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Ben-Hur; a tale of the Christ

Lew Wallace

Book Overview: 

Ben-Hur is a story of two very different heroes. Judah Ben-Hur, a prince of Jerusalem, is involved in an accident to the Roman procurator which is taken to be intentional. He is seized and sent to the fleet as a galley-slave, while his family is imprisoned and the family goods confiscated. When Ben-Hur saves the fleet captain from drowning after his ship is sunk in a fight with pirates, that officer adopts him as son and heir. With Roman training, Ben-Hur distinguishes himself in the arena and the palistrae and appears to be on the way to high military command.

With the help of a faithful family retainer and a generous Arab sheik, Ben-Hur is enabled to take part in a widely touted chariot race, where one of the other charioteers is the boyhood friend who connived to punish him for the accident and split his estate. That rival is crippled, financially and bodily, in a no-holds-barred race.

Ben-Hur turns his attention to the prophesied King of the Jews, when through the sheik he meets Balthasar, one of the Three Wise Men, and hears of the child born years ago. Will Ben-Hur be the general who brings victories to the King, and finally liberates Israel from the oppressive Roman yoke? In his quest for the answer, Ben-Hur seeks out the Nazarene, now rumored to be The Messiah.

THAT hero needs no introduction.

Curious about the lack of kingly trappings and ambitions about this man, Ben-Hur begins to suspect that his kingdom is not of this world. And with him, we receive a gut-wrenching eye-witness view of Jesus’ arrest, humiliation, and crucifixion.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Of the herdsmen watching flocks on the plains and hill-sides, far as old Lebanon, numbers reported to him as their employer; in the cities by the sea, and in those inland, he founded houses of traffic; his ships brought him silver from Spain, whose mines were then the richest known; while his caravans came twice a year from the East, laden with silks and spices. In faith he was a Hebrew, observant of the law and every essential rite; his place in the synagogue and Temple knew him well; he was thoroughly learned in the Scriptures; he delighted in the society of the college-masters, and carried his reverence for Hillel almost to the point of worship. Yet he was in no sense a Separatist; his hospitality took in strangers from every land; the carping Pharisees even accused him of having more than once entertained Samaritans at his table. Had he been a Gentile, and lived, the world might have heard of him as the rival of Herodes Atticus: as it was, he perished at sea some ten. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Indiscutabil cel mai bun roman despre începuturile răspândirii creștinismului, declarat ca o scriere care, între sfârșitul secolului XIX și începutul secolului XX, a adus "religiei lui Cristos" un uriaș aport de adepți.
Prin 2012 văzusem filmul (o peliculă cu Charlton Heston), apoi, plimbându-mă...more

The first thing I want to address is the “speed” of this book. I first read this book in the fall or winter of 1971, and at that time, as a high school senior, I was well-accustomed to reading Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Victor Hugo, and all those other authors of the Victorian era (and before!...more

Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, Lewis "Lew" Wallace, New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1908 , 491 P.
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ is a novel by Lew Wallace published by Harper & Brothers on November 12, 1880, and considered "the most influential Christian book of the nineteenth century". It beca...more

Third Reading - Lent 2017

Could there be a better classic to read during Lent?!

Second reading - Lent 2016. Absolutely better on the second reading.

What American is unaware of the Charlton Heston chariot race? It is absolutely iconic. In Anne of Green Gables, Anne is caught reading Ben Hur during...more

"Out of that vast tomb Christianity issued to supersede the Caesars."

Ben Hur is one of those classic works better recognised for its many adaptations. To this end it seems fair to compare it to another highly similar work - Les Miserables. Both are classic historical fiction works which use his...more

The first sign that I should not have read this book was the discrepancy in hours between the abridged and unabridged versions on audible. Unabridged: 21 hours, Abridged: 3 hours. I bought it anyway and soon discovered why. There's about 15% story and 85% fluff in Ben Hur. It is, hands down, the...more

Excellent novel, weak theology.

Historical fiction as a genre was first developed by the writers of the Romantic school, which arose around the end of the 18th century; the Romantics were drawn by the exoticism of historical settings and the drama of epochal events, and even of daily life in a time was life was wilder and more...more

I've been meaning to read this book for at least 40 or 50 years and have just never gotten farther than starting it and then not finishing it. The reason I hadn't finished it in the past was that I'd pick something else up to read. See this book was written or at least published in 1880...the lan...more

Wow.
I have put off reading 'Ben-Hur' for years because well it was just too long, too big, to old, to boring sounding. And after seeing the horrible rendition of the movie I thought that I certainly didn't need to read it any time soon. Finally however my sister convinced me to read it and as so...more

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