Subjects — J
A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act.
He comes into the world God knows how, walks on the water, gets out of his grave and goes up off the Hill of Howth. What drivel is this?
Jesus was a brilliant Jewish stand-up comedian, a phenomenal improvisor. His parables are great one-liners.
The Galilean is not a favourite of mine. So far from owing him any thanks for his favour, I cannot avoid confessing that I owe a secret grudge to his carpentership.
Jesus was all right, but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me.
A heroic figure … not wholly to blame for the religion that’s been foisted on him.
A lot of people say to me, “Why did you kill Christ?” “I dunno … it was one of those parties, got out of hand, you know.” “We killed him because he didn’t want to become a doctor, that’s why we killed him.”
Jehovah, it seems clear, was once regarded as a devoted son the the Great Goddess, who obeyed her in all things and by her favor swallowed up a number of variously named rival gods and godlings — the Terebinth-god, the Thunder-god, the Pomegranate-god, the Bull-god, the Goat-god, the Antelope-god, the Calf-god, the Porpoise-god, the Ram-god, the Ass-god, the Barley-god, the god of Healing, the Moon-god, the god of the Dog-star, the Sun-god. Later (if it is permitted to write in this style) he did exactly what his Roman counterpart, Capitoline Jove, has done: he formed a supernal Trinity in conjunction with two of the Goddess’s three persons, namely, Anatha of the Lions and Ashima of the Doves, the counterparts of Juno and Minerva; the remaining person, a sort of Hecate named Sheol, retiring to rule the infernal regions.
— King Jesus: A Novel, p. 5, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1981, [Originally published in 1946.]
My solution to the problem of Jesus’s nativity implies a rejection of the mystical Virgin Birth doctrine, which no longer has the same force in religious polemics as it had in Justin’s day; to the mass of people nowadays the choice is between a Jesus born in the ordinary course of nature and one as mythical as Perseus and Prometheus.
— King Jesus: A Novel, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1981, [From the back cover of the 1981 edition. Originally published in 1946.]