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The Constantine Codex Paperback – May 18 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (May 19 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414337744
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414337746
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 14 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #586,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Paul Maier scores another win in this his latest offering of historical fiction. This genre allows for and actually invites discussion of broader issues that the author may or may not have an agenda in promoting. Unlike the sensational claims made in Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code", Maier does not make attacks upon traditional Christianity (he himself being an Evangelical Christian). He does nevertheless touch upon subjects related to historical Christianity that the reader may never have thought about.

The most obvious of these that come up are the issues of canon and of textual criticism. Just what is the canon? Is it something the church decided upon such that the church stands over the canon, or is it something that the church received, such that the church submits to and stands under the canon? To what extent do issues related to the canon fall under church history or under theology? These are fascinating questions that Maier doesn't go in to, but implicitly invites the reader to explore.

They come up in the story when the (seemingly) lost ending of the New Testament book of Mark is discovered, and also with the discovery of a sequel to the book of Acts, also written by Luke. If I might make two suggestions for further reading, The Heresy of Orthodoxy: How Contemporary Cultures Fascination with Diversity Has Reshaped Our Understanding of Early Christianity, and King James Only Controversy, The: Can You Trust Modern Translations?, are two excellent and accessible resources.
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By sandy on Aug. 20 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Paul is a wonderful writer always interesting and what I like about it best is you learn so much about proofs of Christianity.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 113 reviews
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Terrific read! June 4 2011
By rkazoo - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Maier has developed a gripping plot, with terrific characters! The "secondary" plot...a debate with an Islamic expert comparing Christianity with 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.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Cutting edge Christian fiction June 23 2011
By M Rieker - Published on
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
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Good concept, but needed a co-author (possible spoilers included) Dec 9 2011
By Independence Dave - Published on
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.

* 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

* 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. If we found Paul's grocery list, it would be a great archeological find, but not necessarily a document meant for the church to use.
* Inadequate conflict, resulting in a low degree of suspense. Even with all the shuffling of documents, the text is still safely preserved in photographs. And since the text complements Scripture, its revelation is not seen as a challenge. The one antagonist is very suddenly revealed, then fizzles.
* Many of the same flaws as "A Skeleton in God's Closet" - bad dialogue, awkward romance, and unbelievable scenarios. My suggestion to Paul Maier is, that if he intends to keep writing novels set in the present, he form a writing partnership with a co-author more comfortable with characters outside of the ancient world.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Another riveting book by Maier Aug. 8 2011
By m&m - Published on
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. Further death threats, discoveries, and betrayals and suspense make this book impossible to set aside, and the conclusion does not disappoint.

I first became enamored with Paul Maier's writing in "Pontius Pilate", a book I read and reread many times. In The Constantine Codex, Maier enlightens the reader with his vast knowledge of places, times, and biblical history, often through friendly, though unnatural, banter between Jon and Shannon. While those communications did not work for me, that should not dissuade readers. It is a great book that will captivate from beginning to end.

This is my honest review of the Kindle formatted ARC from Tyndale House, through NetGalley.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Loved it! June 29 2011
By NeedCoffeePlease - Published on
Format: Hardcover
To be completely honest, I wasn't sure what to think when I started this book. I was thinking more along the lines of the movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark or National Treasure ... while the Constantine Codex was not like either of those, it did not disappoint. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves espionage, a little cultural debacle, and who doesn't mind learning a little bit more about the Holy books of all religions in the meantime. (Not a lot - but enough to make it interestng.) Once the book got going, I found it hard to put it down.

I was asked to do this review by Glass Road Public Relations. They tipped me off to Net Galley and the availability of this book there for my Kindle. I was only asked to provide a review, but am pleased to provide a favorable one. No compensation was received for this review