Lamb by Christopher Moore

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore: The title says it all. Levi who is called Biff is raised from the dead 2000 years later to share his account of the life of Jesus (who here is called Joshua), most notably the thirty years missing from the other Gospels. During this time Josh and Biff traveled to the East for 17 years, where they shared many adventures, and when they returned he began his ministry.

This book is pretty funny. Biff is a bit of an ass but a total joy to read. He claims to have invented all kinds of things, from sarcasm to pencils, and his witty but straightforward storytelling is a delight. But however irreverent this book may be, it remains true to the person of Jesus – his kindness, his generosity, his honesty. It also does not dance around his divinity: he was the Son of God and the Messiah, but not quite in the way the Jews expected. Biff’s devotion to him is understandable both as a faithful disciple and a lifelong friend.

For most of this book I thought I would be beginning my review with a hearty recommendation against it for any serious Christian. While I still don’t know if a Biblical literalist would enjoy this story, I think any Christian (or anyone else) with a fair sense of humor would get a big kick out of it. Moore’s epilogue, in which he describes his sources and sheds light on what could have been and what was sheer fiction, sums it up very well: “This story was not meant to challenge anyone’s faith; if one’s faith can be shaken by stories in a humorous novel, one may have a bit more praying to do.”

Originally posted on BookCrossing.

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