05 August 2010
Oh donkey-biscuits - it appears I have gone and adopted a rhetorical position that *everybody* disagrees with! Ian, whose incisive secular biblical scholarship I greatly admire, Graham, whose level-headed bonhomie and good sense I enormously respect, Peter, whose witty and apposite gags make me chuckle, and Ric, whose friendship over the last 36 years (Yikes! That long??) I value dearly - all surround my little donkey with their good-natured laser-blasters, and are softly popping away at the beleaguered (?sp) beast.
Yet, as if it were clad in impenetrable composite kevlar-mithril body armour, the plucky creature remains unscathed!
So let's try another approach (fear not, team, I shall continue to comment on the other threads - you don't get away that easily!) - how *should* one go about writing a gospel? I mean, suppose you are some Judeo-Hellenic proto-Christian punter from, say, Antioch; you've never been to the Land of Israel yourself, and you're surrounded by other punters of a similar mindset, and you would love to make the best pitch possible for this Messiah chappie, whose legendary deeds are somewhat shrouded in mystery. Yet the efforts you have seen so far have been a tad lacklustre...
I offer the following tips:
1. First, get your THEOLOGY straight. History be scuppered - this is a GOSPEL, the TRUTH - not what actually *happened*.
2. Bring to mind some old prophet quotes from your dim and distant elementary instruction. Doesn't matter where you get them - anywhere will do. Remember you will have to use these to show that whatever you make up later will be "fulfilled according to the prophecy".
3. Get your sources lined up - anything you can find. Doesn't matter whether it is authentic; if it sounds cool, that's great. Don't worry about provenance, or even if it relates to someone else - in a few millennia people will make up lame excuses and rationalisations for you.
4. String all that stuff together; make sure your narrative has some flow, some drive, some momentum. You're telling a *story*, remember! Not history. Make sure you do not cite your sources. It won't matter - for centuries people will assume/claim that you were an eye-witness. Plagiarise away.
5. Now go back over it, and look for the mundane. See if you can tart that up any. Only one donkey? Add another - fits the prophecy better (you think). A chap at the tomb? Make him an angel. Add earthquakes and zombies and visions and appearances. Your Messiah not forthright enough about his divinity? Sex it up, baby!
6. End on a high.
There ya go! It's a wrap.
Posted by Shane at 20:47