I was contacted a few weeks ago about doing a book review on my blog. I was quite flattered that someone thought my blog was significant enough to warrant doing a book review, and I was intrigued by what I was told about the premise of the book. Apparently, the book was about the possibility of Jesus being gay. This bothered me a little bit, because my Puritan-influenced “American” upbringing had always portrayed Jesus as a sexless being. I’m not sure why Americans are so prude, but for the most part, we don’t want to think about Jesus having sex, gay or otherwise.
Still, I like to think that I know better than to judge a book by its cover, so I agreed to do it. That, and like I said, I was quite flattered to be asked to do such a thing. That book review was supposed to be done by today. I’ve been reading the book slowly over the past few weeks, and to be completely honest, I did not like it. For several reasons that I will explain later, it was not an easy book to read, and my only motivation for finishing it was the aforementioned book review.
My first issue with the book was the multitude of explicitly described sex acts. (Remember, American = Prude.) The first time it happened, I was quite surprised at the author’s boldness and seemingly shamelessness in writing what he described. I didn’t think too much of it at first because I did not expect to have to read such things every five or so pages. It just wasn’t something I was expecting to have to read about in a book about Jesus. Oh, and it wasn’t necessarily Jesus having the sex, which to be honest was surprising given the angle with which the book was presented to me.
My second problem with the book was the seeming disregard of biblical scholarship when it came to the historicity of the Jesus story. I understand that the main tool we have in understand who and what Jesus was is the Bible, which is obviously a heavily biased document, but this HAS to be more accurate than just making up some crazy story willy nilly about what MIGHT have happened. The author seems to think that the Jews of the time were pluralistic people that lied and murdered to perpetuate the myths surrounding their supposed faith. I go to a very liberal school and to think that anything of what happened in the book could have actually happened in history is completely absurd to me. The only people who will think that anything described in the book with regards to the historical Jesus is even remotely possible are people who already don’t care about Biblical scholarship in the first place. This book will not be taken seriously by anyone who actually cares about facts or is SERIOUSLY interested in Christian theology. Anyone trying to debunk Christianity or who has no serious interest in Christianity will likely have no problem with this book, but as they say, this book preaches to the choir.
My third problem with the book is strictly literary. The author jumps back and forth in time, which I normally appreciate because I’m not a huge fan of strictly linear story-telling, but the time jumps as frantic and unclear and the reader is often left wondering where on the timeline he or she actually is. Obviously, this makes it difficult to follow the storyline, much less keep up with the author’s twisted theology. There are also frequent jumps between the third person, second person and first person. These jumps in viewpoint seemed to be the author’s attempt to get the reader to sympathize with the various characters, but as with the jumps in time, only served to confuse what was actually happening.
Would I recommend this book to anyone? No, but it is a curiosity indeed, and if anyone is curious about what an alternate-world Christianity might look like, then this book certainly presents that. Will it convince anyone of it’s premises that isn’t already on that bent? I doubt it, but if you want to be able to understand where such a person is coming from, then this may be the book for you. The Marien Revelation was a strange and perverted ride, and while I’m usually a fan of roller coasters, this is certainly a ride where I’ll be covering my mouth with one hand and raising the other.