A Novel of the Ministry and Passion of Christ

by Leonard Wibberley
©1966, Item: 64790
Hardcover, 251 pages
Not in stock

Each of the first three Gospels calls attention to the Roman centurion who officiated at the Crucifixion, and it is this sympathetic, yet enigmatic figure whom Mr. Wibberley has made the focus of this novel of Christ's Ministry and Passion. In so doing, he not only achieves a thoroughly fresh interpretation of the Gospel story, but also imbues it with a shrewd appreciation of human motives and its wonder implicit in his juxtaposition of Jesus and the hard-bitten veteran, Longinus—a stern, dutiful man completely loyal to Rome and unreligious except as he paid lip service to the Roman gods.

"The Centurion is more important to me than anything else I've ever written," says Leonard Wibberley. "To any writer or plastic artist the personality of Christ and the reality of him as a man must always have enormous appeal—putting aside for the moment the matter of his divinity. For perhaps ten years or more I contemplated writing the novel; and though the act of the final writing was the labor of only a few months, the gestation period was long indeed. I started it, I find, about five years ago. I wrote three chapters then, but they were not the story I wanted to tell and I dropped the project. Plainly the time hadn't come to write the book. Thereafter, I would write whole chapters in my head and then others would suggest themselves, and the original chapters disappear. In this way, the novel was eventually written. I tried hard to put the story down, and the process has meant a great deal to me."

Mr. Wibberley has been faithful to traditional sources, yet has elaborated these with his own knowledge of history. The reader participates vividly in the contentious life of the times, knowing all the great figures of the drama as living, fallible men and women.

Jacket by Paul Bacon

from the dust jacket

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