Harvard Professor Jonathan Weber is finally enjoying a season of peace when a shocking discovery thrusts him into the national spotlight once again. While touring monasteries in Greece, Jon and his wife Shannon—a seasoned archaeologist—uncover an ancient biblical manuscript containing the lost ending of Mark and an additional book of the Bible. If proven authentic, the codex could forever change the way the world views the holy Word of God. As Jon and Shannon work to validate their find, it soon becomes clear that there are powerful forces who don’t want the codex to go public. When it’s stolen en route to America, Jon and Shannon are swept into a deadly race to find the manuscript and confirm its authenticity before it’s lost forever.
On the final day of her archeological dig along the Jordan River, Shannon Jennings Weber visits the Greek Orthodox Church of St. James the Just. Leafing carefully through an ancient manuscript by the early church historian Eusebius, she discovers some age-browned pages of another ancient document stuck in Eusebius' text. She whisks the pages off to America and back to Harvard, where her husband, Jon Weber, world-renowned author of a biography of Jesus and expert on antiquities, can use the tools of modern science to help translate the pages and authenticate their provenance. Through a whirlwind journey of mystery and intrigue, they eventually discover, with the help of a team of scholars, that the codex dates from the early fourth century; it's one of 50 copies of the Holy Scriptures commissioned by the Emperor Constantine and contains the original ending of the Gospel of Mark and a Second Acts giving details of Paul's death. The subject is intriguing, but Maier's book falls short, with superficial and unbelievable characters, thinly drawn plot elements, clumsy errors in historical research, and a lack of suspense.
Read with an open mind, "What if"?
I give this novel 5 stars. Reason for it? Because it opens your mind to scripture and understanding the root of Eastern Orthodoxy. You feel like you are with the characters as they unlock the truth behind the assumptions of Christianity in a heated debate with the Quran and explains the hatred of Islam, its one page turner. Especially, the name of the novel caught my attention and even the twist ending of the Codex. I also love how the author wrote about Greece, me, being an Orthodox Christian I can relate to the language-sense of humor the characters have in the midst of conflict. Read this novel, its a great plot, and a great historical lesson to learn!