Empire’s End by Jerry B. Jenkins – Book Review

Empires End - A Novel Of The Apostle Paul

Empire’s End – Book Review

Jerry B. Jenkins – the author who is best known for the block-buster Left Behind series – recently released a novel about the Apostle Paul entitled Empire’s End.

Empire’s End is a historical re-imagining of the life of Paul which begins when he was still known as Saul in Jerusalem. The story takes us on his three-year journey to Damascus, through the desert, then back to Jerusalem and Tarsus.

Throughout the story, you’ll experience God’s call on Paul’s life and the transformation Paul experiences as he learns what God has in store for him and the sufferings he must undergo as a bond-servant of Christ.

Because Jerry is usually such an engaging writer, Empire’s End had the potential to be a great story. However, it falls short in several areas.

On the positive side, Empire’s End humanizes Paul. The book allows Paul to share his testimony as he tries to build trust among the followers of The Way after persecuting the church. Paul liberally quotes Scripture throughout the book.

But, unlike books revolving around extra-Biblical characters where the author is at full liberty to create the story he wants, this one focuses on one of the most well-known Bible characters of all times. This presents the author with the unique challenge of creating an engaging fictional story that remains both historically and Biblically accurate.

The more creative liberties you take with a character like Paul, however, the greater the risk of creating confusion and error about the real-life Biblical person himself – or portraying the character in a way that readers find difficult to accept. For instance, I find the romantic elements of the story hard to reconcile with the image of Paul I find in the Bible.

As a fan of Jerry B. Jenkins, I had high hopes for Empire’s Edge – but as good as the story was in certain areas – it was not everything I wanted it to be. I wanted the book to cover more of Paul’s ministry – and not to deviate so far from the actual Biblical accounts.

I rate this book is 3 out of 5 stars.

About Jerry B. Jenkins

Jerry Jenkins

Jerry B. Jenkins is the author of more than 180 books with sales of over 70 million copies, including the best-selling Left Behind series. He is also the former vice president for publishing and currently chairman of the board of trustees for the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago.

Jerry’s writing has appeared in Time, Reader’s Digest, Parade, Guideposts, and dozens of Christian periodicals. Twenty of his books have reached The New York Times best-seller list (seven debuting number one).

Jerry owns Jenkins Entertainment, a filmmaking company in Chicago, and the Christian Writers Guild, which aims to train tomorrow’s professional Christian writers.


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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. However, the opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

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2 Responses to “Empire’s End by Jerry B. Jenkins – Book Review”

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  1. Tyra says:

    I just finished reading the book today and have to concur that it fell flat. I tend to like Jenkins’ books but this one was lacking in excitement, engagement and action. It left me wanting more. The scripture references weren’t woven in in a creative fashion but felt like place holders. As an avid reader who consumes fiction as a special treat, this was like getting one of grandmas mints from the bottom of her purse when you really wanted a chocolate bar.

    • Create With Joy
      Twitter: CreateWithJoy1

      Thanks for stopping by, Tyra, and sharing your thoughts on the book! You described it perfectly.
      Hopefully your next fiction pick will be Godiva! 🙂

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