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In my books, The Goddess Aped and The Lost Whore of Babylon, the story of Bar Jesus was especially interesting given my own experiences in the past.

For those of you who used to watch cartoons, imagine a Justice League versus Legion of Doom. Superman versus dark or evil Superman. Each superhero battled against their shadow self but these were actually other villains in disguise. And the “evil” or shadow version would go out and commit crimes but because of how they looked, people thought it was the actual superhero.

My own life had a doppelganger or look-alike. With neighbors, I had even heard “soundalikes” so I imagined a similar mimic existed for me.

Back in 1991, these were actual people in my life. Now, it could be AI or computer-generated.

So, what about Jesus? Could he have had copycats or a group determined to bring about his destruction? In Acts, we learn of Barnabas Jesus and Bar Jesus. And it would certainly appear that they were copycats of him or vice-versa. And if they were copycats, they were spreading the opposite word and seemed to be against Christianity. So who were these men?

Most of my books are fictional or mythological, even if based on actual events or circumstances, and I see much of the Bible and other stories of antiquity in the same light. They are very likely based on true events but through which lens and how much has been changed or redacted?

A good example is a change in Matt. 27:18 from “envy” to “self-interest.” These are very different contexts. One can be both envious and act out of self-interest but they are not interchangeable. In Gold ‘n Silver, I am tortured and raped not only because of envy but because it will benefit others. I was turned away from studying with a British Traditional Witchcraft coven because they felt I was requesting to do so out of “self-interest.”