The Ephesus Scroll

Rated 4.75/5 based on 4 reviews
In 93 AD, a young man is entrusted with a scroll to read in seven churches in Asia Minor. However, the scroll sparks rebellion wherever he goes and the Roman authorities attempt to track him down.

In 2005 AD, a young Russian couple from St. Petersburg come across an ancient scroll. It appears to be an early copy of the book of Revelation. Has it come to light at this very time for a reason? More
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About Ben Chenoweth

Ben lives in Melbourne, Australia, with his wife and two children. He has an interest in the intersection between theology and the arts, and to that end has written a play based on the life of Saul, a musical based on the Biblical book of Esther, and a novel that is actually a thinly-disguised commentary on the book of Revelation (as he says, "If others can do it, so can I!") For those who might be interested, he lists C. S. Lewis, Peter Shaffer and Neal Stephenson as his literary inspirations.

A few comments about the books:
"Meeting Of Minds" was written way back in 1994, so please be kind! It is my first novel, and it has clear influences: Douglas Adams' "Hitchhikers' Guide To The Galaxy" series, the TV series "Max Headroom" and Neal Stephenson's "Snow Crash" to name the obvious ones.

"Saul, First King Of Israel" was written in 2001 as a way to put some of the scholarly materials I was reading as part of a Bachelor Of Theology into more of a popular format. But then I chose to write a play. Go figure!

"The Ephesus Scroll" is the first novel in my Exegetical Histories series. The novel has two timelines and the action cuts back and forth between them, like Neal Stephenson's "Cryptonomicon". The first timeline is set in 93 AD, during the reign of Domitian; the second is set in the recent present (2005-6), mostly in St. Petersburg, Russia. Having two timelines is my way of answering two important questions about the book of Revelation: what did it mean for the people who first heard it, and what does it mean for us today?

"The Corinth Letters" is the second novel in my Exegetical Histories series. This novel examines the context that gave rise to the books of 1 and 2 Corinthians, while also adding in romance, document forgery, archaeology, and descriptions of delicious Greek cuisine.

"The Rome Gospel" is the third (and most recent) novel in my Exegetical Histories series. This novel covers the writing of the gospel of Mark against the background of persecution in the wake of the great fire of Rome. It also traces Mark’s life, as he meets important leaders like Peter, Paul, his uncle Barnabas, Timothy, and an apostle who just happens to be a woman.

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About the Series: Exegetical Histories
Exegetical Histories is a series of historical novels that bring the books of the New Testament to life. Involving real and imagined characters, these novels flesh out the first century AD context in which these books were originally written and distributed. Application to modern readers is not neglected, however. These novels also incorporate 21st century timelines, with the action jumping back and forth between the two timelines, thereby addressing exegetical issues within the original context of these books and bringing out the significance for modern readers. For readers aged 15 or higher.

Also in Series: Exegetical Histories

Also by This Author

Reviews of The Ephesus Scroll by Ben Chenoweth

Marketa Chaloupkova reviewed on Oct. 30, 2020

I enjoyed the other two books more. As a preterist I disagree with the mesage and dating of the book of Revelation, but yet I appreciated the puzzle passage and especially explaining about the gilds. So it's worth reading. I would appreciate more about the characters and less about the underground traffic. The end was sad but the author has prepared some answers to the open ending in the next book.

I really recommend the Corinth Letters - that is no. 1 of the series for me.
(review of free book)
Michael Byman reviewed on Aug. 14, 2020

I enjoyed the book and am giving it a 5 star review. The book presupposes some knowledge of the New Testament and the First Century Roman Empire; you might enjoy it without that background, but you'll miss a lot. I am not sure how the plot was improved by Ben Chenoweth's decision to ascribe authorship of Revelation to a John other than the Apostle John - there is pretty strong early church tradition ascribing the book to the Apostle. That was my only major quibble. I plan to check out some of Ben Chenoweth's other books.
(review of free book)
Buffy Greentree reviewed on Oct. 20, 2013

The Ephesus Scroll alternates between 1st Century Asia Minor as the letter of Revelation is taken to the seven churches, and modern day Russia where an ancient scroll has been found by two new believers.

The historical sections of this book give a great feel for the original context of Revelation. The author has a good understanding of the places and cultures involved and adds the little details which make the period come alive.

The modern setting gives interesting insight into everyday life in Russia, along with a good review of the debates about Revelation. It is academically rigorous in its discussions, but is never boring.

Overall this book is interesting as well as theologically sound. I highly recommend it as the best way to study the meaning and purpose of Revelation for the ordinary believer or theological student alike.
(reviewed 12 months after purchase)
kayech reviewed on Dec. 4, 2012

A very interesting blend of contemporary (Russia) and early Christian (Mediterranean)eras. History, theology, humour (spelling- I'm Australian!) and scholarship. I learned lots and recommend this to keen readers of the above categories.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)

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