In this, the third novel in the Jon Mote Mystery series, Jon and his special-needs sister, Judy, find more bodies showing up in their lives. This time it’s Bible translators.
In Woe to the Scribes and Pharisees, Daniel Taylor’s unique blend of wit, satire, drama, and provocative meditations on the Big Questions is once again on full display. Jon Mote is determined to leave behind forever both the voices that once haunted him and his life-long confusion about the meaning of his life. He reconciles with his wife, Zillah, and takes a job as a book editor. When his employer decides it wants in on the Bible-selling business Jon finds himself in the in last place in heaven or on earth that he would have expected: as a member of a Bible translation committee.
Knowing nothing about the Bible, the publisher assembles a team of translators based on the principles of diversity and name recognition. Wildly different understandings of nearly everything—theology, the meaning of texts, the direction of history, the nature of reality and of church, among others—leads to take-no-prisoner clashes on issues large and small. While these surface tensions point to a profound collision of understandings of the cosmos and the human condition, Jon soon finds himself asking if they are also a matter of life and death.
Dan Taylor has once again given us a marvelous story that grips our imagination and stimulates our thinking. The plot is serious and humorous at the same time. Taylor knows how to engage the reader in a holistic way—mind, emotion, and imagination. I recommend Woe to the Scribes and Pharisees for all who love a well-told story.
Tremper Longman III, Distinguished Scholar and Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies, Westmont College
A murder mystery set in the context of a Bible translation committee?! Are you kidding me? But Dan Taylor has the credentials to pull it off: an eloquent pen, a mastery of the rights and lefts of the Christian world, experience on a Bible translation team, and—best of all—a razor-sharp wit. His colorful characters and engaging plot make this a page-turner that had me laughing at every twist and turn.
Mark L. Strauss, University Professor of New Testament, Bethel Seminary; Vice-Chair, NIV Committee on Bible Translation