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Great Lion of God [Mass Market Paperback]

Taylor Caldwell
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Feb. 12 1983
This classic, epic novel by the acclaimed novelist Caldwell, is a fascinating, moving and spiritual story about St. Paul, and the life and times of the Jews, Romans and early Christians during the time of Jesus and shortly thereafter. It is a rich and textured work that combines Caldwell's wonderful literary skills with a profound spiritual depth that reveals the amazing story of Paul, the persecutor turned Apostle, and the powerful impact he had on his times and long after.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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The days of behemoth Biblical historicals - from The Big Fisherman to Miss Caldwell's own Dear and Glorious Physician (1959) - which flap damply in traditional sentimentality are far from over. And the author again takes advantage of the richly varied (and often conflicting) doctrine, revelation and history of the Bible to create her very own St. Paul. He, in her view, disliked the "militant Christians - who almost destroyed the infant Church with their dissents and protests and belligerence" (as per the introduction). She also insists that Jesus was "not concerned with this world." ("Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth. . . "?) However, old hand as she is at quoting Scripture and creating an easy, rhythmic flow of portentous dialogue, limning familiar doctrinal, affective postures, Miss Caldwell does evolve a cohesive portrait of Paul. Hounded by the rigors of a spiritual aridity, but reared in love of humanity by his father, Paul is still driven to persecute his own people to protect them from blasphemy. But on the road to Damascus. . . Paul's story concludes here with the beginnings of his ministry. A huge, sustained effort which takes some liberties, expands or contracts some episodes, but never fails to roll on like a summer Sunday full of pulpit certitudes for those of like mind and persuasions. A sizable and predictable market. (Kirkus Reviews) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Lion is a Great Book Oct. 3 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I finally read this book, having attempted it once. I finished it just before going to Italy and Greece. Caldwell truly is one of the few writers today who can compare to the great storytellers of the past...Dickens, Hugo, etc. Her language is poetic and rich, and the stories believable. I thrilled to her descriptions of Romans, Greeks and Jews. I appreciate her research, her sense of respect for spirituality, and I adore the quality of her writing. I recommend all of her books, but would try "Glory and the Lightning" and "Dear and Glorious Physician" or "Devil's Advocate" before this. Then go for this and follow it up with a trip to Italy, Greece or the Holy Land.
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By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The author does an excellent job in transporting the reader into the midst of the very life and events of the first century Middle East. You can hear, feel, smell, taste and witness the food, the people, the climate, the nature and the interactions between the Romans, the Greeks, the Jews and the sects and hear the religious and philosophical arguments of many sides.You can really feel and experience the pain and joys of Paul. The portrayal of Christ is also very real, down to earth and at the same time glorious and divine. The book is superb
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent historical novel of St. Paul Aug. 3 1997
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I remember reading this about 23 years ago and it was possibly one of the finest books I ever read. It is so fascinating that you cannot put it down----and that has rarely been the case for me.

Joe Jagiell
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  42 reviews
81 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First time I've read Taylor Caldwell - a fascinating story. March 8 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book is a fascinating, moving and spiritual story about St. Paul and the life and times of the Jews, Romans and early Christians during the time of Jesus and shortly thereafter. Its many quotations from and references to the Bible makes it seem very accurate in terms of adherence to historical events. I'd like to know if there are any sources to support her many details of Saul's (St. Paul's) life that are not found in the Bible. Some of them are very hard to believe, but made the book interesting and hard to put down. I was very impressed by the author's ability to describe St. Paul's (and other's) inner feelings, as well as her descriptions of the landscapes and cities of the time. I'm looking forward to reading some of her other works.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Lion is a Great Book Oct. 3 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I finally read this book, having attempted it once. I finished it just before going to Italy and Greece. Caldwell truly is one of the few writers today who can compare to the great storytellers of the past...Dickens, Hugo, etc. Her language is poetic and rich, and the stories believable. I thrilled to her descriptions of Romans, Greeks and Jews. I appreciate her research, her sense of respect for spirituality, and I adore the quality of her writing. I recommend all of her books, but would try "Glory and the Lightning" and "Dear and Glorious Physician" or "Devil's Advocate" before this. Then go for this and follow it up with a trip to Italy, Greece or the Holy Land.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It earned every star!!! Feb. 1 1999
By Ben Hartlieb (rhart@alaska.net) - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This was my first Caldwell book and I loved it. Caldwell is poetic and elequent. She teaches the reader about The Greeks, Romans, Jews and Paul and how he was received by the early church and why. I recomend this book to anyone who is interested in the Roman Empire, the origin of the church or Christ.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Hidden Gem Jan. 24 2008
By Novangelus - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
"For he was a veritable lion, a red lion, the great lion of God."

Thus part one of this magnificent book starts with a quote about St. Paul by St. Augustine. I first read this book as a book report project when I was in ninth grade in the late 1970s. At the time, it was a life-changing book for me.

I learned from Caldwell about St. Paul the man - that he was a man of great passion, of fire and of longing. One who says what needs to be said no matter what the consequences to himself. Hah - one who can't help but say what needs to be said, actually! After reading this book I could never read or hear St. Paul's New Testament letters the same way. Now when I hear them read in church or read them on my own, I see the man of passion behind these letters. For this gift I am most grateful to Taylor Caldwell.

The book is a biography of St. Paul told in the form of a narrated story that begins with his birth and ends with him heading for Rome; a not dissimilar ending as that of the Acts of the Apostles, where Paul is in Rome waiting judgement by Caesar.

A good book. One of my favorites. So well written and so desiring to engage the reader that this book helped me get an "A+" on my long-ago ninth grade book report. :-)
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Novel for our Time! Deserves a reprint... June 27 2005
By K. Scanlon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I read Great Lion of God in High School <gasp> over 10 years ago and reread it recently because I could not forget the bright, powerful and adventurous world that Taylor Caldwell described so vividly. I wasn't disappointed. However, I will warn you... This book is heavy. If you can make yourself get through the first 50 pages (she sets up her characters well), you won't be able to put it down.
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