Sunday, March 17, 2013

Jude, Chapter 1: The tyranny of small differences

This book purports to be written by Jude, brother of James and Jesus, an illiterate, Aramaic-speaking peasant who somehow wrote a letter in fluent Greek. He urges his followers to ignore the false prophets who god is controlling and who are turning them against Jesus' teachings and sending them all to hell. He backs this claim up by reminding us about that time god smote the Israelites or that other time when some angels came down from heaven to breed with human women, for whom god is reserving punishment until the end times. He also refers to Sodom and Gomorrah and a text that isn't part of the bible about the archangel Michael and the devil fighting about Moses' body. He also talks about Cain and Balaam. You get the picture: the early christians were not a unified, loving community of like-minded individuals. The good news is, these are all signs of the apocalypse, so he urges them to convert as many people as possible by whatever means necessary, compassion, fear, whatever works.

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