- Paperback: 176 pages
- Publisher: Liberty Street (October 10, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1933405910
- ISBN-13: 978-1933405919
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.5 x 10.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,185,444 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Inside the Mysteries of the Bible : New Perspectives on Ancient Truths (American Bible Society) Paperback – October 10, 2006
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It is written in such a way that it allows further depth for those who wish to do so. In my advanced Bible study group we take three hours on each Bible story. Whereas, with my confirmation class it provides enough information to tell the story, give the backgrounds, and then shows how modern day experiences supports the stories. Some of the stories are just plain mysteries. All of the stories require faith and all these stories help build the faith.
Since my concern with the mysteries introduced in this book are almost exclusively with the parallel story of Jesus' life as told by Brown (and his then co-authors) in the well-researched non-fiction book "Holy Grail Holy Blood (HGHB)," upon which not coincidentally the Da Vinci Code is based, I wondered out loud why the authors of this book chose to compare the Bible to the "novel version" of Brown's work rather than to the more serious non-fiction historical version? This is especially puzzling since Brown's cohorts eventually sued him for "lifting" much of the material in the Da Vinci Code from HGHB. Indeed, why did they choose not to go with the original, less controversial and more well-documented, historically acurate, non-fiction source?
The reader may recall that after 1100 pages of beautifully researched and coherently written non-faith based history (by a multi denominational team of much respected religious scholars), HGHB concluded that the Jesus of the bible, was little more than a political revolutionary, using the theology of the newly formed alternative Jewish religion called Christianity as both a disguise and a tool to undermine the Roman (and Jewish religious hierarchy the Sanhedrens in cahoots with them) for removing the yoke of Roman oppression from the Jewish people. He did so in preparation for a well-orchestrated uprising of which the crucifixion was just the most important and final ruse. As the story in HGHB goes, the revolutionary plan worked to perfection: Jesus was removed from the cross injured but otherwise alive, just in time for him to turn himself into a self-fashioned martyr via a "staged" reappearance in resurrected form. And once the crucifixion ruse was completed, and the revolution eventually lost, he and his wife, Mary Magdalene, fled to France to live out a rather uneventful but long and healthy life, one that importantly included a daughter left to carry on the Jesus bloodline. As it turns out, the conclusion of the story was that Magdalene's belly, carrying Jesus' daughter, was the real Holy Grail. It was the cup that carried Jesus' bloodline, which according to the authors, lives on today.
The book got in trouble not from its excellently told history, which arguably is certainly much more coherent if not more accurate historically than the biblical accounts, but in a flawed attempt to link the dots of Jesus' family tree to famous people in the present. The researcher involved (who had already been suspected of tampering with his data), was caught red-handed forging the substance that allowed him to add new names to the list.
This book focuses only on one of the many back stories: whether Jesus was married to Magdalene, mentioning Jesus' work as a revolutionary only in passing. My problem with introducing the revolutionary aspect of Jesus' life as if it were an hor d'oeuvre instead of the main entrée, is that it minimizes the fact that there were absolutely no aspects of Jesus' life that were not a mystery? And indeed the most mysterious aspect of all is the canonical biblical account of his life -- in which Jesus appears on the stage from the manger without a social context, preaches a few times during a troubled era, and then in less than a decade disappears from the scene? if there is a mystery more profound than this, the biblical version of Jesus' life, then I am all ears?
In typical biblical fashion, this book too treats these mysteries as discrete events disconnected from any longer more coherent socio-political narrative, and by doing it this way, opens up more questions than it closes. Nevertheless, as faith-based attempts go, this is certainly one to be commended. Four stars