We pick up in the gospel of John. These notes (the ones at the beginning at least) were recorded on Newtonmass Eve.
This is where the Jewish soldiers are the ones who arrest and attack Jesus in Gethsemene, instead of the version where it's the Romans that do this. It's interesting that Mel Gibson picked this version rather than the other for the Passion of the Christ.
When Jesus is being confronted by Pilate, he goes to a great deal of trouble to talk like a lawyer or a politician, going to a great deal of trouble not to really answer any of the questions put to him. When I grew up, Pilate was portrayed as a bad guy, but in the actual story, he seems to be doing everything he could not to put Jesus to death. He was looking for any excuse at all, but Jesus seemed to determined not to oblige him. Given the story here, it's hard to see how Pilate could be considered the bad guy. It just seems like you would be better off blaming it on the mob and the followers of the chief priest... not the Jews in broad strokes, but just this particular Jew in an effort to preserve his own power.
The detail about not breaking his legs. Not like he was fulfilling a prophecy, but that it was something easily adjusted in the story after the fact. They broke the legs of the other two guys. And decades after Jesus was dead and buried, how could you prove it?
How is it that the disciples would be able to participate in passover when they had just touched a dead body. Isn't that why women were responsible for the dead, because it would make them unclean?
Before Jesus is resurrected, he's appearing to the disciples and Mary... is he some kind of ghost? He hasn't ascended to heaven yet. What's the deal with the three days then?
Doubting Thomas story. Jesus is encouraging credulousness.
What does Jesus see in Simon Peter?
In Acts, Judas died with all his guts spilled on the field, but not that he had hung himself.
All the listeners speak different languages, they hear the apostles speak in their native languages. That's not what speaking in tongues means today. It's gibberish. If someone could really speak so that anyone of any language could understand, like the Doctor with the TARDIS, that would be pretty damn impressive. Doesn't happen, though.
What do they mean they can't be drunk by 9 a.m.?
This glorification of unlearnedness and ignorance is quite disturbing.
How can it be a good thing for one of the apostles that he threatened a woman with something so horrible that he died right there at his feet? Whatever it is that he says is beside the point. Is that really a good thing?
If it's good it will last and if it's bad it will go away... early notion of marketplace of ideas.
Did you notice that one of the first acts of the apostles after the death of Jesus was to cast lots to determine who would be appointed to their number to replace Judas? A very common practice in the Greek world, and they think god has a hand in it... but is casting lots really the best way to choose the best person? To modern ears, this is just crazy.
That makes it sound weird looking at the brother of Joseph thinking of the twelve patriarchs as selfish, bratty kids. Very strange.
Rather than making Phillip disappear, why not just restore the eunuch to wholeness? That would have been impressive. The disciples are wandering around performing miracles and acquire a following, but wasn't it Jesus who insisted that the blessed are those that believe without evidence? What's this with supplying all this evidence? Where is the evidence now?
So first gentile that became a Christian was Cornelius, and he brought a whole bunch of people together to cut off the tips of their penises. Imagine sending out that invitation.
You know easy it would have been for a clever man to fool so many stupid, superstitious people in those days? And you say, it's from god, god told me to do it, and they all say, oh, okay, whatever. Imagine Obama doing that about gays in the military?
Simon Peter says you don't have to be circumcised to be saved. So why is it that so many people in America do this, but not in Europe.... fundamentalist streak in American Protestantism?
Converting gentiles is a neat trick. All the prophecies were from the old testament, the torah, and the jews were more skeptical because they knew the prophecies better, but the gentiles didn't, and seemed more likely to just accept that what they were told about Jesus fulfilling prophecies was true. Interesting marketing strategy.
A follower of Jesus telling other people they were too superstitious? That's funny.
All the men were about 12? Does that mean the mean were 12 years old or there were 12 men?
Oh, and look, encouraging the burning of books. There's that anti-intellectualism streak again.
The translation of "hour" is a bad one.
The way they treat Roman citizens vs. others is always interesting.
I've got some more notes to post, but I am going to pause here for the moment.