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The Bone Box: A Novel [Paperback]

By Bob Hostetler (Author)
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Item description for The Bone Box: A Novel by Bob Hostetler...

In this tale of biblical suspense, archeologist and agnostic Randall Bullock comes to Israel to try to resurrect his crumbling career and shattered life. Teaming up with Miri Sharon of the Israeli Antiques Authority, the two unearth a stone casket marked "Joseph, son of Caiaphas," which contains several fragile scrolls that document the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Publishers Description
Combining the adrenaline-fueled adventure of Indiana Jones with the thrills of a Steve Berry Novel, "The Bone Box" is the latest in biblical archeological suspense.
Archeologist and agnostic Randall Bullock has come to Israel to try and resurrect his crumbling career and shattered life. Teaming up with Miri Sharon, a beautiful representative of Israeli Antiques Authority, the two unearth a stone casket marked "Joseph, son of Caiaphas," which contains several fragile scrolls that document the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
This discovery launches Miri and Randall, along with his estranged nineteen-year-old daughter, Tracy, into a race to validate the monumental find, no matter what the Israeli authorities, media circus, and archaeological rivals want the world to believe. Forced to face the power of this historical resurrection, Randall must also struggle with his own beliefs -- or lack of them -- while trying to keep the consequences of their discovery from taking a disastrous turn.
"The Bone Box," fraught with political intrigue, is a suspense-filled blend of historical fact, romance, and transforming faith. Through all the danger and struggle, Randall discovers how easy -- and deadly -- it is to ignore the evidence and reject the true story of Christ.

From Publishers Weekly
Are there secrets, long hidden, which could prove that Christianity is the one true faith? This tantalizing premise underlies the latest excursion into religious fiction by Hoestetler (American Idols), a pastor-writer. Randall Bullock, an archaeologist who recently lost his wife, agrees to investigate a cave in Israel that turns out to contain not only the bones of Joseph, son of Caiaphas, but also an ancient scroll that appears to verify Jesus resurrection from the dead. The author knows his ancient history and labors to explain rituals, texts and biblical geography. He develops the Bullock character, making him a believable and sympathetic figure. Other characters, such as Bullocks daughter Tracy and his love interest, Miri Sharon, do not propel the plot forward much at all. The Christian apologetics toward the end seem heavy-handed. Bullock faces a crisis in his own faith as he attempts to convince the world that he has found unquestionable proof that Jesus is indeed the Messiah; the author generates theological questions that will give Christian readers much to contemplate. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information. (Oct.)

Citations And Professional Reviews
The Bone Box: A Novel by Bob Hostetler has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • CBA Retailers - 10/01/2008 page 40
  • Library Journal - 10/06/2008

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Howard Books
Pages   352
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 1"
Weight:   0.72 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 7, 2008
Publisher   Simon & Schuster
ISBN  1416566473  
ISBN13  9781416566472  

Availability  0 units.

More About Bob Hostetler

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Bob Hostetler is a writer and speaker. His thirty-six books to date include two best-selling devotionals co-authored with Josh McDowell and Take Time To Be Holy, a one-year devotional drawn from the writings of Samuel Logan Brengle. He has won two Gold Medallion Awards, four Ohio Associated Press awards, and an Amy Foundation Award. He is the founding pastor of Cobblestone Community Church in Oxford, Ohio. He and his wife Robin have two children and five grandchildren.

Bob Hostetler currently resides in Oxford, in the state of Ohio. Bob Hostetler was born in 1958.

Bob Hostetler has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Beyond Belief Campaign
  2. Samuel L. Brengle's Holy Life

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Action & Adventure
2Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Fiction & Poetry > Fiction
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Fiction & Poetry > Fiction > Suspense

Christian Product Categories
Books > Fiction > General Christian > Suspense

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Bone Box: A Novel?

Intriguing & Interesting  Nov 13, 2009
The Bone Box was an intriguing read! I was eager to follow the progress of the story, and engaged with the characters. I enjoyed the back-and-forth between the present day and the days of Christ. It was interesting and informative, with many details about the customs of the Jewish people both today and in the past. I would definitely recommend it.
Book Review: The Bone Box  Aug 30, 2009
An agnostic archeologist, is asked to begin an emergency excavation of a burial site in Taipoit, just outside of Jerusalem where he discovers the remains of Caiaphas, the High Priest that presided over the trial and subsequent delivery of Jesus Christ to the Romans to be crucified.

In Bob Hostetler's "The Bone Box", archeologist Randall Bullock lives a mediocre life participating in digs far from his family. The recent loss of his wife and the strained relationship with his only daughter intensifies his loneliness driving him to drink , despair and loss of interest in his chosen occupation.

An old friend offers him an opportunity to investigate a cave recently discovered at a construction site. While on location, his daughter Tracy (recently expelled from college) arrives unexpectedly creating more complexity as he attempts to expedite the digg before the Jewish Sabbath.

An Israeli Antiques Authority guard named Miri Sharon is assigned to the site and instructs Randall in some of the complex customs of the Jewish religion stressing that "nothing in Israel is simple". Indeed it is not as Randall soon discovers a mob surrounding the site insisting that any bones discovered be surrendered to them for proper burial.

Randall and his daughter hurry to document as much of the discovery as possible before they are forced to surrender the bones to the insistent Jews but not before he discovers a scroll.This discover would be monumental to history but the great significance is how the discovery of the scroll affects Randall Bullock.

For purely evidential reasons and with only vague memories of the name Caiaphas from his wife and from his childhood, Randall searches the bible to discover more about this man.

A parallel account of Caiaphas is told beginning with his appointment as High Priest portraying the man in a much more `human' way than I have read before. The story of John the Baptist arrival on the scene, Yeshua's many miracles and healings, and Yeshua's subsequent trial and crucifixion are retold from Caiaphas' viewpoint. This is a fiction account,of course, but was very well researched. Christian readers will connect many of the events described in the parallel story.

What follows is political intrigue, the path of salvation, and finally reconciliation and redemption. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it highly.

Keiki Hendrix
Vessel Project Book Reviewer
Decent summer read that poses some interesting life questions  Jun 16, 2009
Overall, I enjoyed the read, but I would only rate it as your average, would-be thriller. I remember reading the back cover blurb in the bookstore and thinking that this story would quite the page-turner, but throughout my commute to and from work it has taken over two weeks to finish the book, and in my opinion the summary is possibly misleading.

The story is compelling, though not entirely original, and is not the thriller I expected. All of the other characters aside from Rand, are extremely underdeveloped and purely used as devices to move along the plot.

Also, Rand's "transformation" at the end of the novel comes across too suddenly, and even though the author's intentions are obviously good, it's effect is heavy-handed.

Also, another hangup with the novel for me is the introduction of a couple plot elements (especially the whole story that Rand really didn't find the ossurary, but rather purchased it from an antiquities dealer) at the end of the novel that are not resolved, and really make me question why they were included in the first place.

One thing I will definitely praise, though, is Hostetler's ability to do his research and weave historical and biblical fact into the fictional tale.

Again, not a bad read, and definitely made my morning and evening commutes more enjoyable.
A Great Read  Feb 11, 2009
I just got back from vacation where I finished "The Bone Box." I had to write this comment and let others know how much I enjoyed it!

Anyway- a great story! I love to read a good book and have quite a few stacked on my bookshelf to get to, but put this one on the top of the list for vacation. I'm glad I did.

Hostetler has a good writing style and the content kept my attention throughout. I developed a relationship with the characters so I actually cared about what happened to them. I liked the back and forth between the two main story lines- current time and in Jesus' day. I liked the short chapters; makes it easier to read, I think. I also liked the "common language" style which helped the story feel more real- as if I was hearing the story from a friend. I found myself rushing to the end to see what finally happened. I couldn't put it down for the last fourth of the book!

This is a fine fiction story that ties many Christian truths and facts into it. The author has done a lot of excellent research and there is a section at the end with notes about that research that added to the overall experience. Included is a thoughtful reason why some people don't want to accept Jesus.

Read it- you'll like it!
A Thought-provoking novel drawn from the pages of time  Dec 8, 2008
The Bone Box, by Bob Hostetler, Howard Books, 2008, 352 Pages, ISBN-13: 978-1416566472,$13.99

Dust flung into the air by the earth-moving machine highlighted the sunset's golden colors against the ancient Jerusalem skyline. Momentarily distracted, the operator sensed a sudden shift beneath him. He swiftly brought the engine to a shuddering halt and jumped to the ground, soon joined by other excavation members.

They stared into the gaping hole in the desert floor ten feet below, inches from the front of the machine. Several stone boxes sat on the floor of what might have been an ancient burial chamber. If they were right, the Jewish Antiquities Authority would take over the excavation site.

They were concerned about their jobs, but losing the site would be nothing compared to the political infighting, danger, and intrigue their discovery would unleash. Tightly rolled scrolls inside one sealed box would reveal the 2000 year-old bones of the high-priest, Joseph Ben Caiaphas.

In The Bone Box, award-winning author and pastor, Bob Hostetler, writes a fictionalized tale of biblical supposition, filled with archeological, political, and religious intrigue. The story confirms the resurrection of Christ, and the fictional role Joseph Ben Caiaphas might have played in the ancient event. The story is told through the eyes of three fictional characters, Randall Bullock, recent widower, and agnostic archaeologist, his estranged college-age daughter, Tracey, and the high-priest, Joseph Ben Caiaphas. The Bullocks story revolves around dysfunctional family relationships and Bullock's crisis of faith, which was triggered by his astonishing discovery of the bone boxes.

Hostetler uses short chapters to interchange time periods, with the archaeologist's story running concurrent with the excavation. Caiaphas's 2000 year-old story parallels Bullock's adventures. The alternate time frames slowed the story down for me until the middle of the book.

Two plot lines that weakened the story for me was the implied romance between Bullock and Miri, the Israeli Antiques Authority representative, and the romantic involvement between Tracey and Carlos. I would have liked to see the relationships more developed and integrated into the plot.

However, the plot was ambitious and interesting, particularly Caiaphas's account of what-might-have-been. Verifying Jesus' death and resurrection and why newspapers wouldn't print the story, was thought provoking. Overall, however, Hostetler has written an interesting, fictionalized account drawn from the pages of time.


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