What started out as a strange coincident turned out to be something much stranger than Timothy Smith first considered. A simple Bible story suddenly became a rabbit hole type mystery that sent Smith on a wild journey, unlocking a secret code that would rock his world in ways he never dreamed.
But is it true? The question one asks themselves when glancing on the cover, pondering what “The God Code” will reveal, is how accurate are Timothy Smith’s findings? What will happen if they are true?
Sadly, The Chamberlain Key is not some great, lost mystery that has recently been unearthed. Rather, this is a book that should be left alone, itself lost and forgotten.
I will give Timothy Smith credit, where credit is due. It does take a great deal of courage to step out in front of the world and share something so profound that it frightens you. The “warning of a spreading, deadly cancer (158)” should be proclaimed. But I fear that would disagree on what that cancer would be, how to deal with it, and where we got our information from.
It is there that I must end my praise for The Chamberlain Key. Too many things struck me the wrong way. Too many issues with the content that grieved me and bewildered me. Not bewilderment in a sense of awe, but dumbfounding. This book was so full of problems and issues that disturbed me that I will only mention a few there.
The Chamberlain Key is a fatalistic book. The end is predetermined. Nothing can be changed or altered. While Smith never states it, and I am sure he would completely disagree, the premise of the Key is built upon that.
Smith states that the Key was “something [that] had been covertly embedded in the text of the Torah, something waiting for [him] to come along and bring it to the light (82).” If something had been encoded, in this case, his name and birth date, his wife’s name and maiden name, and those of his children, clearly the author knew something that was going to happen. It was fated to happen. In this way, The Chamberlain Key is not as different from The Bible Code as Smith would like to think.
While I am sure Smith would argue that he choice to marry his wife and such other life decisions, and was not forced or fated into them, the book falls apart if that is not true. Not that the book hold together well as it is.
The fatalism aside, it quickly becomes obvious that the Chamberlain Key is not an academic work. Smith makes it very clear that he is not a linguist, Hebrew scholar, theologian, mathematician, or computer scientist (99). Therefore, his work lacks the eloquence of a studied mind and well read writer. There is little to not resourcing in this book. What information Smith shares is all directly from him or what he has been told by a friend or academic fellow. Nothing is cited. Nothing is quoted.
Is that a problem? It absolutely is when you decide to write a book about how you have discovered a secret code within the Leningrad Codex, an ancient copy of the Hebrew Torah. Such a “discovery” would need proof, evidence, and an explanation as to how this Key was uncovered and should be understood. But that is not The Chamberlain Key we have.
What Smith has done is shared with us a journal, in essence. It chronicles his journey from the mountains in Canada, back to the States, across the years and into strange Spanish locales sharing how he made the discovery of the Chamberlain Key. I emphasize how he made the discovery, because so little time is spent exploring or explaining the Key. Even if you were to label this book as a pop culture book, something for the average Joe to read and easily digest, there would still be no substance.
Perhaps my greatest complaint with The Chamberlain Key is the premise it is build on: there is a secret message that God has dictated to scribes over thousands of years, a message that only one man could have possibly heard. And that message has a unique and powerful weight to it.
The Chamberlain Key is a Gnostic book, a book proclaim a “secret knowledge” that no one else has. For starters, Gnosticism has long been considered heresy by Christianity. That alone should give anyone cause to avoid The Chamberlain Key. But more over it puts the emphasis on anything but Jesus. The importance is the key and what it reveals. The knowledge and then the following of its instructions take president over Christ and his life, death, and resurrection.
While I would dare judge Timothy Smith or his eternal salvation, I seriously question what is being emphasized here. Is it our need to fight a new Nazi-mirroring army, which the Bible clearly states when you decipher it? Or to love our enemies, as Jesus clearly stated, something that does not need of deciphering?
I cannot give this book a zero, as much as the topic and the laundry list of issues frustrates me into wanting to. The Chamberlain Key is still written well, but the content is of no value to anyone that is taking the Bible and the knowledge of it seriously. Sadly, I cannot honestly recommend this book to anyone. Therefore, I give Timothy Smith and The Chamberlain Key a 1 out of 5 star rating.
I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.