Title: The Scribe
Author: Francine Rivers
Series: Sons of Encouragement, book 5
Major Themes: Apostle Paul, Early Church, Rome
Synopsis: After witnessing the martyrdoms of Paul and Peter, Silas is very discouraged, but with the encouragement of friends, he begins writing his memories of Jesus and the first years of the church.
About a year ago, I came across Francine River’s Sons of Encouragement series in the list of books recommended to supplement the ancient (Biblical) history program we were working our way through. I knew Francine Rivers as a romance writer, so I was a little bit skeptical that her books would be in any way suitable to read aloud to my children, but I pre-read the first one and was quite impressed. We have ended up reading the entire series now. The Scribe turned out to be a bit different from the rest, but it, too, was very good.
This book begins with Silas fleeing Rome immediately after the martyrdoms of Peter and his wife, and Paul. He is lonely and discouraged and in shock, and he just needs to get away. At a market, he comes across a Christian man who directs him to a home where he can stay while he recuperates. While there, he is encouraged to write his memories of Jesus.
As Silas writes down everything he remembers, his brief contacts with Jesus before the resurrection, the exciting days in Jerusalem after Pentecost, and his extensive travels with Paul, his faith returns and he finds himself able to preach and teach again. He frequently spends an evening reading Paul’s and Peter’s epistles to the group of Christians who assemble to hear him. The scrolls are the most important objects in the world to him – he must protect them at all costs.
The Scribe is an amazing, thought-provoking way to look at the Gospels and the book of Acts. Of course, with the little we know about Silas from Scripture, a lot of it is a “what if” story. However, the entire scope of Jesus’ life on earth and the early days of the Christian church are told in a fresh, new way. I found this book very good, and my children enjoyed it, too. There is a bit of romance in it, more than in any of the other ones in this series, but absolutely nothing objectionable.
WARNING: Chapter 1 includes a graphic description of the martyrdom of Peter.
Listening Level—Ages 10 – 12, Family Friendly
Reading Independently—Ages 12 – 15, 15 and Above, Adults