Author: Donald Joiner
Publisher: Seraphina Press
ISBN: 978-1-63413-630-3

No matter what the cost, we must absolutely prevent this cursed book from being translated and printed in English,” the Muslim is instructed in Donald Joiner’s book, The Antioch Testament.

This three-hundred-and-seventy-four-page paperback targets those who enjoy Biblical historical fiction involving what happened to Jesus’s apostles after His ascension. With some slang words used, topics of persecution, torture, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers.

Based on the writings of Ignatius of Antioch, this book begins in current-day Iraq where an old priest gives a cherished manuscript to an American chaplain who smuggles it into the United States. Being injured, the veteran asks his brother to help him work with a monastery to decipher the copy of the lost 850 AD writings.

With a group of Muslims searching to destroy the ancient document, others interpret the findings, amazed to learn the demises of Jesus’s disciples and the Apostle Paul that are not part of Scripture. Conveying how the Gospel was spread, the followers of Christ are discussed, including their deaths by crucifixion, stoning, stabbing, falaying, beheading, and impalement.

The persecution of the early church after Jesus’s resurrection was rampant. The author not only writes of Peter, Matthias, Andrew, Matthew, Thomas, Thaddaeus, Nathanael, James, Philip, James, Simon, John, and Paul’s lives but also reflects on both Old and New Testament prophecies, parables, and miracles. Not expressing an abundance of gory details, the book includes depth in researching the history and artifacts of nearly two thousand years ago.

With often repetition that connects the dots between the apostles and their journeys, the story has no footnotes, resources, or author’s notes of what is fictional or fact. While some know of the disciples’ deaths, they might need to know Saint Ignatius did exist. However, they may be unsure he wrote tedious letters to his daughter about each apostle.

Korean War veteran, Joiner has been a history teacher, school principal, school system superintendent, banker, and president of a real estate appraisal firm. Married with four children and four grandchildren, he lives in Georgia. This is his debut novel.

I wish the book contained resources and documentation of where the writer got his background information for fact-checking. I also prefer all pronouns of God capitalized for reverence.

If you wonder what may have happened to the apostles throughout their lives, this historical fiction with a plethora of detail may be engaging and educational.

Thanks to the MaryGlenn for offering this book to read and review for my honest opinion.