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The Gospel of Pilate (Volume 1) Paperback – September 28, 2016
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About the Author
Paul Creasy was born in Radford, Virginia, the only child of Victor (Gene) and Marla Creasy. He grew up in the small town of Bluefield, West Virginia before moving to Richmond, Virginia where he graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University. He continues to reside in Richmond today, with his lovely wife Mary and their rambunctious puppy Truffle. He and his wife run The Memory Tree, a bereavement services company his late parents founded over twenty years ago. Apart from writing, Paul enjoys reading fiction as well as history and Christian apologetics. He also enjoys ballroom dancing with his wife and traveling extensively.
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For someone who claims to be fascinated by ancient Rome, the author makes too many errors, some egregious. Dominus is the Latin for lord or master. Its vocative form (when addressing the lord) is "domine," not "domino" (as in "Domine, non sum dignus ..."). Throughout, people are addressing Pilate as "Domino." Dialog is stilted; it's hard to imagine a lay person using the word "extracanonical" in everyday conversation. The reader gets the impression that an amphora is sort of equivalent to a bottle. It was a large container holding 6 or7 gallons of wine or oil. Certainly not something a couple could readily carry around or finish in an evening, and not easy to get into a bank vault. Then there's the toga: a single piece of woolen fabric about 15 feet wide, wrapped loosely around the body just so and held in place by the gentleman's left arm. It has no sleeves and could not be "tightened around the waist." I doubt that Pilate would have eaten hummingbird tongues, since hummers are strictly New World species. Centurions were rough uneducated soldiers, equivalent to a modern-day sergeant major. It's hard to imagine any of them being the confidant of a patrician procurator. And the text is chockful of misused words: rein instead of reign, lay instead of lie, assemblage instead of semblance, thantos instead of thanatos (Greek), cajones instead of cojones (Spanish), gaulois instead of gauloises (cigarettes), etc, etc.
Several things that really worked for me in this book: the apologetics arguments are sound and well-done, blending naturally into a conversation between a priest, Father Dominic, and Thomas, the atheist protagonist. Secondly, the visions of Claudia, Pilate's wife, before the trial of Jesus, are powerful and beautifully sketched, carrying with them the idea that the old gods of Rome were, on some level, real beings who saw their doom encroaching with the arrival of the new faith. The cloak-and-dagger stuff surrounding the scroll and various parties attempting to possess it is both low-key and intense at the same time. No spoilers, but the adventures definitely keep the story moving along! Really, there are two stories in one here - the discovery of the scroll and the intrigue it generates, and then the narrative of the Passion Week from Pilate's point of view. The stories alternate, chapter to chapter, and each leaves you eager to get back to the other.
A few minor criticisms - the biggest being, that the reader is never given more than a hint of what the scroll actually says! There are a few typos and grammatical errors here and there, and some Latin mistakes, but overall the readability and flow of the story overcome these minor defects. I can't wait to see what Paul Creasy comes out with next! And if you read and enjoyed this book, I might humbly recommend that you check out my own work, THE TESTIMONIUM, for a very different take on this premise!
The viewpoint from Pilate was also stunning. It does give a slightly different perspective to this historically reviled person. It does make you stop and wonder about those intimately involved in the scourging and crucifixion of Christ. It also brought a couple of points that I have often wondered about to "life" such as that Lucifer's goading and attempts to tempt Jesus did not begin and end in the time we know of as the "Temptation".
The only reason I did not give this five stars is a few misspellings, and off typeset and some synonym issues. These things tend to grab my eye and pull me out of the story rather jarring. A good proofreader would have prevented that jolt back to the real world. That said, I still recommend this book and will look for more for this author myself.
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A Review by Anthony T. Riggio, of the book The Gospel of Pilate by Paul E.Read more