Contracted today to publish The Last Page: Mark’s Gospel Mystery.
The Last Page is a historical novel based upon the mystery of the missing last page of the Gospel of Mark. Chapters alternate between two story lines and sets of protagonists that follow two time tracks: evangelist John Mark in the 1st century C.E.; archaeologist Chris Jordan and ancient manuscript expert Elaine Ferguson in the 21st century, fall of 2011. Two relationships evolve and mirror each other in the separate plots.
Doctors Jordan and Ferguson are brought together by famed New Testament scholar Andrew Stewart of Edinburgh, Scotland. On a recent research expedition to ancient Maaloula, Syria, Stewart stumbles across an ancient scroll, a truncated rough draft of the Gospel of Mark. All evidence indicates John Mark is the author. The completed autograph scroll, the archaeological find of the millennia, is believed to be in a cave in Maaloula. Amid the Syrian revolt, Chris and Elaine travel to Maaloula. Time is of essence. The obstacles are overwhelming. Paralleling their perilous quest is John Mark’s escape with the manuscript from the Roman siege of Jerusalem in 70 C.E., his journey to Damascus where he can complete his gospel and make copies for distribution throughout the Empire. Historical background includes how the gospel was written and evolved plus the origin of the early church and spread of Christianity. A major theme threading the work is the resurrection. Is the last page of the Gospel of Mark missing? Or did the author intend to leave the resurrection dangling, shrouded in mystery? The answer is in the autograph scroll.