MARY WEPT OVER THE FEET OF JESUS , by Chester Brown , Drawn and Quarterly , 2016 .

I came across this OGN , combining comics pages with pages of handwritten text , in a thrift shop .

  It is Brown's discussion of " Prostitution and Religious Obedience in the Bible " , dramatizing various Torah and New Testament passages and - citing numerous other Biblical works - giving some theories regarding the possible " true " meaning of various stories .

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My wife and I both found it interesting. Some Bible stories only make sense if you understand the context, as they address laws or social mores that no longer exist. But some don't make sense no matter how I look at them, and it's reassuring that Brown doesn't either.

I mean, why did God so blatantly favor with Abel over Cain, when Abel was flagrantly violating His laws and Cain wasn't? What are we supposed to take away from the story of the merchant who favors the slave who wastes his money, and punishes the one who invests it? There's a lot of the Bible that reflects its history as a contradictory hodge-podge of oral history, jokes and campfire stories that preachers don't talk about, but are for me the most interesting part, precisely because of their historical (rather than religious) value.

I found this book really interesting -- and Brown's endnotes about the sources for his stories as fascinating as the stories themselves, both for the historical interpretations and as a glimpse into Brown's own unusual mind. I'd say this is definitely worth a read.



Captain Comics said:

My wife and I both found it interesting. Some Bible stories only make sense if you understand the context, as they address laws or social mores that no longer exist. But some don't make sense no matter how I look at them, and it's reassuring that Brown doesn't either.

I mean, why did God so blatantly favor with Abel over Cain, when Abel was flagrantly violating His laws and Cain wasn't? What are we supposed to take away from the story of the merchant who favors the slave who wastes his money, and punishes the one who invests it? There's a lot of the Bible that reflects its history as a contradictory hodge-podge of oral history, jokes and campfire stories that preachers don't talk about, but are for me the most interesting part, precisely because of their historical (rather than religious) value.


I went through a long phase of reading the New Testement as a sort of historical document. Fascinating in it's historical context. The early Christians really were bucking against the system. In relation to your comment here, it seems that most of Jesus' parables (and his sermon on the mount, come to that) were deliberately contradictory, possibly to jolt people out of their set ways of thinking. It wsn't down to mystic babbling or illiterate stupidity. "The last shall be first and the first shall be last", being the most obvious.

(Jesus was clearly the Grant Morrison of his day - "Why's he being deliberately confusing? This is just drug-addled nonsense! He should stick to established continuity!")

I had to laugh at your Morrison comparison. Well done.

I hadn't thought of your idea that Jesus was trying to jolt people out of complacency or compliance with the system. That makes a lot of sense. (He was a left-wing revolutionary, after all.) I'll have to thunk on that for a while.

I hadn't really looked for an explanation for any of that, or the many contradictions of the Bible, because history gives us Occam's razor. None of the New Testament was even written down until a couple hundred years after Jesus' death, and a lot of different sects were fighting over what was legitimate (and what legitimized them), especially after Constantine when Christianity "won" and everybody was looking to cash in. So, yeah, if three different guys wrote a "Book of Mark" and then everybody fought over what parts to keep and what to exclude for the next 500 years (Mark not having a vote, having been dead for 200 years), not only will the final "Book of Mark" be a hodge-podge reflecting all those competing interests, it's certainly going to have differences with the "Book of Luke," which went through a similar process somewhere else.

Figserello said:



Captain Comics said:

My wife and I both found it interesting. Some Bible stories only make sense if you understand the context, as they address laws or social mores that no longer exist. But some don't make sense no matter how I look at them, and it's reassuring that Brown doesn't either.

I mean, why did God so blatantly favor with Abel over Cain, when Abel was flagrantly violating His laws and Cain wasn't? What are we supposed to take away from the story of the merchant who favors the slave who wastes his money, and punishes the one who invests it? There's a lot of the Bible that reflects its history as a contradictory hodge-podge of oral history, jokes and campfire stories that preachers don't talk about, but are for me the most interesting part, precisely because of their historical (rather than religious) value.


I went through a long phase of reading the New Testement as a sort of historical document. Fascinating in it's historical context. The early Christians really were bucking against the system. In relation to your comment here, it seems that most of Jesus' parables (and his sermon on the mount, come to that) were deliberately contradictory, possibly to jolt people out of their set ways of thinking. It wsn't down to mystic babbling or illiterate stupidity. "The last shall be first and the first shall be last", being the most obvious.

(Jesus was clearly the Grant Morrison of his day - "Why's he being deliberately confusing? This is just drug-addled nonsense! He should stick to established continuity!")

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