Sheler, long time religion reporter for U.S.. News and World Report, has reworked many previously published essays into a six-part primer on today’s Bible battles. In one section, we learn just why the Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered by a trio of Bedouins in 1947, have captured the attention of so many biblical scholars and paleographers. Elsewhere, Sheler evaluates archeological arguments about the Exodus form Egypt and Scripture’s portrait of Israel’s ancient monarchy. Sheler also limns, perhaps too briefly, the history of the search for the historical Jesus, walking us from the Reformation through the development of German higher criticism to today’s Jesus Seminar. Though Sheler doesn—t take the time for a proper introduction to Albert Schweitzer, he does describe in detail some of the detectives who lead today’s search for the historical Jesus: Robert Funk, Marcus Borg, and N. T. Wright (Sheler curiously omitted Luke Timothy Johnson, a critic of the Jesus Seminar who surely deserved a paragraph or two in his roll call). Most illuminating is Sheler’s overview of the Bible Code project—the assertions, articulated by Michael Drosnin and others, that the letters of Scripture comprise an elaborate code, cracked by computers, that predicted Rabin’s assassination and Clinton’s 1992 election, and foretell earthquakes and other disasters that will occur early in the new century. Sheler, who declares his Protestant commitments at the outset of the book, concludes that the Bible is fairly reliable: Scripture is —affirmed by the weight of evidence and the strength of early traditions— relation to the formation of the canon,— archaeological finds, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the quest for the historical Jesus, and the —fleeting controversies over the so-called Bible code.— One wishes for a little more skepticism. Sheler’s book should not be the only map you use to navigate contemporary biblical debates, but it will be useful in getting you headed on the right road.