Literary critic Harold Bloom has a new book called Jesus and Yahweh, under review here. One of the claims is that, in terms of literary quality, the New Testament just doesn't hold up with the Hebrew Bible. http://www.claremont.org/writings/crb/spring2006/balint.html "The aesthetic dignity of the Hebrew Bible," Bloom writes, "is simply beyond the competitive range of the New Testament…. In the aesthetic warfare between the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, there is just no contest." (Bloom had already told us in A Map of Misreading  that he preferred the Hebrew Bible to Homer.) This in itself is not a new observation. Nietzsche declared: "To have glued this New Testament, a kind of rococo of taste in every respect, on to the Old Testament to make one book, as the 'Bible,' as 'the book par excellence'—that is perhaps the greatest audacity and 'sin against the spirit' that literary Europe has on its conscience." But the idea, at least in its elaborated form, is new in Bloom, and it brings us to the book's second revelation: his attitude toward Christianity. In a delightful 1979 essay, Cynthia Ozick accused Bloom, the self-proclaimed Gnostic Jew, of "idol-making," and of "artistic anti-Judaism." But in his latest book, Bloom evinces both a surprising Jewishness—"my Orthodox Judaic childhood lingers in me as an awe of Yahweh"--and a startling anti-Christianity. If Jesus and Yahweh is right, Christians misread not only Yahweh, but Jesus, too—and they are polytheists to boot. Beyond the fact that the historical Jesus was "the Jew-of-Jews, the Jew proper," he remains unknowable beneath the seven irreconcilable versions of him presented in the New Testament; he is "a concave mirror, where what we see are all the distortions each of us has become." Bloom reminds us that "there are no verifiable facts about Jesus of Nazareth…. There is not a sentence concerning Jesus in the entire New Testament composed by anyone who ever had met the unwilling King of the Jews." This did not prevent Christians from turning him into a theological entity: Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is according to Bloom "totally smothered beneath the massive superstructure of historical theology." Bloom interprets the trinity as an essentially polytheistic "structure of anxiety" in which God the Father—whom Bloom finds "lacking in personality"—is a mere shade of Yahweh. Yahweh, "the West's major literary, spiritual, and ideological character," has not, according to Bloom, "survived in Christianity." In J's portrait—the earliest biblical layer—Yahweh is "anxious, pugnacious, aggressive, ambivalent," not to mention all too often absent. But unlike Jesus Christ and God the Father, he is emphatically not a theological God. Indeed, Bloom asserts that "no God has been more human."