I was going out of town and had to return the library book, or I would have skipped ahead.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Cherie

    This book is different from Singer's other legal thrillers that I've read, but I enjoyed it just as well, if not more! The research behind this book is excellent and obvious and it was a great combination of fascinating historical education, a compelling plot, Jesus, and courtroom arguments (I have always been a fan of Singer's courtroom scenes!) The combination of law, but set in Rome, was so interesting to read! The violence in his books always unsettles me, in a way that reminds me of how cus This book is different from Singer's other legal thrillers that I've read, but I enjoyed it just as well, if not more! The research behind this book is excellent and obvious and it was a great combination of fascinating historical education, a compelling plot, Jesus, and courtroom arguments (I have always been a fan of Singer's courtroom scenes!) The combination of law, but set in Rome, was so interesting to read! The violence in his books always unsettles me, in a way that reminds me of how cushy a life I live as a Christian in 21st century USA- I am reminded to be bold and be strong when I finish one of Singer's books, and The Advocate even more so as I read the final scenes. A really great book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Teresa Henry

    I found this book so helpful with understanding the times associated with Jesus, Paul and Nero. Reading this book, put a deeper perceptive on my Bible readings and sermons; the author put a lot of detail and in depth information into the Roman culture which can't really be addressed in a one hour sermon. I really appreciated the history aspect as well. Wonderful story, some portions difficult to read and fathom,though I could not out this book down. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to d I found this book so helpful with understanding the times associated with Jesus, Paul and Nero. Reading this book, put a deeper perceptive on my Bible readings and sermons; the author put a lot of detail and in depth information into the Roman culture which can't really be addressed in a one hour sermon. I really appreciated the history aspect as well. Wonderful story, some portions difficult to read and fathom,though I could not out this book down. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to dig deeper into the lives of the early Christians; it will increase your faith along the way! It certainly increased mine!

  30. 5 out of 5

    John Kaess

    Randy Singer is an author of legal stories. This book is a departure in that, while still about a lawyer, it is set during the time of Christ and involves a man who ends up defending a few people of historic significance. The writing is ok. It will hold your interest. The historic aspects i found very interesting and engaging. Singer seems to have gotten the historical aspects of the story and also the culture right. The book tends in some ways to remind me of Ben-Hur (the book, not the movie). Randy Singer is an author of legal stories. This book is a departure in that, while still about a lawyer, it is set during the time of Christ and involves a man who ends up defending a few people of historic significance. The writing is ok. It will hold your interest. The historic aspects i found very interesting and engaging. Singer seems to have gotten the historical aspects of the story and also the culture right. The book tends in some ways to remind me of Ben-Hur (the book, not the movie). If you enjoy historical fiction and/or stories about the law, you will likely find this an enjoyable read. The narrator of the audio book does a competent job and does not detract from the story.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.