A Skeleton in God's Closet

by Paul L. Maier
432 pages, Suspense
Reviewed by Kristi

Suspenseful, thought-provoking read.


An archaeologist team finds an ancient sarcophagus that seems to belong to Joseph of Arimathea. It even contains the titulus, the sign that had hung upon Jesus' cross! They are overjoyed at the prospect of this significant find, until two letters sealed into a jar in the floor of the tomb indicate that the body in the sarcophagus is really that of Jesus himself. With the faith of billions at stake, the archaeologists must discover the truth. Is it the hoax of the century, or a truth so shattering it will tear the world apart?


The good guys generally behave in a moral manner, though there are some exception, such as using deception to get some Orthodox rabbis to stop protesting near an area of the dig. A Christian organization offers to bribe some dig members if they will not release their findings to the public.

Spiritual Content

Christianity, Judaism, and Atheism are all represented here.


There is a small amount of violence, nothing particularly graphic.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Some of the characters drink wine.

Sexual Content

Some kissing. John's memories of his first wife indicate that before their marriage she allowed him "some exquisite intimacies, but never ultimacies." On their honeymoon they go skinny dipping at the beach.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

The terms "SOBs" is used to refer to the "Super-Orthodox Brethren".


This is really an excellent read. I've heard some complaints that the ending is too abrupt, and I seem to remember that feeling on my first read-through too, but all the necessary plotlines are neatly tied up, and it's a thrilling, suspenseful story. Great little primer on Biblical archaeology too.

Fun Score: 4.5
Values Score: 4
Written for Age: adult

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