This winding debut collection, an amalgamation of biblical and post-biblical texts, promises revelation for true believers.
Minchew’s debut presents obscure textual excerpts from across the Christian tradition. The book’s foreword assures readers of the author’s prophetic credentials, using lines from Old Testament prophets. Its undefined agenda, however, may leave some readers at a disadvantage, and forced to navigate the book’s biblical excerpts without a compass. Certain themes do emerge: that zeal for God is rewarded; that the time of judgment approaches; and that religious truth is hidden in plain sight, but it’s unclear how certain narratives serve to clarify such points. The stories of David, Elisha, Moses and Job (among others) are partially included under headings that suggest possible interpretations, such as “Job’s desire (or Adam’s transgression).” However, some connections may elude even the most careful readers. Throughout, the book returns to the idea that discernment is a gift granted to a select few; one poem asks, for example: “Are you worthy to take the book?” This earnest project seems to embrace its limited readership as evidence of its own authority. The author remarks that he prayed to have “pure” Hebrew, or the “secret codification of God,” revealed to him, and through prayer, not study, he received this knowledge. The suggestion seems to be that the author understands a language that reveals greater truths than Scriptures alone: “Read the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls,” the author writes, as the project winds down. But a simple reading of the text doesn’t appear to satisfy this command, and it’s uncertain how many readers can fulfill its model of an ideal audience. As a result, the book presents many hurdles for its readership, and its compositions and quotes remain enigmatic, even when it defines, underlines or boldfaces words to draw distinctions.
A book which promises access to salvation, but which may only appeal to the most religiously confident readers.