Nurturing/ Teaching Courses
Spiritual Formation Institute
The 13th Apostle
Richard and Rachael Hiller (2007), The 13th Apostle, New York:
Among the most sacred of texts it is written:
In each generation there are born thirty-six
righteous souls who by their very existence,
assure the continuation of the world.
According to Abraham’s Covenant, once each
millennium, God shall return to earth and count
among the many, those who remain righteous.
Were it not for these tzaddikim, the righteous ones,
who stand in God’s judgment, mankind’s fate would
be grave and certain peril.
These traddikim have no knowledge of each other,
Neither have they an understanding of their own
singular importance. As innocents, they remain
unaware of the critical consequences of their
thoughts, their faith, and their deeds,
Save for one.
To this tzaddik alone is granted knowledge
of his position, for to him is trusted the
most sacred of tasks.
From Publishers Weekly
The Hellers, a husband-and-wife team known for their health titles (The
Carbohydrate Addict's Diet, etc.) make a thrilling fiction debut in this
fast-paced, well-researched adventure, a foray into Da Vinci Code–style
papal mystery. American cybersleuth Gil Pearson, a semifamous antihacker,
gets tapped to help translate an ancient copper scroll that's meant to lead
to a fabulous treasure. Accompanied by striking, strong Sabbie Karaim, a
translator and former Israeli military operative, Gil travels to Israel,
where he's introduced to the dangerous conspiracy that surrounds the scroll,
and soon realizes the perilous position he's gotten himself into;
apparently, the scroll contains not just a treasure map but the truth about
the life and death of Jesus. As rival factions try to claim the scroll for
their own agendas (to protect Christianity, to destroy Christianity, etc.),
Gil and Sabbie head on a breakneck quest around the globe trying stay one
step ahead of their pursuers while teasing out the secrets of the age-old
document. A satisfying, well-structured entry into the still-hot subgenre,
the Hellers have a definite crowd-pleaser on their hands—assuming it doesn't
get buried in a saturated market. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All
I have always enjoyed reading conspiracy thrillers especially those
involving religious antiquity. That is why I enjoyed the Da Vinci Code
enormously and also the Indiana Jones movies and novels (yes, there are
novels). This book promises two premises; one, the legend/tradition of the
worthy tzaddikim, and two, the story of the thirteenth apostle.
Unfortunately the authors were not able to bring these two interesting ideas
into play effectively to hammer out a good religious conspiracy thriller.
The story telling was choppy with too much detail given to the scroll. It
also suffers by imitating the writing style of the Da Vinci Code. The
character development was poorly done. For example Gil, the leading male
character is at times very intelligent and at other times to be incredibly
stupid. It was a fair attempt for a first novel. My rating for this book is