ABOUT BOOK: In Antioch, Stephen’s best friend is crucified for defacing its patron goddess, and the city turns on Jews. He flees to Cyrene. There he meets Simon. Persecution against Jews is worse here. The Gentiles try to keep Stephen out of the market, university and local Olympic games. He decides the only solution is to pass himself off as a Gentile and start a secret synagogue with secret worship. When discovered, Stephen suffers at the hands of both pagan Gentiles and Jews. Simon cannot handle the persecution any longer, so he moves from Cyrene to Jerusalem. When Stephen visits Jerusalem for Passover, he sees Simon carrying the cross of Jesus. They both become Christians and the persecution starts all over again. Stephen decides to move permanently to Jerusalem. Saul goes after them both. They rush to save each other’s lives. ~~~~~ As Stephen takes his final steps toward the stoning pit, he can still hear his father in years past. “Take another step, Son. Now another. Hold your head high. Don’t let them see weakness. You’re doing fine. Now another step. I’m here, Son. I will never leave you. You’re almost home.”


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CONGRATS to the Following Winners 


Jacqueline Robertson - Egyptian Tea


Mary Arndt - PB of Stephen: Unlikely Martyr


Galinda Barefoot-EB of Stephen: Unlikely Martyr

Mary Hake-EB of Stephen: Unlikely Martyr

Carol Smith-EB of Stephen: Unlikely Martyr

PLEASE EMAIL  KATHERYN with your CONTACT information  katheryn@inspirationsbykatheryn.com


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I always get excited when I start to read a book from this author. Her writing shows how much research she has done and makes the characters so vivid. I didn't know much about Stephen but was so mesmerized by the story I couldn't put it down. The beginning of the book is hard to read but an important part of Stephen's life. It is hard for him to understand the torture that his friend is enduring. He cries out in agony for his friend and can't watch as the brutal treatment continues. I do remember reading in the Bible about many people who were ridiculed, beaten and tortured because they would not back down from their beliefs. It is hard to understand why people would be tortured for their beliefs.

The author has brilliantly written Stephen's story and helped me to understand him better. I loved how he was always concerned for the safety of his parents. As the family travels on a ship, the description of the sea made me feel like I was standing beside Stephen feeling the waves crash and the wind blow as the storm became fierce. I loved reading how Stephen honored his parents and respected them as they tried to keep him safe on the ship. It must have been hard fir the family to live on the meager food they had.

I enjoyed the talk between Stephen and his father. Stephen witnesses how the Jews are treated in the city they have come to. Ezekiel in his wisdom encourages his son to always stand up for his beliefs. Even though Stephen has seen friends lose their life, Ezekiel explains that he must not get discouraged. It made me think of all the people today who are in foreign lands spreading the Word of God. They have chosen to be martyrs no matter the cost. This is a lesson that Stephen will come to embrace. I loved reading how he grew in his faith and matured into an adult who wouldn't back down. He does have a stubborn streak at times and his actions cause riots to break out.

As you can see I completely lost myself in the story and loved the history that the author provided . Stephen is a true martyr and his actions were not unnoticed. He is a strong man who stands up for the rights of everyone and let's everyone know how much he loves God. The author writes his story with knowledge, grace and great compassion. I look forward to reading the next book from her.

I received a copy of this book from the author and The BookClub Network. The review is my own opinion.

Thank you for liking (loving?) the book.  It was a parallel book written from the point of view of Muslim converts and what they go through today, including hiding their faith and pretending they are still Muslims just like Stephen tried to hide his Jewish faith among the pagans.  

Since I have been teaching the Bible to so many Muslims over the past six years, I have asked myself, "Would you be willing to die for your faith?"  I thought long and hard about it, and decided yes, I would.  It is popular today for people to pray for "a peaceful hour in which to die." I used to pray that. I no longer do. I want my death to have meaning to those I leave behind. That is what Stephen did. Amazing faith. Amazing.

Again, thank you, Deana.

I loved the book and apologize if I used liked in some areas of my review and loved in others. You writing is so vivid and mesmerizing that I feel like I'm transported back in time. I'm anxious to read another from the series .

      “Stephen Unlikely Martyr,” by Katheryn Maddox Haddad, is book 7 in the Intrepid Men of God series. This is a 442 page book filled with a mixture of fiction and truths from the Bible. This is not a fast or easy read. But, it is a good read.

      The story of the life of Stephen begins in his teen years, as he sees one of his friends being crucified. They want to arrest Stephen too, and so begins his life on the run. As he and his parents travel, searching for a safe place for Jews to live, they seem to encounter one problem after another. I thought Stephen was a bit immature for his age, although I did enjoy the close relationship he had with his parents. He spent his lifetime trying to understand the best way to tell others about Jesus. He tried doing it in secret and he tried speaking publicly. Neither seemed to turn out well for him. This poor young man was so faith-filled and faithful. He desired to share the Good News with every person he met. If only he would learn to not be so impulsive in his speech!

      Haddad is well-known for her books of biblical fiction. She starts out her stories with what might have been, the fictionalization. But her stories always end with biblical truths. She also inserts many theological insights into her books. She does plenty of research, so she writes very knowledgeably. I have read a few books from this series and have enjoyed each of them.

      I received this book from The Book Club Network and the author in exchange for my honest opinion. Review posted at Amazon, Goodreads,Facebook and Barnes & Noble. Book was not avaialbe at CBD or DeeperShopping.

Thank you, Mary.  Actually, Stephen in my book represented persecuted Muslims who are right now living what he did every day - wanting to spread the gospel but fearful of their life. They try one secret method, then another. I purposely made Stephen a very fearful young man so I could lead him step by step to make the turnaround and do what I dare say none of us would do. Again, thank you, Mary.



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Created by Phred St Laurent May 27, 2010 at 11:35pm. Last updated by Phred St Laurent May 31, 2010.


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