The Gospel of Lie: A Grieving Christian Searches the Bible

The Gospel of Lie: A Grieving Christian Searches the Bible


The Gospel of Lie: A Grieving Christian Searches the Bible for a New Jesus “An extremely of LieEpub #180personal book and an audacious journey into heresy An intricate detective story that at times tests the sanity of an original thinker who offers his full consciousness to bring this ambitious labor to a satisfying conclusion” Lance Owens, host of gnosis , “ry well written, extremely intriguing, and conveys a huge amount of The GospelMOBI #222information on Gospel criticism and Gnosticism A remarkable, if mystifying, work!” Robert M Price, author of The Reason Driven Life “A moving story—I was glad toread it” Elaine Pagels, author of The Gnostic Gospels “A powerful story of a grieving man's search for spiritual solace that touches deeply into Gospel of LieEpub #181our hearts The introduction alone contains hidden treasures” Rosamonde Ikshvàku Miller, Gnostic Bishop “Developing a book that shares many themes with Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, Mr Lie finds it perfectly normal to quote Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion side by side with obscure apocryphal gospels and even sprinkles some biblical criticism worthy of Bart Ehrman on the top Luckily, his indiscriminate borrowings don’t shatter the tubes and his experiment turns out to be exactly as intended a fiendishly clever parody of conspiracy theories and the paranoia they breed” T R Demeglio, religious scholar and critic In his last book, Joshua Lie examines how the Evangelists misquoted the Old Testament to prove Jesus was the Messiah and embarks on a journey where he misquotes the four Gospels themselves to advance a Jesus that no Christian has ever dreamt of The Nag Hammadi Library, the Gospel of Judas, the mysteries of the Manicheans and the Cathars, the alchemical endeavors of Carl Jung and the terrifying visions of Lovecraft and William Blake – all sources that he blends together to paint his personal savior Lie notices that many things attributed to Jesus in the bible make little sense and decides that the best way to pass his ideas is to offer them as new answers to old problems By a sleight of hand, he offers shocking, yet convincing, explanations to some of the strangest things attributed to Jesus We finally know why Jesus cursed the Canaanite woman, rebuked Mary at the wedding of Cana, and uttered his famous cry at the cross ‘God why have you forsaken me?’ Lie pretends to adopt the Gnostic exegesis of the bible, which maintains that Jesus was a divine being who descended to the earth to save his fallen lover Sophia Lie argues that Jesus’ entire mission was one of spiritual wedding and claims that all the women that Jesus encountered in the Gospels were allegorical for Sophia, each representing her in one of the stages of her spiritual development And so Lie proceeds, following the steps of Jesus till the moment when the redeemer, crucified, hugs Sophia and submits his spirit in her embrace A minor mistake, however, reveals the entire work to be the product of his grievance at the loss of his granddaughter Sadly, it is at this tragic moment that his gospel comes to an abrupt end for Lie, unable to comprehend the mystery of the resurrection and experience the solace it brings, abandons his draft to finally wither and die This could have very well been the end of Lie’s tragic story, were it not for his good friend Fady Riad who discovers the manuscript and takes an oath upon himself to have it completed and published “Your book will be finished, and your Jesus will be resurrected” He promises his friend in a dream As Riad studies the draft, however, he soon realizes that it is riddled with various loose ends that make completing it virtually impossible Nonetheless, Riad doesn’t give up, knowing that there is no price that he won’t pay to honor the legacy of his late friend.


10 thoughts on “The Gospel of Lie: A Grieving Christian Searches the Bible for a New Jesus

  1. Bradley Bradley says:

    I'll be honest. I wasn't quite sure what I was getting into when I agreed to read this.

    BUT, I'll freely admit to being pleasantly surprised because I've already been a fan of this kind of religious exploration. I might be considered a huge fan of PKD and Umberto Eco and anything that goes deep into Christian Heresies. It's fun!

    Think Manichean, the Cathars, all the Gnostic writings... this is what we get. It's a great rabbit hole. :)

    What this book does right: It doesn't take itself too seriously, but it certainly isn't light or superficial. Indeed, the superficial tale of Joshua Lie becoming disgruntled after a full long life of being an educated Christian, only to stop believing and then start picking up all the Gnostics, trying to reconcile everything with the basic scripture, is only telling a fraction of the story.

    The real story is quite fascinating and it's entirely in the realm of the mind and the heart, of personal revelations, of Alchemy, of redeeming Sophia and Christ, of the Archons and the Demiurge, and even how Judas could very well have been the one spoken of in the prophecies. Judas's oft-maligned person is a tragic one with very different expectations.

    Of course, all of these ideas have been explored in many other places, and much, much commentary has been had for and against it all, but the fact remains that it still speaks to us.

    PKD's exegesis does this, as does Da Vinci Code, or Holy Blood, Holy Grail, just to mention a few, but This work provides us with a very short and very concise overview of the hottest topics and is written in a very accessible way. It's addictive. And there's easily a lot here for extended food for thought.

    After all, Christ wasn't redeeming our sins, he was freeing Sophia, Wisdom, from the mad creator, the Demiurge, to bring us back to the true state of grace and wholeness. Or, to quote PKD, the Black Iron Prison, where the Empire Never Ended, the great illusion of the world where we know something is damn wrong, and that something was the fact that the creation and the creator were both flawed. Like I said, Heresy! :)

    It's a fascinating ride! I totally recommend this for a very smart read down this path! It's very accessible.


  2. Robert Case Robert Case says:

    On one level "The Gospel of Lie" is the spiritual journey of an ordinary man - a grandfather, an elder, and a believer in the Christian faith as practiced by the Coptic Christian church - following the death of a beloved granddaughter. This ordinary man also chooses as pen name "Joshua Lie." His choice invokes a masculine warrior/leader from both the Hebrew and Islamic traditions. The book's 21st century coauthors are on a mission. The book's subtitle encapsulates it.

    Another level of the book, written by coauthor Fady Riad, is an interpretation of the KJ Bible based upon the codices of the Nag Hammadi library. These well-preserved religious and philosophical texts, written in Coptic, were discovered in post World War II Egypt. Their writing was contemporaneous with the acts of the apostles following the crucifixion. Many believe that these texts were both well-known in their day and systematically edited out of the body of work that became the KJ Bible. Followers of this tradition are known as Gnostics. The Gnostic tradition views the world as a work in progress, rather than a former garden of Eden. And, following the teachings of Jesus, espouses love as the best tool for improving it. Theirs was a practice based upon a personal search for inner knowledge by experience and participation, rather than systematic learning.

    Of course, the practice of love does have complications. There is no doubt that it can and does lead to suffering and pain. Clearly, that was the path taken by coauthor Joshua Lie. On the other hand coauthor, Fady Riad, following his literal reinterpretation of the New Testament, chooses a distinctly different path concluding that: "Gnosticism eventually gave rise to modern atheism." For this reader, their book clarifies my personal belief that: There is a spiritual light within each one of us. For a person of light, it illuminates the whole world. For those who choose not to shine, they walk in darkness.


  3. Derek Davis Derek Davis says:

    I find this an unclassifiable book, which in itself makes it intriguing. First a quick "plot," if that's the right word to use.
    The apparently true author, Fady Riad, discovers an incomplete manuscript compiled by an Egyptian Coptic – under the pseudonym Joshua Lie – who lost everything of value in his life, lastly his beloved granddaughter, Annie. In response to his desolation, he first retreats from all worldly contact, then in existential fury begins to compile an alternate and deliberately false interpretation of the Christian gospels, within strict personal guidelines. Riad vows to complete the ms. himself, using the same limiting guidelines. In structure, we have 1) the introduction (Lie's life), 2) Lie's ms., 3) Riad's extension. This may sound bald, but as written it is far from that.
    Is The Gospel of Liea novel? Most likely. The "lost manuscript" device has been used throughout fictional history and was a staple of early 20th-century pulp fiction.
    Is it what it purports to be – an impassioned response to another's work and life, discovered accidentally? Possibly, though less likely (for stylistic and other reasons).
    Is it an effective treatise on Christian belief, especially Gnostic? Definitely. Riad's (Lie's?) explication of a particular Gnostic tradition constructs a stunningly clear throughline to one of the most convoluted, chaotic collections of ideas in all mythology. Plus, his deep knowledge of the Bible puts me and I'd think many a biblical scholar to shame.
    Is it, beyond all this, an especially clever attempt to meld fiction, erudition and religion into a synthetic construct combining both insider and outsider views? That, I think, most of all. (Late on, he notes that Lie's ms. "offered me a setting where my pathological pursuit of useless knowledge could finally be justified and rewarded").
    I can't recommend this book to everyone, least to those who limit their input to one or two genres. Lie is well outside any genre. It's for the inquiring mind willing to drop expectations in favor of freeform exploration. All of that would bring the book up to four stars for me automatically. The fifth comes form the fact that I am about as empty of belief as anyone who would not call himself a nihilist, yet I found myself continually fascinated and drawn forward.
    At a still more generalized level, and I think an unintentional one, it made me think about the role of meaning in life. How did the idea of meaning evolve, what purpose, if any, does it serve for the human race? Faced with the vicissitudes of life, would intelligent beings all commit suicide if we saw no reason beyond earthly life?
    And functionally, is meaning an accidental or necessary side-effect of assembling several million neurons with over a trillion interconnections? Will future artificial intelligence, the poor beasts, also suffer from angst?
    My thanks to Riad for providing me a copy, for review, of a work I would never have discovered or read if I had seen a description. This is a far more appreciative review than I expected it to be.


  4. Ellen Ellen says:

    I found this book incredibly imaginative. It gives one insight into how a new religion could be created. Although in truth the authors at every point reiterate that this is an imaginative project they both get swept up in their own ideas.

    Its rawness is part of its charm.


  5. Suze Fields Suze Fields says:

    I received this book from the author himself, basically because I have read The Gnostic Gospels by Rlaine Paige and liked it. This book basically is a reprocessing on the Gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke and John, but is a way specifically aimed to be blasphemous. In its efforts, it also takes on the Gnostic approach to God, Jesus and the happenings around the New Testament. The introduction of the book paints a very dark scenario to justify the writing of the book, and that looms like a dark cloud dragging through the beginning of the book. The text that belongs to Lie is quite good, quite fluent, but dwells too much time in explaining the methodology and less on the actual development of the thesis proposed. I, however, really liked the ideas in it and how they were connected together. The Jesus-Sophia couple was far fetched but worked wonderfully.

    The last chapter of it, however, blew the entire thing off. A dramatic, "poetic" chapter made no sense in a more mental work. It felt out of place.

    Raid then further piled on with deeply personal chapters, much in the line of the introduction, this time adding mystical experiences, including what I came to call The Myracle of the Fork and the Ketchup. It was entirely uncalled for. It did go better with chapters full on further development of the Gospel of Lie, fixes and arrangements to the original, but the continual references to his personal life, dreams and such disrupted a perfectly good book.

    It did felt to me that Joshua Lie is a sort of shield for the author, so he can play out his ideas on the Gospels, but by presenting them as someone else's he needs not to face the consequences of them. Many of the personal chapters and elements could have been left out, quickly scribbled to the dust jacket of the book, because all the rest, just by itself is plain fantastic. If not for those chapters, this book would have been a solid five star for me. I do hope to read more from Mr. Raid in the future.


  6. Tali Bakos Tali Bakos says:

    This could be considered a great introduction to how semiotics work and how reliable interpretation is in general since it is made by people who have had different experiences and views.

    To begin, I should mention that I did not read this book as a religious text, although it may be considered as such and even intended as such (but this is my interpretation and since interpretation is hardly objective, I am not intending to make any definite statement to this end). I rather considered the book as an intellectual exercise into how you can create your own narrative (conspiracy?) as to one of the most important sources of constant debate (the New Testament). Similar to Foucault's Pendulum in ambition, but a rather simpler and more accessible text to somebody who has not had any experience with such approaches.

    As for a proper review of the book, this is a difficult endeavour since I am faced not only with writing a review to a well-constructed theory but to a review of the said theory (in the second part of the book, Fady Riad, alongside his own input to Joshua Lie's theory, actually critically analyses that theory and its shortcomings). However, this is exactly what makes it a great dynamic introduction to semiotics: since the initial theory is critically analysed and it is actually deconstructed to the point of exposing the logical flaws in it, one can only ask himself: how many of the accepted theories as to the most important human affairs (be they religious doctrines or social and economic analyses of a state's affairs) are perfectly grounded in rigorous logic? And this is where the strength of the book lies in: there is no definite theory, no perfect doctrine whatsoever (not here, not anywhere). It is not about that. It is a synthesis of logic, semiotics - especially interpretation -, all projected on a Biblical background.

    As for the merits of Joshua Lie's theory, I am not interested in supporting them or criticising them. By doing this, I would actually resort to bringing forward my own thoughts. And my purpose was only that of presenting this book in an objective light. When one understands the scope of interpretation, one can finally understand that biases are underpinning even the most 'taken for granted' theories on which this world has been brought on. And by this I am not trying to imply that the basic Christian tenets are underpinned by biases. They may be characterised by a perfect logic. But one should at least try to find whether that is true or not by approaching any such tenet with the view that interpretation is (almost?) never objective.


  7. Peg Peg says:

    I was asked to read this book because of my interest in the Gnostic gospels after reading Elaine Pagels' book. The first part of the book is what was left of a manuscript by a man named George, pen named Joshua Lie. After the death of his wife and then the deaths of his daughter and son-in-law, he took on the care of his granddaughter. When she died tragically of leukemia at the age of five, his heart was finally broken beyond repair and he began a project to reinterpret the life of Jesus in the gospels in an effort to make sense of his loss. His studies led him to the Gnostic teachings, which he summarized very well and were interesting to me. However, his whole story came off as angry and unfortunately, he does not seem to have found any peace before his own death. When his friend discovered his manuscript after his death, he endeavored to finish it. This effort is part two of the book. I was interested in the Gnostic information for historical purposes. I personally did not resonate at all with their theology. The author's search for enlightenment from these writings, as well as alchemy, reflections on the 16th century book The Rosary and Carl Jung were mostly bizarre and confusing to me. I have read plenty of Jack Spong, Marcus Borg, John Domminck Crossing and Richard Rohr so have no problem considering alternative understandings of Jesus and his life and mission, but the Gnostic writings and beliefs don't fit with my faith experience. I hope the author has found some peace in his own faith. The last chapter actually was the most satisfying for me, where he summed up his own questions and faith journey.


  8. Nikhil Kasarpalkar Nikhil Kasarpalkar says:

    I was very moved by reading Joshua's personal tragedy and could only just about understand his state of mind when he started the work. I enjoyed reading every part of it. .I have previously stated- Astonishing and I adhere to that fact. The way built up the finale is built from Joshua's Gospel was something beyond Imagination. The incursion of the Gnostic doctrine into the christian doctrine and its effects are staggering and so far I had not come across it anywhere. But the author has brilliantly assayed the whole system in an all encompassing way, such that its chief intention becomes apparent. The Language is perfect and the text flow is sublime. The end is just exhilarating and promising. This was great fun.


  9. fcrazeg fcrazeg says:

    It is just not my type of book... The author have done a very good research about the "holy books", but I was expecting more a story than a discussion between books, its meaning and analysis. At the beginning the author try to introduce a story but then jump to a discussion between psalms and holy texts…
    Maybe, for other time this could be a good book for me and I’ll give another chance… but no now…


  10. Grady Grady says:

    ‘It is precisely in the times of sorrow and suffering that believers resort to God the most.’

    Author Fady Riad is an Egyptian-Australian writer who is passionately interested in philosophy, Jungian psychology, biblical studies, Gnosticism, and the occult. He has written a testimony/memoir of a friend Joshua Lie, a man ‘whose real name was George, an Egyptian bank clerk who immigrated to Australia in the late 60s. He, like most Egyptian Christians, was a deeply religious adherent of the Alexandrian Coptic church, and when his daughter, then a teenager, fell in love with an Aussie, Lie made sure her blue-eyed Don Juan was baptized Coptic before he would let them date. Dating led to love, marriage, and conception, and Hannan gave birth to a lovely girl. When Lie first set his eyes on his blonde granddaughter, he was on cloud nine. Two years later, Hannan and her partner died in a car accident, and Lie was once again left with an orphaned little girl to look after.’

    In one of the most erudite and spiritually enlightened books to be published Fady Riad brings to light questions Joseph Lie found in the Bible and faith and spirituality in general. By following up on the writing of Lie we are challenged to question, seek our own meaning in the at times confusing words and deeds and miracles of the Bible. Fady found a portion of Lie’s writing that prompted the writing of this book. That fragment is essential to understand – ‘We are living in a time of spiritual thirst; many people no longer find the solace they need in the same old, boring sermons they hear at church. People are turning to the east, seeking comfort in the teachings of the Buddha or in the religion of the Hindus. Yet others cannot let go of the son of God who died for their sake. They want Jesus, but they want another Jesus, one who really touches their heart and makes them whole again. They suspect that the church has buried the real, living Jesus under a pile of vain rituals and theology. They await the day when Jesus will roll back the stone of hypocrisy and rise anew.’

    The summary that follows distills the message as well as anyone could post: ‘Once a deeply devout Christian, Joshua Lie’s faith is shattered as he watches his granddaughter Annie succumb to cancer. Disillusioned with mainstream Christianity, he sets on an extraordinary journey where he researches obscure sources to find a new Jesus. The Nag Hammadi Library, the Gospel of Judas, the mysteries of the Manicheans and the Cathars, the alchemical endeavors of Carl Jung and the terrifying visions of Lovecraft and William Blake – all sources that he blends together to paint his personal savior. Jesus, he claims, was a divine being who descended to the earth to save his fallen lover Sophia, a thinly veiled version of Annie. Next, Lie takes it upon himself to interpret the Bible in twisted ways to make it seem as if the Evangelists were preaching his doctrines. He wittily notices that many things attributed to Jesus in the Bible make little sense and decides that the best way to pass his ideas is to offer them as new answers to old problems. By a sleight of hand, he offers shocking, yet convincing, explanations to some of the strangest things attributed to Jesus. We finally know why Jesus cursed the Canaanite woman, rebuked Mary at the wedding of Cana, and uttered his famous cry at the cross: ‘God why have you forsaken me?’ And so Lie proceeds, following the steps of Jesus till the moment when the redeemer, crucified, hugs Annie-Sophia and submits his spirit in her embrace. Sadly, it is at this tragic moment that the gospel comes to an abrupt end; for Lie, unable to comprehend the mystery of the resurrection and experience the solace it brings, abandons his draft to finally wither and die. This could have very well been the end of Lie’s tragic story, were it not for his good friend Fady Riad who discovers the manuscript and takes an oath upon himself to have it completed and published. “Your book will be finished, and your Jesus will be resurrected.” He promises his friend in a dream. As Riad studies the draft, however, he soon realizes that it is riddled with various loose ends that make completing it virtually impossible. Nonetheless, Riad doesn’t give up, knowing that there is no price that he won’t pay to honor the legacy of his late friend...’

    Profoundly moving on many levels, this book is a reason to pause, to question, to internalize and then to embrace the finished Lie gospel that Fady Riad has completed for us. Complete with copious notes on resources and exquisite illustrations, this is a challenging and very rewarding book, beautifully written


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10 thoughts on “The Gospel of Lie: A Grieving Christian Searches the Bible for a New Jesus

  1. Bradley Bradley says:

    I'll be honest. I wasn't quite sure what I was getting into when I agreed to read this.

    BUT, I'll freely admit to being pleasantly surprised because I've already been a fan of this kind of religious exploration. I might be considered a huge fan of PKD and Umberto Eco and anything that goes deep into Christian Heresies. It's fun!

    Think Manichean, the Cathars, all the Gnostic writings... this is what we get. It's a great rabbit hole. :)

    What this book does right: It doesn't take itself too seriously, but it certainly isn't light or superficial. Indeed, the superficial tale of Joshua Lie becoming disgruntled after a full long life of being an educated Christian, only to stop believing and then start picking up all the Gnostics, trying to reconcile everything with the basic scripture, is only telling a fraction of the story.

    The real story is quite fascinating and it's entirely in the realm of the mind and the heart, of personal revelations, of Alchemy, of redeeming Sophia and Christ, of the Archons and the Demiurge, and even how Judas could very well have been the one spoken of in the prophecies. Judas's oft-maligned person is a tragic one with very different expectations.

    Of course, all of these ideas have been explored in many other places, and much, much commentary has been had for and against it all, but the fact remains that it still speaks to us.

    PKD's exegesis does this, as does Da Vinci Code, or Holy Blood, Holy Grail, just to mention a few, but This work provides us with a very short and very concise overview of the hottest topics and is written in a very accessible way. It's addictive. And there's easily a lot here for extended food for thought.

    After all, Christ wasn't redeeming our sins, he was freeing Sophia, Wisdom, from the mad creator, the Demiurge, to bring us back to the true state of grace and wholeness. Or, to quote PKD, the Black Iron Prison, where the Empire Never Ended, the great illusion of the world where we know something is damn wrong, and that something was the fact that the creation and the creator were both flawed. Like I said, Heresy! :)

    It's a fascinating ride! I totally recommend this for a very smart read down this path! It's very accessible.

  2. Robert Case Robert Case says:

    On one level "The Gospel of Lie" is the spiritual journey of an ordinary man - a grandfather, an elder, and a believer in the Christian faith as practiced by the Coptic Christian church - following the death of a beloved granddaughter. This ordinary man also chooses as pen name "Joshua Lie." His choice invokes a masculine warrior/leader from both the Hebrew and Islamic traditions. The book's 21st century coauthors are on a mission. The book's subtitle encapsulates it.

    Another level of the book, written by coauthor Fady Riad, is an interpretation of the KJ Bible based upon the codices of the Nag Hammadi library. These well-preserved religious and philosophical texts, written in Coptic, were discovered in post World War II Egypt. Their writing was contemporaneous with the acts of the apostles following the crucifixion. Many believe that these texts were both well-known in their day and systematically edited out of the body of work that became the KJ Bible. Followers of this tradition are known as Gnostics. The Gnostic tradition views the world as a work in progress, rather than a former garden of Eden. And, following the teachings of Jesus, espouses love as the best tool for improving it. Theirs was a practice based upon a personal search for inner knowledge by experience and participation, rather than systematic learning.

    Of course, the practice of love does have complications. There is no doubt that it can and does lead to suffering and pain. Clearly, that was the path taken by coauthor Joshua Lie. On the other hand coauthor, Fady Riad, following his literal reinterpretation of the New Testament, chooses a distinctly different path concluding that: "Gnosticism eventually gave rise to modern atheism." For this reader, their book clarifies my personal belief that: There is a spiritual light within each one of us. For a person of light, it illuminates the whole world. For those who choose not to shine, they walk in darkness.

  3. Derek Davis Derek Davis says:

    I find this an unclassifiable book, which in itself makes it intriguing. First a quick "plot," if that's the right word to use.
    The apparently true author, Fady Riad, discovers an incomplete manuscript compiled by an Egyptian Coptic – under the pseudonym Joshua Lie – who lost everything of value in his life, lastly his beloved granddaughter, Annie. In response to his desolation, he first retreats from all worldly contact, then in existential fury begins to compile an alternate and deliberately false interpretation of the Christian gospels, within strict personal guidelines. Riad vows to complete the ms. himself, using the same limiting guidelines. In structure, we have 1) the introduction (Lie's life), 2) Lie's ms., 3) Riad's extension. This may sound bald, but as written it is far from that.
    Is The Gospel of Liea novel? Most likely. The "lost manuscript" device has been used throughout fictional history and was a staple of early 20th-century pulp fiction.
    Is it what it purports to be – an impassioned response to another's work and life, discovered accidentally? Possibly, though less likely (for stylistic and other reasons).
    Is it an effective treatise on Christian belief, especially Gnostic? Definitely. Riad's (Lie's?) explication of a particular Gnostic tradition constructs a stunningly clear throughline to one of the most convoluted, chaotic collections of ideas in all mythology. Plus, his deep knowledge of the Bible puts me and I'd think many a biblical scholar to shame.
    Is it, beyond all this, an especially clever attempt to meld fiction, erudition and religion into a synthetic construct combining both insider and outsider views? That, I think, most of all. (Late on, he notes that Lie's ms. "offered me a setting where my pathological pursuit of useless knowledge could finally be justified and rewarded").
    I can't recommend this book to everyone, least to those who limit their input to one or two genres. Lie is well outside any genre. It's for the inquiring mind willing to drop expectations in favor of freeform exploration. All of that would bring the book up to four stars for me automatically. The fifth comes form the fact that I am about as empty of belief as anyone who would not call himself a nihilist, yet I found myself continually fascinated and drawn forward.
    At a still more generalized level, and I think an unintentional one, it made me think about the role of meaning in life. How did the idea of meaning evolve, what purpose, if any, does it serve for the human race? Faced with the vicissitudes of life, would intelligent beings all commit suicide if we saw no reason beyond earthly life?
    And functionally, is meaning an accidental or necessary side-effect of assembling several million neurons with over a trillion interconnections? Will future artificial intelligence, the poor beasts, also suffer from angst?
    My thanks to Riad for providing me a copy, for review, of a work I would never have discovered or read if I had seen a description. This is a far more appreciative review than I expected it to be.

  4. Ellen Ellen says:

    I found this book incredibly imaginative. It gives one insight into how a new religion could be created. Although in truth the authors at every point reiterate that this is an imaginative project they both get swept up in their own ideas.

    Its rawness is part of its charm.

  5. Suze Fields Suze Fields says:

    I received this book from the author himself, basically because I have read The Gnostic Gospels by Rlaine Paige and liked it. This book basically is a reprocessing on the Gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke and John, but is a way specifically aimed to be blasphemous. In its efforts, it also takes on the Gnostic approach to God, Jesus and the happenings around the New Testament. The introduction of the book paints a very dark scenario to justify the writing of the book, and that looms like a dark cloud dragging through the beginning of the book. The text that belongs to Lie is quite good, quite fluent, but dwells too much time in explaining the methodology and less on the actual development of the thesis proposed. I, however, really liked the ideas in it and how they were connected together. The Jesus-Sophia couple was far fetched but worked wonderfully.

    The last chapter of it, however, blew the entire thing off. A dramatic, "poetic" chapter made no sense in a more mental work. It felt out of place.

    Raid then further piled on with deeply personal chapters, much in the line of the introduction, this time adding mystical experiences, including what I came to call The Myracle of the Fork and the Ketchup. It was entirely uncalled for. It did go better with chapters full on further development of the Gospel of Lie, fixes and arrangements to the original, but the continual references to his personal life, dreams and such disrupted a perfectly good book.

    It did felt to me that Joshua Lie is a sort of shield for the author, so he can play out his ideas on the Gospels, but by presenting them as someone else's he needs not to face the consequences of them. Many of the personal chapters and elements could have been left out, quickly scribbled to the dust jacket of the book, because all the rest, just by itself is plain fantastic. If not for those chapters, this book would have been a solid five star for me. I do hope to read more from Mr. Raid in the future.

  6. Tali Bakos Tali Bakos says:

    This could be considered a great introduction to how semiotics work and how reliable interpretation is in general since it is made by people who have had different experiences and views.

    To begin, I should mention that I did not read this book as a religious text, although it may be considered as such and even intended as such (but this is my interpretation and since interpretation is hardly objective, I am not intending to make any definite statement to this end). I rather considered the book as an intellectual exercise into how you can create your own narrative (conspiracy?) as to one of the most important sources of constant debate (the New Testament). Similar to Foucault's Pendulum in ambition, but a rather simpler and more accessible text to somebody who has not had any experience with such approaches.

    As for a proper review of the book, this is a difficult endeavour since I am faced not only with writing a review to a well-constructed theory but to a review of the said theory (in the second part of the book, Fady Riad, alongside his own input to Joshua Lie's theory, actually critically analyses that theory and its shortcomings). However, this is exactly what makes it a great dynamic introduction to semiotics: since the initial theory is critically analysed and it is actually deconstructed to the point of exposing the logical flaws in it, one can only ask himself: how many of the accepted theories as to the most important human affairs (be they religious doctrines or social and economic analyses of a state's affairs) are perfectly grounded in rigorous logic? And this is where the strength of the book lies in: there is no definite theory, no perfect doctrine whatsoever (not here, not anywhere). It is not about that. It is a synthesis of logic, semiotics - especially interpretation -, all projected on a Biblical background.

    As for the merits of Joshua Lie's theory, I am not interested in supporting them or criticising them. By doing this, I would actually resort to bringing forward my own thoughts. And my purpose was only that of presenting this book in an objective light. When one understands the scope of interpretation, one can finally understand that biases are underpinning even the most 'taken for granted' theories on which this world has been brought on. And by this I am not trying to imply that the basic Christian tenets are underpinned by biases. They may be characterised by a perfect logic. But one should at least try to find whether that is true or not by approaching any such tenet with the view that interpretation is (almost?) never objective.

  7. Peg Peg says:

    I was asked to read this book because of my interest in the Gnostic gospels after reading Elaine Pagels' book. The first part of the book is what was left of a manuscript by a man named George, pen named Joshua Lie. After the death of his wife and then the deaths of his daughter and son-in-law, he took on the care of his granddaughter. When she died tragically of leukemia at the age of five, his heart was finally broken beyond repair and he began a project to reinterpret the life of Jesus in the gospels in an effort to make sense of his loss. His studies led him to the Gnostic teachings, which he summarized very well and were interesting to me. However, his whole story came off as angry and unfortunately, he does not seem to have found any peace before his own death. When his friend discovered his manuscript after his death, he endeavored to finish it. This effort is part two of the book. I was interested in the Gnostic information for historical purposes. I personally did not resonate at all with their theology. The author's search for enlightenment from these writings, as well as alchemy, reflections on the 16th century book The Rosary and Carl Jung were mostly bizarre and confusing to me. I have read plenty of Jack Spong, Marcus Borg, John Domminck Crossing and Richard Rohr so have no problem considering alternative understandings of Jesus and his life and mission, but the Gnostic writings and beliefs don't fit with my faith experience. I hope the author has found some peace in his own faith. The last chapter actually was the most satisfying for me, where he summed up his own questions and faith journey.

  8. Nikhil Kasarpalkar Nikhil Kasarpalkar says:

    I was very moved by reading Joshua's personal tragedy and could only just about understand his state of mind when he started the work. I enjoyed reading every part of it. .I have previously stated- Astonishing and I adhere to that fact. The way built up the finale is built from Joshua's Gospel was something beyond Imagination. The incursion of the Gnostic doctrine into the christian doctrine and its effects are staggering and so far I had not come across it anywhere. But the author has brilliantly assayed the whole system in an all encompassing way, such that its chief intention becomes apparent. The Language is perfect and the text flow is sublime. The end is just exhilarating and promising. This was great fun.

  9. fcrazeg fcrazeg says:

    It is just not my type of book... The author have done a very good research about the "holy books", but I was expecting more a story than a discussion between books, its meaning and analysis. At the beginning the author try to introduce a story but then jump to a discussion between psalms and holy texts…
    Maybe, for other time this could be a good book for me and I’ll give another chance… but no now…

  10. Grady Grady says:

    ‘It is precisely in the times of sorrow and suffering that believers resort to God the most.’

    Author Fady Riad is an Egyptian-Australian writer who is passionately interested in philosophy, Jungian psychology, biblical studies, Gnosticism, and the occult. He has written a testimony/memoir of a friend Joshua Lie, a man ‘whose real name was George, an Egyptian bank clerk who immigrated to Australia in the late 60s. He, like most Egyptian Christians, was a deeply religious adherent of the Alexandrian Coptic church, and when his daughter, then a teenager, fell in love with an Aussie, Lie made sure her blue-eyed Don Juan was baptized Coptic before he would let them date. Dating led to love, marriage, and conception, and Hannan gave birth to a lovely girl. When Lie first set his eyes on his blonde granddaughter, he was on cloud nine. Two years later, Hannan and her partner died in a car accident, and Lie was once again left with an orphaned little girl to look after.’

    In one of the most erudite and spiritually enlightened books to be published Fady Riad brings to light questions Joseph Lie found in the Bible and faith and spirituality in general. By following up on the writing of Lie we are challenged to question, seek our own meaning in the at times confusing words and deeds and miracles of the Bible. Fady found a portion of Lie’s writing that prompted the writing of this book. That fragment is essential to understand – ‘We are living in a time of spiritual thirst; many people no longer find the solace they need in the same old, boring sermons they hear at church. People are turning to the east, seeking comfort in the teachings of the Buddha or in the religion of the Hindus. Yet others cannot let go of the son of God who died for their sake. They want Jesus, but they want another Jesus, one who really touches their heart and makes them whole again. They suspect that the church has buried the real, living Jesus under a pile of vain rituals and theology. They await the day when Jesus will roll back the stone of hypocrisy and rise anew.’

    The summary that follows distills the message as well as anyone could post: ‘Once a deeply devout Christian, Joshua Lie’s faith is shattered as he watches his granddaughter Annie succumb to cancer. Disillusioned with mainstream Christianity, he sets on an extraordinary journey where he researches obscure sources to find a new Jesus. The Nag Hammadi Library, the Gospel of Judas, the mysteries of the Manicheans and the Cathars, the alchemical endeavors of Carl Jung and the terrifying visions of Lovecraft and William Blake – all sources that he blends together to paint his personal savior. Jesus, he claims, was a divine being who descended to the earth to save his fallen lover Sophia, a thinly veiled version of Annie. Next, Lie takes it upon himself to interpret the Bible in twisted ways to make it seem as if the Evangelists were preaching his doctrines. He wittily notices that many things attributed to Jesus in the Bible make little sense and decides that the best way to pass his ideas is to offer them as new answers to old problems. By a sleight of hand, he offers shocking, yet convincing, explanations to some of the strangest things attributed to Jesus. We finally know why Jesus cursed the Canaanite woman, rebuked Mary at the wedding of Cana, and uttered his famous cry at the cross: ‘God why have you forsaken me?’ And so Lie proceeds, following the steps of Jesus till the moment when the redeemer, crucified, hugs Annie-Sophia and submits his spirit in her embrace. Sadly, it is at this tragic moment that the gospel comes to an abrupt end; for Lie, unable to comprehend the mystery of the resurrection and experience the solace it brings, abandons his draft to finally wither and die. This could have very well been the end of Lie’s tragic story, were it not for his good friend Fady Riad who discovers the manuscript and takes an oath upon himself to have it completed and published. “Your book will be finished, and your Jesus will be resurrected.” He promises his friend in a dream. As Riad studies the draft, however, he soon realizes that it is riddled with various loose ends that make completing it virtually impossible. Nonetheless, Riad doesn’t give up, knowing that there is no price that he won’t pay to honor the legacy of his late friend...’

    Profoundly moving on many levels, this book is a reason to pause, to question, to internalize and then to embrace the finished Lie gospel that Fady Riad has completed for us. Complete with copious notes on resources and exquisite illustrations, this is a challenging and very rewarding book, beautifully written

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