First of all, I would like to make it clear that I and the author of the book are one and the same person. Hmm. Well, this is just as strange and unique as the fact that a Hungarian author, without any media support, and against the interest of all(!) the religious and non-religious public, intends to achieve a breakthrough for his book, in other words: to gain publicity for an unparalleled biblical and historical discovery. For more details, you may read my article entitled "Why Is It Nearly Impossible To Break Through The Wall Of Resistance?" available on the web. So, for the purpose of this article, please consider me as being two individuals (of course, by that I don't mean I'm schizophrenic:-)) and read this Book Review with this in mind.
Attila B. Magyar's book was translated from Hungarian (Viragszerda, 2010) and has not become known widely in Hungary as yet, nor has he as the writer. Apart from this, I may well say that his writing is unique in every respect. It is not easy to tell if the book is a detective story, a humorous novel, fiction or non-fiction, as it does not fit into any usual genre. The more you read it, the clearer the purpose of the author becomes to you: he, through this book, wants to make the exact dates of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection as widely known as possible, to Christians and non-Christians alike. He tries to "sell" his findings wrapped up in an entertaining novel, going farther in drawing conclusions than any other book or theological essay has done thus far.
The author's three days and three nights theory involves a Tuesday crucifixion and Friday resurrection, which may even seem ridiculous at first sight. The story is set in Budapest, in the spring of 2005. A large sum of money is wagered by two of the protagonists. On the analogy of Jules Verne's Around The World In Eighty Days, the parties to the wager agree that the same period of time should be granted to one of them to prove that Jesus was actually three days and three nights in the tomb. A private detective is also involved but it is not he who solves the riddle.
A sudden turn of events even allows us a glimpse into the process of writing the book. This happened when the author came to a point around the end of the story when he realized and in real life that his theory had collapsed. However, he did not change the book subsequently but gave it a second and happy ending. This is quite unique and unusual. Far be it from me to draw a parallel between this and the only point in the Genesis Account where God allows us a momentary glimpse into the process of the Creation, at Genesis 2:20: "So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found." At this point, God did not want to see into the future. Well, the author's use of two endings for his book at least reminds me of this part of the Bible.
If I were to cite any part of the book, I would choose these three short sentences: "The truth is not an obscure, mystical thing. The truth is nothing less than reality itself. And reality is what there is."
This book is THE VERY FIRST IN HUMAN HISTORY after nearly two millennia to determine and evidence the exact calendar dates of Jesus' death and resurrection, which have not been revealed by and known to ANYONE till now. While reading the humorous and lively dialogues (the novel consists entirely of dialogues), you gradually realize that you are being told something very special. This is the so-called sign of Jonah, i. e. the three days and three nights Jesus spent in the tomb as He had foretold in Mat 12:40. The author reveals that believing in the sign of Jonah may well be of vital importance to all of us. Jesus will most probably use this crucial belief as a yardstick for "measuring" the faith of people in Him and, as He promised, for "separating the sheep from the goats". That the author also determines, by way of biblical calculations, the exact calendar dates of Jesus' birth and baptism is just icing on the cake.
It may well be of interest to the reader that the novel is based on my article entitled "How Could Jesus Spend Three Days and Three Nights in the Tomb?" available on the web. There is an indirect reference on the Copyright Page of the title to this article of mine, and through the URL of the author.
In conclusion, I warmly recommend reading this book, which can be read in a day and is an enjoyable experience in itself, but also a first step on the road leading to the scientific, factual understanding and interpretation of the Bible's message.
By Sandor Balog
Word Count: 834
Sandor Balog (pen name: Attila B. Magyar), author of Palm Wednesday.
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