Vessel of Honor

Written by Melvin J. Cobb
Review by Nan Curnutt

Vessel of Honor is the story of Sahlin Malae, the Ethiopian baptized by Philip in the eighth chapter of Acts. It’s also the story of the country of Nubia, known as Meroe, and the leaders of the country shortly after Christ’s death. This story follows Sahlin’s life after Philip baptizes him. As he grows in faith, he must make choices to renounce his old ways of life to become a vessel of honor, or continue in his ways and be a vessel of dishonor. The book also portrays the struggles for both political and military leadership of Meroe after the death of Kandace Amanitore. These struggles exist on many levels. The children of the Kandace are in dispute with one another, members of the Council of Meroe are divided on what direction to take, and several military factions are ready to fight for control of the country. Sahlin Malae has to find his place in the turbulent world around him while also making peace with the new God within.
Cobb has constructed a fictional account, based on historical fact, of the growth of early Christianity in Nubia and Ethiopia. He portrays the struggles of these new believers, surrounded by worshippers of their native gods, as they try, mostly alone, to understand the life of this man Jesus. The story is written in an epic style. The end leaves many questions unanswered, making this reviewer wondering when a sequel will be released.