As for Christ’s appearance in the novel, Wallace stated that “...He should not be present as an actor in any scene of my creation. The giving a cup of water to Ben-Hur at the well near Nazareth is the only violation of this rule. Finally, when He was come, I would be religiously careful that every word He uttered should be a literal quotation from one of His sainted biographers.” (Wallace, Autobiography Vol. II 1906) He was also insistent the Christ not be played by a person in the Broadway stage production of Ben-Hur that began in 1899; the producers solved this by portraying Christ with a shaft of white light rather than an actor.
Many things happen as a result of bets, but best-selling novels are not one of them.
--Amanda Wesselmann, Associate Director