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Das Jesus Video by Andreas Eschbach
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Das Jesus Video (1998)

by Andreas Eschbach

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This was a very gripping listening. There is an archaeological dig around Jerusalem where a two thousand year old artefact was found, packed in as old linen which turns out to be a object of the future. The object are instructions for a video camera which will be developed three years later. Everybody is now looking for the video camera which is believed to be from a time traveller and contains a video about Jesus. There are a lot of parties involved such as the church, sponsor and archaeologists. Everybody has another agenda for the use of this video. ( )
  Ameise1 | Oct 10, 2015 |
Nice idea! Archaeologists on a dig in Palestine unearth the users’ manual of a SONY Video Camera that is still only in design and due for production in three years time! They postulate that in the near future, a time traveller will head back 2000 years to capture Jesus Christ on video. Knowing that he cannot return to the modern age, he will hide the video to be picked up by his friends and he will remain to live out his life in ancient Palestine. Now the hunt is on for the scoop of the century!

TimeTravelThis is an interesting take on the time travel paradox and it set me thinking. If it were possible for the archaeologists to find the camera … before [?] the leap back in time … then surely the time traveller’s friends, once they plan for him to travel in time, could immediately go and collect the hidden video he will [?] leave for them 2000 years ago, before he even travels? Just try writing that last sentence using the correct tenses. 🙂 And once they have the video, why does he have to bother travelling; on the other hand, if he changes his travel plans, how could they have found a video he never left for them! If time travel is possible, it implies it may be sufficient Schrodinger’s Catto possess time travel technology to be deemed to have travelled … a ludicrous idea as imponderable as Schrödinger’s Cat. This is my cue to offer you this poetic summary of another paradox.

Alternatively, maybe the video only appears at the agreed place after the time traveller makes his journey and is then deemed to have been there for 2000 years. That is, history is rewritten, though the books are not changed.

So I speculate (tongue firmly in cheek) that time travel can change history, but only with effect from the moment when the traveller sets out! An interesting idea, but clearly it doesn’t explain more dramatic changes to history. For example, if he saved Jesus from crucifixion, history would record the crucifixion up until the moment he travels and would then promptly refute it, despite all the records!

What’s really cool about The Jesus Video is the way that Eschbach (the author) gives a glimpse inside his own thought processes. A key character is a science fiction writer who is supposed to do the detective work of figuring out where the camera is so he has to imagine how time travel might be achieved, how the traveller might behave, etc. He builds countless scenarios and tears them down and you get the real impression that Eschbach himself might use a similar approach in constructing his own plots.

Towards the end, the plot wobbles a bit with some unlikely coincidences which could have been easily handled more convincingly. The time traveller turns out not to be the obvious candidate but it would have been delicious if he had! ( )
  tchelyzt | Dec 6, 2006 |
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Seit er wusste, dass er berühmt werden würde, wartete er auf sie.
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