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What if Jesus had a crass best friend?

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore

What if Jesus had a crass best friend? What if they went to the East and learned kung fu and Zen Buddhism? What happened to Jesus when he was growing up, anyway?

The title of this book caught my eye when I first read it. I wasn’t quite sure if the book was a satire or a religious tract, and it turns out that it’s a little of both. Lamb asks the question, “What if…” and then proceeds to answer it page after page.

The story is told from the perspective of Biff, who was raised from the dead in the present time by an angel (with a directive from God, it seems) to write his gospel. The angel gives him the ability to speak in tongues, so the gospel is written with modern American idioms and informal language. If this book had been written now instead of a few years ago, one might imagine that the author would turn the Gospel of Biff into a blog.

There’s a lot in this book that is sure to rile the righteous. Although Joshua (Jesus) remains chaste throughout the story, Biff makes up for it by sleeping with almost every woman he meets. If the sex isn’t enough to make biblical literalists squirm, I’m sure that Joshua’s insistence than there should be a beatitude for the dumbfucks will do the trick. Clearly Moore had a great deal of irreverent fun filling in the gaps of Jesus’ life left by the other gospels. And, as he notes, if this book is enough to shake your faith, then perhaps you need to do a little more praying.

About Anna Creech

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