May 19, 2010

The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ

In a small town in Judea, the young wife of an old carpenter gives birth to twins. She names one boy “Jesus,” the other, “Christ.” It doesn’t much matter which is which — and anyway, the two infants get mixed up right away. Jesus is a handful; his parents love him but can’t quite control him, he confounds his teachers, he even raises havoc in shul and talks back to the authorities. Christ, of course, is a good boy who follows his brother, staying in the background and out of trouble and taking copious notes. Jesus becomes a preacher, and Christ becomes a writer. It doesn’t end well.