Luther and James Remixed


So today I finished listening to the New Testament minus Acts, Hebrews, and Revelation. One thing that I found interesting was that, in general, I like the New Testament less and less as it gets closer to the end. I also really enjoyed listening to the Book of James today. Immediately, I began thinking about why Luther wanted it removed from the cannon. This got me thinking. If I could only choose one book from the Bible, which one would I like to take out of the Bible? Here’s my top three choices:

1) 1 Timothy (misogyny)
2) Gospel of John (Gnosticism, spiritualism, pseudo-history)
3) Revelation (fundamentalists)

What would be your top choice of books you’d like to be seen removed from the Bible?


7 Responses to “Luther and James Remixed”

  1. A.J. Smith Says:

    One of the things I disliked about Protestantism is that they removed the apocrypha/deuterocanonical texts from the Bible. But, I’ll give this exercise a shot anyway (no, my reasons aren’t very good):

    – Revelation (because the thing is so damn hard to understand and because there would be no more Tim Lahaye books to pollute our libraries, certainly a plus)

    – John (just to get rid of the endless John 3:16 Christmas tree ornaments. I hate them.)

    – Jude (because, well, I don’t remember what the book was about off the top of my head so it can’t be very important)

  2. Jeremy Says:

    Haha, I just listened to Jude, and I still have no idea what it’s about. Interesting you’d mention the apocrypha because Jude actually cites the pseudepigraphal book of Enoch. I believe this is the only example in the entire Protestant cannon.

  3. Dave Mesing Says:

    This game would be more fun if we got to throw in books for those we replaced, but I don’t know enough to say more about that.

    1 Thessalonians – probably would do more to get rid of rapture-theology than axing Revelation

    Jude – yeah.

    2 Corinthians – like the Matrix sequels, it doesn’t live up to the original.

  4. Jeremy Says:

    1 Thessalonians is a good call, although it is invaluable in the sense that it’s the earliest of Paul’s letter and gives us a glimpse of the apocalyptic expectation that pervaded the early church. As Agamben argues, Paul and the early church tried to understand how to live in the time that remains.

    Ok, If I discard 1 Timothy then I’d throw in Breakfast of Champions by Vonnegut because the Greek Bible is way less humorous than the Hebrew Bible. I mean seriously, is there anything funnier than Job or Ecclesiastes? I sometimes think of Ecclesiastes as being a forerunner to My Super Sweet 16 on MTV. Solomon just bitches and moans about how much of a badass he is, and that how life’s still a bitch. In fact, I’ll let Nas have the last word, “Life’s a bitch and then you die that’s why we get high cuz you never know when you gonna go” (is this not the perfect parallel to Solomon’s “Eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we will die”)

  5. Dave Mesing Says:

    I need to read more Vonnegut.

    As far as 1 Thess, that’s a good point. Given that the methodology of rapture-theology is just to take some vague verse and apply it willy-nilly, they’d probably find some other bullshit to use.

  6. A.J. Smith Says:

    But what to replace these books with? I think we could be much better served by a four volume Systematic Theology written by Jesus himself.

    Think of the possibilities. The volume on creation could have prefatory remarks by Adam, for example, while the volume on ethics could have an introduction by Moses.

  7. Jeremy Says:

    The only problem with letting Moses write an introduction on ethics is that he killed a dude. We could let Noah write a book on sexuality save for the fact that the he’s an exhibitionist. David could follow that up talking about marriage except he’s an adulterer. Lot could then chime in on the family even though he technically offered his daughters to be gang-raped by a group of violent men, and then topped it off by actually impregnating them.

    In fact, this is one of the reasons I don’t like Islam as much. All of the major and minor prophets (which includes Lot) are considered to never have committed any serious sin after receiving a revelation from God (so technically Moses would be absolved bc he killed the Egyptian before he talked to God in the burning bush).

    I’m worried that if Jesus was asked to write a Systematic Theology he’s probably decline and want to go out and heal and feed people instead. Typical Jesus for you.

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