Mostly a Rant on Biblical Contradictions, But Also a Zombie.

Hey everyone!

I just wanted to point out that I added a “Contact Me” page today (you can find it using the toolbar at the top of every page on the site). I know I’ve posted my email on here before, but now it’s always in one place so you don’t have to dig through the archives for it. I’d really love to hear from you, no matter what you have to say, so please don’t hesitate to use it!

NT: Mark 5

Mark 5

I think we’ve just encountered the New Testament’s very first quasi-zombie.

Jesus and his posse travel across the lake, and then…this:

I was going to use a picture of a zombie itself, but they all grossed me out too much. Also, I just find driving terrifying in general, so this image actually scares me more anyway.

As soon as Jesus got out of the boat, a man possessed by an evil spirit came out of the tombs. This man lived among the tombs, and no one was ever strong enough to restrain him, even with a chain. He had been secured many times with leg irons and chains, but he broke the chains and smashed the leg irons. No one was tough enough to control him. Night and day in the tombs and the hills, he would howl and cut himself with stones. (2-4)

Freaky.

It turns out this is actually a variation of the suicidal demon pigs story from Matthew 8, except the description above makes this one a lot more exciting. Oh, and also, there are two possessed men in the Matthew version, but only one in the Mark version. Oops! I’m sure I won’t catch nearly all of these kinds of errors because (1) I’m reading the book over the course of a year or two, and (2) I’m not an autistic savant. But if you enjoy this sort of thing, check out this infographic on contradictions within the Bible, which I have probably shared before and forgotten about because of reason 2.

Now, before you chide me for missing the forest for the trees, I want to say something about the whole issue of Bible contradictions. I’ve been in discussions in the past where I and other atheists have mentioned one Bible contradiction/error or another, and Christians have stopped us and protested that we were nitpicking, straw-manning, or otherwise arguing dishonestly because those kinds of things don’t really matter. What matters, according to this line of reasoning, is the Bible’s central message, not the extraneous details. As long as it’s consistent about God and the path to salvation, you shouldn’t be bothered by apparent inconsistencies in the number of demons Jesus cast out on a given day or exactly where he met a particular disciple and so on.

I have some serious problems with this approach to the Bible.

For one thing, for a book that is supposed to be about the forest and not the trees – if it’s all about the big picture and the details don’t matter – the Bible has got a hell of a lot of trees. I haven’t even gotten to Leviticus and Numbers yet, but I’ve heard horror stories about the pages and pages of drivel about how to spread oil on your offerings and how many people were in each tribe and so on. And Genesis was bad enough with all the begatting. If that’s all irrelevant to my salvation and I shouldn’t worry my pretty little head about it, why include it at all? Moreover, even if there was no pressing reason why all the little details of the stories in the Bible had to be correct, there certainly isn’t any good reason why so many should be wrong, is there? You’d think, when the stakes are this high, the least God could do is spring for a decent copy editor.

Second, a lot of the contradictions in the Bible do seem to matter to the big picture – that is, they change the story in significant ways that alter its overall meaning. One example of this is Judas’s death. We already read Matthew’s account of it, where Judas throws away the money he was paid for betraying Jesus, and then hangs himself. We haven’t gotten to Acts yet on this blog, but – spoiler alert – in that version, Judas uses the money to buy a field, and then falls down in his own field and his intestines spill out. A former Pentecostal Christian has explained the importance of this contradiction, and how it shook his own faith, quite well in this video. (This 10-minute video is part of a longer series on his deconversion process, but that link will take you directly to the Judas bit, which is only three minutes long.) Basically, as far as I can tell, this story is either about remorse, or greed and punishment: either Judas threw the money away (demonstrating remorse) and then hung himself (more remorse), or he used the money to buy a field (materialism, greed, non-remorse) and then was struck down by God in an explosion of intestines (punishment by God’s wrath). It seems to me that the question of whether Judas committed remorseful suicide or was executed by God is extremely relevant to the overall meaning of the story. The “big picture” changes noticeably when you alter the pixels that much.

Finally, I do think the mere existence of contradictions should be troubling in a book that is supposedly divinely inspired. Obviously a single contradiction, however minor, completely annihilates the idea of biblical literalism. But it should bring even more liberal conceptions of biblical inerrancy into question, too. I know there are many liberal Christians who believe that the Bible was written by humans, in pieces, over a long period of time, was shaped by the cultural contexts in which it was created, and so on. But they still believe that it is, in some meaningful sense, “the word of God,” or says something meaningful about God; otherwise they wouldn’t call themselves Christians, right? Maybe I’m just not understanding this idea correctly – I have to admit that I have always had a lot of trouble wrapping my head around it – but it seems to me that if God was involved in any way in the creation of the Bible, he could have done something to prevent it from being so error-ridden. I just really think you have to work a lot harder to defend your case that this book should be taken seriously when it is full of holes and patches like this. In any case, if the trees that are distracting me from the beautiful and divine forest are actually irreconcilable contradictions that call into question the God-inspired-ness of the whole book, then the trees become extremely important since they show that there actually is no forest to bother with, so we can all stop trying to squint and find it.

Anyway. Jesus asks the demon in the possessed guy what its name is, and the guy answers, “Legion is my name, because we are many” (9). That’s kind of cool – I didn’t know that came from the Bible. Anyway, you know what happens next; the demons leave the man only to possess the pigs, who run into the lake and drown. People hear about this and are impressed, but some ask Jesus to leave their neighborhood. Not sure why – maybe because they know the Pharisees and ruling classes and so on won’t like what he’s up to? The de-possessed man asks to join Jesus as a disciple, but Jesus tells him to go home and spread the word about how God cured him and showed mercy on him.

Jesus crosses the river again and gets ready to heal some more people. Jairus, a big shot at the local synagogue, begs Jesus to heal his daughter. Jesus agrees, but while he’s en route to the house, a woman who has been bleeding for twelve years (which startled me all over again even though I already read about it in Matthew) comes up to him and heals herself by touching his clothes. Which reminds me: this story inspired a great song by Sam Cooke, which is redundant, because all songs by Sam Cooke are great. Legend has it that Sam and his producer were on their way to a recording session when the producer realized Sam wasn’t exactly prepared with something to record. Before he could freak out, Sam was like, “Chill out. Just hand me the Bible.” His producer immediately produced a Bible, because this was the fifties and I guess everybody just had a Bible with them all the time in case Communists attacked or something. Sam flipped through, found this story, and made up a kick-ass song on the spot, because he’s Sam Cooke and that’s how he rolls. Or rolled, rather, until some crazy bitch shot him. That whole debacle still upsets me, so I’m going to calm down with a nice uplifting gospel song.

Anyway Jesus tells the bleedy woman that her faith has healed her yay.

Meanwhile, some messengers from Jairus’s house find him and tell him it’s too late: his daughter has already died. They suggest he let Jesus go since there’s nothing he can do anymore, but Jesus is like “No it’s cool, I got this.” He goes to the house with just three of his disciples and finds it full of crying people. He says the girl is just sleeping, not dead, and the people switch from crying to laughing at him. He kicks them all out of the house, then takes the girl’s hand and whispers some magic spell that means “Young woman, get up,” in some language or other (41). And hey presto, she’s alive and walking around again! Jesus tells the disciples and the girl’s parents not to tell anybody about what happened.

Of course, this is a little different from how Matthew told us it all went down. For example, in Matthew’s account, the girl has already died when her father comes to seek Jesus’s help, so he asks him to resurrect her. And in that version, Jesus doesn’t demand silence about the resurrection; in fact, “News about this spread throughout that whole region” (Matthew 9:26). Ah, well. Forest for the trees, right? *twitch*

Highlights

Sam Cooke.

Lowlights

See above rant.

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Love Shack

Oh my god you guys the wifi in my apartment is the worst. I’m sorry it took me to the end of the day to get this up, but I kept working on it for a few minutes at a time and then trying to download a photo and then being cruelly denied and then leaving in a huff to listen to the NPR Sunday Puzzle and allow Will Shortz’s soothing voice to heal my psychological wounds. I would like to write these at 1369 Coffeehouse from now on (which would be great because the 45-minute limit on free wifi would force me to manage my blogging time better), but I can’t right now because I’m fasting for Ramadan. I know, I know. I’m the strangest atheist. Whatever. I warned you guys up front that I fucking love church. This shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Oh yeah, also I read some Bible today. Here it is.

OT: Exodus 33; Psalm 23

Exodus 33

God tells Moses to take the Israelites to the Promised Land, and ominously pledges to “drive out” (2) six other tribes for unspecified reasons. But God won’t accompany his favorite tribe on their road trip, because they are “a stubborn people” and so he would “destroy” them before they ever made it to their destination (4). Seems harsh, but then again, I’ve shared a car with my grandmother from Massachusetts to Virginia, so I can’t help sympathizing with God here. Although I can’t say I get the part where he inexplicably demands that the Israelites all remove their jewelry* before the journey.

Did they have to remove their shoes too?

Moses set up a special tent where people could go to ask God for advice. It’s unclear whether or not everyone else got a response, but when Moses visited the tent, God would show up and talk to Moses “face-to-face” while a tornado blocked the door (9-11). Oh, and apparently Joshua, Moses’s assistant, never ever left the tent, for some reason.

Why is this book so full of unnecessary and unexplained details?

Anyway, at one of their littltête-à-têtes têtes-à-tête têtes-à-têtes conversations, Moses is like, “Look, God. You keep telling me to take these people somewhere but I don’t even know where I’m going or who will guide us.” And God is like, “Ok, I’ll go with you.” [Then what was all the business with the refusing to go and the jewelry removal?] Then comes my favorite part of this boring chapter, where Moses goes on haranguing God without listening at all to what he just said, continuing to demand what he has already agreed to, because Moses and God are an old married couple. Moses is like, “If you don’t go, how can we even go at all? Nobody will know we are special unless you are there to tell them!” And then God says [verbatim], “I’ll do exactly what you’ve asked because you have my special approval, and I know you by name” (17). Whaaa? I’ve already said how problematic I think it is for God to arbitrarily give one person or group his “special approval” or to have a “chosen people,” but it’s even weirder to think that there might be some people in the world whom he doesn’t know by name. Again, I’m sorry, but doesn’t this completely annihilate his hypothetical omniscience? Seriously, how do people rationalize this?

Then things get a little kinky when Moses begs God to “Please show me your glorious presence” (18), bringing their relationship from old married couple to awkward hormone-soaked teenager status. God gets all coy with Moses, and is like, “Ok, I’ll walk past you and flaunt my glorious presence. But I’ll put you behind a rock, so you can’t see me. But there will be a chink in the rock, so you can see me. But I’ll cover the rock with my hand, so you can’t see me. But then I’ll take my hand away at the last second, so you can see me – except I won’t take my hand away until I’ve passed you, so all you’ll be able to see is my back.” God justifies this convoluted plan by explaining that “you can’t see my face because no one can see me and live” (20), which sounds suspiciously like a rule he made up just now for fun, and is difficult to reconcile with the claim made just a few verses before that he and Moses have been speaking “face-to-face” (11) in their little Love Shack tent.

* There couldn’t have been much jewelry to remove anyway since Aaron already melted all the gold down to make the calf in the last chapter. Just saying.

Psalm 23

Okay, I’m sorry, I can’t do the Common English Bible on this one. I saw “my cup is so full it spills over!” and I knew this wasn’t going to work. I’ve got to go with the good old KJV here.

This is, justifiably, the most famous psalm. It’s less whiny, more celebratory, and just prettier than any of the others I’ve read so far. I’m not even going to try to cutely summarize it. I’ll let it speak for itself.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Highlights

Weirdly enough, the psalm is actually the best part of today’s OT portion. It speaks to one of the qualities we most wish we had in a god: protection. The God of Psalm 23 provides for you, he leads you where you need to go, he always wants what’s best for you, he showers you in blessings, he defends you from harm. He is your home. It’s a beautiful specimen of wishful thinking. And, if you like, it illustrates what we need from ourselves and from each other in a godless world. If there is no house of the LORD to dwell in, we must build our own home, fill our own cups, and find our own route to the green pastures and the still waters. We must be the gods we wish we had.

Lowlights

Psalm 23 also gets today’s lowlight, because it reminded me of my AP Chemistry exam, which was definitely a lowlight of high school. Just in case that connection isn’t crystal clear, allow me to explain: When I arrived at the school where I would be taking the exam, I realized that I had left my calculator at home. I didn’t have time to go back for it, and I panicked double hard since chemistry was already my worst subject. I was in acute distress, facing certain failure, when I spotted one of the only people I knew in this entire school walking through the halls between classes. When I told him of my plight – looking for commiseration, not solutions – he immediately handed me his calculator and walked off to his next class. To express my deep and abiding gratitude, I wrote him this poem, which I just dug up from the bowels of my Facebook notes.

TEDDY is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to do well on my chemistry test: He leadeth me through the free response section.

He restoreth my calculator: He leadeth me in the paths of accuracy for his awesomeness’ sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of failure, I will fear no stoichiometry: for Thy calculator is with me; its exponents and its logarithms they comfort me.

Thou preparest a solution for me in the presence of acids and bases: Thou anointest my head with relief; my answer booklet runneth over.

Surely 4s and 5s shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will totally owe TEDDY for ever.

So…yeah, that happened.

NT: Mark 4

Mark 4

Jesus stands in a boat and tells parables to a crowd of followers on the shore. He tells the parable of the soils again. When people are like “dude WTF,” Jesus is like, “No it’s cool. You guys can grok what I’m saying because God gave you the secret of his kingdom, but lame outsiders won’t understand what we’re talking about because it’s in a cool secret code.” Not sure what the secret of the kingdom is, or why Jesus doesn’t realize that even the in-crowd doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about. Anyway, he explains why he’s preventing outsiders from understanding his lessons: “This is so that they can look and see but have no insight, and they can hear but not understand. Otherwise, they might turn their lives around and be forgiven” (12). I believe, in professional circles, this technique is known as “stacking the deck.” Alternatively, “douchebaggery.” (It depends which professional circle you’re in.)

Jesus explains the parable the same way as recounted in Matthew 13 – it’s about all the different pitfalls that can stop someone from being saved after hearing the word. He promises that all will be revealed in time, and that “God will evaluate you with the same standard you use to evaluate others” (24).

He tells a parable about the kingdom of heaven that I don’t think we’ve heard before: it’s like when someone scatters seeds on soil, then goes off to sleep and ignores them, and the neglected seeds grow to maturity, and then the farmer reaps them at harvest. Can anyone explain that one to me? I guess I’m one of the uncool kids that Jesus doesn’t want to understand his amazing lessons.

After retelling the mustard seed story again, along with a bunch of other unspecified parables, Jesus and his posse leave for the other side of the lake. On the way, there’s a storm, and while people are freaking out, Jesus is asleep. His followers wake him up and are like “um news flash we are drowning, so if you are planning on giving a shit, now’s the time.” Jesus magically ends the storm with his Jesus-powers and then scolds his crew for not having faith. Everybody is like “whoaaaa who IS this guy?!”

Highlights

I like Mark 4:24 (and the other instances where the same thought appears – I know we encountered it in Matthew at least once).

A big part of why I like it is that it inspired the title of a Shakespeare play. The KJV goes something like “For what measure ye mete, it shall be meted to ye again.” And my expert opinion is that Measure for Measure is probably Bill’s most underrated play. So…go read it.

But I also just like it because of how it echoes the golden rule of doing unto others as you would have others do unto you. It’s just too bad God operates outside the rule.

Lowlights

I don’t know why it’s so important to Jesus to selectively hide important salvation information from certain people. How cliquey of him.

Déjà Lu

OT: Psalms 18-22

Psalm 18

[This is David talking after God saved him from Saul.] God is awesome. He’s my rock. I was about to die but I asked him for help and he heard and saved me. His anger caused an earthquake. [And then, um, God became a dragon?] “Smoke went up from God’s nostrils; out of his mouth came a devouring fire; flaming coals blazed out in front of him!” (8). Smaug-God dispersed my enemies with arrows and lightning. God saved me and rewarded me for my righteousness, because I’ve followed all his rules. God, you are nice to good people and mean to bad people. You’re perfect. Nobody but God is divine. God makes me strong. God helped me annihilate my enemies. “I crushed them like dust blown away by the wind; I threw them out like mud dumped in the streets” (42). Thanks to God, “foreigners grovel before me” (44). Yay for God who “delivered me from violent people” (48) but then helped me kill them!

Psalm 19

“Heaven is declaring God’s glory” (1). Each day tells the next day about God’s awesomeness, and spreads the news worldwide. God built a tent for the sun. “The sun is like a groom coming out of his honeymoon suite” (5). It runs across the sky and heats everything. God is a perfect teacher, whose commands make people wiser and happier and healthier. His judgment is true. God’s laws are worth more than gold. God, please forgive any sins I have unknowingly committed, and prevent me from willful disobedience. I hope my words and thoughts please you, God.

Psalm 20

I hope God helps you when you’re in trouble. Let God protect you, remember your offerings, and make your dreams come true. Then we’ll celebrate. I know God saves his favorite people. Some people trust worldly things, and they will collapse, but we who trust God will stand strong. God save the king and give us what we want!

Psalm 21

God, the king is glad that you gave him what he asked for. You gave him life, glory, and happiness. Because he trusts you, he won’t fall. God, you will capture all your enemies, and “you will light them up like an oven on fire. God will eat them whole in his anger; fire will devour them” (9). You’ll kill their children, too, for good measure. They tried to hurt you, so you will shoot arrows into their faces. Yay for God’s strength!

Psalm 22

God, why have you left me alone? I cry out but you don’t answer. You’re holy and my ancestors trusted you and you helped them. People hate me and tease me for trusting you. “I was thrown on you at birth; you’ve been my God since I was in my mother’s womb” (10). A bunch of evil people surround me, threatening me, and I’m terrified. My strength is gone, my mouth is dry, and you’ve left me to die. They watch me and divvy up my clothes. God, come save me! Oh good, you’ve finally answered me! Now I’ll celebrate you and make others honor you because you listened to my cries for help. Let all the sufferers find God and praise him! Everyone will worship you because you are the only ruler. The strong and the weak all serve you, and people who aren’t alive yet will serve you too and tell their children how great you are.

Highlights

There’s one part in psalm 22 when David announces, for no apparent reason, “I can count all my bones!” (17)

Lowlights

Everything else. But also, the hypocrisy of thanking God for saving you from “violent people” and then killing them brutally. Also, David’s imperialist tendencies, where he wants to make foreigners grovel before him. By the way, David seems to get himself into trouble a lot. He constantly talks about being surrounded by his enemies and despairing and then being saved by God. Are all these psalms retelling of one battle, or is he just a terrible soldier who constantly needs to be rescued from death? Also, I dislike the hereditary nature of religion described in psalm 22. Children shouldn’t have people choose their beliefs for them, let alone fetuses. Oh, also, there’s that part where God eats people alive.

NT: Mark 2-3

Mark 2

Jesus goes back to Capernaum, and people flock to hear him. Some bring in a paralyzed man – because they can’t carry him through the crowd, they bust open a hole in the roof and lower him into the room where Jesus is speaking. Jesus is impressed with their creative problem-solving, so he tells the paralyzed man that his sins are forgiven. The legal experts in the room start mumbling and saying that Jesus is blaspheming because “only the one God can forgive sins” (7). Jesus basically tells them they’re stupid, and says, “Well, it’s easier to forgive sins than to make paralytics walk. Now you’ll know that the Human One can forgive sins!” Then he tells the paralyzed man to take his mat and walk home, which he does, amazing everyone.

This is what Levi said to Jesus later.

Jesus goes out and walks around teaching people some more. He sees Levi, a tax-collector, and tells him to follow him. So Levi follows Jesus…to Levi’s own house, where Jesus has invited himself over for lunch. Awkward. Jesus and his disciples eat with a bunch of tax-collectors and sinners. The legal experts are like, “Hey disciples! If Jesus is so cool, why is he hanging out with sinners? Huh!?” Jesus is like, “Dumbasses, sick people need doctors, not healthy people. I’m here for the sinners, not the righteous.”

Some people ask Jesus why John’s disciples and the Pharisees fast, but he doesn’t. Jesus says wedding guests can’t fast while the groom is still around, but soon the groom will leave and then they will fast. Then Jesus goes back to two metaphors I still don’t really understand: don’t sew a new patch on old clothes, and don’t pour new wine into old wineskins.

Jesus and his disciples walk through the fields picking wheat on the Sabbath, and the Pharisees freak out. Jesus says that the Sabbath was made for people, not the other way around.

Mark 3

Jesus goes to the synagogue, where there is a man with a withered hand. The Pharisees are looking for an excuse to arrest Jesus, so they watch to see if he will break Sabbath law by healing the man. But didn’t they just see Jesus breaking Sabbath law by picking wheat…? Anyway, Jesus asks them whether it’s legal to save lives or kill on the Sabbath, but they don’t answer. Jesus is angry and “deeply grieved at their unyielding hearts” (5). He heals the man’s hand and the Pharisees go to Herod’s supporters to plot Jesus’s death.

Jesus goes back to the lake and, as usual, people come from all over to see him and be healed, so he asks his followers to get a boat ready for him so he isn’t trampled to death. When evil spirits see him, “they fall down at his feet and shout, ‘You are God’s Son!'” (11) and then Jesus is like “shhhh don’t reveal my identity!” Which is odd since he keeps healing people and walking on water and shit. Also, why would evil spirits listen to his orders? Although the text ambiguously says that Jesus tells “them” not to say who he is, and it’s unclear whether “them” refers to the evil spirits, the people trying to be healed, or the disciples. In any case, his secrecy is weird since he hasn’t exactly kept his magic powers on the DL.

Jesus goes up a mountain and appoints twelve apostles to go preach on his behalf and gives them the power to throw out demons. Also he gives cool nicknames to some of them. He picks Simon, but calls him Peter. He picks James and John, but calls them the Sons of Thunder. He also picks Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, a different James, Thaddaeus, a different Simon, and Judas Iscariot, but they don’t get cool nicknames.

Jesus and his followers go into a house to eat but the crowds make it impossible. Jesus’s family comes and says he’s out of his mind and tries to “take control of him” (21). By Jesus’s family do we mean Mary and Joseph? Wouldn’t they know that he’s the son of God because of all the angel messengers and the immaculate conception and all that? So why would they ruin his plans by trying to have him committed? Anyway, the legal experts say he’s possessed by the devil and that’s how he throws out demons. Jesus is like, “Idiots. How could the devil throw himself out? A house divided will fall. If Satan fights himself, he’s screwed. I promise that humans will be forgiven for every possible kind of sin except insulting the Holy Spirit.”

His mother and brothers arrive. When Jesus hears that they’re outside waiting for him, he’s like, “What do you mean, my family is outside? My family is in here! All of you who obey God are my family.” Awwwww.

Highlights

I am a fan of the “humanity is one big family” trope (although obviously I wouldn’t make membership contingent on worship).

Lowlights

You know, this book is unnecessarily repetitive. We haven’t really heard anything new in this installment. Mark is just telling us what Matthew already did, and David is just writing more psalms that sound exactly like the other ones. It’s getting boring and I am running out of funny to make it interesting. =(

John the BAMFist Is Back!

Okay, folks. It’s my roommate’s birthday and we other roomies are waiting to surprise her when she comes home from rehearsal, so I’m just going to dip into the gospel of Mark until that happens. Speaking of which, here is an important PSA: through a series of rigorous scientific experiments (i.e. eating the extra cupcake batter that we baked in a mug), my co-birthday-surprise-conspirator and I have determined that this is the greatest recipe of all time. In fact, when we graduate, we are going to start a bakery that sells only this cake. Get on it.

Also, exciting news! Thanks to all you beautiful people, this blog’s all-time views broke 20,000 yesterday! Thanks for reading, sharing, and commenting!

NT: Mark 1

Mark 1

It's people! Soylent Fish is PEOPLE!

Mark starts by telling us, unsurprisingly, that Jesus’s coming happened just as Isaiah predicted. John is wandering around the wilderness baptizing people and getting them to change their hearts and lives. We get a lot of the same details as in Matthew: John wears camel’s hair and leather, eats locusts and honey (BAMF), and tells people that somebody cooler than him is coming and he (John) is unworthy to loose his (Jesus’s) sandal and so on. John baptizes Jesus, and then Jesus sees heaven split and a voice from heaven tells him “You are my Son” (11). Jesus goes into the wilderness for 40 days to be tempted by Satan but angels take care of him. John is arrested, and Jesus comes to Galilee and announces the good news that God’s kingdom is coming and tells people to change their hearts and lives. Jesus finds Simon and Andrew fishing and promises to teach them how to fish for people. Ditto with James and John. Jesus goes to Capernaum and teaches with authority and casts out a demon and freaks everyone out. Also he heals Simon’s mother-in-law, which I don’t remember from Matthew. People bring their sick and/or possessed loved ones to Jesus and he heals and/or exorcises all of them. He goes to a deserted place at dawn to pray alone, but Simon finds him and tells him everyone is looking for him (Jesus), so he (Jesus) decides to go in the opposite direction and keep preaching because “That’s why I’ve come” (38). Jesus heals a leper and tells him not to say anything about it to anyone, but the leper tells EVERYBODY and then Jesus tries to avoid the paparazzi by staying outside city walls, but it doesn’t work because people come to him.

Okay dudes, I’m actually falling asleep, so I’m going to hang up on myself before the sleepy-talk gets out of hand. This might have something to do with the impromptu wine-and-backrubs party I threw last night. But let’s not play the blame game.