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Apocalypse

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It's A.D. 95, and everybody wants a piece of the Apocalypse. Some will kill to destroy it. Others will die to protect it and to remain faithful to the One it proclaims.

A storm at sea and an assassination attempt thrust a Roman senator and a wool merchant's son into a conflict between earthly powers and God's kingdom. Flavius and Antonius, both believers in Christ, are about to make a startling discovery: a mysterious scroll, written by the ...

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Overview

It's A.D. 95, and everybody wants a piece of the Apocalypse. Some will kill to destroy it. Others will die to protect it and to remain faithful to the One it proclaims.

A storm at sea and an assassination attempt thrust a Roman senator and a wool merchant's son into a conflict between earthly powers and God's kingdom. Flavius and Antonius, both believers in Christ, are about to make a startling discovery: a mysterious scroll, written by the apostle John, that unlocks the secrets of present, past, and future.

The Apocalypse—the book of Revelation.

Their find comes at a time of great persecution for the early church. The Imperial Cult is spreading Caesar-worship across the Roman province of Asia, and pressure to bow down to the emperor Domitian intensifies by the day. Flavius, Antonius, and their loved ones must stake their lives on what they believe—for the Imperial Temple has learned about the Apocalypse, and they will stop at nothing to destroy it and the church it has empowered.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310253556
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 5/1/2004
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.74 (w) x 8.04 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author

C. Marvin Pate (MA, Wheaton; PhD, Marquette University) taught for thirteen years at Moody Bible Institute. Now he is chair of the department of Christian theology and professor of theology at Ouachita Baptist University. Pate has authored, co-authored, or edited twenty books. C. Marvin Pate, profesor del Nuevo Testamento en Ouachita Baptista Universidad. El ha escrito y co-escrito numerosos libros. El y su esposa Sherry viven serca de Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Ellos tienen una hija.

J. Daniel Hays (ThM, Dallas Theological Seminary; PhD, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) is dean of the Pruet School of Christian Studies and professor of Old Testament at Ouachita Baptist University. He is the author of From Every People and Nation, and he has coauthored Grasping God's Word; Preaching God's Word; Journey into God's Word; The Story of Israel: A Biblical Theology; Iraq: Babylon of the End Times?; Apocalypse; and The Dictionary of Biblical Prophecy. He teaches adult Sunday school at his local church in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, and preaches frequently throughout the nation. J. Daniel Hays doctor en filossofia de Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary es decano de la Pruet School of Christian Studies y profesor de Antiguo Testamento e interpretacion biblica en la Ouachita Baptist University. Es el autor de From Every People and Nation, y coautor de Grasping God's Word, Preaching God's Word, Irag: Babylon of the End-Times, Apocalypse y del Dictionary of Biblical Prophecy. Imparte clases de adultos en la Escuela Dominical de su iglesia local en Arkadelphia, Arkansas, y predica a menudo en toda la region.

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Read an Excerpt

Apocalypse


By J. Daniel Hays C. Marvin Pate

Zondervan

Copyright © 2004 C. Marvin Pate and J. Daniel Hays
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-310-25355-1


Chapter One

ASSASSINS

The sky had grown gray and angry, but no rain had yet fallen. The wind shifted to the north and gained velocity, causing the sails on the two short masts to flutter limply for a moment and then pop tight again. The ship groaned and creaked, then began picking up speed. Standing by the dual rudders at the stern, the captain, known simply as Heron, cursed under his breath and turned the ship slightly to the south, putting the wind behind him.

Heron, a Greek, had been on the sea since childhood. His matted curly hair and beard had once been the color of pitch, but now was more gray than black. He stood slightly stooped and his face was lined with wrinkles, proof of the harsh years he had known, both on the sea and in port. He was missing the first two fingers on his left hand, a stark reminder of his brawl with a Thracian sailor over a harlot in Corinth three years earlier.

Heron gave a shout, and the five-man crew sprang to life and began to pull down the mainsail and shorten the leading sail. The waves were growing larger by the moment, and one of them suddenly crashed against the back of the fleeing vessel, covering the captain with cold spray and foam. His curses grew audible. He lashed the rudder into place and quickly surveyed his ship.

The Orion was a medium-sized ship-not a giant like one of the monstrous Roman grain transports, but not a small coastal lugger either. She had two masts, one now naked in the wind and the other with a shortened but tight sail, straining against the gusting storm. She sat low in the water with a heavy load of Athenian wine, but she was a seaworthy vessel and she rode the big rolling waves well. The storm did not look serious. The captain was concerned not about safety but only about his schedule and the unpleasant task that lay ahead.

His two passengers were stirring, the older man walking slowly toward the bow and the young man hurrying nervously toward the captain. As the youth approached a wave crashed into the stern again, spraying both of them.

"Mother of Zeus!" cursed the captain.

The young man adjusted his wet cloak, wrapping it tighter around him to minimize the effect of the cold wind driving into his body. He was slightly taller than the captain, with green eyes and pitch-black hair, which was now blowing wildly in the wind. The captain knew only that the lad was a merchant's son, returning to Ephesus from delivering a load of wool to Athens. His father must be a fool, mused the captain, to send such a youngster by himself on such a mission. He found himself wondering whether the young man might have a bag of silver coins somewhere underneath that wet cloak.

"Captain," the young man said, "I am not a seafaring man, but is it not a bit early in the season for storms?"

"Yes, lad, it is early, but this is not enough of a storm to worry about, although it may delay us a day or two. The Orion has been through many a storm much worse than this. But mind you pay attention and don't get washed overboard." At least not with your money still in your bag.

The captain eyed the lad, sizing him up. He was big and appeared strong, but with a babyish face. How old could he be ... eighteen, nineteen maybe? Marcus and the others should have no trouble with him, if it comes to a fight, Heron concluded. And the boy may even have some real money-a bonus he hadn't originally counted on.

No, it was the other one-the senator-that Heron was worried about. He glanced at the balding, middle-aged man at the front of the ship, apparently deep in thought and oblivious to the storm. He didn't look like much of a fighter. Still, a Roman senator! The gods were with Heron today. The senator was traveling alone, without slaves to attend him (or protect him). Another foolish man! And the storm was a stroke of luck. Passengers get washed overboard. It happens -who can prevent it? Besides, as far as he knew, no one was aware that either passenger was aboard this particular ship. No one had been at the pier to see them off in Athens-a boy returning home alone after a business trip and a fallen politician trying to sneak away quietly to the provinces. And the senator, no doubt, also had money with him. Even in his flight, he would take a considerable sum with him, wouldn't he? So with the boy's money and the senator's money and the one hundred pieces of silver that would be paid if the distinguished senator should happen to disappear on this voyage, it should be a very profitable trip indeed, not even counting the Athenian wine.

"Captain," the youth asked, "who is the other passenger, if I may ask?"

"Ask all you want, boy," Heron growled, "but I am not inclined to tell you. Ask him yourself who he is."

Ignoring the captain's rudeness, the lad continued. "I can't get any response out of him. I tried to engage him in conversation earlier, but all I got was a polite morning greeting."

The wind seemed to be picking up, and the captain looked at the sails on his front mast. Amused, the captain could not resist playing with his young passenger. "What do you make of him, boy?"

"As far as I can tell, he is not a merchant, or at least not a typical one. He appears to be Roman. His Latin is without accent. He bears himself as one noble born; yet he travels without an attendant. His clothes are expensive, but practical, made for travel. He also looks sad and weary."

"You see much, boy," muttered the captain. It's a shame, he thought, that the boy had to be here. He seems a decent lad. Still, it can't be helped. Business is business.

The captain's attention was drawn suddenly to the front of the ship, where the Roman stranger was growing animated, walking back and forth and peering off to the left, trying to see something out on the waves. The captain noticed a dark object out on the waves as well, probably a small boat, but he couldn't make it out for sure.

The Roman stranger walked quickly to the stern, his cloak flapping madly in the wind. Ignoring the young man, he approached Heron and said calmly, "Captain, there is a small fishing vessel struggling against the storm there in the distance to the left. They appear to be in some trouble. Perhaps we should draw near and see if they require assistance."

"We don't stop for fishermen," the captain answered with disgust. "They can look out for themselves."

Having secured the ship to weather the storm, and seeing the Roman senator walk to the stern, the five men of the crew now likewise approached the captain and the two passengers. All eight men now stood in a circle at the stern of the ship in awkward silence. The wind continued to whistle through the empty rigging of the main mast. The Roman stranger looked anxiously out toward the fishing boat, which was slowly drawing closer. The youth had grown more alert as well, but his alarm was over the appearance of the five sailors. They were a rough-looking group, especially the big Greek known as Marcus and the stocky Cretan with the disfigured ear. The young man noticed that Marcus had a wooden club in his hand that he was trying to keep hidden from the view of the stranger. The stout Cretan also held a club. The others had their hands inside their cloaks. The young man tensed instinctively, slowly loosening the tie on his cloak and then moving his right hand cautiously inside.

The Roman broke the silence. "Look, Captain, the fishing boat is floundering! We must help them."

The captain glanced briefly at the struggling boat. Its sails were torn from the mast. Someone on board appeared to be frantically struggling with the oars, trying to bring the bow of the boat around to face the waves.

"They are not fishermen," the captain said. "They're idiots. Any fisherman would have been able to see the signs of the storm coming. No one in his right mind would take to the open sea before a storm in such a small craft. And they handle the boat poorly. Idiots." A large wave crashed over the front of the small boat.

"They're doomed. But it is not our concern. It is the will of the gods if they die. I am not stopping." And we certainly don't need any witnesses on board.

"Captain," the Roman said sternly, "I am a Roman senator, and I command you to assist the people in that boat before they die. Disobey and you will answer to the proconsul at Ephesus-a good friend of mine."

"I know who you are, Senator Flavius Lucius Domitilla," sneered the captain. "But you are hardly in a position to command anyone. Our great lord and master Caesar Domitian has just executed your brother and banished your sister-in-law to Britain for their heretical worship of this new god and for their treason against Rome and Caesar. Everyone knows this. You yourself are fleeing the wrath of Domitian, hoping that by running to the provinces you can save yourself. You have more enemies than friends, most honored Senator, and I doubt if the proconsul is impressed with your credentials anymore. Anyway, you certainly have no authority on the open sea to command me, the captain of the Orion, or my esteemed associates."

With a devilish grin on his face, Marcus, the biggest of the five mariners, took a step forward, pulling out his club for all to see. The young man stepped back, eyes wide in shock at hearing who the stranger was, and in alarm at the rapidly developing turn of events. In the distance thunder rumbled.

"Captain," said the big sailor, "let's take them now. No sense in waiting. We have this nice storm. Let's get it over with and throw them overboard."

The senator drew back. "Treachery," he muttered. "I expected as much. Let the lad live, Captain. He is not part of this."

"No, my most-honored Senator," the captain answered, "the boy became part of this when he bought his passage for this voyage. It is the will of the gods and his misfortune. He will keep you company during your swim down to the depths to visit your new lord, Neptune. Every Roman senator needs at least one servant to attend to him."

All five of the crew members smiled at the joke and slowly advanced toward the senator and the young man, both of whom had backed against the outer railing of the ship. The three sailors without clubs drew short knives out of their cloaks.

"I am sorry, son," the senator said softly to the young man. "I should have seen it coming."

Suddenly the big sailor raised his club high, let out a bloodcurdling shout, and charged the senator. At the same instant, a blinding flash of lightning lit the sky, followed immediately by a deafening crash of ear-splitting thunder. The sailors jumped at the flash and the roar, instinctively ducking and looking up at the sky for an instant. Next came another cry-a scream this time-and as they looked back toward their victims they saw in horror the young lad with his foot elevated on the chest of Marcus, pulling the blood-covered blade of a short sword out of the astonished sailor's chest and then pushing him away with his foot. Marcus fell backward and landed on the deck with a dull thud. He lay on his back, very still, face pale, eyes wide open, air and foaming blood oozing out of his chest with each tortured gasping breath.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Apocalypse by J. Daniel Hays C. Marvin Pate Copyright © 2004 by C. Marvin Pate and J. Daniel Hays. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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First Chapter

Apocalypse Copyright 2004 by C. Marvin Pate and J. Daniel Hays Requests for information should be addressed to:
Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Hays, J. Daniel, 1953- Apocalypse/ J. Daniel Hays and C. Marvin Pate. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references. ISBN 0-310-25355-1 (softcover) 1. Church history—Primitive and early church, ca. 30-600—Fiction. 2. Bible. 3. N.T. Revelation—Fiction. I. Pate, C. Marvin, 1952- II. Title PS3608.A983A66 2004 813'.6—dc22 2003026921
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version. NIV. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any other—except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without the prior permission of the publisher.
Interior design by Michelle Espinoza Printed in the United States of America
04 05 06 07 08 09 10 /.DC/ 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Chapter One ASSASSINS The sky had grown gray and angry, but no rain had yet fallen. The wind shifted to the north and gained velocity, causing the sails on the two short masts to flutter limply for a moment and then pop tight again.The ship groaned and creaked, then began picking up speed. Standing by the dual rudders at the stern, the captain, known simply as Heron, cursed under his breath and turned the ship slightly to the south, putting the wind behind him.
Heron, a Greek, had been on the sea since childhood. His matted curly hair and beard had once been the color of pitch, but now was more gray than black. He stood slightly stooped and his face was lined with wrinkles, proof of the harsh years he had known, both on the sea and in port. He was missing the first two fingers on his left hand, a stark reminder of his brawl with a Thracian sailor over a harlot in Corinth three years earlier.
Heron gave a shout, and the five-man crew sprang to life and began to pull down the mainsail and shorten the leading sail.The waves were growing larger by the moment, and one of them suddenly crashed against the back of the fleeing vessel, covering the captain with cold spray and foam. His curses grew audible. He lashed the rudder into place and quickly surveyed his ship.
The Orion was a medium-sized ship—not a giant like one of the monstrous Roman grain transports, but not a small coastal lugger either. She had two masts, one now naked in the wind and the other with a shortened but tight sail, straining against the gusting storm. She sat low in the water with a heavy load of Athenian wine, but she was a seaworthy vessel and she rode the big rolling waves well.The storm did not look serious.The captain was concerned not about safety but only about his schedule and the unpleasant task that lay ahead.
His two passengers were stirring, the older man walking slowly toward the bow and the young man hurrying nervously toward the captain. As the youth approached a wave crashed into the stern again, spraying both of them.
'Mother of Zeus!' cursed the captain.
The young man adjusted his wet cloak, wrapping it tighter around him to minimize the effect of the cold wind driving into his body. He was slightly taller than the captain, with green eyes and pitch-black hair, which was now blowing wildly in the wind.The captain knew only that the lad was a merchant's son, returning to Ephesus from delivering a load of wool to Athens. His father must be a fool, mused the captain, to send such a youngster by himself on such a mission. He found himself wondering whether the young man might have a bag of silver coins somewhere underneath that wet cloak.
'Captain,' the young man said,'I am not a seafaring man, but is it not a bit early in the season for storms?'
'Yes, lad, it is early, but this is not enough of a storm to worry about, although it may delay us a day or two.The Orionhas been through many a storm much worse than this. But mind you pay attention and don't get washed overboard.' At least not with your money still in your bag.
The captain eyed the lad, sizing him up. He was big and appeared strong, but with a babyish face. How old could he be . . . eighteen, nineteen maybe? Marcus and the others should have no trouble with him, if it comes to a fight, Heron concluded. And the boy may even have some real money—a bonus he hadn't originally counted on.
No, it was the other one—the senator—that Heron was worried about. He glanced at the balding,middle-aged man at the front of the ship, apparently deep in thought and oblivious to the storm. He didn't look like much of a fighter. Still, a Roman senator! The gods were with Heron today. The senator was traveling alone, without slaves to attend him (or protect him). Another foolish man! And the storm was a stroke of luck. Passengers get washed overboard. It happens —who can prevent it? Besides, as far as he knew, no one was aware that either passenger was aboard this particular ship. No one had been at the pier to see them off in Athens—a boy returning home alone after a business trip and a fallen politician trying to sneak away quietly to the provinces. And the senator, no doubt, also had money with him. Even in his flight, he would take a considerable sum with him, wouldn't he? So with the boy's money and the senator's money and the one hundred pieces of silver that would be paid if the distinguished senator should happen to disappear on this voyage, it should be a very profitable trip indeed, not even counting the Athenian wine.
'Captain,'the youth asked,'who is the other passenger, if I may ask?'
'Ask all you want, boy,'Heron growled,'but I am not inclined to tell you. Ask him yourself who he is.'
Ignoring the captain's rudeness, the lad continued. 'I can't get any response out of him. I tried to engage him in conversation earlier, but all I got was a polite morning greeting.'
The wind seemed to be picking up, and the captain looked at the sails on his front mast. Amused, the captain could not resist playing with his young passenger.'What do youmake of him, boy?'
'As far as I can tell, he is not a merchant, or at least not a typical one. He appears to be Roman. His Latin is without accent. He bears himself as one noble born; yet he travels without an attendant. His clothes are expensive, but practical, made for travel. He also looks sad and weary.'
'You see much, boy,' muttered the captain. It's a shame, he thought, that the boy had to be here. He seems a decent lad. Still, it can't be helped. Business is business.
The captain's attention was drawn suddenly to the front of the ship, where the Roman stranger was growing animated, walking back and forth and peering off to the left, trying to see something out on the waves.The captain noticed a dark object out on the waves as well, probably a small boat, but he couldn't make it out for sure.
The Roman stranger walked quickly to the stern, his cloak flapping madly in the wind. Ignoring the young man, he approached Heron and said calmly,'Captain, there is a small fishing vessel struggling against the storm there in the distance to the left.They appear to be in some trouble. Perhaps we should draw near and see if they require assistance.'
'We don't stop for fishermen,' the captain answered with disgust.' They can look out for themselves.'
Having secured the ship to weather the storm, and seeing the Roman senator walk to the stern, the five men of the crew now likewise approached the captain and the two passengers. All eight men now stood in a circle at the stern of the ship in awkward silence.The wind continued to whistle through the empty rigging of the main mast.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2004

    Accurate and realistic

    I was disappointed when I was finished...I wanted more. It causes me to question my Christian resolve as I look at a realistic story of what they faced and what I could face in the future. I enjoyed reading this book.... very much.

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