I regularly argue on this blog for an appreciation of the literary nature of the leading characters, episodes and narrative structures in the canonical gospels. So I am looking forward to reading and reviewing Derek Murphy’s Jesus Potter, Harry Christ. My initial response to reading the title was that this was a joke of some sort. But I encourage anyone interested in the gospels and Jesus as literature to read the content below and see that it does seek to be a serious contribution to an understanding of the literary and mythical character of Jesus.
Neither is this a slur against Christianity. The author rightly explains that the fictional nature of characters does not detract from the positive influence that character can have on those who love them. The author also answers pertinent questions about his rationale for writing such a book, the status, history and grounds of Jesus-mythicism. I will introduce some of this discussion from the author’s perspective in this post.
I particularly like the main idea of this book: Our question then is not whether Jesus Christ existed, but whether the literary character recorded in the New Testament was primarily inspired by a historical figure or previous literary traditions and characters.
Not having yet read the book I can only present here material from the author. It certainly sounds like a different approach to the question of the origins of the Christ-myth, and though some details sound a bit strange I am certainly interested in reading and evaluating the arguments.
This post offers
- an overview of the book,
- an author’s identity statement,
- an interview with the author,
- a press release,
- FAQs and links to online answers to FAQs about the book,
- the book’s concept, how the book came about and a letter from the author,
- and a link to several chapters that can be downloaded gratis.