I like to imagine Peter, Paul, Moses, Matthew, David, John, and all the rest, known and anonymous, bumming around the twenty-first century like nobody’s business. Paul running a late-night radio talk-show, David writing poetry on a remote sheep farm in the Midwest, Solomon using his mental prowess to figure out his alimony payments.
Then the calls start coming in.
“Hey, David, baby, love your new stuff, really, just love it. I mean, I haven’t read it, but my wife says its fantastic. Anyway, what I really wanna talk to you about is some of your old classics…”
“Sollie! Yeah, I know you said never to call you that, but what are friends for? So hey, maybe you can slip me some wisdom here, brah. Few of us are talking about pulling together a comprehensive collection of writings from all you old timers, and we… Embarrassing erotic poetry you wrote in high school? Uh no, of course not, we would never dream of using…but it’s still up on your blog, huh?”
“Moses, hey hey hey! Got any weather forecasts for me? What? No, I know that was Noah, it’s just a joke… Listen, wondering if you got a few minutes to discuss the Pentateuch’s copyright status, some of the guys in New York have got some… What? Multiple authors over hundreds of years? No, yeah, I know that’s what they’re saying, but, come on, I think we both know who’s really the genius behind the Ten Commandments. Hello? You still there?”
“Is that Saul of Tarsus? As I live and breathe…how are you, you son of a gun? Oh, it’s Paul, now? All right, I like it, I like it. So Paul, I’ve been looking over some of your old e-mails, and we think some of this stuff with you and the churches… How do I have them? Because you blind-carbon-copy them to everyone in your address book, Paul. Every single time. It’s kind of adorable. So what I’m wondering is…how attached are you to the whole ‘women should remain silent in church’ thing? Pretty attached, huh? Huhhhh-kay…yeah, that’s about it. Oh, and Paul? Hang in there, buddy. She’s out there somewhere, you just gotta keep looking.”
“So for all this Jesus jazz, we’re thinking about doing this whole Rashomon-type deal. You know, multiple perspectives, ‘find the truth behind the legends’, that kind of thing. Luke and Matthew are on board, and Mark says he’s interested if you’re involved, so basically I’m just waiting on…that’s a different John? Ah…this is awkward. Sorry to…wait, you do have something? Post-apocalyptic prophetic thriller? Hmm…we have been looking for something to spice up the ending…”
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I wonder what these writers would say if you asked them if what they wrote was ‘the inspired word of God’. Would they nod in quiet agreement? Or would they cough, look at their feet, and question whether they really got the wording just right?
I wonder if these old Greeks and Hebrews would laugh at those who insist their words can only be read in 17th Century English.
I wonder who would sputter and protest being left out of the canon. I wonder if any would protest being left in.
I wonder, but I have no answers. Divine or otherwise, I’m out of inspiration.
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For more weird Biblical musings (and placenta), check out The Afterbirth of Christ (And Other Things We Don’t Like To Think About At Christmas).