Thursday, January 25, 2007

Book Review: "John's Story: The Last Eyewitness" by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins

Same old story again

John, the disciple Jesus loved most, is the only disciple left. All the others have been killed for their beliefs. Currently in prison awaiting his sentence, John wants to get his story about his life with the Messiah out to the rest of the world. When an attempt to boil him in a pot of oil fails, John is sentenced to exile on Patmos. Before he goes, he dictates his story to Polycarp in hopes that others will listen to it and believe.

When I first heard the premise of this novel, I was excited. I thought it was going to be the New Testament through John's eyes during that time period. I thought the story would be first person narrative from John's point of view from when he grew up, to meeting Jesus, throughout Jesus' ministry, after Jesus died, etc. Unfortunately this book was not at all what I expected. I didn't feel this book to be on the level as the Left Behind series. To me the story was just verbatim the Bible with a little background story for continuity thrown in. I did find the Gnostic believer and his arguments with John very interesting with that belief brought to contemporary popularity these days. I wish they had included more of that discussion. I also did find John's attempted death in the oil fascinating. However the rest of the book was not exciting or even uncovering anything new. Also the author's felt the need to include all of John's works from the Bible in the book. So really, the 300 page book is only half a novel. This wouldn't be such a problem if the story wasn't EXACTLY what was in the Bible. It almost feels like the authors were afraid to create a character for John, different that how he is always portrayed. You don't know anything about his personal life at all. Seeing as how John was the disciple Jesus loved the most, I expected more from this book. I only hope that for the other books, they change the format and include more original story and less repetition.

John's Story: The Last Eyewitness by Tim LaHaye & Jerry Jenkins is published by Putnum Adult (2006)

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