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The Constantine Codex (Skeleton Series) Paperback – May 18, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Just a few pages into it I was hooked. Maier is that rare combination of masterful storyteller and historian. A brilliant use of the power of story to excite and educate. Bravo!” 
-Hank Hanegraaff, president of the Christian Research Institute and host of the Bible Answer Man broadcast
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Dr. Paul L. Meier is the professor of ancient history at Western Michigan University and a much-published author. His novels include the bestselling thriller A Skeleton in God’s Closet and its sequel, More Than a Skeleton. Over five million copies of Dr. Maier’s books are now in print in twenty languages, as well as over 250 scholarly articles and reviews in professional journals.
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Skeleton Series
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (May 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414337744
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414337746
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #151,727 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

The story was just too neat, the characters too perfect.
Pat
The Constantine Codex By Paul L Maier While on a dig at Pella, Shannon Jennings Weber makes a remarkable find within the Greek Orthodox Church of St. James the Just.
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
It was a bit difficult to get into the book, but once I was hooked it was fast.
KatyRachael

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By rkazoo on June 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Maier has developed a gripping plot, with terrific characters! The "secondary" plot...a debate with an Islamic expert comparing Christianity with Islam...is one of Maier's outstanding writings. The twists and turns of the main plot are captivating and the people are fascinating. One can "see" the locations through his terrific descriptions. I may have read nearly everything Dr. Maier has written, but this is my favorite of his fictional works! OUTSTANDING.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By M Rieker on June 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
As a reader I'm so glad to see Christian writers thinking on the cutting edge at long last and taking a risk. It's been a wonderful 12 months for that. With The Constantine Codex Paul Maier has officially joined the ranks of other writers whose books are poised to expand the Christian fiction category to a level that must be reckoned with!

Out of the books from the last 12 months, I'd call some other Christian writers pioneers in this way. Definitely check these out--
Nike Chillemi's "Burning Hearts" is fascinating: Sanctuary Point Book One: Burning Hearts
John Herrick's "From the Dead" is suspense and a gorgeous heart tugger: From The Dead
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Independence Dave on December 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Okay, let me start off by saying that I admire Paul Maier's gifts as a scholar and translator - his versions of Josephus and Eusebius are invaluable. His knowledge of the biblical world also eminently qualifies him to tell stories set at those times - his documentary novel "Pontius Pilate" can easily be set on the shelf next to works like "Ben-Hur" and "Quo Vadis". But brilliant men can't be experts in everything - in Maier's case, works of fiction set in the modern day. "The Constantine Codex" is worth reading for its premise alone, but it suffers from some of the weaknesses that have characterized the author's other novels.

Pros:
* A thought-provoking concept - the discovery of missing manuscripts which may revolutionize the study of the New Testament
* The content of the Islam vs. Christianity debate - not exhaustive by any means, but a good introduction
* Giving venerable scholars like Daniel Wallace and Edwin Yamauchi a chance to be action heroes.
* Fast-paced reading; makes scholarly concepts accessible to the general reader

Cons:
* The author seems enamored of Orthodoxy, Catholicism, and high-church Protestantism, and rather disdainful of evangelicalism, which hardly seems to have a place at the table.
* Too-quick acceptance of the additions to Mark and Acts into the canon of Scripture. Though they might rightly have a place, little discussion takes place about signs of divine inspiration - the true test for Scripture. The writers of the New Testament probably wrote many other letters and books, which God has not chosen to preserve with His other inspired writings, and apostolic authorship alone does not make something inspired Scripture.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By m&m on August 8, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Shannon, about to call it quits wither her excavation of a possible site of great historical importance, almost on a whim visited the nearby current-day building with hopes of discovering ancient church records. But when Father Athanasius opened a precious copy of Eusebius's Historia Ekklesiastica to where Eusebius credits his original source, Hegesippus, the 5 pages of parchment serving as a bookmark stole her attention...5 pages that could bring sweeping changes to church history. With Jon, her husband and Harvard professor, the two poured over the Greek manuscript with UV and digital photo technology, to find that this was indeed Hegisippus' work, with shocking references to other documentation and facts. Curiosity peaking, their plans to investigate further get put on hold when an incorrect translation in Jon's book ignites worldwide demonstrations, violence, death threats, and a fatwa on his head. When Jon's friend, the world's foremost theologian in Islam, challenges Jon to a debate, there is little he can do but accept, despite the fact that attempts to support the Bible would be seen as discrediting Islam and the Qur'an, both held in sacrosanct awe. In a debate of worldwide importance, double standards would mean Jon would lose, even if he won. With CIA protectors, "Click and Clack", Jon proceeded to the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople for the debate. Just days before the onslaught, while taking a break to investigate archives, Jon loses his focus on the debate to a tome that Shannon discovered askew on a bulging shelf in the geniza, a room in the basement where old manuscripts are held with hopes of restoring, but more likely, to be held in disrepair or even weeded out.Read more ›
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lawrence G. Farlow on July 30, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The premise is intriguing. A biblical scholar and his wife discover a copy of the New Testament older than any that currently exists - going back to the time of the emperor Constantine. This by itself would be a major find and a boon to biblical scholarship but there's more, it's not just an older copy but one with additional text never before seen. This raises the question of canonicity - should this new material be included in the Bible? Against this backdrop the protagonist also finds himself involved in a Christian / Muslim debate before a world-wide audience which subjects him to the wrath of radical Muslims.

Given the potential in this plot, I dove into this book with much excitement - most of which quickly evaporated. The book is not well written. It is full of clichés and the descriptive language is often downright corny:

"Silence in the room was deafening..." (p. 263)

"The explosive joy suffusing Jon when they kissed rapturously after that first hug he later called "one of the greatest moments in my life." (p. 370)

The historical data woven into the story often seems tacked on just to get the information in rather than flowing naturally from the plot. For example, when crossing to Mt. Athos, we read:

"Jon could only hope that the weather would stay favorable, recalling that a fierce storm had destroyed an entire Persian fleet off the coast of Mount Athos in 492 BC, two years before the great Battle of Marathon." (p. 75)

What does a storm that happened over two thousand years ago have to do with the outlook for the weather today?
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