Portraying the World of the New Testament through Historical Fiction

The Lost Letters of Pergamum coverI received The Lost Letters of Pergamum by Bruce W. Longnecker as a Christmas present. I was eager to start reading it and finished it in a day. Longnecker is currently Professor of Religion at Baylor University. His work of historical fiction contains correspondence between Luke the evangelist and Antipas, a wealthy pro-Roman businessman. Antipas obtains a copy of Luke's Gospel and begins writing to Luke, to whom he was introduced through a mutual acquaintance, with questions, comments, and even criticisms of Jesus' life and teaching. I won't say more about the story, but I will point out that this Antipas is the same man mentioned in Revelation 2 who dies as a martyr.

The Lost Letters of Pergamum is fiction, but the storyline is realistic and it's portrayal of late first century Roman culture and beliefs is based on solid historical research. I found this short book to be a great introduction to the world of the New Testament and a fun read.