Real Live Preacher Dramatized Bible Stories
November 13, 2005 11:05 AM   Subscribe

A Real Live Preacher takes stories from the Bible, originally just a few scant sentences long, and fleshes them out to several paragraphs, adding more context and fleshing out some of the characters. Read about Jesus meeting with the smallest person in the world, and a devoted rich woman. Interesting even for those who, like me, stand outside of the Christian tradition.
posted by CrunchyFrog (18 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
So basically, he take a few lines from the bible and makes things up out of thin air roughly based on them.

Sounds familiar.
posted by borkingchikapa at 11:07 AM on November 13, 2005

(interesting nonetheless, I should add)
posted by borkingchikapa at 11:08 AM on November 13, 2005

Some people get really offended by people who "add things" to the Bible, and I guess I can understand that sentiment. There is certainly a risk that stories like these might be perceived as gospel by someone who did not know the original stories as told in the Bible. Sort of like why a lot of Christians got up in arms over the half-truths and outright fabrications in The Da Vinci Code. For me, though, it was just a good piece of fiction. Same with these stories.

If you have any curiosity at all about the stories in the Bible, you've got to be wondering about the backstory on the characters anyway. These were pretty well written, and offered some interesting insight.
posted by JParker at 12:07 PM on November 13, 2005

If you'll pardon a (relevant) self-link: Amen.

Long overdue. Too many clergy approach the Bible like bad chefs, who grasp handles at arm's length as if they're intimidated by their food.
posted by cribcage at 12:29 PM on November 13, 2005

I remember him back when he used to have a Salon blog. Nice guy. I emailed him a couple of times about bloggy things and he was always friendly and helpful. His takes on homosexuality (for what's really only a couple of lines in paul you're going to Hate God's Children? STFU!) and Fundamentalism were refreshing and he does tell a good yarn. I think I once asked him to take my confession via email, but then I sobered up.
posted by Sparx at 12:30 PM on November 13, 2005

Sort of like why a lot of Christians got up in arms over the half-truths and outright fabrications in The Da Vinci Code.

Yes, because the bible is a truthful account of actual historical facts.
posted by c13 at 12:54 PM on November 13, 2005

Bible fanfiction?
posted by clevershark at 1:14 PM on November 13, 2005

These are really good! Thank you, CrunchyFrog!

(These look especially good when you think about how badly these sorts of things are usually butchered)
posted by AaronRaphael at 1:29 PM on November 13, 2005

Still trying to get through Tolstoy's Gospel in Brief. I like the idea of a translation as some sort of philosophical / transcendentalist text. Haven't had the time or energy to get through the short book yet, but man, you gotta love Tolstoy. For some perverse and heretical reason I also quite enjoyed Master and Margarita, and The Last Temptation by Kazantzakis.
posted by prettyboyfloyd at 1:42 PM on November 13, 2005

This is interesting this should come up right now, because I'm reading a really good book called Misquoting Jesus by Bart Ehrman. He's spent his life trying to answer what started as a personal question (he's a former "literalist," as he calls it): If the Bible is the revealed word of God, then did God really say it? He then went on to base his academic and theologic career on that question, teaching himself (impressive) Latin, Greek and Hebrew (and for all I know, Aramaic) along the way.

Good read, in that he intersperses what could be dry intellectual stuff about Latin, Greek, Hebrew, etc., translations of the Bible, and so on, with his own personal religious changes. He sounds like a very thoughtful type with whom one could have a really good conversation. Very well written, and a book I've been recommending to a lot of people. I suspect he would applaud RLP since one of Ehrman's points is that the Bible should be regarded as a human book, written by humans, trying to express human morality and codes of ethics--therefore a flawed book, one open to interpretation. Not as a literal thing in and of itself straight from the lips of the Lord.

(I also bought it with the naughty idea to shoot down some of the fundies who accost me, especially when I'm in the hospital. Telling the nurse I don't want a visit from any clergy brings 'em out in droves.)
posted by MiHail at 2:24 PM on November 13, 2005

Oh, snap! Jesus really gets a low blow from that smallest woman. Damn!

I like his writing style, and I'll have to take a closer look at the rest of his site later when I get the chance.
posted by graventy at 2:46 PM on November 13, 2005

Yeah, that smallest woman was kicking ass and taking names - and she had 'Jesus' underlined in red freaking sharpie!

You go girl!

(Seriously though, I got a bit misty reading that one. God damn the preacher man)
posted by Sparx at 3:24 PM on November 13, 2005

"I remember something that Jesus said. It was back in Galilee, by the sea. He said that he would never sacrifice even one small person on the high altar of principle."
posted by S.C. at 3:31 PM on November 13, 2005

I also like the references to those sections of the Bible from which the RLP got his inspiration...

And THIS is the kind of "Bible teaching" I like. Preserve the moral or idea of the text, but make the backstory interesting even if fictionalized.

I got misty too, sparx.
posted by MiHail at 3:55 PM on November 13, 2005

Any hot sex scenes between the J-man and Maria Magdalene?


Not interested.
posted by spazzm at 5:41 PM on November 13, 2005

Nice post. I think there's something to be said for the literal word of God, but there's not any translation out there that's perfect anyway :-) I like stuff like this for taking a message and making it accessible and more relevant to everyday situations.
posted by Happydaz at 6:36 PM on November 13, 2005

"I been there," he said, pulling a rope tight around a bag. He looked up and showed no emotion at all. "I've been there a FEW times."

Jesus took a drag on his Pall Mall, letting the ash grow and the cherry tickle at his fingers before mashing it out beneath his sandals. "They've got good accommodations." Jesus threw his bag into the back of the Camaro, snapped on his ever-present shades and croaked "lets roll."
posted by Ogre Lawless at 2:12 PM on November 14, 2005

MiHail: And THIS is the kind of "Bible teaching" I like. Preserve the moral or idea of the text, but make the backstory interesting even if fictionalized.

Making up a fictional story to illustrate a principle. Sorta like a parable? Hmm. Sounds familiar... I know one guy who taught that way a lot.

(That said, some of his interpretations of Christ's attitudes and thoughts are very markedly off my own. F'rinstance: there's at least one occasion documented in the Bible where Jesus as a very young boy teaches all the old rabbis a thing or two, so the bit at the beginning of The Smallest Woman where the rabbi is teaching Jesus, well... doesn't sit right with me.

(But hey, the idea is cool.)
posted by Fontbone at 8:26 PM on November 15, 2005

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