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If we eat the flesh of Jesus to reach communion with Him, surely Jesus must be able to reach communion with us by eating the flesh of humans?

It makes more sense than the Trinity, anyway.

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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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(I’m going through the Bible backwards, one verse at a time, and drawing what I imagine it says. I use no outside context – only the words on the page.)

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book

Welp, I’m boned.

The whole idea of The Bible In Hindsight is to add to the words of the prophecy of this book. I want to understand it, so to make it fit into my head, I connect it to my own imagination. That is how I learn. Evidently it is frowned upon.

I don’t know what plagues are described in this book, not having read it yet. Maybe it describes a plague of happiness, or a plague of good vibes. I’d look awfully silly to have worried about this if a plague of superhuman confidence were added to me. I suppose I wouldn’t mind looking silly, though.

But since I got the feeling that the author was referring to rather more negative plagues, I have to ask – why? That seems like a really extreme reaction to something as simple as adding some words to a prophecy. Is this verse something God’s lawyers told him to put in, so that He had an excuse to randomly plague whomever He saw fit? I guess the next time I get sick, I know what to blame.

I don’t like this God character at all. I hope we get back to Jesus soon. At least he had grace for all (the saints). All God seems to have are threats.

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So, here’s what this is: I wasn’t sure if I understood the Bible correctly, so I decided to go through it backwards, verse by verse, and illustrate my impressions as I went. I’m also coming at it with zero context – forgetting everything I half-remember about the stories, and the interpretations, and the doctrine. This way I can be sure I won’t miss anything. I only want to see what’s really there.

“The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.”

The “Amen” at the end is interesting, primarily because it comes at the end – of the verse, of the chapter, of the book, of the Bible. I’m assuming the first part of the verse is all that’s meant to be framed as a prayer, but I can’t be sure of that yet. I’ll remember this if anything crops up later (earlier) that I don’t understand.

From the rest of the verse, I know there’s a being named “Lord Jesus”, this being has something called “grace” associated with it, and that this grace is something that the author thinks everyone¬† (or in some manuscripts, all the saints) should have with them.

I don’t know about you, but I take a very different meaning from “grace be with all” and “grace be with all the saints” – the difference between unconditional love, and love for the in-group only. I don’t have any context yet, of course, but then we’ve only just begun (or in some manuscripts, ended).

The Bible I’m using doesn’t give me any more context for that footnote, and I won’t cheat and look for it elsewhere, but I already have lots of questions. Which manuscripts are more reliable? How can we know? Should I be worried that the very existence of multiple, contradictory interpretations prevents me from ever fully understanding the meaning of the text?

I’m sure humans can answer all my questions, but only with human answers. I’ll see if God’s Holy Word has anything to say on the subject. One verse at a time.

By the way, click here to purchase the Bible I’ll be using. If you’d like to follow along, and/or blog your own impressions, I would welcome the company.

I have nothing more to say about this.

God is a powerful supernatural being and the primary antagonist of The Bible, an ancient satire of organized religion which chronicles humanity’s struggle to escape God’s vengeful, bloody-minded, tyrannical regime.