March 29, 2002 2:03 AM Subscribe
Barabbas was spared by the mob in lieu of Jesus on Good Friday. Pär Lagerkvist, a Swedish novelist, explored this incredible character in his 1950 novel: The novel BARABBAS (1950) was immediately hailed as a masterwork...Barabbas, the criminal in the New Testament, is pardoned instead of Christ, and is sentenced to the silver mines. His is incapable of loving, but becomes gradually aware of greater forces guiding his life. Now I am myself atheist/agnostic, but I think this is cool. It reminds me of Vonnegut's description of Kilgore Trout as a badly aging Christ, whose sentence of crucifixion had been commuted to life imprisonment.
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