The Outlaw Life

running, reading, blogging, loving

[09] Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal


For what is curiosity if not intellectual temptation? And what progress is there without curiosity? On the other hand, can you call such a profound weakness a gift, or is it a design flaw? Is it temptation itself at fault for man’s woes, or is it simply the lack of judgement in response to temptation? In other words, who is to blame? Mankind, or a bad designer?

Lamb follows Christ (called Joshua, or Josh) and his best friend Levi-called-Biff from childhood (when they first meet Mary “Maggie” Magdalene0 through Joshua’s crucifixion. Covering both the later events covered in the Gospels, the book describes Josh and Biff’s adventures East to search for the three Wise Men – whom Josh believes will teach him how to be the Messiah. From the Wise Men, Josh learns about the Great Spark (that the power of the universe is in and around all of us – something Josh ends up calling the Holy Ghost) and sees a caste system at work in India that is so abhorrent to him that he vows to make sure all who ask to be allowed in his future kingdom will be allowed in – including sluts and Romans. After returning to Bethlehem and following the events of the Gospels, Biff and Maggie watch their best friend tortured and sacrificed. Learning it was Judas who was responsible, Biff runs off after after him and kills him, shortly after which he kills himself. We learn all this because Josh, from Heaven, has decreed that Biff be brought back to life in order to write his gospel and finally have the chance at life with the woman he loves – Maggie Magdalene. Maggie will always love Josh more, but then again, so will Biff.

This book was not only a quick read, it was FREAKING HILARIOUS and surprisingly thought provoking and mostly just really really filthy. Of course, as the afterword reminds us, there is no real knowing what happened to Josh during the 30 years the Bible doesn’t cover, but this explanation seems as good as any to cover how Josh became the man the world knows, as well as some of the strong similarities between the teachings of Jesus and the philosophies of many of the Eastern religions (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism). It was also a favorite part of mine to see Josh’s really early years of life, when he was being a petulant brat and causing accidental miracles and giving Joseph shit about not really being his father, so why should he listen. There is something so touchingly real about a teen Josh wondering if he’s really the Messiah, and if he is, how to be that way and what to do. It turns like, like, literally larger than life story into something relate-able and understandable – in a way other mediums fail to do.


Turning this story into essentially a bromance between Josh and Biff not only made me laugh my ass off, but it helped to provide insight into a “character” that is difficult to consider as a character. Perhaps one of the unintentional effects this book had was making me think that, rather than being a spin on the “facts” of Christianity, it’s really a spin of a story: we don’t really have many ‘facts’ about Christ, and what we have in the Bible is still a collection of stories – Josh himself teaches in stories and parables throughout the Bible.

‘Compassion is the same way,’ said Joshua. ‘That’s what the yeti knew. He loved constantly, instantly, spontaneously, without thought or words. That’s what he taught me. Love is not something you think about, it is a state in which you dwell. That was his gift.’

Rating: OMFGZ!

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