Many thanks to the kind folks at Zondervan for affording me the opportunity to review Cesar Vidal’s The Fisherman’s Testament.
The Fisherman’s Testament is a unique retelling of the gospel of Mark. The story is told from the perspective of Marcus Junius Vitalis, a Roman military general, who is summoned by Caesar Nero to assist with the interrogation of an important leader from the sect known as the Christians. This leader turns out to be none other than the apostle Peter. Since Peter is not fluent in Latin, he is accompanied by an interpreter known as Mark. As Caesar Nero and Vitalis ask questions to ascertain how dangerous these Christians are, Peter responds by methodically sharing the gospel story. While Nero is irritated by Peter’s story, Vitalis is deeply moved and disturbed by the story of Jesus and its implications. As the trial is coming to a close, Vitalis avoids the final sentencing by feigning sickness and escaping to the countryside. Shortly thereafter the story comes to a close. In the end we learn that Peter was executed, Rome has burned, and Vitalis has come to terms with the story of Jesus. He has embraced the story Peter shared wholeheartedly and has himself become a follower of Jesus Christ.
If you’re a fan of historical fiction set in the time of the early church, I highly recommend you take a look at this book. History buffs will appreciate the many cultural details that show up throughout. There are a number of Latin words that will most likely be unfamiliar to the reader. Fortunately, there is a short glossary at the back of the book, which defines some of these lesser known Latin words and phrases. All things considered, this book was truly a great read. I’d put it on par with such classics as Lloyd C. Douglas’s The Robe or The Big Fisherman. As such, it has earned the rating of 5 out of 5 stars.
Cesar Vidal has authored over fifty books, works of historical fiction and nonfiction. Among his award-winning books are Pablo: El Judio del Tarso, on the life of the apostle Paul, which won the Algabo Prize for Biography (2006); El Testamento del Pescador (The Fisherman’s Testament), which won the Martinez-Roca Premio Espirtualidad (2004); and Los Hijos de la Luz (Children of the Light), which won the Novela Ciudad Torrevieja Prize (2005). A devout Christian, Vidal lives in Madrid, Spain.
Buy this book on Amazon: The Fisherman’s Testament
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