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The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ…

The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ

by Philip Pullman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Myths (16)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,263776,257 (3.37)71
Recently added bypurdie, lauragpie, private library, AmershamQsLib, TeamYankeeKiwi, Pezski, bevddb, syllabub, pan0ramix
  1. 00
    The Last Testament by Sam Bourne (tesskrose)
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    The Liars' Gospel by Naomi Alderman (WoodsieGirl)
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    Jezebel by Eleanor De Jong (tesskrose)
  4. 00
    Delilah by Eleanor De Jong (tesskrose)
  5. 00
    My Name Was Judas by C. K. Stead (Voise15)
    Voise15: Humanising of the Gospel stories through the eyes of Judas
  6. 01
    According to Mary Magdalene by Marianne Fredriksson (PatMock)
    PatMock: Retelling of gospel stories from viewpoint of Mary Magdalene
  7. 01
    Joshua: A Parable for Today by Joseph F. Girzone (nigelmcbain)
    nigelmcbain: Both of these works re-use the material of the Gospel narratives to refocus on what the essential message of Yeshua bar Yussif's message was.

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» See also 71 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 74 (next | show all)
Fun, interesting and a little bit flammable. ( )
  pan0ramix | May 26, 2017 |
Just awesome! ( )
  AllInStride | Apr 20, 2016 |
The story presents the idea that the individual known as Jesus Christ was actually two brothers (two of many children born of Mary) - one named Jesus and the other called Christ. From this, the story explores the idea of Jesus as the preacher and educator, while Christ secretly documents, censors, and edits Jesus' words into texts. The fact that Christ physically resembles Jesus also plays a role.

The teachings in the Bible are explained as being stories - moral truths rather than factual truths. In fact, a distinction is made between "truth" and "history". The book resonates with spiritual, not religious, energy. It presents each and every one of the characters as complicated people who search for meaning in their lives. It is a touchingly human story. ( )
  BooksForYears | Mar 31, 2016 |
I was worried that Pullman may have created cardboard characters (Jesus is good; Christ is bad) to illustrate his point of view, but I ended up being pleasantly surprised. It is a much more nuanced perspective; an interesting take on the old stories; and if one is not rooting for Christ and the church, the reader is certainly led to understand the motivations that led to their establishment. A touching retelling of the Jesus story, and an interesting reflection on stories in general. ( )
  bibleblaster | Jan 23, 2016 |
Retelling the origin of Jesus Christ's birth and death as a myth of falsification. This book is actually a thinly veiled (very thin) critique of Christianity and the sacramental system brought on by Pullman's own lack of religious conviction. The best part about the book is that it is short. The main message is similar to that of one of Boccaccio's Decameron tales that historical accounts may be untrue but nonetheless edifying so they need be permitted as a condescending indulgence to the people of simpler sensibilities. Therefore, religious belief is an artificial construct to paper over the real absence of god coupled with the need to provide stories which emotionally reassure. Not even a very clever version of Biblical events, comparatively speaking. It has been likened to Dostoyevsky's The Grand Inquisitor in it's criticism of institutional church leadership. But Dostoevsky is clear, while Pullman is muddled and hardly caring about the beliefs of ordinary people anyway. Originally priced at $24.00. Why?
  sacredheart25 | May 4, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 74 (next | show all)
Det är skickligt, fast stundtals undrar jag varför jag ska läsa Pullman och inte originalet. Byta ut de övernaturliga passagerna mot rationalistiska kan jag göra själv. Men låt oss stanna vid det som är specifikt för Pullmans version.
"The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ" was commissioned by its publisher, Canongate, as part of a series in which the world's great myths "are retold in a contemporary and memorable way." This one comes up decidedly short of the mark.
A very bold and deliberately outrageous fable, then, rehearsing Pullman's familiar and passionate fury at corrupt religious systems of control – but also introducing something quite different, a voice of genuine spiritual authority. Because that is what Pullman's Jesus undoubtedly is.
I said earlier that Pullman was a Protestant atheist. Even so, he may well have been annoyed at the welcome given to his book by the clerical establishment in the person of the archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, who has described the “Jesus” character as “a voice of genuine spiritual authority” and the book itself as “mostly Pullman at his very impressive best, limpid and economical.”


this latest attempt to secularize Messianism is a disappointment to those of us who can never forgive the emperor Constantine, not just for making Christianity a state dogma, but for making humanity hostage to the boring village quarrels and Bronze Age fables that were drawn from what remains the world’s most benighted region.
Which brings us to Pullman's new work, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ, which is, to put it mildly, a very strange book. Superficially a novel, it is Pullman's attempt to graft his belief system onto the life of Jesus, to mutate Christianity into a kind of Pullmanism. Give Pullman high marks for moxie: How many writers would dare to try to rewrite—no, to repair—the most famous, most sacred story ever written?

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pullman, PhilipAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pullman, PhilipNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Svendsen, WernerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This is the story of Jesus and his brother Christ, of how they were born, of how they lived and of how one of them died.
Jesus praying: "Lord, if I thought you were listening, I'd pray for this above all: that any church set up in your name should remain poor, and powerless, and modest. That it should wield no authority except that of love. That it should never cast anyone out. That it should own no property and make no laws. That it should not condemn but only forgive..." p. 199.
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Book description
A reworking of the Gospel narratives describing the birth of twins, one called Jesus and the other nicknamed Christ and how Christ ultimately betrays Jesus in an attempt to preserve his essential message.
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Re-imagines the life of Jesus based on considerations of his dual nature, key Gospel stories, and the formulation of Church tenets.

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Average: (3.37)
1 8
1.5 5
2 43
2.5 14
3 93
3.5 43
4 108
4.5 10
5 31

Canongate Books

4 editions of this book were published by Canongate Books.

Editions: 1847678254, 1847678270, 1847680186, 0857860070

Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 1921656190, 1921758090

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