Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My Review of The Centurion's Wife by Davis Bunn and Janette Oke

“Who is this Jesus?” (p. 283) This is the question that Davis Bunn and Janette Oke seek to answer in their latest collaborative work The Centurion’s Wife. This novel takes place mere days following the crucifixion of Jesus. Everyone from Pontius Pilate to the high priest Caiaphas want to know and understand why the death of the prophet Jesus has sparked a powerful and unusual fervor among His disciples and followers rather than crushing their spirits and their hope. Pilate’s wife also seeks answers, because ever since Jesus stood before her husband she has been plagued with dreams and headaches that urge her to warn Pilate away from condemning this innocent teacher.

Both Pontius Pilate and his wife find a way to gain the answers they seek. Pilate sends one of his best centurions, Alban, out among Jesus’ followers to discover what has happened to his body and whether or not His followers are planning a revolution. In exchange for his answers, Alban is promised the hand of Pilate’s niece in marriage. Meanwhile, Pilate’s wife Procula sends her handmaiden, Leah (Pilate’s niece) to find Jesus’ disciples and find out just what is taking place. No one is prepared for the answers they find, nor for the life-changing truth that the answers contain.

During their search for answers, Bunn and Oke introduce Alban and Leah to some of the Bible’s better-known characters (i.e. Mary Magdelene, Joseph of Arimathea). Each encounter reveals another layer of truth about Jesus and who He is – a truth that gently calls both the centurion and his future bride into something far greater than anything they ever dreamed. And though their future remains uncertain by the end of the story, they face those uncertain tomorrows with a powerful, transforming promise.

The Centurion’s Wife takes the reader’s heart and mind back to the time when Christ walked the earth. The sights and sounds are vivid and bring the characters to startling life upon the pages. I cannot begin to convey the powerful beauty of this novel, but I can eagerly recommend it to everyone! I am also thrilled to tell you that this is book one in the Acts of Faith series. There will be much more to enjoy from these two very talented authors!

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