Hang on Jesus you’re talking too fast



Almost every “domestic” we have had over more than three decades centres on “I said you said”. That age-old playing-back of the clearly remembered “transcript” of words actually said.

Except my memory is never Mrs Paul’s memory – which results in (either the thought or the saying): “I wish we could record these conversations – then you would see I never said it that way!”

Said it that way.

Now large crowds were travelling with him; and he turned and said to them, ‘Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it will begin to ridicule him, saying, “This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.” Or what king, going out to wage war against another king, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one who comes against him with twenty thousand? If he cannot, then, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for the terms of peace. So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions.” Luke 14:25-33

Hate … hate … hate … hate … pain and suffering … gives up everything …

Hate to say it (!) but this one just makes my blood boil.  Hate is a very strong word.  Hate is an emotion greater than logic.  Like love, hate spills out and consumes.  But hate consumes to destroy rather than grow.  Hate pulls down rather than builds-up.  Hate is not something I have ever taught as the way forwards to anyone.

“I hate you.”  Now my son, that’s the way to express yourself! Just keep repeating it to all those who love you and you – and they – will come to believe it is true.  Now THAT is the way to heaven!  The bible says so!

And rather than go back to the “source” of Greek (or even Hebrew) – my take is that these biblical scholars inspired by God thought that word the right word to use: hate.  And if it’s good enough for them down the ages – then it is relevant to me today.

But if the person – I have shared my life with for 35 years – and I can STILL say stuff neither of us think was said seconds after “the saying” … I think we are allowed some latitude with the bible as well.

Luke was writing words CRAFTED to teach and convince … in a time and place where life was cheap … where there was no google or social media … where face-face conversations and remembered memories was communicating.  And their memories of remembered words might have been far superior to mine … their “domestics” might not have revolved around “I said you said” … But I doubt it.  We hear what we want to hear mostly.  It’s how we were designed.

So I speculate that these words were either an extreme to make a point – or Luke crafting his own extreme to make a point – or both.

Or neither …

“Hang on Jesus you’re talking too fast … what’s that last bit … ?  Sod it he’s not even listening to me!

Hey you – what was that last bit he said?  No not that bit – the bit after that … the “whoever comes to me” bit … what did he say just after that … ?

Love … LOVE … ?!?

No that can’t be right – that’s old hat that is.  Anyway didn’t sound like “love” to me – more like “date” – but that makes no sense – how can you “date” your mum and dad – that’s just plain wrong!  Anyone got any ideas …?

Date mate … date night …

Stop saying “date” it’s got us all hung up on “dating” our mum and dad and that’s not right at all!  Whoa … hang an a mo … !  If date is so wrong … what about “hate to date” … ?  That makes more sense … nice alliteration as well … reinforcement of good moral behaviour … Yep that fits!  Now let me write that down … “hate … “ Awww crap!  I’m right out of ink!  Anyone help me out here … anyone … ?  No ….

Okay – no problemo, I’ll make a mental note to fix that bit when I get home.”




11 thoughts on “Hang on Jesus you’re talking too fast

  1. I know exactly what you mean when it comes to recalling words uttered, and we are talking about normal conversation – maybe about planting veggies or something equally as trivial.
    ”But you said in pots!”
    ”I said not in pots.”

    With your biblical reference there are several issues here, not least that the author of Luke is anonymous and was not an eyewitness.
    These two points cannot be stressed enough.

    Once this is recognised one has to tread very carefully, not least because the ever growing scholarly view concerning what can be attributed to have come from the mouth of the character Jesus is such a small percentage of the text that it could easily be ventured that there is not a single genuine piece of dialogue.
    And this is of course while extending believers the courtesy that the character Jesus of Nazareth existed at all.
    Then there is the other problem of dealing with the strict fundamentalists and biblical literalists.

    So I speculate that these words were either an extreme to make a point – or Luke crafting his own extreme to make a point – or both.

    To quote Life of Brian: ”He’s making it up as he goes along!”

    And bearing in mind how much the bible has been used as a reason for justification of innumerable nefarious and revolting acts, and is still used, maybe it’s time to reconsider the bible’s worth?


    • Ark, thank you for a full comment.

      I find myself having to tread less and less carefully with the bible. And that is liberating. It also means not having to chuck out the baby AND the bathwater. Because there is a fund of wisdom in the bible that – more and more – I find invites me to see not “scholarly views”, nor to have to prove the fact (or otherwise) of the “historicity” (I think you call it), nor to even identify what the “single genuine piece of dialogue” is (or isn’t). Which means that all that remains is freedom: the freedom to love or the freedom to hate – the freedom NOT to be bound by “is it or isn’t it” – no scholarly input required at all.

      Which means the bible is fun, is filled with nuggets to be digested, and which resonates more and more between those of differing beliefs (because so many are not “strict fundamentalists and biblical literalists”). And once freed from all the scholarly and “literalist” stuff – there is no “justification of innumerable nefarious and revolting acts”.

      Which means reconsidering the bible’s worth is already happening and is a useful – and fun – exercise!

      I invite you to try it!! 🙂


      • Which means the bible is fun,

        One could very likely find such nuggets in a myriad of other literature that does not have the same vile undertones,which the bible is replete.
        The gospels are also antisemitic, and in ”John’s ” case virulently so.

        That you defend this nonsense to the point of hand waving away as if you are reading a feel good self help book strongly suggests willful ignorance or some sort of minor delusion.

        ”Fess up, worship Jesus or go to hell” which, in a nutshell, is its primary function (used by Christians).


        • Ark, if you look for hate you will find it. I cannot convince you to do anything else, nor do you seem to want to. My one thought is this – you spend countless hours debating the historicity, the absence of evidence, the foolhardiness of believing anything in the bible is “real” – and yet you argue in the same breath that it is all those things: real, evidence, etc. as your own justification for labelling anyone not agreeing with you as vile (or in this case “willful ignorance or some sort of minor delusion.”)

          Your choices are yours alone. The bible is not the reason for your beliefs – you are. And just as I can and have freed myself from the need to look for hate, you can as well.

          The reason I barred you from commenting is that you are a fundamentalist of disbelief. Except that opposite sides of the same coin do not make it a different/better coin. It remains “a coin”.

          So please converse, but – as always – revert to abuse and emotive bad-mouthing … and the bar returns. You choice as always.


          • The point you miss -or choose to – is that believers accept is as real (in varying degrees) and preachers and the church are worse, promoting it as the only way for humankind.

            Are you saying that the gospel of John, for example is not antisemitic?
            And if not, than, a straightforward answer backed up with your reasons and evidence i would be appreciated.


            • And here comes the baby AND the bathwater! 🙂

              Did you ever watch Benny Hill … Les Dawson … all those comics who were top of the bill when we were young but would no longer be allowed air-time with that material? You are aware of slavery and apartheid and bigotry and “isms” rampant still today?

              The bible written 2000+ years ago is riddled with its own time and culture just as you and I are today. So I repeat: if you choose to find hate, you will find hate in anything and everyone. And the same is true of love.

              I am not missing any point. I am choosing to look for love.


            • I used to love a good verse-off, a killer proof-verse. But all they do is the opposite of what all these 31,273 verses in their entirety invite: look for love.

              So I no longer “verse-off”.

              It is like looking at one flake of dandruff on your shoulder and judging the whole “Ark”. You will find in the bible whatever you look for.

              It is a point you make over and over again with those who defend the bible as factual and true. It is a tactic the fundamentals (the other side of the coin as you) continue to use. It is a practice encouraged by the church: list the ten best verses for this or that or the other.

              So I don’t know what that verse says and have no interest in examining your dandruff either.


            • EDITED:
              Ark, as already stated when you revert to personal insult and emotive bad-mouthing – you are barred (again). Your last comment did so is not approved.
              This is to let you know.


  2. That you ban my comment is of no real consequence, as few people will read our dialogue in any case.
    But you read it and that is really the most important thing.

    Personal insult?
    Crumbs, kids are getting raped right, left and centre by the clergy and you get pissed off because I label you a hypocrite?

    I wonder how confident you would be leaving one of your grand kids in the ”care” of a priest, a servant of the biblical god you deem so benevolent?

    The bible does not support your claim of a loving deity in any shape or form.
    Even if you were able to distill some sense of love from the text that still leaves a mountain of horror you simply cannot justify, explain or hand wave without conning across as a hypocrite.

    But as always, that’s freedom of choice for you, right?
    And the most important freedom is the freedom to take responsibility for such choices.
    You throw your hat in the ring with the bible, then this is one fight where the gloves come off.
    Expect it to be a bruiser! And I guarantee, you are going to come out of it bloodied.


    • This is the last one Ark.

      I will repeat what I said earlier: you WILL find what you look for in this. But I have also found that if I look for love and find none, it usually means I have no love in me for whatever or whoever I am looking at. That you continue to see such depths of depravity in me for no other reason than your own personal belief structure would suggest the “find what you look for” also applies to you.

      That this topic pains you so much at a personal level saddens me. That you cannot move on from it puzzles me. That you need to tar all who disagree with you so poisonously is just not right.

      You tell me the bible is fiction. So then this “mountain of horror” you paint is your creation. This “leaving one of your grandkids” with a priest is a silly “example” which is naive in the extreme. And this “gloves come off” has no relevance other than to your preference to brawl using words instead of fists.

      I have learned to avoid those in the church who are so bigoted they have no humanity other than for those who “believe” as they do. You are the same as them.

      And I am confident saying that because of your wonderful pictures and anecdotes, your pride in your daughter’s cakes, your musical quirks, your background growing up in the UK … all THAT is you as well.

      So I choose not to suffer this angry side of you – because I enjoy that loving side of you much more.

      It’s a choice thing – just like seeing different shades and shadows in the bible.


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