The Advocate   -     By: Randy Singer
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The Advocate

Tyndale House / 2014 / Paperback

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A first-century legal thriller! At the trial of Christ, brilliant young assessor Theophilus suggests that Pontius Pilate offer to release Barabbas. But the strategy backfires---and an innocent man suffers crucifixion. Three decades later, Theophilus defends Paul against Nero's baseless accusations. Can he mount a defense that will keep another blameless man from execution?

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 400
Vendor: Tyndale House
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1414348606
ISBN-13: 9781414348605
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

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.

Editorial Reviews

As a young man, Theophilus had lofty dreams of becoming one of Rome’s elite advocates. After a childhood of privilege and rigorous training he was equipped with the skills needed to seek truth, sway Roman politics, and change the world. At age twenty, Theophilus was appointed as chief legal advisor to Pontius Pilate. It was during this time that Theophilus encountered Jesus and faced his first true test—one in which he failed miserably. When his service to Pilate ended, Theophilus returned to his beloved Rome to find mayhem in the senate and a lethally paranoid emperor. In the midst of this environment, Theophilus begins his career as an advocate—attempting to navigate the treacherous political waters of a failed republic and an insane emperor. With excellent historical details and strong spiritual components, The Advocate brings to life the story of Theophilus.

I first heard about The Advocate last year in an interview with Randy Singer. At the time it sounded fantastically intriguing with an epic scope and unique speculative angle. I couldn’t wait for the chance to read it. Finally, after a year of waiting I had the opportunity to dive in this book and was quite impressed by the imagination and originality of this story.

About eighty percent of The Advocate is told from Theophilus’ first-person perspective and works exceptionally well. I wasn’t anticipating this approach to the story, but it has the intended effect of bringing readers deep into Theophilus’ mind and helping them better understand the various situations he must work through. However, as the book switches from first-person to third-person the voice doesn’t change. As a result, the portions written from the third-person point of view feel disconnected and lack the same intensity other parts of this book are able to achieve.

Aside from this issue, there is really little else to criticize. This is an exceptionally well-written book. The details are amazing and the fictional story of Theophilus feels like a historical event. Additionally, Singer creates an intense and immersive environment where the reader can truly appreciate the intricacies the Roman political scene as well as the uncertainties facing Roman citizens of all classes. The progressive decline of the Roman Empire and its rulers is presented with detail, but streamlined so that the story flows smoothly and does not become cumbersome to read.

In addition to creating a vibrant historical and political setting, Singer expertly portrays the various spiritual ideas of the time. While it’s easy to shake our heads at these ancient beliefs, in The Advocate, the reader gets a real sense of the history and reasons behind why the Romans worshiped as they did. As someone who likes to better understand why people believe what they do, I found these portions of the book absolutely fascinating.

Given the time period in which this book is set, there are some very gritty and difficult scenes. Most readers are familiar with the brutality of the Roman justice system and the senseless death of thousands. But Singer tactfully brings these emotionally charged historical facts into his book. Not surprising, some of these scenes are difficult to read. For the squeamish—reader beware.

I cannot imagine the number of hours Singer spent researching and writing this story. It is one of his finest works and I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to read it. I waited a year to read The Advocate and I was not disappointed.

PW Starred review:
Veteran lawyer-author Singer (The Last Plea Bargain) uses the idea advanced elsewhere that the Bible books Luke and Acts were written as legal briefs to defend the Apostle Paul against the Roman emperor Nero. The two biblical books are addressed to an enigmatic Theophilus, (a name meaning “lover of God,”) and Singer develops a fictional Theophilus, a lawyer who stood behind Pilate to advise him to offer up Jesus Christ to be crucified. Theophilus witnesses the lives of Jesus and Paul unfold, and has to decide based on the evidence whether to join the early movement of Jesus followers and become a victim of the great persecution of Nero. Some of the dialog comes directly from Scripture; other speeches are faithful to biblical characters such as Paul: “The most important thing is not that the letter proclaims my innocence but that it proclaims the good news about the Messiah.” Cross James Michener’s great historical fiction with a John Grisham legal thriller, and you’ve got this epic classic by Singer.

Randy Singer has been long known for his pulse-pounding legal thrillers that keep you turning pages late into the night. He manages to balance complex plots with deep and relevant themes, wrapping them around a storyline that pulls you in and doesn’t let go. In fact, you could say that Singer writes like his main characters practice law: with razor-sharp suspense, a dash of danger, and no fear of tackling difficult cases. His newest thriller, The Advocate, is no exception.

The Advocate is unlike anything Singer has ever written, taking readers back two thousand years to the Roman Empire and its famed legal system. It’s here that he introduces us to Rome’s most infamous lawyer—or advocate—a man named Theophilus. The book is really the story of Theophilus’s life and how influenced he was by Jesus of Nazareth. Make no mistake: this may be historical fiction, but it’s still Singer’s unique brand of legal thriller. Only instead of shootouts and corrupt lawyers, you get gladiatorial games and an insane emperor.

Theophilus was the perfect biblical figure for Singer to morph into his titular advocate. We literally know nothing for certain of the person to whom Luke/Acts was written, but many have speculated, based on the way he is addressed, that he was a high-ranking Roman official. Singer, with some actual factual precedent, presents Theophilus as Paul’s advocate before Nero, making Luke/Acts serve as legal evidence in the case. Along the way, we meet characters such as Pontius Pilate, to whom Theophilus serves as an assistant or asessore, the emperors Caligula and Nero, and Jesus himself.

Singer, as a lawyer/pastor/storyteller, has created a story that perfectly honors all three professions. While the story is, obviously, fictional, Singer weaves the story so well that I’m convinced it could all actually have been fact. He is very careful to get his biblical and historical details correct. In fact, what I really want is an annotated version to tell me what we know for sure biblically, what’s accurate historically, and where Singer takes artistic liberty.

Actually, what I really want to do is give this book to every Christian ever because through it, they’ll not only be entertained, they’ll finish it knowing so much more about how their faith interacts with history. Most Christians have this idea of “secular” history (what they get taught in schools) and “Christian” history (what they read in Scripture and are taught in church) and rarely do the twain ever meet. Singer, through the method of fictional story, is able to factually place the early church in context of history better than most history books.

The Advocate is just simply incredible. You may think you know the story, especially since it’s based on history, but Singer still pulls a few surprises. Rarely do I ever say that a book left me awestruck, but I’ll say it for this one. All of Singer’s books have been great, but this one…this one’s special.

Singer is a well-established legal thriller author, but The Advocate takes a huge swing away from this genre into historical fiction as readers follow Theophilus, a real person from the New Testament books of Luke and Acts, on a fictional journey. In doing so, Singer presents a compelling tale based on two real trials: that of Jesus and that of Paul in Nero’s court. This book is a riveting look into ancient Rome and offers parallels to our current political climate.

Since Theophilus’ early days when his prompt “offer to release Barabbas” backfired, he has been haunted by the death of Jesus, an innocent man. Theophilus rises quickly as a defender of the common people oppressed by Roman political powers. He falls in love and has a son who he will do anything to defend. His journey takes him through treason trials, gladiator fights and finally to his greatest trial: against Nero and defending Paul, a Christ follower.

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Displaying items 1-5 of 18
Page 1 of 4 1234 Next
  1. PA
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Excellent Book
    September 2, 2014
    rlighthouse
    PA
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    After reading my first Randy Singer book last year I was hooked and set out to read all of his published books. The Advocate did not disappoint. Singer took his legal thriller writing style and wrote about Theophilus, a young man from the New Testament. Theophilus while a real person in the Bible is used as a fictional character in this book as he embarks on his journey of rising in the legal ranks of Rome. He is there while Jesus is tried and crucified and personally feels the pain of the crucifixion after his former classmates tried to crucify him. He feels the pain of not being able to save him when he suggested Barrabbas as a trade hoping the angry mob would choose Jesus. I really enjoyed this book- the author has a way of drawing the reader into what ever situation he writes about and providing all the details needed so that they feel they are really a part of the story.
  2. Irvine, CA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Biblical Historical Fiction Legal Thriller
    September 1, 2014
    VicsMediaRoom
    Irvine, CA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Randy Singer in his book The Advocate published by Tyndale House Publishers gives us a legal thriller featuring Theophilus from The Bible.

    From the Back Cover: 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 deathsRoman 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 tyrants 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 Neros deranged court. Can Theophilus mount a defense that will keep another innocent man from execution?

    The advocates first trial altered the course of history. His last will change the fate of an empire.

    Ever wonder who Theophilus is when you read the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts? Remember that when Luke was writing what we consider those two books was really just one long letter. And it is believed to be a legal brief in defense of the Apostle Paul whom Theophilus was defending before Nero. Now Randy Singer has taken that bit of information and expanded it into one of the best historical fiction novels I think I have ever read. Mr. Singer is always good for a wonderful read however I think, this time, he has outdone himself. The Advocate is entertaining and will have you flipping pages as fast as you can read but, be prepared, it is also thought-provoking. This is a multi-faceted story with interconnected subplots that will keep you guessing until the end. I do not recommend starting this book late at night because it will cost you sleep as you will not want to put it down. Randy Singer is an excellent writer and knows how to twist your nerve endings as he tightens the suspense. I recommend this book highly!

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers. 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 Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
  3. Birmingham, AL
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    The Advocate
    August 24, 2014
    Vivian
    Birmingham, AL
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Randy Singers The Advocate is a dramatic story about a Roman named Theophilus from his days as a student through his maturing years. The author portrays the history of Rome during the days when the Caesars were to be worshiped and exalted as well as many other pagan gods. The story of Jesus trial, death and resurrection is key to the plot that unfolds as Theophilus is witness to what he sees as the death of an innocent man. Theophilus serves in several key offices in the Roman government. Working under Pontius Pilate was one of his early positions. Then he proved himself in the legal ranks of the Roman Empire often times speaking up on behalf of unpopular or not politically correct issues. The times of the gladiators and the tortuous punishment of criminals in the arena is also vividly depicted. The days of Romes demise begin to be seen through the eyes of Theophilus as he tells the story of his life. The loss of a friend to cruel and brutal entertainment gives him the chance to win the love of his own heart. Paul of Tarsus is part of the story, too, and Theophilus faces the challenge of another unpopular representation as well as the challenge to decide for his own spiritual life. A very intriguing and interesting story is shared by this author. I appreciated the great detail of the historical background. The story comes alive as it unfolds; quite believable even though it is a work of fiction. Inspirational and thought provoking as it presents the Gospel for those who do not yet believe. Ones time is not wasted in reading and learning from this mans work.
  4. High Desert West
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Excellent and Intense Historical Realism
    July 30, 2014
    eb7bibliophile
    High Desert West
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This reminds me of a courtroom drama, only better, with more depth and intensity. Mr. Singer is masterful at drawing us into the world of the first century. The historical scenes and figures were fascinating. He portrayed them from the viewpoint of Theophilus, the advocate, then he created narratives from various other viewpoints, making a compelling drama. He used real figures and added details, extra characters, and dialogue that really sound feasible. I loved the quotations from philosophers. It is a tragic story but has a message of hope. The research really made this exceptional.
  5. Pennsylvania
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Great Book
    July 19, 2014
    bookworm
    Pennsylvania
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    The Advocate by Randy Singer was an interesting novel set at the trial of Jesus. Theophilus is a smart young man who was raised as a Roman aristocrat and works around Pontius Pilate. During the trial, he whispers to Pontius Pilate to offer the crowd of people to release Barabbas in exchange for Jesus. However, this plan doesn't go as was hoped and Jesus's death has affected Theophilus for the rest of his life. About thirty years later, Theophilus has had much success in the empire, endured countless hardships, and survived the cruelties of Roman emperors. However, things are about to get worse when Paul must stand before Nero. Theophilus defends Paul and is determined not to allow another innocent man become victim to Roman justice again. Will Theophilus be able to save Paul from an execution? This was a great novel and I loved the historical aspect of the book and I found the story to be so captivating. Another great book by Randy Singer.
Displaying items 1-5 of 18
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