Sherlock Holmes & Jesus Christ

May 2000By Paul C. Fox

Paul C. Fox, M.D., is a family physician in Blairsville, Pennsylvania, and a member of St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church.

“Excellent!” I cried. “Elementary,” said Holmes.Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Crooked Man

For a few luminous months during my sophomore year in high school I came to believe in the Full Personhood of Sherlock Holmes. That is, I became persuaded that the “world’s first consulting detective” had been, after all, not a mere fictional device, but a living, breathing man.

The instrument of my conversion to this faith was W.S. Baring-Gould’s marvelous Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street, which purported to be the authentic biography of the great detective. From his birth to Siger and Violet Holmes in the North Riding of Yorkshire to his death among his beehives in Sussex, Sherlock Holmes and his life and times were presented with such a wealth of believable circumstantial detail (complete with footnotes) that I felt compelled to believe in his existence.

The world seemed a larger and more wonderful place with the knowledge that Sherlock Holmes had had a life outside the reports of his cases written by his associate Dr. Watson and published through Watson’s “literary agent,” Conan Doyle.

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