Email: The Lion Cometh (Talking, Obviously)! (23.7.2020)

“God knows how to rescue those who worship him sincerely from trials” 2 Peter 2:9

Dear Gillian

Well, there’s been a talking dog and very well behaved and cooperative bed bugs, and now Paul has encountered a lion that instead of tearing him to pieces, actually vocalised a request be ‘baptised’! I suppose the Romans used lions quite often in the Arena and that they were fairly common sights. Of course, the Romans used to watch half-starved lions rip apart convicted criminals (and other ‘undesirables’) as part of the entertain for the idle masses who lived a life of idleness and hedonism whilst the slaves did all the work! Indeed, when Paul was ‘thrown to the lions’, he met yet again his ‘baptised’ lion, and this unusual duo hastily made their escape! It is interesting that the Church Authorities who compiled the ‘received’ Bible omitted all these stories of talking animals! Even then, in those heady days of the Resurrection and routine miracles on the streets – a talking animal or mesmerized bed bugs was considered a ‘stretch’ of the imagination! On a separate but related note, I am also reading philological research about Paul’s letters (the earliest of which dates to around 50 CE). His style of writing is easy to discern, but at certain points in Corinthians, Romans and Galatians, etc, there are key passages of slightly different syntax and grammar, denoting pre-existing texts about Christianity, which Paul is carefully copying. As these can now be clearly discerned and ‘lifted’ out of his letters and placed together, it certainly seems that a Christian text was in circulation concerning the ‘Risen’ Christ that Paul so admired (although at the time, this was only one version of Jesus Christ which was circulating). I find it interesting that Paul was followed for a time by ‘Jewish-Christians’ who would preach in the market place and state Paul and his type were ‘wrong’ in how they followed Jesus. Their view was that whereas Paul allowed any one to become ‘Christians’ without following the Jewish Law, as Jesus was a ‘Jew’, and given that he was the Messiah of Jewish prophecy, it was only correct that only ‘Jews’ who keep all of God’s Law could legitimately follow him – which also meant being circumcised! What webs we weave I cannot imagine having part of my anatomy ‘chopped-off’ just incase an imagined theistic construct might exist somewhere! 

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