LONDON — In a stunning and audacious new novel, The Liars' Gospel, Naomi Alderman places the story of Christ's life and death in a deeply researched historical context.
The story of Jesus is "The Greatest Story Ever Told," according to Hollywood. But Alderman goes beyond cinema legend and New Testament scripture and looks at the historical truth of Jesus.
Is it a question even worth asking? And can a Jewish person be the interrogator? Alderman proves that the answer to both questions is yes.
As a Jew in a country where the head of state, the queen, is also the head of the church, Alderman is particularly attuned to the need to explain how a Jew who was born and died in Roman Judaea could have founded a religion that came to dominate the last 2,000 years.
"If you're a person of faith and you think you know what happened it's sorted out for you," says Alderman. "If you're not, you must somehow account for the entire history of Western Civilization."