Top critical review
2 people found this helpful
on 12 February 2016
I was looking forward to reading this book after finding a positive review of it I'd kept from a newspaper a few years ago. I was hugely disappointed. Other reviewers say that it is an alternative account of Jesus' life through the eyes of other witnesses. What they don't say is there is much padding, and the time when their lives and Jesus' intersect are minimal. I do agree, however, with the reviewers who have queried Ms Alderman's definition of truth and fiction. Ms Alderman states, as if she needed to, that her story is fiction, but adds that there are parts of it that are true, and she goes on to quote a few passages from the Bible and the Torah. A better ploy would just have been to assert that her story is just as likely to be true as the Bible stories. There is so little evidence for any of it that it might all be propaganda. Furthermore, she asserts in her tale that when Matthew, Mark, Luke and John wrote the gospels they modified history to blame everything on the Jews rather than the Romans. When I read the gospels I detected, very clearly, that some were pro-Jewish and some were anti-Jewish. They were political tracts, designed to sway people towards their particular belief. It is therefore ironic that they land up in the same volume, supposedly united in their exaltation of the one true god and his earthly son.
I think what I wanted from Ms Alderman's book was a study of how these stories grew into what the Christian faith professes to be truth. She barely scratched the surface of this, however, perhaps because she knew it would be a daunting task.
I find it interesting, as an afterthought, that there are no Christian dissenters among the reviewers here. Do they spend their days engrossed in the scriptures only?