Steev Hise's Reviews > Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal

Lamb by Christopher Moore
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Oct 09, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: own-it, fun, novels, spirit-self
Read from October 01 to 09, 2011 — I own a copy

This is a great book in many ways. It's zany and silly and hilarious, yet also pretty moving and profound. As one could suspect from the writing, and as is confirmed by the author in the afterword, the book is not meant to challenge the faith of Christians or be disrespectful just for the sake of disrespect, contrary to what one might assume from the title or synopsis. As Moore explains, there's a lot that's not known about the historical Jesus, and a lot of standard stories told about him and his life are just stories, with no backing in scripture or historical fact. So this is just another story, or collection of stories, some of which is outrageous and unlikely but a lot of which could easily have happened, basically, to the real Jesus some time in the 30-year gap that the Bible doesn't cover.

The big events and ideas that the book is playing with boil down to where Jesus of Nazareth went, what he did, and where he came up with his ideas in the time before he started preaching "the word" in Israel. In "Lamb" the answer is that he, along with his sidekick Biff, the narrator, travelled to the East to find the mysterious wise men who came to his birth years ago, and from them learned about Confucius, Buddhism, Taoism, and yoga, as well as martial arts and other related skills. Then, properly equipped with knowledge about how to be the messiah, he comes home to teach his people the "good news." The author assumes in his story that Jesus is who the real gospels claim he was - the son of God, the messiah, worker of miracles, etc. He takes that, combines it with the real or probable conditions of what it was like to live in Galilee at the time, sprinkles in some anachronistic but fun humor, and ends up with a really gripping and entertaining novel.
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