In 'The Interview,' readers have 24 hours to interview Jesus

What if you had 24 hours to interview Jesus?

Premise of book has Jesus returning for one day to 'set the record straight'

In 'The Interview' linguist Roger Spielmann imagines what it's like to be picked to interview Jesus for 24 hours. (Markus Schwabe/CBC)

What if you had 24 hours to interview Jesus?

That's the premise of The Interview, a book written by Laurentian University linguist Roger Spielmann.

The story centres around Jesus, who returns to earth for a single day to "set the record straight," Spielmann said.

An upbringing and education rooted in evangelical Christianity planted the seed for Spielmann's story, although he told CBC news he no longer practices Christianity.

"Four years ago I had a dream where [Jesus] came to me, told me I could ask him any question...the meaning of life, what happens after you die, was your mom really a virgin?...all those things," Spielmann said.

Jesus: just a regular guy

Although his first book is fiction, Spielmann said he plunged deep into the work of biblical scholars —  plus his own knowledge of Greek —  to explore the characters.

"I try to present [Jesus] as I think he was. A real guy," Spielmann said.

Spielmann said that the Jesus who returns for 24 hours smokes cigarettes, has a few beers, but would "draw the line" at being considered a god.

"He would say 'no, that was part of the legend that built up around him over the first 300 years after his death," Spielmann said. "He came to preach the kingdom of god, and he got elevated."

And Spielmann added that he expects most Christians won't agree with his portrayal of Jesus in The Interview. But readers looking for a good story shouldn't expect a controversy.

"I don't think most Christians, Orthodox Christians will agree at all, but anyone who's a seeker, a doubter, a wanderer...that's really the main audience for The Interview."

"I expect Christians to read it, and they can make up their own minds about it."

You can hear the full interview by clicking the audio link below.