There is a real dearth of information about the life of Jesus between the manger and the meeting with John the Baptist. What was Jesus like as a ten-year-old? How about as a teenager? Christopher Moore has given us a sweetly skewed look in Lamb, The Gospel According to Biff.
Moore has avoided outright blasphemy by placing the voice with Biff, the childhood pal of "Joshua". The sincere, though immature, Jesus whom Biff introduces is sure of his vocation and destiny, but not yet ready to "take it on the road". (For one thing, he keeps making mistakes with raising the dead.)
When Biff accompanies Joshua on a quest to find the wise men who decided he was the One, the two boys encounter everything from a free-wheeling prostitute to a semi-scamming monastery full of martial artists, travel all the way to India only to fall afoul of the thugee cult, and return in time for Joshua to perform the miracle at Cana.
Christopher Moore is not known for treading lightly or preserving proprieties, so I was impressed at the way he manages to let Biff tell his story without ever really undermining anything essential about Jesus' known life. We are left with a humorous idea of what it might have been like to be the best buddy of the teenage Christ.
I enjoyed this book immensely, and did not hesitate to share it with my mother. Perhaps I can entice her to add her comments.