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The Robe

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  15,564 ratings  ·  805 reviews
A Roman soldier, Marcellus, wins Christ's robe as a gambling prize. He then sets forth on a quest to find the truth about the Nazarene's robe-a quest that reaches to the very roots and heart of Christianity and is set against the vividly limned background of ancient Rome. Here is a timeless story of adventure, faith, and romance, a tale of spiritual longing and ultimate re ...more
Paperback, 528 pages
Published April 7th 1999 by Mariner Books (first published 1942)
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The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. LewisMere Christianity by C.S. LewisThe Screwtape Letters by C.S. LewisThe Hiding Place by Corrie ten BoomThe Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
Books (Besides the Bible) Recommended for Christian Readers
54th out of 2,800 books — 2,648 voters
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Best Christian Fiction
35th out of 1,718 books — 2,095 voters

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Community Reviews

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Jul 09, 2008 Emily rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone in need of something
Recommended to Emily by: Jenny Baker

For the first time, I feel like I have an inkling of what Christ's life was like, with whom he socialized, what he ate, saw, did, and where/and whom he taught. The relationships and accounts of Christ's sermons from fictional eye-witnesses were mesmerizng.

All of the accounts are what we've read about in the New Testament all our lives, but the fictional stories of how those teachings changed the lives of humble people in forsaken villages in a forsaken countryside made me understa
My interest to read this novel was sparked by watching the movie. The novel is so much better than the movie, no big surprise there! :-) Yet, I was surprised to see just how many characters and details had been eliminated in the movie version to make the plot fit into a 2-hour presentation. Douglas's novel is marvelous! The movie does not do such an emotionally-charged book justice! The main characters, Marcellus, Diana, and Demetrius, are not as valiantly noble as Douglas's words create them ou ...more
Jocelyn Jazmen
First of all, I have to say I'm not particularly religious. I read this book on the recommendation of a fellow Goodreads friend.

It is a story of one man's quest to find truth in a corrupted world and his transformation from a skeptic to a believer, so in a sense it is a psychological and emotional character study of the protagonist Marcellus, a Roman officer. The catalyst for all this is his possession of Christ's robe that was won by drawing lots.

I was really in the mood for a book that would t
Upfront disclosure: I am not a Christian, and am not convinced in the divinity of Christ blah blah blah. In fact, I'm a fairly established atheist, but solid evidence would change my mind and I would acknowledge the truth of Christianity, but I wouldn't practice it because that's a whole other essay. But I can still appreciate historical fiction set in this time and with this subject matter. For instance, The Ten Commandments (both DeMille versions, silent and sound) have got to be the funnest m ...more
One of the repeated discussions I have had and probably will continue to have with my dad is the subject of this book; would we believe in Jesus if we were alive when he was? This book covers all the bases of that question and then some.

This book, written in the 1940s, shows the experience of a Roman Tribune given a post in the middle of nowhere Palestine and thrown into the world of "the New Testament" without knowledge, care or concern for the world and life of the Jews. He witnessed the cruc
In my book club, we decided to read this novel that was suggested by one of our members. I had a vague recollection of an old movie I'd seen when I was growing up, but didn't know "The Robe" was based on an actual book. I will admit, I wasn't too thrilled about the idea of reading it. (This is why belonging to a book club is so makes you stretch & get out of your rut of always reading the same type of books)

The story is about the Robe of Christ and a young Roman named Marcellus G
4.5 star rating!

A riveting historical fiction that answers the question what might have happened to Jesus' robe after His crucifixion, when the soldiers cast lots for it. Lloyd C. Douglas is a master storyteller!
Mary JL
Jan 18, 2010 Mary JL rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of Christian fiction or historical fiction
Recommended to Mary JL by: No one--first book I every purchased--75 cents, btw
Shelves: fiction-classics
This is my "oldest" book. NOt by publishing date--but the first book I ever purchased for myself--at age 14 and I still have it.

The story is based on Marcellus Gallo, a wealthy young Roman tribune wh oversees Christ's crucifixion. It traces how the crucifixion affects him and his family--first Marcellus is appalled; acting crazy; resentful and so on. Then he starts touring Galilee to find ou the background of Jeses. At the end, he does join the new Christian religion--as many Romans did.

The stor
Apr 22, 2011 Christy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Christy by: Sharon T.
What a powerful story! This is a new take on the crucifixion of Christ and its aftermath. I never thought about the Roman soldiers who crucified Him. Although this is pure fiction, it seems terribly real. The story meanders quite a bit, and the writing is mediocre, but the subject makes up for all that. The book was copyrighted in 1942, and my copy was from the 44th printing, just three years later! That’s how popular it was in its time. The inside front cover of my copy has the nameplate of Ash ...more
Joe Peters
Oct 16, 2009 Joe Peters rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone!
Shelves: adventure, religion
This is the 1st book I've ever read by Lloyd C. Douglas, and, WOW! This is one of the best books I've ever read! It's one of those that you never want to put down, and once you get to the end you are sad because it's over. Absolutely, wonderfully engaging characters, and the time setting is very interesting (around the crucifixion of Christ and a couple years afterward). I never thought about the first years of Christianity and how it grew into a religion after Jesus died.

A side effect was that
As always, the book is SO MUCH better than the Movie. What a great find, I remember loving the movie when I was a young girl. This was a wonderful way to tell the story of Jesus, after the crucifiction and through the eyes of the people he had lived with and taught and healed, and a good reminder of what the Christian religion is truly about.

Marcellus and Demetrius were wonderful heros, I adored Diana, hated the evil Roman Emporers and thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself into the life and times
I read this to present to my book club next month. I realize that this style of writing is a little old fashioned because it is not the shorthand version written now, so it may take others a little time to get used to. And yet, it's hard to put it down.

I found the cultural context most interesting. As I became immersed in the culture, I could feel how and why the teachings of Christ were strange to the Romans and the Jews. I saw how Christ's teachings became a danger to the Jew's economy and com
Emily Beeson
The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas

Book Review by Emily

Here's what I want to ask this book...Where have you been all my life? I wonder how I never read this classic until now. It's amazing.

Marcellus Gallio, a Roman Tribune, is ordered to crucify Jesus. Although he believes Jesus is innocent of any crime, he follows orders. During the crucifixion, he takes the Robe that Jesus wore.

That dark day nearly kills Marcellus. He is overwhelmed with guilt and curiosity. Marcellus travels to Galillee to learn mor
JoAnne Pulcino


Lloyd C. Douglas

Mr. Douglas was an American minister and author who wrote his first book at age fifty, after a very successful career as a minister. He is respected and remembered for his exquisite novels centering on religious themes and gorgeous depictions of the time, the place and the enchantment of the beginning of Christianity.

THE ROBE is the story of a Roman soldier, Marcellus who wins Christ's robe in a gamble. The impact of the robe sets him on a quest to fin
I started this book a day before book club and am so sad I didn't start it sooner so I could be a part of the discussion. I loved this book! I enjoyed reading this over Easter weekend as I had the atonement and resurrection of Jesus Christ particularly in my thoughts. One of the most fascinating things for me was how the people of that time period became so much more real to me than ever before. I could imagine how they interacted with the Savior and how they were improved by their association w ...more
It is fitting I finished reading on Easter Sunday. It was a great book to read the week of Easter. Very good story and characters. A Roman soldier, Marcellus, takes part in the crucifixion of Jesus, and is so upset by it that he eventually begins a search to find out all he can about Jesus. I liked that Douglas gives a wonderful back story to Marcellus. We learn of his loving parents and his sister, and his loyal slave, Demetrius. Demetrius is a great man. This is a character rich book, with man ...more
First of all, it was refreshing to read something clean and inspiring after some of the garbage I've been exposed to lately. Secondly, there were times when this book dragged, times when it seemed silly, and times when it made me mad, but on the whole I enjoyed it. More importantly though, I felt a greater desire to come to know Christ for myself and to shed the worldliness that continues to creep into my life. To live more for Him and His children and less for myself. And for that, the book def ...more
One of the few books that I read more than one time. I love this story.
Published in 1942 and an instant bestseller, "The Robe" was a spur of the moment download. Didn't know what it was about, but a book that hits the NYT bestseller list at #1 in two different decades must be good. So thanks to a book on the history of NYT Bestsellers, I just finished a powerful novel set in Rome and Palestine during the years after Jesus's crucifixion. Very well written with fully developed characters, the story of Roman Tribune Marcellus Gallio's transformation was co ...more
Angie Libert
This book is set in the time of Jesus' death and rebirth from a high-ranking Roman soldier's perspective. I enjoyed the historical background of the time, it really brought Jesus' time and influence to life. The topics of love, freedom, government, gods, and revolutions would make this a really enjoyable discussion with others. I am looking forward to reading the author's others book "Magnificent Obsession" sometime in the future.

Favorite quotes:

--"there is always something fundamentally wrong
I think I can label this book as historical fiction. It follows the story of the Roman soldier who cast lots and won the Savior's robe at the Crucifixion. I really had no idea, beyond that description, what the book was about when I started, except that it was a favorite of friend. I liked that I couldn't guess what was going to happen. With 500+ pages, it felt long at times, but the storyline kept my attention enough to keep me going. I couldn't put it down and finished in 5 days or so. I learn ...more
Abigail Hartman
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A remarkable example of Christian historical fiction. The "in-book" theology is not anachronistic -- meaning it is what one should expect from a pagan Roman coming into the faith by way of stories and experiences as opposed to prolonged catechesis. There were likely many of these kind of Christians at the onset, and the story provides an interesting insight into those situations.

The book is also well-researched and does a superb job of accomplishing its didactic goals, so that the reader can lea
Impossible to begin saying how much this book means to me. It was the ultimate turning point in my life, and I've heard others express the same thing.

Although set in Biblical times--from the crucifixion of Christ onward--the story itself is fiction (in part). The Robe centers on the Centurion responsible for carrying out the crucifixion of Jesus. For the purposes of the story, he was the one who gambled for Christ's garments and won the robe. From that time, he became "bewitched" by the "power"
"Our life is like a land journey, too even and easy and dull over long distances across the plains, too hard and painful up the steep grades; but, on the summits of the mountain, you have a magnificent view--and feel exalted--and your eyes are full of happy tears--and you want to sing--and wish you had wings! And then--you can't stay there, but must continue your journey--you begin climbing down the other side, so busy with your footholds that your summit experience is forgotten."
— Lloyd C. Dou
I can see why other like this book but it just was just not my cup of tea. The first one hundred or so pages were painful. The delivery of the needed background information was clumsy (and boring) and I found the actual story a little corny at first. The middle was a simple recitation of the New Testament stories. The little bit of fictionalization of the stories did help and he had some interesting thoughts on how the miracles of feeding the 5,000 and water to wine may have occurred. Perhaps if ...more
A battered old copy found in Uncle Arthur's belongings when he died. The book is inscribed "To Bernard, from Geoff on your 19th birthday, Dec 1947", so it has passed around the brothers in this family!
I have never seen the film (a 'Biblical Epic' starring Richard Burton) but was quite intrigued to think-through the fictionalised emotional journey of the Roman Centurion who nailed Jesus to the cross. The narrative alludes strongly and closely to the Biblical accounts (it is easy to work out whic
Not a quick read, but a very engaging story about Marcelleus, the Roman soldier who orders Christ's death, and who wins his robe in the dice game whilst his death is occurring.
I found it interesting and edifying, but definitely also from a Protestant perspective (which makes sense as the author was a retired pastor.)
It doesn't get much better than this. Marcellus Gallio is commissioned to take command of the Roman fort at Minoa. His trusted slave and friend Demetrius makes the trip with him. In the meantime Jesus is tried under Pontius Pilate and sentenced to death. Marcellus is ordered to conduct the execution. To cope with the situation Marcellus and his officers get drunk and gamble for Christ's robe. Marcellus wins and this leads to his search behind the Man who wore it. Even if the reader is not a Chri ...more
Debbie O
I love books that make me think beyond the story that I already know. I am a Christian and appreciate the author's exploration of what life could have been like for those who lived during the time of Jesus Christ. Even if I was not a Christian, I hope that I could still appreciate the perspective this book offers. This book stays true to the message that the gospel of Jesus Christ is one of peace and good will. One's journey to accepting the reality of His divinity is so personal. I was impresse ...more
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  • Julie
  • Women of Faith in the Latter Days: Volume One, 1775-1820
was a noteworthy American minister and author. He spent part of his boyhood in Monroeville, Indiana, Wilmot, Indiana and Florence, Kentucky, where his father, Alexander Jackson Douglas, was pastor of the Hopeful Lutheran Church. He died in Los Angeles, California.
Douglas was one of the most popular American authors of his time, although he didn't write his first novel until he was 50.
His written w
More about Lloyd C. Douglas...
Magnificent Obsession The Big Fisherman Doctor Hudson's Secret Journal White Banners Disputed passage

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“Our life is like a land journey, too even and easy and dull over long distances across the plains, too hard and painful up the steep grades; but, on the summits of the mountain, you have a magnificent view--and feel exalted--and your eyes are full of happy tears--and you want to sing--and wish you had wings! And then--you can't stay there, but must continue your journey--you begin climbing down the other side, so busy with your footholds that your summit experience is forgotten.” 34 likes
“This faith, is not like a deed to a house in which one may live with full rights of possession. It is more like a kit of tools with which a man may build himself a house. The tools will be worth just what he does with them. When he lays them down, they will have no value until he takes them up again.” 12 likes
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