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(I want to read the Bible and be sure I’m reading what’s there, not what I was taught is there. Therefore I am reading it backwards, stopping at each verse, and drawing a picture of what I think the verse is about. Then here, in this text area, I note any lingering questions I might have. This concludes our tour.)

“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

It bothers me that I cannot figure out what this verse literally means. Obviously he’s comparing either himself or his ancestor / branch David to the bright morning star, but which is it? Are they both the star? What’s the significance of all this anyway?

This whole verse seems so unnecessary – like Jesus was feeling so insecure that he had to cut in and remind everyone how awesome he was, then disappear before anyone could react. It doesn’t fit into the narrative or flow seamlessly from the verses before or after – both are narrated by the author, not Jesus, and are on entirely different topics.

If Jesus is incredibly insecure, that would explain why all his friends fall over themselves to worship him.

Going backwards like this, I don’t have the context for these stories. I have to figure out each verse in isolation, knowing where things are headed, but with no idea where they’ve been. I find this is very helpful for me to see what’s really there, and what isn’t.

And what isn’t in this verse, is any useful information. It’s pointless formality – you can trust me, because Jesus Morningstar said so. Friend: This is quite simple. I’m not going to trust your vision more than I trust you. If your vision sounds crazy and incoherent, I will trust it less. The more mixed metaphors and dangling participles you throw in, the less convinced I’ll be that you actually know what the hell you’re talking about.

Some say the Bible is full of ancient mysteries. I say it’s full of bad communication.

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