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Customer Review

623 of 656 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful and clever story, 9 April 2010
This review is from: The Good Man Jesus and The Scoundrel Christ (Myths) (Hardcover)
I'm disappointed that so many people here have got stuck arguing about whether this is `blasphemous' or not. I'm a Christian and I think this is one of the best books I've read in a very long time. Pullman, whatever his own beliefs, knows his bible (Including the apocrypha) extremely well and has written what I think is an extremely clever story. Many people know how the story ultimately ends; with the death of Jesus on the cross and claims of his resurrection, but along the way Pullman retells some of the most profound stories of our Christian life in an enlightening, and I would even say, a revelatory, way.

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.
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Showing 21-30 of 40 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on 8 Jun 2010 18:01:08 BDT
Crikey, it's only a book!

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jun 2010 10:34:50 BDT
Kelly says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on 27 Jun 2010 17:10:36 BDT
Harry Dean says:
I am not upset about the way he portrays Christ/ Jesus only that it is a flimsy book. There is little depth in the characterisations and not much atmosphere . Tacking together a series of events doesn't make for an involving historical story and if there is any philosophical insight then its pretty simplistic

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jun 2010 22:04:35 BDT
J. Murphy says:
In the words of the late, great Joe Strummer: "You have the right to free speech, unless you're actually dumb enough to use it!" What you just said was hypocritical and arrogant. 'Lots of people agree with me, therefore no one is allowed to disagree with us!' Nice one.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Aug 2010 17:09:47 BDT
Pumpkin Head says:
So is the bible, but look at the upset it's caused!

Posted on 16 Aug 2010 13:59:35 BDT
Glorybe says:
This is a great review, you have got it just right I feel.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Nov 2010 14:28:25 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 14 Nov 2013 15:09:24 GMT]

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Nov 2010 14:35:06 GMT
Sean Surrey says:
I hope you enjoy it. He is very respectful to Jesus and not disrespectful to believers or the church he just points out how interested parties seek to promote the teachings and from that noble desire comes the power of religion and the corruption of man.....it is a beautiful and very simply written book.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Nov 2010 14:44:22 GMT
Sean Surrey says:
I should think that the writings of jesus alone could be held to be proof positive of his thoughts. The writings of others may or may not be accurate regardless of time though it is likely that with time and without any ulterior motive the accuracy is likely to diminish. This doesnt mean that many eye witness statements wouldnt differ and offer alternative opinions of fact but it is likely that as these accounts were recalled with time they may alter.

As far as the accounts of Jesus life and teachings there are many accounts and many that add more information and challenge some core beliefs. Those we have as the gospels are those the church and christian scholars chose to present....if we presented all of the possible gospels i expect the wildness of them would bring us to question the validity of any one set of documents....after all the 4 gospels are largely copies of each other that appear to reinforce each other but they are simple copies of the same story and they differ between themselves.

As Pullman states, it is the church who manipulate the teachings of Jesus for the ends of the church not the ends of Jesus.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Nov 2010 14:49:03 GMT
Sean Surrey says:
It is isnt it. Its as if the only churches available for the study of Jesus are those populated by blind followers and twits in colourful sweaters. What about a christianity that is more rebellious, cooler and less embarrasing.