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am 5. Juli 2000
The romance is the kind we nerds like. By some miracle, and against all reason, the beautiful girl falls in love with the geek. Hey, I'm all for it! :) This may be why it lacks the depth everyone seems to be looking for.
Onto the book. I have to say that this was an excellent read. It created a very scary plot, and then went, after creating an apparent noose for Christianity, to smash it down and expose the truth. Fantastic.
One reviewer complained that it portrayed "fundies" as being too extreme and that the reaction would not be that bad. Speaking as an evangelical (and, judging by his other work, Maier is also), I can say that while I wouldn't hang myself, I would be absolutely desolate if they somehow "proved" that they had Jesus' body. I'm sure others would react worse.
Why would he create truth? Same reasons the reviewer below exhibited. He had great animosity towards the Christian faith. Why? Don't ask me. Maybe because it doesn't applaud mankind and presents a scenario involving humbleness for forgivness. Many people deny Christ not out of actual intellectual reasons (those who do are invited to read Maier's book IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME or just type "Christian Apologetics" into the book-search box), but because it takes too much humility to admit one's own guilt. They WILL disbelief. That is why most people appeal to "hypocrisy" or "anti-Semitism" as the root of why they do not accept Christianity. Both claims are easily explored, and both are also utterly irrelevant to whether or not Jesus rose from the dead. So please -- do you ignore the facts of history because you feel they are unproven, or because you have a problem with pride?
God bless,
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am 23. November 1999
One of the few books that has held my attention hostage. A fantastic "What if?" story on a spell-binding subject. Will definitely make Christians and non-Christians think harder when it comes to the ressurection of Jesus. Could have done without the gilded romances and the legion of ultra beautiful geniuses - but alltogether its a substantive read for people of average intellect such as myself. Worth the money.
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am 10. Januar 1999
Having read and enjoyed both Pontius Pilate and Flames of Rome, I was disappointed to find that A Skeleton in God's Closet lacked the quality of the author's earlier historical novels. Granted, Dr. Maier's latest novel offers insight into archeology and history, while also forcing the reader to think about the theological implications of the 'discovery' of the bones of Christ. The story also offers suspence and entertainment. As literature, however, A Skeleton in God's Closet leaves much to be desired: Dialogue is at times superfluous to the story, certain scenes border on the sensationalistic, and the treatment of romance is awkward. The subject matter itself deserves more literary and theological subtlety than is delivered in this novel. I do not think that the implications of the discovery of Jesus' body can be as easily surmised as they appear to have been in the writing of A Skeleton in God's Closet. There is already too much 'religious' fiction that strips the mystery away from spiritual themes by treating them as material for best-selling thriller novels. Dr. Maier would have done well to stay with the writing of his excellent historical documentary novels rather than add to the plethora of 'Christian' best-seller novels.
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am 12. Juni 1999
This is the first book I read in the genre 'Theological Thriller'. The book represented the world really well. It depicted one way the world could react to the discovery of Jesus' bones. It was an intense read at times forcing me away from sleep to continue another chapter. I enjoyed the book thoroughly except for one thing, the romance. There was a relationship between the main character and another character that seemed out of place and a bit forced. This was a pretty minor thing though. I just dismissed the relationship as just a vessel for more conflicts and complications to intensify the situations. I give it a 4 out of 5 because there were some instances where it was slow but they were pretty slight, but this combined with the relationship brought it down a little. As I said, overall I love the book and would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes a good, captivating read.
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am 9. April 1997
'Un-questioning I read, and my world fell apart. I let my mind become intwined in this terrifying plot, and my Faithful stand crumbled to dust. I could not take my self out from this created world, where the promises I hold dear were being threatened. I began to fight the thoughts, and push away opressing posibility. I put the book down. It was like an episode of "Sliders" The world was not right.'
This was me before I finished the book. I allowed myself to be swept away by this realistic plot. And I regret nothing. This book allowed me to see the posibilitys and to experience them. It strenghtened me in ways that I can't decribe. If a person is wishing to experience what life would be like without Christ, I recomend reading this book and letting yourself become totally involved. It is incredible.
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am 19. Oktober 1998
As a Classics student a few years ago, I read 'Skeleton' and immediately began telling all my fellow students and professors about it. What an incredible read, for believers and non-believers alike: exacting historical background, intricate analysis of the languages and dating methods involved in Classic Archaeology, and yet this doesn't become bogged down with the scholarly items. The only part that was awkward was any section dealing with romance, but there's so little it doesn't present a problem. This is a fantastic read, suspenseful to the very end, and caused me to take a good hard look at how I might react if it weren't fiction. I would highly recommend this book to anyone.
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am 24. März 2000
The plot concept is intriguing; but I'm about halfway through the book and have found the prose to be clumsy, and some of the characters to be caricatures. I also don't buy the reaction of the public to "the discovery". Its too extreme. Although not one myself, I could do without the protagonist/(author's?) prejudices against "fundies". I also agree with earlier reviewers that the romantic involvements are (so far) superfluous and the female characters shallow. I'd like to see what a gifted screenwriter could do with the concept for the next(?) Indiana Jones film!
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am 23. Dezember 1998
I do agree that this novel was very well written.It has an interesting plot, intense characters, a very intelligent developement and sound arguments. I just could not see why Mr. Jonathan as a scientist wanted to obliterate the truth.I would like very much that someone would find Jesus' bones (and eventually, we will!) and end this religious hypocresy and finally contradict St Paul and his ridiculous epistles. Anyway I never thought that Jesus resurrected carrying all his bones with him. What for? P.S.(Is a good thing that Mr Maier doesn't write any romance novels)
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am 21. Oktober 1998
Chalk up another person who read this book in one sitting (it took 9 hours). All those who I lent it to read it within a few days. This book is a fasinating tale, that asks probing questions. The reactions of various groups are portrayed realistically, and Maier's knowledge of arhaeological sciences run deep. I think even hardened skeptics would enjoy this book and the questions it poses.
this book is a bargain at any price. But before you set down to read it, make sure you don't have any minor responsibilities (like going to work) in the way.
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am 13. April 1999
As a Christian, I read this book and found it very challenging in a good way. Not only is it a interesting, entertaining, and plausible story, but I found myself having to remind myself that it was only a fictional book. It was hard to put down, and hard to forget. The only thing I didn't like was the love story--why force a romance into an otherwise superb book? It just seemed somewhat trite. This is definitely worth reading. It was an entertaining, thought provoking, and faith strengthening experience for me.
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