Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Sherlock Holmes and the Needle's Eye - A Review

A Review

I do not fancy myself a Sherlock Holmes expert - though I am a fan.  I have enjoyed Arthur Conan Doyle’s short stories and novels, as well as books and stories written by interested third parties.  Sherlock Holmes And The Needle’s Eye is one such book.

Sherlock has discovered a time machine that allows him to travel back in time - specifically to the Old Testament and the New Testament eras.  As he travels, he finds Watson and Holmes find themselves observing events that have tended to puzzle Bible scholars and readers for many years.  

Some of the events are well known (e.g. the woman caught in the act of adultery - John 8), others are less well known (e.g. the story of Ahithophel from I Samuel 15-17).  Some of the stories are told in the first person by Watson, others are described by a third person observer.

Each of the Biblical events described as they are seen by the casual observer (i.e. Holmes and Watson) and then discussed by the duo using the tools of the theologian and Biblical scholar.  Some of the conclusions which Holmes and Watson come to are new to this reviewer, but seem to be consistent with the Biblical text.  Though written as stories, the events could be thought of as a lay commentary on the text - discussing both what is written in the text and examples of the Biblical scholarship that have contributed to the church’s understanding of that text with footnotes to both the key Biblical passages and more scholarly work.  This combination of story and scholarship allows the book to be an interesting exploration of the Scripture and its interpretation.

The audience for the book is not the Biblical scholar, but the layperson who is just beginning his or her study of the more troubling Bible passages.  Because the book looks at only 10 such passages, it is hoped that further book may be written in this series from a similar perspective.   
This review is based on a free electronic copy of this book provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review.  The opinions expressed are mine alone.  

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