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The Gospel According to Biff
Christopher Moore is the author of six novels, the latest of which is Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal. This interview was conducted via email in order to accommodate Moore's book tour.
In the afterword to Lamb and in an email leading up to this interview, you stressed that you don't want this book to be perceived as an attack on anybody's faith. Why the concern?
Because I think faith is an important and sacred thing, and although I have no problem with the idea that the book may make people think, it was important that I not make judgments about people's faith.
What is your religious background?
I was baptized Methodist, but I was mainly raised First Church of nfl, which is to say that my family, especially my father, was much more concerned with watching football on Sundays than attending services.
What was it that made you want to do a novel about the life of Christ?
For years I've been fascinated with the role of a messiah in relation to those who believe in him, and I've explored that theme in some of my other books. With this book, I was focusing on the difficulty for the human part of Joshua (Jesus)—that's what intrigued me. Also, I saw this as a great opportunity to tell a story about friendship and loyalty.
You often live for at least a short time in the places you're writing about. Was there any traveling involved in the writing of Lamb?
I did go to Israel for a couple of weeks on a guided tour of historically significant places. At first I was doubtful that it would help, but in the end, I think it helped to inform the life of the characters. If I hadn't gone to Israel, I don't think I would have gotten the harshness of life in the Holy Land in the first century. It's very rugged country—much ...1