The Eighth Scroll Review
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Nineteen hundred years ago, the Essene Jews hid their most precious scrolls in caves near the Dead Sea. Those scrolls have now been found, including the final edict of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which could be the Gospel of Jesus’s brother, James—or even of Jesus Himself. The last scroll could be proof of who Jesus really was—and, as a result, many religious leaders are fighting to keep the scroll hidden.

On a dig in Qumran, archeologist Frank Tones unearths a reference to a hidden scroll. Excited, Frank calls in his colleague Gerald Hansen and asks him to join the dig. Reluctantly, Gerald agrees, taking along his fifteen-year-old son, Michael. But before they can learn anything about the find, Frank Tones is bitten by a cobra and dies in his sleep—or so the authorities say—and the reference to the last scroll is lost. Gerald takes up the hunt for the next 15 years, until he, too, dies mysteriously.

  
 
Now thirty, Michael decides to go after his father’s killers and find the scroll. His hunt leads him through dangerous territory as he tries to outwit the Mossad, the CIA, and the Italian Mafia—all of which have license to kill anyone who tries to bring the contents of the last scroll to light.

First and foremost, The Eighth Scroll is a religious thriller that takes readers through several years of suspense and mystery. Remember this as you read, and you’ll enjoy the story much more. Also, try to check your beliefs at the door—because if you’re a Christian, like me, Michael’s attempts to find proof that Jesus is not the Son of God will most definitely arouse your fighting nature. As a result, you might find Michael a bit hard to like. Still, you have to admire his determination in searching for the truth—even if it might be a false truth, or a truth that could put millions of believers in a state of despair.

At the same time, though, the writing isn’t always realistic. I laughed and shook my head at one scene, in which Michael and his girlfriend take down a couple of Mossad agents. Those are some of the best trained operatives in the world, so a professor and an ordinary woman (especially one prone to panic under pressure) wouldn’t be able to do that—even if they do know “a little karate.” Perhaps Dr. Brown should have done a bit more research into agents he portrayed as the bad guys.

The Eighth Scroll is speculative fiction about a controversial find near the Dead Sea. I enjoyed this well-written thriller for what it was: suspense meant to entertain. If your beliefs are based on faith, nothing can shake that foundation. So read up, Christians and non-believers alike. The Eighth Scroll will keep you enthralled, right up until the “truth” is unveiled.

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