In The Second Messiah by Glenn Meade, archaeologist Jack Cane makes the discovery of a lifetime—a 2,000-year-old scroll that may prove the existence of Jesus. However, when the scroll is stolen, Jack realizes that there are powerful people who will do anything to keep the scroll’s contents from becoming public knowledge. Soon, Jack is involved in a search that involves the Mossad and the Vatican, a newly appointed pope, and even Jack’s own past.
The premise to The Second Messiah is intriguing, and the plot includes several twists to keep readers interested. However, occasional switches in point of view within single scenes are distracting, and the dozens of minor characters are difficult to keep straight. Additionally, the action-driven story could have benefited from a trimming of descriptions, adjectives, and adverbs.
Despite these small problems with mechanics, The Second Messiah would have still been an enjoyable book, except for one thing: its questionable theology. By the final page, the story of The Second Messiah has questioned the validity of Scripture and cast doubt on both the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Bible is seen as a book that “evolved” and had “lots of stuff” cut out of it. The Council of Nicaea is described as an event in which the emperor Constantine chose what would be in the Bible by throwing the documents in question down on a table and keeping the ones that stayed on the table. The entire plot of the story is based on a Vatican conspiracy to keep documents that question Christianity hidden. God’s love is manifested as a mystic, spiritual presence that might have been God, or a ghost, or the wind, depending on the reader’s perspective. By the end of the book, all that readers are left with is a vague spirituality, in which Christian love and outreach are the true fulfillment of Christ’s second coming.
The Second Messiah has some positive messages regarding the importance of loving and accepting others—messages that reflect Christ’s statement in John 13:35, which says, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” However, because of its problematic theology, I cannot recommend it to other Christian readers. – Ruth A. Burrell, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
In the desert near Jerusalem, an archaeologist is murdered after he uncovers stunning evidence in a Dead Sea scroll about the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. The two-thousand-year-old parchment containing enigmatic references to not one but two messiahs is stolen before it can be fully translated.
In Rome, a charismatic American priest with long-hidden secrets is elected pope, setting off widespread panic among some of the faithful who question whether he is the anti-Christ or the world’s new savior. As the conspiracy over the scroll explodes into a political and religious standoff, two people find themselves on the run, trying to stay one step ahead of unknown assassins in their search for truth.
Archaeologist Jack Cane and Israeli police inspector Lela Raul must solve the mystery of the Second Messiah and uncover the real secret behind the message of Jesus before they are permanently silenced and the scroll and its contents are forever lost to humanity.