Literature / The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ

The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ is a 2010 novel by Philip Pullman. It tells the story of Jesus as if he were two people, "Jesus" and "Christ", with contrasting personalities; Jesus being a moral and godly man, and his brother Christ a calculating figure who wishes to use Jesus' legacy to found a powerful Church.
This work contains examples of:
  • Alternative Character Interpretation - invoked Presents two interpretations of Jesus Christ side-by-side as if they coexisted.
    • Also used straight. Was Jesus a righteous man whose teachings and sacrifice were perverted by Christ's cowardice and cynicism? Or was Jesus a stubborn curmudgeon demanding the impossible, and Christ his unappreciated Poisonous Friend who made sure some practical good came from his life? The ending implies that even Christ himself isn't sure.
  • The Bible - A retelling of part of it.
  • Decomposite Character: Jesus and Christ.
  • Downer Ending - Christ got his powerful church but the things he had to do to create it and the manner in which he sugar-coated Jesus' life in his texts and all that entails for everything leave him a bitter man
  • Fan Fiction - Sort of.
  • Jesus Was Way Cool
  • The Man Behind the Man - The Stranger/Angel to Christ.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Christ gets a massive dose of this at the end.
  • Never Trust a Title: The character's motivations are nowhere near as black-and-white as the title suggests. "The ineffectual idealist Jesus and the reluctant pragmatic Christ" would have been an equally valid title.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Mary gave her second son a common name (which is never revealed), but always called him Christ (Greek for Messiah), which is also the name used in narration.
  • Twin Switch
  • Unwitting Pawn: Christ