March 19, 2011

Ben Witherington, Roman Numerals

Roman numerals is the second Art West adventure from Ben and Ann Witherington. Ben is a prolific and widely respected biblical scholar who has written widely in new testament history, exegesis and theology. Ann is his biology-professor wife. And together they have crafted this series of adventure mysteries. In this second installment, Art West finds himself investigating a major antiquities heist, and he is later abducted by an Islamic group that wants to silence his christian witness. The books are relatively well written, and have lots of action as well as some interesting characters. Much of the action takes place in Jerusalem and in archaeological sites in its surrounding hills, and the Witheringtons show sensativity to the complex historical, cultural, and theological situation there. Also a major theme in this book was Art's ficticious investigations into the presence and extent of the emperor cult in the first century, and especially in Palestine. this theme especially is helped by a brief author's note at the end of the book that details which archeological finds and ancient artifacts were real and which were ficticuous. I won't ruin the plot by outlining it here, but there is enough action woven together with thoughtful and authentic historical detail to make these great books, especially for people with interest in Biblical history and archaeology, and not to mention an ability to explore the content and implications of Christian faith. I look forward to reading the third installment.

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