Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Constantine Codex

Jonathan Weber and his wife Shannon enjoy traveling and exploring dusty old libraries.  On their most recent trip, they come across some manuscripts that appear to be very old.  Some quick mental work leads them to wonder if they have discovered one of fifty copies commissioned by Constantine; manuscripts that have written about, but themselves missing for hundreds of years.  As they try to validate their discovery, they are caught up into the international tension between Muslims and Christians and their lives are hanging on the line.  Have they found an excellent forgery or history changing documents?  How will the world, Christian and secular, respond to their finding?

If you like archaeology, history, mystery and/or suspense, this book does well in combining them.  If you have strong feelings about maintaining the purity of the Bible or Islam, you might want to move on to another book.  I guess that's a "walking the fine line" part of my review.  Maier writes an intriguing story that keeps the reader on edge.  I admit, I stayed up late a few nights to keep reading.  He opens a wonderful can of "what if?"  It won't just entertain you, but will challenge you to wonder how you'd handle such findings and information.  The Ruminating Reader awards 3 out of 5 pieces of bacon.  I'll read it again, but there were a few things I disagreed with (again, a personal matter).  If I take myself out, I'd award 4 out of 5. 

Paul L. Maier is The Russell H. Seibert Professor of Ancient History at Western Michigan University. He has written several nonfiction books and hundreds of articles.  Among his fiction collection are two book that precede The Constantine Codex.  He has traveled giving lectures and speaking on radio programs.

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