Monday, January 12, 2009

Jesus the Jew

It was a cracking start to the new series exploring Christianity on Channel 4. Howard Jacobson didn't pull his punches and actually made me sit up and take notice of what he was saying.

Here's Howard talking to Cardinal George Cottier, former Theologian to the Pope...

HOWARD: I'm wondering how, for example, a Jew can never read parts of the New Testament without feeling more than scandalised. I mean, when John talks about the Jews as devils, for example, the children of Satan.

GEORGE: The Gospel of John isn't an anti-Jewish gospel. It is a gospel that speaks about love. And from this vision of love, one can understand, relativise the meaning of these texts. But we certainly cannot touch what is, for us, a word of God.

Hmmm. So this evening I consulted our Collins Holy Bible and read the following, which John wrote at 8:44...

"You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires."

This, according to John at almost a quarter to nine, is what Jesus said to the Jews.

Howard's right! How can George say there is love in Jesus' words? Unless I've taken those words out of context.

Next week it's Michael Portillo who used to make me physically sick just to look at him. But after a decade of smarm-meister Blair he doesn't seem so bad after all.


  1. One of them features Anne Widdecombe. I might give that one a miss.

  2. "relativise". There's a clue. A clear sign of talking out of your arse.
    You've been a busy boy today, haven't you?

  3. I know what you mean about Portillo. But his legs are still too short.

  4. Anonymous1:06 AM

    It would be nice, one day, to hear a Cardinal or somesuch say "Yes, that's a bit off isn't it?". Not holding my breath.

  5. Geoff, are we co-religionists? I mean, bambam ..two Jew posts! Atah medaber 'ivrit? Clarissa x

  6. And talking of Blair - Cherie is lined up for programme 8.
    No doubt she'll tell us that Tone is a Catholic now so that he can confess his sins to the priest and clear his conscience for ever.

  7. It's all relative. Even John Major looks positively statesmanlike now.

  8. Billy - Why on earth did they choose her?

    Vicus - To be fair to George he was being translated. It took me bloody ages to find that passage in the Bible. I kept falling asleep.

    Tim - When he did a Melvyn Bragg with his hair I spat at the screen. But now I've just got used to him. He's like a rich, Tory uncle.

    Arabella - They're not good on the details.

    Mrs P - If I were religious I would definitely be a Jew. On Mondays. On Tuesdays I would be a Muslim, on Wednesdays a Hindu...

    Kaz - I hope she donates her fee to good causes. It wouldn't be the done thing to profit from your faith, would it?

    Murph - Yes, but I bet his Book Of John is even more boring!

  9. Does he torture him with the soft cushions?
    I know that his chief weapon is the element of surprise.

  10. It was very atute of you to notice that he had an excellent Timepiece.

    Traditionalists suggests that the same John wrote Revelations in 90 (just 90) after being being tortured and exiled to Patmos...
    since most first century people barely made it to their 40s, it would have been another miracle...

    but not as big as the one that Dan Brown discovered when he revealed that in Da Vinci's painting of the Lost Supper, John was obviously quite ghey and eventually transgendered into Mary Magdalene..

    who is seen leneing the wrong way so they must have been having a tiff when the original photo was taken...
    which also led to the tilt in Da Vinci's leneing Tower Of Pizza prominantly displayed in the background of the Moaning Of Lisa.

    and now we're all going to hell.

  11. John, I'm only dancing!

  12. Context, context, context. Depends on how each sect interprets those words. Howard fails to mention how these words come across if you're infused with the Holy Spirit.
    With this programme I was hoping for a spiritual insight into Jesus's teachings and I was disappointed. Perhaps this episode should've been titled "Another history of Anti-Semitism".

  13. Anne Widdecombe's task is to give us insight.

    God help us.