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The Last Disciple (The Last Disciple #1)

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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  624 ratings  ·  72 reviews
First-century Rome is a perilous city as Nero stalks the political circles and huddled groups of believers. To be safe, Christians must remain invisible.Gallus Sergius Vitas is the only man within Nero's trusted circle willing to do what it takes to keep the empire together. He struggles to lessen Nero's monstrosities against the people of Rome--especially the Christians. ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published April 19th 2012 by Tyndale House Publishers (first published September 10th 2004)
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Christina
I found this book quite disjointed. It was like the authors felt the need to manufacture drama. So, they'd give you a few paragraphs (A few pages, if you're lucky.), then jump to a new scene.

There were times when the authors would jump to a brand new setting/characters but leave out imperative details. It left the reader confused and hanging, as they quickly cut to a new scene.

I found the character development lacking

Honestly, it was pretty grueling to get through. To top it off, almost nothin
...more
Lee Harmon
I’m unaware of another book out there that presents the preterist view in a fictional story, and that alone earns The Last Disciple recognition. If you need a reminder, preterism is a branch of Christianity that believes most of the prophecies and covenantal promises of the Bible have been fulfilled. Armageddon is over. Much, if not all, of Revelation has occurred.

The setting for the book is the years of Nero Caesar’s reign, just prior to the war of 70 AD, when the Romans overran Jerusalem. Ner
...more
Christian Fiction Addiction
Set in first-century Rome, The Last Disciple weaves together the stories of Gallus Sergius Vitas, a man within the inner circle of Emperor Nero, with the lives of Christians who are experiencing ever-greater persecution for their beliefs. Vitas has committed to serve justice equally for all, and is no longer able to stand by as Nero carries out horrific acts against Christian believers, or while other Roman rulers plunder and steal to their own benefit. Vitas sets out to Jerusalem to investigate ...more
Steven
Hanegraaff's response to the LEFT BEHIND series is another interesting installment in the author's "What They Should Have Written" series. I made that title up, of course, but it was nicer than "What they Would Have Written if they Were as Smart as I am." **

That's too harsh for Hanegraaff, whose work merits more attention than it gets. His radio show (The Bible Answer Man) is excellent, and the speaker/author certainly does his homework. Sometimes I think he is frustrated that such poor books g
...more
Tirzah
This book is set in 1st century Jerusalem & Rome during the time of Nero's reign. I love reading absorbing stories from this period and, for me, this was that type of book. There was action, intrigue and romance with characters I cared about and a story that kept me turning the pages. However, going into this I knew it was Mr. Hanegraff's response to the Left Behind series so I was prepared but I still had a hard time swallowing his Preterist views that he intertwined throughout the book - v ...more
Ben Chenoweth
OK, I was hoping this would be better than "Apocalypse", but it wasn't. This was way too melodramatic. I really didn't feel the authors dealt with the book of Revelation in the context of the late 60's of the first century. They were more concerned about Mark 13 / Matt. 24. And when they did touch on Revelation towards the end, they didn't explain why the book was written to Christians in Asia Minor when the persecution under Nero was centered on Rome. Disappointing, and I won't go looking for t ...more
Jessica
This book was an excellent read!! It had me at the edge of my seat the entire time. The courage that these faithful Christians possessed (through the grace of God!) is awe inspiring. And the tortures that they endured for the sake of Christ brought me to my knees!!
I found this book to be very, very moving and encouraging. I strongly recommend this to 16 and up! *goes to read book 2, "The Last Sacrifice"*



Emily Wolfenbarger
Mar 14, 2008 Emily Wolfenbarger rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Emily by: Mom
Shelves: for-fun
I practically read this in one sitting. Incredible, biblical, inventive. Amazing and highly recommended!
Micaiah K.
I found the book a bit boring. I struggled getting through it. I also didn't really like how the authors wrote the book in choppy scenes, getting a few paragraphs about one character and then moving onto the next. I didn't really like it, but that just may be because I don't like the time period that much, reading about all the killing and disturbing things that went on back then (that's just me though). :) Nero's reign was a pretty grueling time for the Christians…or maybe just people in genera ...more
Grace
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Josiah Degraaf
This book is kind of like what the Left Behind Series would be if it had good eschatology and good writing.

Pros:

The series is based on the premise that, as Christ promised the events He foretold would happen within the generation, the prophecies of Christ, and much of Revelation were fulfilled in the Destruction of Jerusalem. Thus, while being historical fiction, it also uses a lot of apocryphal imagery to accompany these times under Nero's persecution. The result is a fascinating story of the p
...more
Terri
The authors did a decent job of depicting Rome in the early years after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, but it wasn't as thorough as Francine Rivers' Mark of the Lion trilogy. The terminology and customs aren't as all-encompassing, which helps you focus more on the story but doesn't give you a sense of immersion in the culture. What The Last Disciple did very well was depict the tension between traditional Jews and Christians in that time period, and the Roman Emperors and "the growin ...more
Laura
Hanegraaff and Brouwer had an extremely interesting cast of characters, an intriguing story-line, a wonderful setting, and good theology to apply to the story. But somehow, this book wasn't a gripper. First off, it wasn't very coherent - the authors decided to jump around from story to story (about five of them) dedicating a few pages to one plot, then whisking you off to another before you've got your feet planted on the first one. I think that the authors were trying to increase the drama by t ...more
Renn Shearin
First-century Rome is a perilous city as Nero stalks the political circles and huddled groups of believers. To be safe, Christians must remain invisible.

Gallus Sergius Vitas is the only man within Nero’s trusted circle willing to do what it takes to keep the empire together. He struggles to lessen Nero’s monstrosities against the people of Rome—especially the Christians. But as three Greek letters are scrawled as graffiti throughout the city, Nero’s anger grows.

As the early church begins to expe
...more
Lacey Stephens
This was an interesting book. It's a look at the idea that the Tribulation may have already started during Nero's time. But whether that idea is actually true or not, it's a great look at life in Rome and Jerusalem a few years after the resurrection of Jesus. A time filled with political corruption and Christian persecution. Where the movie "The Passion of the Christ" gave a detailed visual of the crucifixion of Jesus, this book allows your imagine to "see" what life in Rome and Jerusalem would ...more
Holly
This book is the first in a trilogy, which is the a-millennial answer to The Left Behind series. While it is not the best prose I've sampled, the writing is vastly superior to that in any of The Left Behind books (which I swear had to have been written for a 3rd-4th grade reading level in order to have a broader readership. . .the ones for teens were painful to read, being far "cheaper" in every conceivable way than the adult counterparts). It shares with The Left Behind writers the very annoyin ...more
Michael
I enjoy genre fiction of ancient and Roman history. I picked this book off of a sale shelf; it is part of a Christian fiction series. Its aim is to portray the persecution of Christians by Nero and how several people helped the apostle John protect the Book of Revelation from destruction. Much of the chronology seems to be wrong and the historic research questionable.
Sabrina
A well written book that discussed the later part of Nero's reign. The 2nd half of the book is where the real action picked up and I found I couldn't put the book down. (view spoiler) I was surprised with how things did or did not work out and I have become a fan of Vitas.

Some of the dialog was heavy in the preaching. Not that I'm complaining about the message, just in its' delivery
...more
Chris Cooper
Outstanding!

A wonderful romp through the apostolic world. I found this book to be a faithful fictional account of the Scriptures and history.
Benjamin
It was neat to read a fiction story set in the late 60s AD to sort of enter the world of Christians & Jews under the horror of Nero. Whether one agrees with the preterist position (over-simplification: Revelation was written before 63AD & mostly refers to the persecution under Nero & sacking of Jerusalem, not the distant future) or not it was interesting for that alone. I think the world & big picture of this story were good, but I didn't find the writing to be the best. Still, I ...more
Eileen Binning
I teach Ancient Civilizations in 6th grade. This offers a first hand perspective on Roman rule, diaspora, and persecution of the Jewish people.
For the more mature reader, but still appropriate.
Sheila
I really enjoyed this book. However, it is part of a trilogy and it leaves the reader hanging. This one was free, but the next two are NOT. I am not sure if I will continue reading the trilogy. I feel like I was cheated.
Ellen
This book had no closure...there were characters at the end that were just forgotten.
Michael Rainwater
Nicely written. Many stories to keep up with.
Jeff
I read this book because I wanted to learn more about the interpretation of Revelation that this man believes. While I found the thoughts interesting, I would still choose to a Pretribulation person. The book is slow in the beginning, but much of that is necessary to help develop the plethora of characters that are in the book. The copious amount of characters can lead to some confusion if you were to take a long time to read the book. Still, for the questions it helped to develop in the storyli ...more
Jamie
I read 3 pages and just couldn't continue. My interest was lost very quickly.
Melba
May 08, 2013 Melba rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who enjoy biblical fiction & the Bible
Recommended to Melba by: Free download from Family Fiction
I enjoyed this book, but it would have been easier if I could have remembered all the times & dates that were given concerning the Romans. I still like reading this, and I love anything that is biblical or based on those principles.

I like both of these authors as well, and I have read other works by each one. Christian fiction, and Bible study books are by far my favorite genre; however, I also read many others - science fiction, mystery/thriller & historical as well.
Hannah
This book didn't really grab my attention and it took me a long time to finish. There were about three or four different stories going on and just when something exciting would happen, they would go to someone else and by the time it came back to them, I'd forgotten what was going on. Also, it didn't say it anywhere, but it's the first of 2 I guess, so it TOTALLY leaves you hanging at the end. Other than that it was good, but I don't think I'd recommend it.



Beverly Steinhardt
overall I was bored by this book.
Bradly J
For those who may find themselves a bit burned-out on all the ceaseless Left Behind releases, this is a different treatment of the events of John's Revelation, not based on the pre-millenial view of the end times. As one who has grown up believing the pre-millenial view, it was nice to be able to read a well-written story portraying a different understanding. There is also much contained in the series of first century culture and history.
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Hank Hanegraaff serves as president and chairman of the board of the North Carolina–based Christian Research Institute International. He is also host of "The Bible Answer Man" radio program, which is broadcast daily across the United States and Canada as well as around the world through the Internet at http://www.equip.org. Widely considered to be one of the world's leading Christian apologists, H ...more
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