|JREF Homepage||Swift Blog||Events Calendar||$1 Million Paranormal Challenge||The Amaz!ng Meeting||Useful Links||Support Us|
|Welcome to the JREF Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.|
|23rd November 2012, 05:06 PM||#41|
Join Date: Mar 2009
Well, it's... a rather uneven collection of fanfic, I would say. Luke seems to be all around a decent writer, though in at least one case his addition actually ruins a parable by pretty much dropping out of a metaphor in the middle of it. Mark has actually great skill at story structure, but the actual sentences and paragraphs read like awful beige prose. Unfortunately, he's also got the most hints that he IS writing fiction, not just transcribing oral stories, which, of course, doesn't help the case of the two who copied from him. Matthew is IMHO the worst. John would be actually OK, but he waaay overdoes the Black Hole Sue aspect.
I suppose to their defense, they are stuck with some constraints that don't exactly make an author's life easy. They're
A) stuck with a character which HAS to be a Black Hole Sue, the most awful kind of Mary Sue ever invented, whether they like it or not. You can't have a Jesus that's just an ordinary guy with a lot of flaws
Of course, the degree to which they go with that varies. Mark is the most moderate about his Sue, although that still doesn't really make it a good character, John and Matthew are the worst. Well, really, Matthew is the worst.
B) all have to have a Jesus that's got to be foretold by the OT, and there is no such prophecy. Yet it's Jesus's only ticket to messiahood.
Again, they're rather uneven about it. Mark just makes Jesus do stuff that parallels OT stuff, but doesn't shove it in your face. That subtle effect is actually effective if you can connect the dots yourself, and it makes for a better story, but probably doesn't work on a congregation of uneducated dumbasses. Matthew is by far the most heavyhanded about it.
C) all have to have their cake and eat it too. They have to have a Jesus that is basically a chimera of pretending to be all innocent, and yet going against the Jews and their theology and laws. He has to be opinionated to make some point or another, yet preach "don't judge". He has to preach humility, yet speak with the authority of a God. Etc.
None of them does all that great a job of it. And arguably it's not even possible to make a great job of THAT.
D) all have no clue what they're talking about.
Here actually Mark does the worst hash of the area, religion, customs, etc. And he pretty clearly doesn't understand Aramaic either. (E.g., he's the one who got us Son Of Man as some great title that Jesus used for himself, while in both Aramaic and Hebrew it's a common everyday kenning that just means "man".) Matthew actually seems to do the best job of correcting Mark, though he too is clearly working off a Greek translation.
E) all are stuck with the non-enviable task of writing about a recent guy who supposedly worked great miracles, and was famous in Jerusalem at least for one day, yet the Jews not only didn't convert, but don't seem to remember even hearing anything about such a guy.
Again, they deal very unevenly with that. Mark actually makes everything a conspiracy theory. The other three have to make the Jews a lot more hostile, for no good reason.
F) all are stuck with having to portray the guy as incredibly smart and quite the wit, yet they're writing for some uneducated and rabidly intellectual people who even Paul called stupid. Now writing about someone smarter than yourself is already a big problem, but writing someone that an anti-intellectual retard can recognize as smart is an even bigger problem.
So as you'd expect when you have to write about the kind of wit that wouldn't completely baffle an intellectual zero, you have to make Jesus meet them half way. And predictably he comes across as a half-wit. Most parables and smart answers only work because the author says so, and in a few cases Jesus's 'smart' answer is actually the dumbest possible answer.
Again, it's uneven and all that.
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?