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Ben-hur novel - Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace


Lew Wallace’s novel sets the story of Judah Ben-Hur, a wealthy Jewish prince unjustly condemned to be a galley slave and robbed of his inheritance, against the birth, ministry, and crucifixion of Christ. Embittered by the betrayal of his Roman friend Messala and enraged by what he perceives as the arrogance of Rome, Ben-Hur slowly comes to the realization that the kingdom offered by the miracle worker and Messiah Jesus is spiritual, not political.

The novel begins with a meeting in the desert of the Three Wise Men. Gaspar, the Greek, has learned from study and his country’s philosophers that each human being has an immortal soul and there exists one God. Melchior, the “Hindoo,” is moved by compassionate love for the suffering. Balthasar, the Egyptian, has performed good works. The three’s spiritual journeys lead them to Bethlehem and the cave in which Jesus is born.

He is made an oarsman in the ship of Quintus Arrius, a Roman given the task of extirpating pirates from the eastern Mediterranean. Quintus notices the youth and comeliness of Ben-Hur and resolves to know more about him. He orders that the young Jew not be chained to his bench before the engagement with the pirates, thus enabling Ben-Hur to save the Roman’s...

*Roman Empire. The broad context of the novel is the Roman Empire during the Golden Age of the Julio-Claudian emperors, who ruled from 27 b.c.e. to 68 c.e. This empire, the largest the world had yet known, extended more than eighteen hundred miles from west to east and included parts of three continents—Europe, Africa, and Asia. With more than 50,000,000 subjects under its protection, the empire was comparable in size to the continental United States.

In Lew Wallace’s novel, as in history, Rome has an ambiguous role. It represents both hostility and opportunity. Its hostility is exemplified in the crucifixion of Christ, the destruction of Jerusalem, the annihilation of the temple, and the expulsion of the Jews from their homeland. Opportunity is exemplified in the empire’s toleration of its Jewish subjects, who flourish in its cities. Ben Hur, the novel’s hero, is a Jew who obtains Roman citizenship and prospers within the Empire. Meanwhile, Christianity spreads rapidly over Roman highways and in the cities.

*Rome. Capital of the Roman Empire. This city, which ultimately will become a Christian Jerusalem in which Peter and Paul will preach and be martyred, is a powerful image throughout the novel. Rome and Jerusalem were founded around the same periods: Rome in the eighth century b.c.e. and Jerusalem about two and a half centuries earlier. One was the City of David, the other, the City of Caesar; Lew Wallace wanted to show both as “Cities of Christ.”

Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ is a novel by Lew Wallace published by Harper and Brothers on November 12, 1880, and considered "the most influential Christian book of ...

Early life and education. Lewis " Lew" Wallace was born on April 10, 1827, in Brookville, Indiana. He was the second of four sons born to Esther French Wallace (née ...

18.10.2007  · 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 ...

Lew Wallace’s novel sets the story of Judah Ben-Hur, a wealthy Jewish prince unjustly condemned to be a galley slave and robbed of his inheritance, against the birth, ministry, and crucifixion of Christ. Embittered by the betrayal of his Roman friend Messala and enraged by what he perceives as the arrogance of Rome, Ben-Hur slowly comes to the realization that the kingdom offered by the miracle worker and Messiah Jesus is spiritual, not political.

The novel begins with a meeting in the desert of the Three Wise Men. Gaspar, the Greek, has learned from study and his country’s philosophers that each human being has an immortal soul and there exists one God. Melchior, the “Hindoo,” is moved by compassionate love for the suffering. Balthasar, the Egyptian, has performed good works. The three’s spiritual journeys lead them to Bethlehem and the cave in which Jesus is born.

He is made an oarsman in the ship of Quintus Arrius, a Roman given the task of extirpating pirates from the eastern Mediterranean. Quintus notices the youth and comeliness of Ben-Hur and resolves to know more about him. He orders that the young Jew not be chained to his bench before the engagement with the pirates, thus enabling Ben-Hur to save the Roman’s...

Lew Wallace’s novel sets the story of Judah Ben-Hur, a wealthy Jewish prince unjustly condemned to be a galley slave and robbed of his inheritance, against the birth, ministry, and crucifixion of Christ. Embittered by the betrayal of his Roman friend Messala and enraged by what he perceives as the arrogance of Rome, Ben-Hur slowly comes to the realization that the kingdom offered by the miracle worker and Messiah Jesus is spiritual, not political.

The novel begins with a meeting in the desert of the Three Wise Men. Gaspar, the Greek, has learned from study and his country’s philosophers that each human being has an immortal soul and there exists one God. Melchior, the “Hindoo,” is moved by compassionate love for the suffering. Balthasar, the Egyptian, has performed good works. The three’s spiritual journeys lead them to Bethlehem and the cave in which Jesus is born.

He is made an oarsman in the ship of Quintus Arrius, a Roman given the task of extirpating pirates from the eastern Mediterranean. Quintus notices the youth and comeliness of Ben-Hur and resolves to know more about him. He orders that the young Jew not be chained to his bench before the engagement with the pirates, thus enabling Ben-Hur to save the Roman’s...

*Roman Empire. The broad context of the novel is the Roman Empire during the Golden Age of the Julio-Claudian emperors, who ruled from 27 b.c.e. to 68 c.e. This empire, the largest the world had yet known, extended more than eighteen hundred miles from west to east and included parts of three continents—Europe, Africa, and Asia. With more than 50,000,000 subjects under its protection, the empire was comparable in size to the continental United States.

In Lew Wallace’s novel, as in history, Rome has an ambiguous role. It represents both hostility and opportunity. Its hostility is exemplified in the crucifixion of Christ, the destruction of Jerusalem, the annihilation of the temple, and the expulsion of the Jews from their homeland. Opportunity is exemplified in the empire’s toleration of its Jewish subjects, who flourish in its cities. Ben Hur, the novel’s hero, is a Jew who obtains Roman citizenship and prospers within the Empire. Meanwhile, Christianity spreads rapidly over Roman highways and in the cities.

*Rome. Capital of the Roman Empire. This city, which ultimately will become a Christian Jerusalem in which Peter and Paul will preach and be martyred, is a powerful image throughout the novel. Rome and Jerusalem were founded around the same periods: Rome in the eighth century b.c.e. and Jerusalem about two and a half centuries earlier. One was the City of David, the other, the City of Caesar; Lew Wallace wanted to show both as “Cities of Christ.”




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