An ancient mystery in today's Middle East....
Jack Staunton, an American businessman, makes a pilgrimage to war-torn Israel in hopes of rekindling his Christian faith. While traveling with his friend Punjeeh, an ER doctor from Jerusalem, Jack acquires an ancient scroll written by the Gnostics, a mystical group of early Christians, and his spiritual quest takes an unexpected turn. The scroll makes the startling claims that the Gnostics were the original followers of Jesus, and that they retained secret knowledge of Jesus that was not included in the Bible. With the help of the ingenious Chloe Eisenberg, a professor of Philosophy and Religion, Jack and Punjeeh navigate the dangerous terrain of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in an attempt to decipher the puzzle of the scroll and bring the Gnostics revelations about Jesus to light.
Threaded with the searing realities of today's Middle East, The Gnostic Mystery is packed with historical facts about the Christian religion. The thrilling mystery makes a compelling case that the origins of Christianity are far different than we believed...until now.
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Better as textbook than novel
Not unless they were specifically seeking information about the Gnostics or Middle East conflict. (Not as a good novel/mystery).
Not The Best (for narrating this book)
No, I think it needs to be slightly re-written, and decide whether it wants to be an informative textbook or a novel.
The information in this book is very interesting--I've personally always found the gnostics to have been a fascinating group--what little I've known about them. And the book does a lot to show the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well. However, I'd have liked this better if it had been an honest non-fiction book.
The story just feels contrived--inserting some characters and plot line to be the support for an explanation of what the author knows about these subjects. The main character is supposed to be a wealthy and successful business owner, a man of little faith, who decides to go to Israel for a trip. He is fairly unrealistic-sounding and his main role appears to be to ask the questions so that someone else can give long, scholarly-sounding answers that explain the subjects the author finds interesting.
Yes, there is a plot, and it does move along, but I felt uncomfortable through it--feeling that I wanted (and would probably have liked) either a frank history book or less didactic material in favor of character development. I think the author could have written a fascinating history/current events book. So if there is a follow up--I'm hoping that's what it will be.
Author: *very* interesting information--please put it into a different form so we can read it without feeling like an elementary school child being taught material via the cover of a thinly-written story. There is much to talk about here--and I would love to read about what you know without your having to disguise it as a novel.
Possible future reader: Do not turn away from this book--it does have interesting information in it, it is a mystery story--and others may enjoy it in its present form. Please give it a try--you may feel differently than I do about it.
Insipid, sophomoric, reads like a bad B movie
- S. Verus