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The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ (Canongate Myths series Book 16) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 257 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is a quick read, with short chapters detailing particular bible events. But readers should not think that a quick read makes it a "light" read. There is much to ponder in the writing. The book invokes questions about how history and story are interlinked as well as considering the difficulty of discerning truth from history. That truth can be discovered in story is self evident in the reading of this story.
I don't think this is an anti-Christian book; although it is, very definitely, an anti-church book; but Christianity and the church are two different things. Pullman's description, spoken through the mouth of Jesus in this book, of what the church is and what the church should be, is one of the most finely tuned expose of where we (Christians) have gone wrong.
Poor Christ is soon corrupted by a mysterious stranger (whose identity is never revealed; possible contenders include: the Devil, a Sanhedrin elder, a Roman spy or even an angel) who insists that in order for Jesus' teachings to flourish, Jesus must die. Christ unwittingly fulfils the role of Judas, betraying his brother so that Jesus' word will become immortal. Pullman stringently plays-down the supernatural aspects of the story: and so instead of Jesus rising from the dead, Christ pretends to be his brother risen: creating a doppelganger scenario that explains the resurrection without any supernatural or divine impetus. It's the Jesus story mythologized for a secular audience.
The real controversy lies behind Christ's motivations: the `mysterious stranger' convinces Christ that everyday folk are too stupid to make moral decisions or to be their own masters: only an all-powerful church can be responsible.Read more ›
As far as I know there are no contemporary accounts of the life of Christ existing in their original form and this book points out the problems with recording accurately events and words spoken. The recorder will be seriously tempted to insert words, invent words and tell of events in such a way as to enhance the beliefs and opinions of the recorder! From then on it is a vast game of Chinese whispers!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who is willing to keep an open mind and be provoked to think!
Having said this, you do not need to be a biblical student to recognise the salient points Mr Pullman has picked out - the Sermon on the Mount, for example. A lot of reviews detailed Mr Pullmans story - some almost re-wrote it. I don't feel thats what a review should be about and I won't do it here. What I will say is it is simply written and is thought provoking. It asks questions about how we treat others, who really has the right to judge others, and.....dare I say?......questions the church and its motivations.
It was inevitable a section of the community was going to crawl out of the woodwork screaming blasphemy. Perhaps these people don't like some of the questions Mr Pullman subtley poses. In the words of the author, it is a story. Which makes it no different from the Bible then.
Any book that gets such a varied response, people thinking and discussing ideas surely has to have a thumbs up.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
acePublished 1 month ago by What an ace little game. The most intriguing fun I have had on my Kindle so far. Fun to play the bad guy (I mean bacteria/virus). No annoying ads,
Still to read in its entirety. Pullman seems to have kept to the basic outline of the biblical story and provided thought provoking interpretations, rather than really question... Read morePublished 4 months ago by A Allan
Philip Pullman - what more can I say, I am a huge fan of his works, and this book did not disappoint. Brilliantly written.Published 6 months ago by Diseewise
This is a clever, fictional account of the life of Christ witht he starring role taken as two separate entities. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Tom
How did Jesus, assuming he existed at all, become the figure of Christ that is at the centre of one of the world's great religious faiths? Read morePublished 10 months ago by T. T. Rogers