The Gnostic Mystery
Author: Randy Davila
Following in the footsteps of the Da Vinci Code, the Gnostic Mystery takes us to present day Middle East, and all of its obvious (and not so obvious) realities. We follow the trail of Jack Stanton, a highly successful American entrepreneur making a pilgrimage to present day Israel in hope of rekindling his Christian faith. Along with his former college roommate Punjeeh (now a physician in Jerusalem), Stanton acquires one of two ancient scrolls that present more questions than answers.
With the help of Chloe Eisenberg, a professor of philosophy and religion (and a good friend of Punjeeh’s wife Esther), the scroll is translated. Written by the Gnostic’s, the scroll makes startling claims – that the Gnostics were the original followers of Jesus, and that they retained secret knowledge of Jesus that was not included in the Bible.
The chase is on to locate the tourist that purchased the second scroll, and get it back from her. Through a suicide bombing, and deep crisis of soul for both Stanton and Punjeeh, we learn perhaps more than we wish to know about what is real, what is illusion, and how interconnected all religions really are.
I found this book to be chock full of interesting information on the Gnostics, the Essenes, and the early history of Christianity. At times the story is lost in the massive input of information, and the conversations become quite stilted, but as a reader I was compelled to keep reading! That these things could have happened carries a high percentage of probability. As for plausibility, the reader will have to determine that for themselves!
There is quite a good bibliography at the end of the book, as well as a list of questions for book club discussions. Looking them over, I felt that they were good questions for the reader to ask themselves, to see if they really had understood the book! In spite of the fact that the book drags at times, I do recommend it for anyone interested in the origins of Christianity, for those looking for a better understanding of the old and new testaments, or for those looking for a good storyline.
© March 2009