“Sherlock Holmes and the Needle’s Eye” by Len Bailey (a book review)

A Bible-study featuring Sherlock Holmes? Certainly! Who else could uncover the answers to the great unsolved mysteries of the Bible?

The author has analyzed ten Bible mysteries, some based on well known Bible stories, and others on more obscure verses.  He has weaved what is essentially a Bible-study into a mystery novel, using Sherlock Holmes to uncover the key to the mysterious verses.  Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are transported back into biblical times in a time machine.  Using their observations and Bible texts, they deduce the answers to various intriguing questions about specific scriptures.

For example, the author uses Holmes to answer such questions as, “What did Jesus write on the ground in John 8—the story of the adulterous woman.”  Also, “Why did David choose five stones when he went out to fight Goliath?”  The first mystery included in the book, “Why did Ahitophel hang himself?” was pertaining to a lesser known Bible story.  Nonetheless, the answer was intriguing and made some connections of different scripture that provided a very satisfying answer to the mystery.

The book is divided into two parts.  The first part includes the ten questions and shows how Holmes solved the mystery using biblical text.  The second part of the book includes the “clues” that can be used by the reader to answer the ten mystery questions, even before reading the solution provided by Holmes.  In effect, it is a Bible-study with a little bit of intrigue and mystery.  For individuals interested in matching wits with Sherlock Holmes, or testing their own knowledge and understanding of the Bible, the clues in the second part of the book are done first…before reading the solution by Holmes.

I thoroughly enjoyed this unique way of studying the Bible.  I think that this book would be best appreciated by someone who already has a good background in Bible study.  It provides some good solutions to mysterious texts that can teach something new to even individuals well versed in Bible knowledge.   Some of the solutions to the mysteries are more satisfying than others, but on a whole, the book was different and entertaining, in addition to be enlightening.

My only criticism is that at times I felt bogged down in the accompanying Holmes antics, which were used as a backdrop for the study.  I wanted to get to the solution.  But, this may be my own bias.  I prefer Bible studies to Sherlock Holmes novels, so I was more interested in the outcome of the investigation.

***I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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