Sunday, June 23, 2013

Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate

I always love reading a fiction book based on a Bible story! Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate is written by Diana Wallis Taylor. I think it's interesting that there is only one small paragraph in the Bible that mentions Claudia, but the author has woven a beautiful story about what might have been. Diana has done her research though, and was able to pull together Claudia's family history and lineage which helped add to the story.
The story begins when Claudia is just 12 years old, and is taken away from her mother, grandmother and everything she has ever known. Her grandfather, Tiberius Caesar has sent for her to come live with him in his royal palace. Claudia's mother, Julia was disowned by Tiberius long ago for her wild behavior and must remain in Reggio alone though she is ill. The emperor requests that Scribonia, Claudia's grandmother deliver Claudia to the palace and then return to her own people.

Upon arrival to the palace, Claudia meets her maidservant Hotep who is close to own age. Though Hotep is a servant, her and Claudia soon become friends. Unfortunately, Claudia also meets Sejanus, Tiberius's royal advisor. She soon learns of all of the wicked things that Sejanus is capable of, and does her best to steer clear of him. Claudia has a few run ins with him and his wrath follows her for many years. Even long after her marriage to Lucius Pontius Pilate.

Although Claudia's marriage to Lucius was arranged, she clearly loved him. There was quite an age difference (she was 16 and he was in his thirties), but in those times, it made no difference. The story follows Claudia and Lucius as Lucius governs Caesarea, Judea, and Jerusalem, and the birth of their first child. We also read about what was going on with Jesus's teachings, and what happened after Lucius condemned Jesus to die on the cross.

This book was definitely an interesting read that I enjoyed very much! I like the thought that Claudia's story may have actually turned out this way. I think the author did an excellent job at portraying Claudia and Lucius and the emotions they both felt  as Lucius made his decisions. The author conveyed that Lucius was remorseful after sentencing Jesus to death, and that in a way, he did believe that the rumors were true about Jesus. That He really was the Son of God. She also closes the end of the book with a note saying how she did her research and that she found out that there is a `Orthodox church named for Lucius Pilate. She states that she would like to believe that meant that Lucius did eventually come to know Jesus and that he realized he had indeed been forgiven. I would like to believe that also.

I rate this book as 5 stars and I think it's safe to say that this is a book I will read over and over again.

I received this book for free from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group to give my honest unbiased opinion.
This book will be available June 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

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