Monthly Archives: March 2012
Spotted: The Bible Repairman
I’m going to coin a phrase. Ready? “Don’t judge a book by its title.” On more than one occasion I have assumed the content of the book based on its title, only to be surprised by what I learn upon doing a little research. Maybe I’ve watched too many episodes of Biblical Mysteries, but I thought that this book was going to be a nonfiction account of one of the archeologists or some other person involved in trying to piece together the provenance of the dead sea scrolls or some of the later discovered gospels.*
Turns out I managed to find yet more fantasy. As you might be able to glean from the title, “The Bible Repairman and Other Stories,” is a collection of short stories, one of which deals with a guy who is hired to edit bits out of the Bible that his clients find problematic. That actually sounds quite interesting. For purely literary reasons of course.
* As an aside that (I’ve discussed in more detail before and) might only be interesting to me, in 1944 the great Jorge Luis Borges wrote a short story entitled “Three Versions of Judas,” in which a case is presented (in the form of a scholarly critique of a fictitious religious academic, no less) that it was in fact Judas, and not Jesus, who must have been the son of God because he actually sacrificed much more. Judas’ sacrifice of becoming the incarnation of evil and betrayal for the entirety of human history to follow far outdoes an afternoon strung up on a cross.
In the early naughts, a text unearthed in Egypt during the 1970s was translated and discovered to be the text of something called the gospel of Judas. In this gospel of presumptively gnostic origin dating from the 2nd century AD, a slightly different account of Judas is given than that in the Bible. According to the text, Jesus actually asked Judas to turn him over to the Romans, because it was only in this way that his spirit could be released from its earthly form.