Jesus Says David Barton Doesn’t Speak for Him: An Exclusive Interview

I had the opportunity to interview Jesus the other day and to ask him about some of the un-Christian aspects of fundamentalist Christianity. I hope you will enjoy our conversation. I appreciated him taking time to talk to a Gentile about some of the more egregious misdeeds of the fundamentalist members of the religion which bears his name.

Me: So Jesus, what do you think about Christianity 2000 years later?

Jesus: Yeshua, please.

Me: Alright, Yeshua…

Jesus: I don’t know if I’m qualified to talk about it, really. I mean, I’m a Jew. Look, I told my disciples not to go among the Gentiles: Don’t throw pearls before swine, I said. Do not give to dogs what is holy. No offense.

Me: None taken.

Jesus: Could I be any clearer than that? But did they listen?

Me: So you don’t approve of Christianity?

Jesus: It’s not for me to approve or disapprove. It’s not my religion. You have to understand that Christianity is not a religion I had anything to do with. Jew, Jew, Jew – can I be any clearer about that? It’s a religion about me, which isn’t the same thing. I’m wondering if I should sue over them using my name, or get a cease and desist. That’s worked for rock stars, right?

Me: Of course, fundamentalist Christians seem more focused on the Old Testament. They hardly ever mention your name.

Jesus: True that!

Me: You never see them so much as mention your Sermon on the Mount, let alone a single one of your Beatitudes.

Jesus: Beati-what? Oh, that’s a Latin thing isn’t it? (Jesus shook a fist at me and smiled) Some of my best work, but I can’t take too much credit for it. As your Bible stands today you can find some of the same things I said there in Isaiah and I hear they’re in what you’re calling the Dead Sea Scrolls as well. It’s all about piety.

Me: What do you think about David Barton and people like him who try to use Scripture to advance their own agenda?

Jesus: I’ve been hearing a lot about this guy. Has he even read the Bible? Heard of it, maybe? Speaking of which, I have to point out to you that I hadn’t read the Bible myself until this morning – we didn’t have a Bible back when.

Me: Not even an Old Testament?

Jesus: You mean the Hebrew Bible, right? No, the Hebrew Bible – except the Torah of course – wasn’t put together until the same era in which Christians were putting together their New Testament, long after me, long after the Temple, long after my Jewishness was even a memory….

Me: But getting back to Barton….

Jesus:  Give me the quote again. It’s like white noise when I listen to him, or maybe all those voices I was hearing in the wilderness.

Me: This is what he had to say: “I was really struck with a passage that Jesus has in Matthew 12. Matthew 12 he talks about how an unclean spirit had gone out of a man and in verse 43 it says it goes through dry places seeking rest and finds none, verse 44, then he says, ‘The unclean spirit says, ‘I will return to the house from which I came.’ When he comes, he finds it empty, swept and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself.’ I thought, that’s that principle, if you don’t fill it with good stuff, bad stuff is going to find its way in and it will be a lot worse. So we had it filled with kind of a God-fearing system and then we made it a secular system, so now we made it seven times worse by saying, let’s take Sharia law, not only do we not want biblical stuff we don’t even want secular stuff, we want seven times worse than secular. The vacuum is going to get filled with something, and if we’re going to refuse to have some Judeo-Christian principles in there on which the founders built everything and that’s what they had as the undergirding , if we’re not going to do that, then what are we going to fill it with? Right now it appears that it is going to be Sharia.”

Jesus: Oh Son of Man! Look, I was trying to draw attention to this – or rather my – evil generation. And that’s the key here: that generation was supposed to be the last dominated by Satan. I mean, Barton may not have noticed this but I was preaching the imminent return of the Kingdom of God. I don’t know what went wrong there. I was so sure… Anyway, it seems silly to quote me about something I said 2000 years ago about a situation that existed 2000 years ago without mentioning that I was wrong. I mean, that’s a relevant fact, isn’t it?

Me: Is that your mea culpa?

Jesus: Look, I don’t like to use Latin. I’m sure you can understand, right? I mean, it brings back memories. (Here Jesus rubbed his wrists meaningfully).

Me: My bad.

Jesus: Hey, that’s funny! Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that you can’t pick and choose which facts you want and just discard the stuff that’s inconvenient. And what’s the deal with Sharia law anyway? I’ve read it and it looks about the same as the Law of Moses to me and I should be an expert right? And maybe Barton is just picking and choosing his facts again but in Israel as in the rest of the ancient world, there was no difference between “secular” or “profane” and “sacred” or as Barton says, “god-fearing” – it was not a distinction we made. Barton is misrepresenting historical facts – well, what’s new, right?

All I’m saying is this: if you want to know what I was talking about 2000 years ago, you can’t use modern concepts to understand me. You have to put my words in their proper context, as a Galilean Jew living in the first century and not as a Gentile – a fundamentalist Christian – living in 2012.

Here’s the deal: the first stories about me were in Aramaic, whether oral or written. People today don’t speak Aramaic. The first Gentile stories about me were written in Greek. They don’t speak Greek either. So how are they supposed to understand what I was trying to say? To be perfectly honest, we don’t have much in common and I have even less in common with people like David Barton, who exploit my words for personal gain.

Me: So you don’t think much of David Barton.

Jesus: He’s not a Jew so he’s not my problem, right?

Me: But he is, sorta, isn’t he? I mean he misrepresents you.

Jesus: Well he’s hardly alone in that! Okay, look, I’d answer with a parable but it’s clear the 21st century mind doesn’t understand parables so I’ll put it is plainly as I can: This guy stands against everything I preached in my Sermon on the Mount. I invite people to read what I said and to put it into its proper first century Jewish – and I can’t stress that enough – Jewish – context. Take the 21st century out of it, take later Gentile influences out of it, and definitely take David Barton out of it.

Me: Any final thoughts?

Jesus:  Yes. Last of all, there were no fundamentalist Christians or Evangelicals the year I was crucified. There weren’t any after I was crucified. There was no Bible to be taken as the “inerrant” word of God, and I didn’t give anyone permission to disregard any part of the Law of Moses like these fundamentalists do – but of course, they’re not Jews, are they? They’re Gentiles and you remember what I said about the Gentiles.

I will tell you what I told them: that it’s easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one iota of the law to become void. They’re sinners and Gentiles, their piety is a pretense, and if I can be excused for quoting a Roman, I wash my hands of them!

11 Replies to “Jesus Says David Barton Doesn’t Speak for Him: An Exclusive Interview”

  1. Great interview!

    I totally agree that Christianity was not what Jesus preached. We get stuck with Paul and his religion as well as the pickups from Egypt

    Christians are living on a borrowed religion and have rewritten it to be their own

  2. Evil can’t stand to be laughed at and now you’ve really pissed off the “evil” ones by taking on the world renowned scholar, Baaaaaarton. Encore!

    Very nice job, Hraf…I see you finally decided to loosen your, your, what, Pagan necktie and do let your inner “schtick” flow like the rest of us spiritual hacks…very funny stuff.

    “…I love you, really. With all due respect, you’re a beautiful person. You’re a credit to your species…and – and – and – I just want to say, from the bottom of my heart, I mean this sincerely, I say this with all due respect, you’re a wonderful, and you are part of a fantastic group of people, I love you…”

    Sidney “Splendini” Waterman”, aka Woody Allan

  3. I feel like Flounder: “Oh boy, is this great!”

    So while I hate to add a “me, too!” that contributes nothing further to the conversation… yeah, what Shiva and SinghX said.

  4. That’s the Jesus I studied and taught in ministry school. It is also why Christianity is as much a farce now as it was non-existent then.

  5. I ordered a new Copy of “Jesus and the Riddle of the Dead Sea Scrolls by Barbara Thiering. Not pushing the book, but some interesting reading. Kind of goes into the political times in which Jesus lived, with the Romans, and all the other prophets, priests, and kings.
    Hrafs got it right in the interview. No notes were taken about the Sermon, but a lot of Jewish Law, History, information about influential people of the Jewish Faith and ritual were documented in the Dead Sea Scrolls
    Jesus was navigating a political mine field. If he said anything out of line to any one of a hundred political or religious groups, the solutions were between pure homicide to crucifixion.
    The issues Jesus was talking about or dealing with then were completely different than what is happening today, but quoting the Bible out of context is a basic tenet of the Right Wing.
    In the opening to “John Browns Body” a sea captain on a slave ship uses the Bible to show where it is the Christen thing to do to bring these slaves to our shores. Talk about using the Bible as a moral teaching guide!!
    Another very important factor to keep in mind is this:
    What was said then, the language used, and the interpretations of that language is still being debated today. The problem that is faced about what was said then and what it means today is difficult to decipher, because languages changes over the centuries. The word “cool” has several different meanings today then it did a few hundred or thousand years ago.
    Because of this time difference, it is very important to understand when the documents being used to include in the Bible were written. The documents may mean completely different things depending on the century they were written in, and that “interpretation” debate continues today, among “intelligent” scholars who “listen”.
    The far right is; My way…or DIE”, and that is not the way it was then…or should be now!!!

  6. Hraf, my friend…you have outdone yourself!! This was clever and very well done. I will forward this to those who I know will make certain that Barton himself sees this and as we know, he has a temper…so expect some cowardly distant reaction.

  7. Lots of food for thought here. I’d love to see you expand on this and point out all of the “Biblical” Christian traditions (virgin birth, resurrection, etc.) were taken from earlier religions.

    And what’s up with that group of “Christian scholars” who are working on yet another rewrite of the Bible to take out (their words) ‘the liberal influences”?

    My prayer continues to be “Dear Jesus, protect me from Your followers.”

  8. Well, the next time you interview your buddy, Jesus, ask him what he thinks of the last paragraph of the christian known as Steven Andrews…

    “SAN JOSE, Calif., March 29, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ — Does God want Americans to vote for a specific presidential candidate? Pastor Steven Andrew believes so. He says, “Rick Santorum is from God and will win with Christians and Catholics uniting for Santorum.”

    He understands some prefer Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich, but believes they can’t be nominated. He says, “Only one Christian is left for President — Santorum.”

    Pastor Steven Andrew is president of USA Christian Ministries and author of “Making A Strong Christian Nation.”

    To back his claim he quotes Exodus 18:21, “Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers…” He explains Santorum best fulfills Exodus 18:21 because Santorum includes God in the USA, as our Founding Fathers also say to do.

    He continues, “Mitt Romney is a Mormon and Barak Obama is a Muslim or something else-but definitely not a Christian. Romney believes in another Jesus, not the Biblical Jesus.”

    “Romney’s Jesus is a created being, the spirit brother of Lucifer. Romney thinks he will become a God. Christians consider this evil. Jesus is the second Person of the Godhead — God eternal,”
    the author says. “Romney is in a cult. Americans don’t want someone deceived in the White House. God would be angry with Americans for voting for non-Christians (2Chronicles 19:2).”

    Jesus says in Matthew 7 by their fruit you will know false prophets. “When you look at Obama’s fruit of violating Christians’ conscience with abortion and the other non-Christian things in Obamacare like ‘death panels, fines and jail,’ and that Obama also promotes homosexual sin and advocates to leave living babies to die who survive botched abortions, Jesus warns ‘turn away from Obama,'” he adds.

    “Santorum loves God. Romney and Obama don’t love God because they don’t obey Jesus (John 14:21). Santorum is a Catholic and I am a Christian. There may be some differences, but we have the same God. However, that isn’t true with Romney and Obama. Their gods are demons, so they would lead Americans astray,” he says.

    “Every pastor should teach Christians to vote for the most God-fearing person instead of non-Christians. That’s Bible 101 (Psalm 1),” he says.”

  9. Hrafnkel, you make my day everyday with thesewonderfulk thought provocating blogs.
    Like I said before you are the best on unbaised writing.
    May the Lord bless you

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