Risen by Angela Hunt
Release Date: January 2016
Publisher: Bethany House
Genre: Historical Fiction / Biblical Fiction
Angela Hunt is one of my favorite authors so when I learned she wrote the novelization of the movie, I was ecstatic and had to read it! While the story is on the redundant side, it’s always fascinating to imagine the resurrection of Jesus Christ through a tribune’s eyes.
I have not seen the movie so I cannot compare the book towards it. However, I have heard that the movie is good but lacks in the scriptural content. Angela Hunt uses tons of scripture references (but not overwhelming!) and lots of historical context. She also includes a bibliography of her sources that can be found at the back of the book.
When it comes to the resurrection of Jesus Christ, it sounds pretty crazy. I mean, how on earth can that happen? People don’t just come back to life unless it’s in a movie or something, right? Except, Jesus actually did.
When it comes to the fact that Jesus literally and physically died and will return again caused unbelievers to not understand and Jews would have to admit that they completely missed the messiah that they had been waiting for.
Told in first person, but with alternating points of view. The characters and plot are completely fictional, but Hunt spent hours researching what an investigation of Jesus rising from the dead might have looked like.
Being a Tribune means that Clavius is surrounded by death and can be cruel. He doesn’t believe in God. Clavius also has a fascination with Rachel who teaches him about God, and eventually Jesus Christ. He is responsible for having put Jesus Christ upon the cross. When it’s discovered that the body is missing, Clavius goes on a hunt only to discover more questions to his answers.
As Clavius searches for the truth, he wrestles with the following objections:
- The disciples stole Jesus’ body and lied about it.
- Jesus wasn’t really dead when they took him down from the cross, but actually revived later on.
- The guards were hallucinating or lying in their second report about angels.
- Jesus’ followers imagined Jesus was alive because they so badly wanted him to be.
My favorite character is probably Rachel. You can only find her within the pages of this novel. She was supposed to be in the movie as well, but had to be cut for time constraints. She’s a widow who bakes bread for a living. There is romance between her and Clavius. Rachel also learns that Yeshua (Jesus) is the long-awaited Messiah, but she is not sure whether or not she believes.
Little do they know that this experience is going to change their lives forever. In fact, it will impact our lives!
It’s well written with lots of truth, but I struggled with it because it is redundant. I can’t recommend going to the movie because I haven’t seen it yet, but I can definitely recommend the book. In fact, I recommend this for anyone that struggles with the idea of Jesus’ Resurrection or is curious to know more about it.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
Read an excerpt.
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About Angela Hunt
The author of more than 100 published books and with nearly 5 million copies of her books sold worldwide, Angela Hunt is the New York Times bestselling author of The Note, The Nativity Story, and Esther: Royal Beauty. Romantic Times Book Club presented Angela with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. In 2008, Angela completed her PhD in Biblical Studies in Theology. She and her husband live in Florida with their mastiffs. She can be found online at http://www.angelahuntbooks.com.