Dr. Ron Cooper is a professor at CF as well as an author. On Wednesday April 20, Cooper read three passages from his most recent novel, “The Gospel of the Twin.” Cooper’s other published novels are “Hume’s Fork” and “Purple Jesus.”
Cooper’s novel is written from the perspective of Judas Thomas. Thomas is a controversial Biblical character. The controversy around Thomas comes from the extra-Biblical text, the Gospel of Thomas.
Cooper uses Thomas, who some believe was the twin brother of Jesus, to make people think about Biblical passages in a different way. One thing Cooper does is strip away some of the miracles and offer a non-spiritual explanation.
Cooper also takes other Biblical characters and develops their personalities. One example of this is when Mary Magdalene goes to visit her mother after she is married. Mary gets into a physical altercation with her mother, is denounced, and when everything is settled down, the people travelling with Jesus laugh about it.
Cooper decided to write this book because he has always been interested in ancient Judaism and Christianity. Cooper also wanted to answer the question: “What would it be like being the twin brother of Jesus?”
According to Cooper, a lot of research was needed for this novel. He needed to research ancient cultures and the political climate of the time period besides the involved religions. With his research finished, it took Cooper about a year to write “The Gospel of the Twin.”
“College professors are supposed to challenge your way of thinking.” -Dr. Ron Cooper
“Sometimes [I would write for] several hours a day,” Cooper said. “Sometimes not.”
According to Cooper, there are a few audiences that this novel is pointed at. Jewish people, for the explanation of the political climate at the time, and more liberal Christians who may be turned off by the miracles in the Bible. That isn’t to say that non-theists or members of other religions cannot enjoy it.
The reading of “The Gospel of the Twin” was in Building 8 room 110 on the Ocala campus.
The theater seating was around two-thirds filled. There were many CF instructors in attendance as well as students. At the end of the event, Cooper was signing copies of his novel for people.
Story by: Alex Titus