Saturday, July 17, 2010

315: In a Little While

John 16-18
"Some of his disciples said to one another, 'What does he mean by saying, 'In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,' and 'Because I am going to the Father'?' They kept asking, 'What does he mean by 'a little while'? We don't understand what he is saying.' " - John 16:17-18

Jesus starts the day by repeating most of the concepts he explained yesterday. Namely that once he is crucified he will tell God to send the counselor (the Holy Spirit) to everyone. Why God can't do this without Jesus being crucified, I'm not sure (being all powerful, and all). Jesus ends all this by saying that he has much more to say, but he is going to let the Holy Spirit say the rest of the truth.

Jesus then tells his disciples that in a little while they will see him no more, then a little while after that they will see him. Jesus has a strange definition of "no more". His disciples ask him what he means by all this. He responds with a metaphor about mothers feeling pain until their baby is born then they feel joy.

Jesus ends the chapter by promising that eventually he will stop speaking figuratively. The disciples seem confused, and say that because he's stopped speaking figuratively, they now believe that he's from God (Jesus didn't say that he had actually stopped speaking figuratively). Does this mean they didn't believe before? Jesus happily exclaims, "you believe at last!" I guess the miracles of John's gospels aren't enough to even convince the disciples.

In chapter 17 Jesus prays for himself, his disciples, and all the other believers. This seems to be the Gethsemane scene from the other gospels (right before he is arrested). This time, instead of being reluctant to be crucified, Jesus seems to have accepted his fate. And because of this acceptance he tells God that it is time to glorify he and his son. I think he knows, Jesus. This seems to be the exact opposite of the Jesus from the other gospels, who prays that God will take the burden of crucifixion away from him.

Chapter 18 starts with Jesus being arrested. Again Peter chops off one of the ears of the men trying to arrest Jesus. This time Jesus tells him to stop, because Jesus has to "drink the cup" that his father has given him. There is no "he who lives by the sword will die by the sword". Jesus also neglects to heal the ear of the man who has it chopped off (as in Luke). And there is no naked disciple that runs away when Jesus is arrested (as in Mark).

Jesus is first taken to Annas (as opposed to Caiaphas). Annas is the one that asks him about his disciples and his teaching. After Annas has done his questioning, Jesus is sent to Caiaphas. While Jesus is going to Caiaphas, Peter is denying Jesus. Peter's denial happens in a similar manner to the other gospels, but this time he is talking to Jewish servants and officials. Peter seems to deny he is a disciple to different people in every gospel.

The next time we see Jesus is as he is being sent away from Caiaphas to Pilate. John just skipped the entire Jewish conviction of Jesus. Pilate asks the Jews what the man is being charged with. The Jews respond by saying that if he were not a criminal they would not have brought him before Pilate. Well that wasn't very helpful. Pilate tells the Jews to try them under their own laws, but the Jews say they are not allowed. Couldn't Pilate give them permission?

Pilate then questions Jesus, asking him if he is the king of the Jews. Jesus eventually says yes, he is the king. Pilate then tells the Jews that he's found no basis for charging Jesus. This merges right into Pilate asking if the Jews would like to release Barabbas or Jesus. Wait, Pilate just said he wasn't going to charge Jesus. Isn't the idea that the Jews are supposed to choose between two criminals? How does that work if one person hasn't been charged? Again John seems to have assumed we've read the other gospels.

*News*
This one's a good one. Will Smith is reportedly making a movie based on the bible.
According to reports, mega-star Will Smith has latched on to a new project called The Legend of Cain. Smith is planning to not only produce the movie through his own Overbrook Entertainment, but also star in the title role of Cain. The star’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith, James Lassiter, and Ken Stovitz will also produce.
This is interesting when you take into account Will Smith's alleged Scientology (which he denies). Is this an elaborate scheme to make sure we all know that he's actually a Christian? At least he can't take the anti-Semitic route (a la Mel Gibson) with the story of Cain and Abel.

But wait, there's a twist. Cain is actually a vampire! Seriously, I can't make this shit up:
On its own this content could probably make a decent film, but The Legend of Cain will take the old story a step further with a little twist: vampires. Yes, it looks like the plan is for Cain to also be a bloodsucker, likely pegging him as the very first vampire.
I'm sure this won't be the last we hear of this. If the movie actually goes into production I'm sure I'll have some fundie rage to talk about. "Cain? A vampire? Blasphemy!"

Until then, I'll give you a sneak preview of what this movie will look like:

Cain

Abel

Choose now, who's team are you on? Either that or commit seppuku before you have to hear about another vampire movie.

5 comments:

  1. John 16-17

    John 16:2-4. Jesus warns his disciples that they will face persecution in the future, and furthermore acknowledges that they didn't know this already, thus demonstrating that all those mentions in this and other Gospels of his followers being persecuted during his lifetime are anachronistic retrojections from the time of the writing of the Gospels, decades later.

    John 16:4,7,12-15. More mention of the Paracletos bringing new teachings to the Christians in the future. John adds this idea (not found in the earlier Gospels) so that he can invent any new teachings of Jesus he wants and has a ready-made excuse for why nobody's heard about them before. We'll see that Luke does something similar in Acts.

    John 16:5: "Now I am going to him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, 'Where are you going?'"

    What?! Wasn't Jesus paying attention when his disciples asked these questions, only a few minutes earlier:

    13:36: 'Simon Peter asked him, "Lord, where are you going?" '
    13:37: 'Peter asked, "Lord, why can't I follow you now?" '
    14:5: 'Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" '

    Jesus either has a short attention span, bad short term memory, or bad hearing.

    John 16:21. So when will the postpartum depression hit the disciples?

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  2. I'm still waiting for "The Passion of the Christ...and Zombies." They wouldn't even have to change much of the plot.

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  3. John 18

    John 18:2. In John's Gospel, Judas is necessary to lead them to Jesus' hideaway, whereas in the others he was needed to actually identify Jesus. Thus John dispenses with the kiss, too, and thus Jesus' dialogue with Judas. Note that it is not merely a question of John omitting this - in his Gospel, there is no reason for Judas to give such a kiss.

    John 18:5,7. The Greek does not say, "Jesus of Nazareth" (or even "Jesus the Nazarene"); it actually says, "Jesus the Nazorean."

    John 18:6-7. The power of Jesus' words blows all the men to the ground. But they just pick themselves up and continue as before, as if nothing happened.

    John 18:8-9. Jesus asked that the soldiers release his followers just to fulfill a prophecy?! Not out of any concern for them?

    John 18:10. Bryan, John is the only Gospel that says Peter was the one who chopped off the ear of the servant of the high priest. John is also the only one who tells us what the man's name was (Malchus).

    And the naked young man in Mark 14:51-52 is not said to be a disciple.

    John 18:11b. "Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?"
    Again, John explicitly rejects the notion that Jesus would've begged that the cup be taken from him in Gethsemane (cf. Mark 14:36).

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  4. I'm separating this comment out since it's so important.

    18:28. Money quote: "By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness the Jews did not enter the palace; they wanted to be able to eat the Passover."

    The Passover meal hasn't taken place yet! So the previous night's dinner couldn't have been the Passover Feast, which is why John does not imply that it is, and also why John didn't have the eucharist there, either.

    This is one of biggest contradictions in the Gospels: John has Jesus crucified before the Passover meal, whereas the Synoptics have him crucified after the Passover meal.

    And why did John move the crucifixion up one day? (Or more properly, move the Passover back one day, since he still has Jesus crucified on Friday.) Because for him, Jesus was the "lamb of God" (John 1:29), and was thus slaughtered before the Passover Feast like the sacrificial lambs are.

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  5. In the RPG "Vampire: The Masquerade", the history of vampires goes back to Cain, saying that God cursed him with the thirst for blood since he committed the first murder. So it's really not an unheard of story.

    Then again I'm a pretty huge nerd, so who knows.

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