• On the Open Book programme on Radio 4 (I never know what I'm going to say) I said that too much reverence for biblical stories and any refashioning will be tedious. Too little and the updated version becomes facetious. There are observable symptoms for both. In every over-reverential re-telling of a New Testament story the author cares far too much about what language the characters are speaking. 'I'll have the fish,' said Peter in Aramaic. The facetious disease is just as easy to recognise - Jesus returns to earth in the present day and smokes dope. Of course he does. Updated, Jesus is always a stoner. It's just easier to explain him that way. Luckily there are alternatives. Gospel Noir has antecedents, if not exactly a history.

    Apr 15,