Book reviews


You wake up one morning to find you have metamorphosed to a giant insect creature. You still think you can talk and be heard but it all seems the sounds you are making are far from human sounds. You are at this time the sole bread winner of your family. You have rented an apartment for your family where your mother, father and sister live. You have an arsehole for an employer. In the company policy, an employee can’t be sick, so calling in sick is out of the question for you. The chief clerk from work comes home to check why you are not at work. You struggle tom open the door, all this time, learning insect ways of doing things. Pause for a moment. Imagine the shock that greets everyone when you the door.

Your family allows you to live in your room. You are fed on a magazine. At first they attempt to keep your room clean. There is just so much you can do for an animal[monster] even if it is family. They make your room a dumping site. You no longer have enough room to move around. You get sick and weak for they also stopped feeding you. A time comes when the family decides it is enough. They must get rid of you. While they discuss how this can be achieved, you do them the favour of dying. I don’t know how your remains were disposed. We are not told.

The above is the story of Gregor, a travelling salesman as told us by Kafka in his novel Metamorphosis. I don’t know how it could be like to find onself in such a scenario. Dying, to me, in whichever way possible, would be the only consideration.

A lot has been said about the Jew, who was born of a virgin, preached, performed miracles, was killed, resurrected, stayed around a while then ascended to the clouds, from whence he has never dared to live. All rational people who have considered this story, have concluded that it was written at age and to a people that were barbarians, superstitious and credulous. No rational person who considers the supposed history and its authors can go on believing that it is the work inspired or coauthored by an all wise creator of the universe.

If you have just one book- rather 4 books and letters to examine- you realize there is just so much you can gather and unless you are a person of faith, you soon come to the conclusion that this story wasn’t meant to be believed by rational people. You must ask, how can people still believe this?

In Ecce Homo, d’Holdbach presents in very short and easy to read chapters what problems face the gospel narratives. They face a credibility issue, for they contradict each other on many salient issues. They are faced with a bigger problem of non confirmation by other non interested sources among others. Internally, is even a bigger problem. For instance, our hero, in situations where he could have answered questions directly and put to rest several questions either takes the 5th or evades the question. When asked by Pilate what is truth, we get no answer. When asked if he is the messiah, he doesn’t answer. Whenever he claimed to heal any one, he forbade them to say who he was.

His main trade was exorcism and later on living on the labour of others. The ecclesiastical leaders have learnt this trade and every where the church holds sway, the people live under a tyrant temporal and spiritual masters.

For those who have spent time reading the contemporary criticism of the story of Jesus will not find anything new in this book, but it is great to know questions that were asked by Celsus through to d’Holdbach and now, have still been unanswered.

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

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