I don’t get to write much fiction, but every so often I like to pitch an idea for a fictional work just for fun, here’s my latest.
An archaeological team working in Jersusalem uncover ancient court documents seeming to establish that Jesus of Nazareth the teacher was bought before Pilate not, as had previously been thought, primarily for the crime of political malcontent, but instead for a series of alleged crimes against women. These include what would today be considered very serious sexual harassment, and rape enabled by his position as a teacher who spoke directly with women. The documents are comprehensive, well preserved, and impeccably dated. The evidence recorded in this ancient case is finely balanced- it creates more questions than it solves.
The Christian, Muslim, and Jewish theological worlds erupt in a furor. Debates about feminism, Christology, the ethics of belief, sex, law, religion, and metoo rage, spilling over to violence in some places. The archaeologists who made the discovery fear for their lives, even as they try to grapple with their own issues, experiences, and histories of faith, sexual violence, and the justice system.
The main concern I have with the idea is that I don’t actually want to impugn the character of Jesus who I’ve always admired, I just find it an interesting hypothetical. It’s one of those ideas that simply couldn’t be handled carefully enough to do right. But if you want to have a try at writing it, prove me wrong.
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