Tuesday, November 01, 2011

The Gospel in Brief, by Leo Tolstoy

Towards the end of his life, Tolstoy became interested in 'freeing' the scripture from the layers of religiosity inside of which he felt the Orthodox Church had encased it. So he retranslated and paraphrased the gospels as he felt they should read. This was happening in the midst of the great German discourse on who the historical Jesus really was, so Tolstoy had lots of people to help him over the translation problems since I doubt he learned Biblical Greek and/or Hebrew.

Fascinating that whenever someone decides to do this sort of project, it ends up creating a clearer picture of the person doing it than it does of Jesus.

In any case, I read about 1/3 of the book and the copy I had turned out to be defective--50 missing pages--and I just never got back to it; I sort of feel like I got the gist of it.