HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Stephen: A Soldier of the Cross
Author: Florence Morse Kingsley
Publisher: Lamplighter Publishing, reprinted in 2001
Related website: www.lamplighterpublishing.com
Language level: Language level: 1 (nothing objectionable)
Reading level: Ages 10 – 14 but suitable for anyone
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Kingsley, Florence Morse. Stephen: A Soldier of the Cross (originally published in 1896, republished in 2001 by Lamplighter Publishing, a division of Cornerstone Family Ministries Inc., P. O. Box 777, Waverly, PA 18471). We have read several Lamplighter Publishing books and they have all been wonderful. Kingsley also wrote Titus: Comrade of the Cross, which is Biblical historical fiction about the son of high priest Caiaphas and his wife Anna, who is stolen by his nurse Priscilla and her husband thief Dumachus. They name him Titus and raise him as their son. They also have a son of their own named Stephen. Dumachus forces Titus to be lookout for his gang of robbers while they participate in an insurrection by Barabbas. Dumachus and Titus are caught and crucified with Jesus, Titus, of course, being the penitent thief. Stephen travels from Galilee to Jerusalem with Mary of Nazareth (Jesus’s mother) in an effort to find and save Titus, but he always just misses him. After seeing him crucified, he becomes a Christian.
Stephen: A Soldier of the Cross was originally published in 1896 as a sequel to Titus and follows the life of Stephen as he is appointed to serve the Grecian widows, preaches boldly, and is eventually stoned to death, along with the intertwining activities of Caiphas and Anna, Annas the real high priest and Caiphas’s father-in-law, and Saul of Tarsus, as well as fictional characters Seth and Anat, orphaned brother and blind sister from Egypt who come to Jerusalem to see if Anat can be healed, and Abu Ben Hesed, a desert chieftan who helps them on their way. Whether or not things happened as portrayed in the book, they well could have occurred that way. It is a truly beautiful story that helps to teach Bible history and exemplifies godly character.