Someone should write a book about Darrell Bock's book about Dan Brown's book. They'd be meta-rich.

Code Broken; Professor Just a Little Tired

Dallas Theological Seminary professor Darrell L. Bock is back in Dallas just in time for the new semester, after spending most of the last year on the road promoting his best-selling book Breaking the Da Vinci Code: Answers to the Questions Everyone's Asking. But Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code has given Bock a whole new career presenting the history of early Christians to folks who read the Bible only in hotel rooms, if that.

Bock e-mails that he has been speaking at everything from Syrian Orthodox to contemporary non-denominational churches, gave a presentation to United Nations delegates in New York, had a major debate with a Jewish rabbi and appeared on Nightline. Oddly, he never got this kind of publicity for his exegetical commentaries on the book of Luke.

This month Bock came out with yet another book for the popular press: The Missing Gospels: Unearthing the Truth Behind Alternative Christianities, which focuses on the so-called Gnostic texts discovered near Nag Hammadi, Egypt, in 1945. "It's for the same audience," Bock says. "No seminary degree needed!" Publishers Weekly calls it a "lively and readable survey of competing beliefs in Christianity's earliest days."

Exhausted from his last book tour, which continued even after Ron Howard's version of The Da Vinci Code came and went, Bock doesn't plan to do another formal promotion trip for this book. But he's continuing to do radio and TV interviews from his East Dallas home. So here's hoping the hoopla over Brown's novel has died down forever. But it's nice to know that scholars who actually know what they're talking about also made money on Brown's wild tale. --Glenna Whitley

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