Book Review: A Week in the Life of a Slave by John Byron

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I think this is my second time to review a fictional book and this one is my first biblical historical fiction.

At first I’m abit surprise on how Paul, Philemon and Onesimus was portraited. Adding to that Demas was also in the story and had moments, knowing in the back of our mind, he will be a backslider according to the Bible.

A Week in the Life of a Slave delivers an interesting and page turning story of Onesimus and Philemon. It follows the fugitive slave to his journey to escaping his master, meeting Paul, the crisis with his presence in the prison where Paul was in, his conversion and his return to Philemon.

If you think this is just a simple and boring story about slavery in Bible times, well you’re mistaken. I was mistaken till I got that light bulb moment. It gives you the glimpse on how we as Christian are heir to Christ.

There are no boring or dragging parts in the book. You’ll find this book a delightful read every time you jump back in.  The supporting characters are interesting and had all been given a fair share of spotlight both real and fictional ones. Then every conversation are spot on. You can feel the emotions jumping over you without being over the top.

The latter chapters before the conclusion for me are the best conversations that I read from the book. The sub plot was well executed and it really helped the main plot.

If the narrative itself is good, the “information box” that accompanies the story is superb. Well written and with great images, it gives out the backstory in every twist and turn of the story. It feels like your reading book within a book. You can use it in either; read it so you’ll for the some cultural background of the story; ignore it and still the story is solid or for future reference material. But if you ask me, the information box will definitely enhance the reading of the already solid narrative.

A Week in the Life of a Slave is a must read that tackles Christian issues of equality and forgiveness that can’t be easily done in a non-fiction format. It doesn’t just fill your mind but this book wins your heart. Highly recommended!

My verdict:

5 out of 5

 

(Review copy of this book was provided by Inter Varsity Press)

8 Favorite Quotes From the Book “A Week in the Life of a Slave” by John Byron

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Though it’s a dark providence that we are going through in my extended family, my father in law is improving. Good to see that his hemoglobin is going up. Despite having kidney failure, he was able to attend church and was able to thank the church for their constant prayers and encouragement. Thank you for praying for him and can I request another prayer item from you? My father (the biological one) will undergo surgery. Please pray for strength and financial support for him. Most importantly, may God use this surgery to get to know God and be saved.

Anyways, here are 8 favorite quotes from John Byron’s book A Week in the Life of a Slavepublished by Inter Varsity Press.  If you like these quotes, please get yourself a copy of this book by ordering at Amazon or at the IVP’s website.

“Brothers and sisters? You consider these people your family?”“Oh yes, that is how we often refer to one another. God is my Father, and all these my siblings in Christ. I assumed you were a believer too,” Eutyches said, “but I see you are not.”

“Jesus became a slave to save us, Nympha. He commanded that we become slaves to one another. If we follow his example, humbling ourselves and becoming slaves to our brothers and sisters in the Lord,…”

“We worship a God who became a slave and died a slave’s death in order to save all of humanity, including slaves,” Archippus replied gently.”

“You understand the difference between slavery and freedom in a way that many do not. I suspect that your new life in Christ has helped you to appreciate freedom from a variety of types of slavery, including from that of sin.”

“Indeed,” answered Archippus, “there are some who wonder whether Philemon’s generous gifts and support are the result of his love for God or a desire to attain honor among the more prominent Christian citizens. I, for one, think his generosity is real and comes from God.”

” Paul looked at the slave and asked, “Tell me, Onesimus, do you worship the God of heaven and his son Jesus? Were you not in attendance at the gatherings in Philemon’s house?”

” Paul’s message was not merely
about another god. It included the claim that the Jewish God was the only true god and that Artemis and all the other gods of the empire were in fact not gods at all.”

“Nympha,” Archippus replied, “when the church gathers in your home to worship, we don’t come before the Lord as Jews and Gentiles or men and women. We are all one in Christ. It
should be the same for those born free and those who were not. In Christ, there is neither slave nor free, and this is how it should be when we meet and gather to eat together.”