Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Out of Egypt

I've started reading Out of Egypt by Anne Rice. You know, her "Jesus book." While I respect her newfound desire to write for the Lord, I can't help but wonder what an editor would have told me if I came up with the idea of writing a novel from the viewpoint of a teenage Jesus. My first warning to my Protestant bretheren is: Anne's Catholic. And that's how she's writing it. Not that I have a problem with Catholics. I've been in "mixed" bible studies and we overcome our differences by simply leaving them out of the discussion (the differences, not the Catholics). Mary's standing is probably not a salvation essential. I admit, though, that praying to a long list of saints makes me uncomfortable. So much so that, at my niece's baptism in a Catholic church, I respectfully remained out of the prayer.

That being said, Anne sets up Mary as Joseph's second wife within the first chapter. All of Jesus' brothers and sisters are from Joseph's first marriage. For the life of me, I'll never understand why the Catholics would do this to poor Joseph. Theory has it that he died young. That might explain it.

The book is written in the first person, like I said. I think maybe I would have done it in the third, and gotten some different POV's in there. Joseph and Mary certainly had some interesting thoughts. Let's get in their heads. The book starts out with them in Egypt. I think Jesus is seven at the time. Joseph knows that Herod is dead, but he never says how he knows. The family hops on a ship and sails to Israel, eventually ending up in Jerusalem in time for Passover, which I find appropriate and clever of Anne. Leaving Egypt on Passover. It fits, don't you think?

Jesus is suspicious of the events surrounding his birth, though the family is protecting him from the facts for now. The beginning of the book has him killing a playmate with his words and then bringing him back to life. I think that came from the Gospel of Thomas, which wasn't canonized. It's a cute story and good for fiction, but there's a reason that book wasn't canonized. As long as the reader understands that, he'll get through okay.

I'll keep you all up to date as I read. I tend to read a couple of books at the same time and only get an hour a day at most, so it'll take a while.


Dineen A. Miller said...

Glad you're reading this one now. You can fill me in. If I add one more book to my "to-be-read" pile, my house will tilt. I kid you not!

Well, maybe a little.

Robin Cynclair said...

Keep up apprised.....like D, my TBR pile is HUGE!