Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Diaries of Pontius Pilate

I got a suggestion on my Shelfari page for a book to read. It was a humble request by Joseph Max Lewis inviting me to read his first published work of fiction entitled The Diaries of Pontius Pilate. The plot synopsis looked interesting, so I picked up a copy. The story involves a team of archaeologists lead by American Dr. Kevin Elliot that is working on a dig near the Dead Sea. They uncover a cave filled with inscribed metal disks along with a Roman seal and a tar-covered relic of some sort. Just as Kevin and his team start to get an inkling that they may have found something important, a group of Israeli police arrive to investigate a dead body found near the dig site. It is then that the trouble begins to escalate quickly for the team. The site comes under sudden attack and there the team is wiped out. Kevin and his assistant Dr. Jill Gates barely escape into the night with the artifacts. It seems that no matter which direction they turn, someone is pursuing them with sinister intent.

As the story develops, the different factions slowly come into focus. On the one hand we have the extremely well funded and deployed Society for the Enlightenment of Humanity (or The Society). This is an anti-Christian group that will stop at nothing to discredit anything to do with Jesus and who he claimed to be. On the other hand, we have the group called The Fellowship of the Essentials (or The Fellowship) that also have a powerful and wealthy membership who are scrabbling to match The Society step for step. Both groups are hot on the trail of Kevin and Jill as they learn that they have uncovered the diaries of the Roman governor Pontius Pilate. Pilate who gave the order to crucify Jesus, saw some amazing signs during this ordeal that convinced him to complete an official investigation into who this Jesus was. Ultimately he became so certain of who Jesus was, that he became an powerful force in the Christian movement. His findings were preserved on the copper disks that were unearthed. (The artifacts found are related to the commissioned findings purportedly from Pilate but are generally regarded as non-authentic by scholars - see the Acts of Pilate.)

Definitely a Christian thriller with an interesting premise. Not a bad first effort for Mr. Lewis. A good read that you should be able to read through in a few sessions. The author related to me that he is now working to finish up a sequel to this work.