Reading guide for Lamb by Christopher Moore

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Lamb

The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal

by Christopher Moore

Lamb
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2002, 408 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2003, 256 pages

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Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!



Introduction


We know all about Christ's birth, and even more about Christ's death. But until he really started getting the word of God out there, there's little recorded information about his life. What do we really know about the Messiah's formative years? Enter Christopher Moore's Biff, resurrected by the angel Raziel and held captive in a New York City hotel room until he records a new gospel.


Lamb is the story of Biff writing his and his buddy Jesus Christ's (aka Joshua's) story; it's the hilarious inside scoop on the could-be origins of hundreds of tales we recognize from the Bible and from popular culture. While negotiating the terrors, curiosities, and conveniences of modern life, Biff transcribes the untold story of his and Josh's youth. He describes the escapades of the Son of God -- from his time as a stone-cutter's apprentice in Nazareth to his journeys to modern-day Afghanistan, China, and India in search of the magi who attended his birth; to his return to his homeland to gather his disciples and fulfill his destiny. Underlying it all is the story of his unconsummated love for an incomprehensibly beautiful woman named Mary the Magdalene.


Biff reveals the human side of the Son of God, and paints a vivid historical picture of what life might really have been like in Christ's time. Plus, it's really funny.


 


Topics for Discussion
  1. Did you find Lamb to be fairly true to the Bible as you know it? Did you learn anything from Lamb? Do you find reading the Bible enjoyable?
  2. Early in the book, Biff writes about "little-boy love," describing it as " ... the cleanest pain I've ever known. Love without desire, or conditions, or limits -- a pure and radiant glow in the heart that could make me giddy and sad and glorious all at once." Do you understand what he's saying? Have you ever experienced that kind of love?
  3. Would Joshua have made it to maturity without Biff? Do you think Jesus had any human -- not divine help in becoming who he was? Is Moore making a statement about historical facts in the Bible, or about the value of friendship in general?
  4. Were you offended by this book in any way? There's so much here that Moore could almost be called an "equal opportunity offender." Did you find that some parts bothered you, while others didn't? Did he go too far, in any way? Not far enough?
  5. At one point, Biff asks, "Are all women stronger and better than me?" and Josh answers, "Yes." Do you think Moore believes this? Do you think Christianity teaches this? From what you know about other world religions, how does the role of women differ in each?
  6. Did you recognize any moments in your own development as you heard the story of Christ's? Do you relate to the character of Josh? Does this story of "Josh" make you feel any differently about Jesus as a human being?

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of HarperPaperbacks. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

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