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The Prisoner in the Third Cell

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  900 ratings  ·  119 reviews
Imprisoned by Herod, John the Baptist struggles to understand a Lord who did not meet his expectations; a dramatic account offering insight into the ways of God.
Paperback, 112 pages
Published May 21st 1992 by Tyndale House Publishers (first published January 1st 1991)
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4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  900 ratings  ·  119 reviews

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Dec 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
From the author of The Three Kings: A Tale of Brokenness comes a book of equal profundity in its simplicity.

This book takes its approach from the point of view of John the Baptist and answers the question, "What is my response when God doesn't meet my expectations?"

While reading, I felt convicted of my slow fade into the belief that my sacrifice and suffering and pain will translate to something I can see in this lifetime that tells me it's all worth it. God will bless. This will all make sens
Jun 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ongoing, read-in-2009
I was given the book by one of my Pastors 4 years ago, right after my 30 Y. O. Son as killed in an accident, and this was a week after they found out they were having there first child. Excellent book for ANY Christian who is struggling with anything in life, when you ask yourself "where is God?" Fast and easy read with a VERY POWERFUL ENDING! I've read this 5-6 times now and always keep a couple on hand to share with anyone.

It's a quick read. Read it again tonight for reassurance.
Jun 07, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novella is a nice quick read. The writer's purpose seems to be to address the eternal question "Why does God let bad things happen to good people." His fictionalized account of John's early life makes sense.

I liked the flashback, showing that Jesus was in Egypt when the Israelites were slaves, that he walked among them and saw their pain and cared. Although they didn't immediately know there was an answer to their anguish, Jesus knows there will be a deliverer in Moses.

I was disappointed i
Maggie Macklin
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The verdict was simple. And familiar. It is laid on every nonconformist of every age. "He has a demon."

This is a touching, at times heart wrenching, account of the days immediately before the execution of John the Baptist. Well worth a read.
Daniel Davis
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The book was amazing. Shares some insights on what John could have thought. Give you something to think about when your going through things that life brings us.
Charlie Hall
May 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian
Very easy and quick read. One of my favorites. Makes you think about your relationship with the Lord. Will you love a God whom you do not understand?
John Kaess
Jun 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I usually like Gene Edwards, he has great insights and perspectives. This book is a real home run. It puts personality into the life of John the baptizer.
Jan 24, 2018 rated it liked it
"Will you follow a God that does not live up to your expectations?"
Nov 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Edwards presents one of the most important questions that Christians ask - "Why do You allow this to happen? I was expecting..." - through an enlightening view of the life of John the Baptist. We often don't think much about John's early years, but they formed and shaped his whole ministry.

And at the end, the key questions: "Will you follow a God you do not understand? Will you follow a God who does not live up to your expectations?" God never promises answers to our questions, and that's someth
Angela Smith
Feb 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book that delves into the life of John the Baptist and how his life can be applied to our present situation. This is a very short read and definitely worth your time. It will make you re-evaluate how you see your life and your present struggles and relationship with God.

Chapter 18 was amazing and had me in tears. And the questions in Chapter 19 - "Will you follow a God you do not understand? Will you follow a God who does not live up to your expectations?" Very thought provoking.
I wanted really badly to like this book. It was a promising topic and should have been thought provoking. Instead I felt like I should have been grading it along with the rest of my high school enlgish papers. The characters are barely fleshed out and the dialouge is horribly stilted and affected. I have to put this into the "don't quit your day job" category, unfortunately this is the author's day job.
Eric Black
The Prisoner in the Third Cell is a fictional account of John the Baptist’s life and a meditation on Jesus’ words “blessed is the one who is not offended by me” in response to suffering.

As a meditation on Jesus’ words, the setting is very good.

As a theological statement about suffering, I take issue with Edwards’ cold summation, “Before this present tragedy entered into your life, it first passed through the sovereign hand of God” (81). Surely more ought to be written about God’s sovereignty tha
Jo LeGare
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: five-out-of-five
A gentle novella to read on a school bus full of girls.

Jesus responds beautifully in this novella: “Yet I have been to you, as to all others, a Lord not fully understood, a God who rarely makes clear exactly what He is doing in the life of one of His children.”

John the Baptist, a Prophet with a greater task than Moses, doubts in Jesus as the Messiah as he wastes away in a jail cell. His concern for the Messiah is understandable, and it teaches me that I have hidden expectations for God. . . and
Concetta Kellough
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A short book that centers on John the Baptist and Jesus' response to John's question, "Are you the Messiah, or should we look for another?" Jesus' response, "And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me” (NKJV), is thought provoking and confusing, but Gene Edwards brings to light what that answer means to Christians and anyone else who considers following him. I found the answer eye opening, and something I needed to hear.
Mary-Frances Reavey
An amazing book.

The imprisonment and death of John the Baptist through Jesus's eyes. Totally new point of view. I must have highlighted half the book, I wanted to remember everything.
Christopher Armstrong
Dec 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Simply put, wow. Gene Edwards walks you through the life of John the Baptist and the heart of God in this short yet powerful book. Reading this has transformed my mindset on how to view God in the mists of setbacks, heartaches, pains, and tribulations.
Jessica Evans
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Complete enigmatic sovereignty of God depicted starkly.

This is an awesome and astonishingly simple work. Jesus appears profound yet again. He is this Savior the One we do not understand.
Jun 06, 2018 rated it liked it
I think that it was an interesting premise, but
there were too many scriptural inaccuracies. I know it is fiction, but feel like books based on biblical stories should be a "what if", not divert from the story.
Amy Kannel
Aug 13, 2018 rated it liked it
A quick read - typically I really enjoy these sorts of fictionalized/imaginative accounts that fill in the details and gaps about real Bible characters. But while this was somewhat challenging/encouraging, it was also a bit pedantic/heavy-handed.
Matt Andreoni
Oct 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
All of Edwards' work is wrenching, Tale of Three Kings was notorious for making me cry. But this addition will give you a new perspective on suffering and why the God we serve is the way he is. Indispensable.
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very thought provoking. Worth a second read.
Jul 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Thought provoking, but a little light. It is an enjoyable read.
Linda Buice
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the story of John the Baptist as he waits in his cell. It is easy to read but very interesting.
Kaysie Campbell
Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Nice quick read from the perspective of John the Baptist and how he wrestles with the sovereignty of God.
Danie Markgraaff
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant. Short powerful true story.
Shelia Perry
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book caused a paradigm shift in me. It transformed my thinking like no other book but the Bible has. A must read for every believer.
Lathan Craft
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
New favorite book. Hands down. Everything about this book is beautiful. I will refer this book to anyone going through the valleys of life or simply doubting God in the midst of suffering.
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A quick read, but a powerful story of John The Baptist and what it means to follow a God we do not fully understand nor who does not live up to our human expectations.
Chris Brown
Dec 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Greatly enjoyed this!
Joe Valenti
Mar 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In Matthew 11 (also repeated in Luke 7) Jesus makes a bold statement. He says, "Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist." In Prisoner in the Third Cell, Edwards explores the life of John the Baptist in vivid detail - exploring the facts that John sacrificed his life for Jesus, but dies tragically before he ever gets to fully experience all that Jesus accomplished on the earth.

We don't get a full picture of the life of John from the Bib
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Gene Edwards is one of America's most beloved Christian authors. He has published over 25 best-selling books, and his signature work, "The Divine Romance," has been called a masterpiece of Christian literature. He has written biblical fiction covering nearly the entire Bible, with titles that include the following: "The Beginning," "The Escape," "The Birth," "The Divine Romance," "The Triumph," "R ...more
“He who takes up the sword perishes by the sword. He who refuses to take up the sword perishes on the cross.” 0 likes
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