The TL:DR Bible: I Thessalonians 1-3


Chapter 1:

Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy

To the Thessalonian church:

We’re super thankful that you guys get it. You turned away from idols to Jesus Christ and you believed everything we told you and imitated us. And we hear from other churches just how good you’re doing this Jesus thing while you wait for Jesus to return and save us from God’s coming wrath.

 

Chapter 2:

You guys remember how when we came to you, we had suffered and were facing opposition. We’re totally not lying, bros, we speak for God. We didn’t try to flatter you or take money for you, we worked to support ourselves while we preached to you, so we wouldn’t be a burden. We tried to convince you to be more Jesus like.

So we were happy when you decided we were telling you the word of God and not just stuff we made up (unlike everyone else who says they speak the word of God.) Specifically, the Jews who are harassing you and killed Jesus and the prophets. God doesn’t like them and they hate everyone. They hinder us from saying the word of God to Gentiles so you can be saved and wrath has come upon them.

(Can’t imagine why Christians were hostile to the Jews for the next 2,000 years. Not at all. Everyone say, “Thanks, Paul.” “Thanks, Paul.”)

So we’re away from you. We really wanted to come back, but, uh… the devil… hmmm… yeah, the devil totally kept us away… somehow… even though we supposedly have power over him… and the gates of hell won’t prevail against the church… but sure… the devil kept us from visiting you.

I’m going to use that excuse the next time I want to avoid a party or wedding.

 

Chapter 3:

So I sent Timothy to you and we stayed in Athens. I didn’t want you to know about how much we were suffering. Even though I’m writing about it now… and kept mentioning it to you when we were there. But don’t worry about us… we’ll be fine. *SNIFF* I’m fine.

But Timothy tells us you miss us and you’re acting like we do, so that makes me super happy and I hope to visit you soon, so I can complete your training. And then, you will be ready to face Darth Vader.

May God cause you to increase in love for each other and all men and establish you in holiness before the coming of the Lord Jesus with the saints.

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The TL:DR Bible: Colossians


Chapter 1:

Hi, everybody.

“Hi, Paul!”

We’re super happy for your faith and love, Colossians. We’re happy you have kept the faith that Epaphras delivered to you and he has informed us of your love in the Spirit.

We pray for you constantly… well, not right now when I’m writing this letter, but other than that constantly… of course, we can’t pray when we sleep, that’s obvious… and eating… yes, yes, and going to the bathroom. But other than writing, sleeping, eating, and pooping, we pray for you constantly that you’ll be excellent Christians.

God rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and made us citizens of the kingdom of Christ, who is our redemption and the forgiveness of our sins.

He is the image of God, first among all. (So if you can’t picture Jesus slaughtering heathen babies with a sword, you probably shouldn’t picture God ordering it. Just saying.) By Christ, everything was created and all things are held together by his will. He is the head of our order, the beginning, the first of the newly resurrected. It was God’s pleasure that everything would be reconciled to Him through Christ, both in heaven and on Earth.

You used to be heathens, now you’re saints if you continue in the faith.

I’m happy I’m suffering for your sake. My sufferings are Christ’s sufferings and what his lack in a tangible example to you, mine make up. So yes, I really am too an apostle James, shut up. Jesus works in me.

 

Chapter 2:

Guys, even though I’m not there, I’m totally working hard for you and for Laodicea. I’m there with you guys in spirit.

So I’m telling you to walk like Christians should. Don’t listen to philosophers and the educated, they’re just liars. They don’t understand that Jesus is God and has made you alive and paid for your sins. And don’t worry about keeping festivals or Sabbaths, these were only a shadow of the joy and rest you have in Christ. Sure God seemed pretty serious about it at the time, but that was then, this is now. And don’t listen to the weird hippie New Age Jesus people or the weirdos whipping themselves.

I mean, you’re free in Christ and died to the things of this world, so why are you trying to keep the Law? Sure it sounds wise, but it has no value.

 

Chapter 3:

Seek the heavenly things not the Earthly things. You’ve died to the world and your life is in Christ. When he comes back any day now (any… day… now…) then they’ll see your glory.

So consider yourselves dead to immorality, impurity, lust, and greed, because God really hates that stuff and wants to smite people who do that. Also, don’t get angry, wrathful, malicious, slanderous, or spew hurtful words. Do not lie. You are new creations, act like it. In Christ, there is no distinction among racial lines, ethnicities, class, or gender, but all exist in Christ.

Be compassionate, kind, humble, gentle, and patient. (Yeah… that would be really nice, guys. We should do that.)

Forgive one another as you have been forgiven.

Be serene and be thankful.

Remember the words of Christ and encourage one another. Whatever you do, do in the name of Christ.

Wives, when I said all are one in Christ…we are, but you’re still going to have to obey your man. Husbands, love your wives and don’t be bitter towards them. Children, obey your parents in all things. That makes invisible God happy. Dads, don’t be a dick to your kids, so they don’t get discouraged.

Slaves… (yeah, slavery again… biblical worldview, woo!) obey your masters. Don’t try to brownnose, but be sincere in your slavery, guys. Turn that frown upside down! AND PUT ON A HAPPY FAAAAAAAAAACE! Seriously, God is watching, so be happy, productive slaves for Jesus.

 

Chapter 4:

Slaveowners, free your slaves… ha ha ha… no, just kidding. Treat your slaves fairly, because God is also watching you. So you know, don’t beat them too hard unless they deserve it.

Pray a lot. Pray for us that we can preach Jesus more and that God would give me the words to speak.

Act wisely with those outside the church and let your speech be gracious.

I’m sending Tychicus to you to let you know how things are going here, and Onesimus is coming too.

Aristarchus says “hi”. Also, if you see Barnabas’ cousin Mark, welcome him. Epaphras, Luke, and Demas say “hi” as well. Say “hi” to those in Laodicea for me, and when you go there, give them this letter and take the letter I sent to them and read it.

I’m signing this with my own writing. Remember I’m in prison, guys! Send cigarettes or cell phones!

Grace to you all.

The TL:DR Bible: Philippians


Chapter 1:

Hi, Philippians, it’s Paul and Timothy.

We’re thankful for you and know God will complete the work of salvation in you. You guys are my buds and I long to see you, but I’m in prison still. So love one another even more and grow in knowledge until Jesus shows up any day now.

Any day now…

Besides, I’m happy being in prison because now I get to yammer at the guards all day and they can’t go anywhere. And many of you have more confidence since I’ve been imprisoned to be preachers.

So I’m happy… even if I end up dying. Which, I don’t know if I want to live or die. (We call that suicidal thoughts, Paul. Talk to a therapist.) If I live, I get to keep being in prison and yammering to guards… if I die, I get to meet Jesus. Okay, okay, I know you guys would miss me too much, so I guess I’ll stay.

But act like real Christians, okay? So I can hear good things about you. Take your opposition as a sign that you’re doing well, because no one who ever did a bad thing gets opposed by anyone, right? So we suffer for Jesus’ sake.

 

Chapter 2:

Be united in love and the spirit. Don’t be selfish or prideful, but in humility, put each other ahead of yourselves. Look out for each other like family. (You get a sense that church really lacks this these days? Yeah, me too.) Be like Jesus who although being in the form of God, didn’t assert equality with God, but became a man, and obeyed God even when it meant dying a horrific agonizing death.

But God raised him up, so now he’s above everyone and everything will submit to him.

So you guys keep acting differently like you were when I was there.

Don’t complain or whine. Nobody likes a whiner. Seriously. The most annoying thing in the world. Let your actions and words be better than those around you, so you will be a witness to Christ.

I’m going to try and send Timothy to visit. I sent Epaphroditus because he heard that you heard from Tanya his sister’s cousin’s best friend that he was sick and that you were super bummed about it and got together and did a “Save Epaphroditus” campaign. So make him feel welcome since he almost died working for Jesus. No pressure there, guys.

 

Chapter 3:

Finally, and by finally, I mean, I’m going to write another couple of chapters… rejoice in the Lord. (I like it when they tell you to do something, but don’t tell you what it means or how to do it.)

Beware of false teachers, and by ‘false teachers’, I mean any Jesus people who don’t believe exactly like I do. We’re the real true Christians! (Paul is familiar with how church works!)

I mean, I could boast in my works, I was a perfect Jew, but I don’t regard that stuff anymore… it’s all a big ol’ pile of shit to me now, because I have Jesus and his righteousness through faith. Not that I’ve attained salvation, but I keep moving forward and doing Jesus things now, so I can obtain it one day. And if you ask how that’s different that trying to keep the law to obtain salvation, it just is, okay?

So imitate me. Not those other Jesus people who are totes going to hell.

 

Chapter 4:

Hey, Euodia and Syntyche? Stop being assholes and live in peace. Guys, help these women out, would you?

Rejoice in the Lord! (How?) Jesus is coming soon! Any day now… any…day… now… yep… 2,000 years… but any… day… now…

Don’t worry about anything, God will take care of it if you pray to him. And if he doesn’t, then he works in mysterious ways or you just lack faith, am I right? Ha ha ha… yeah… either way God wins.

Think about good things. Don’t fill your mind with negative thoughts and images.

I’m so happy that you guys remembered me and sent me money and stuff… not that I need money, I’ve learned to live well with whatever I have, even in hunger and want. But you’ve done well to send me stuff… not for me, of course, but for you… I only seek your profit, not my own. And God is most pleased with your generous donation. Operators are standing by if you’d like to increase your tithe, Amen.

Everyone here says ‘hi.’

Grace to you all.

The TL:DR Bible: Ephesians 4-6


Chapter 4:

So, because you’re Christians now, act better. Be humble, gentle, patient, and tolerant. (Ooooo… Paul said the dirty “T” word. I guess we have to kick him out of the Christian club now. Sorry, St. Paul. There will be NO tolerance in the church!)

You are one body and one spirit with one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God above you all.

Paul misquotes Psalm 68:18 which has humanity giving gifts to the Lord to justify the existence of spiritual gifts after Christ’s resurrection. His assertion is that we all have roles we’re gifted with so we can encourage and build up each other in the faith. (Clearly Paul has not been to any modern American churches.)

Stop acting like everyone else… they’re walking in lusts and greed, you didn’t learn Jesus that way (Yep… Paul has definitely not been to any modern American church services.)

Renew your minds and act like your new Christian self. Don’t lie. Anger is okay, but don’t use it to justify sin and let go of your anger when appropriate. Don’t steal, but work, so you’ll have something to give to the poor. Don’t say hurtful or damaging words, only words that encourage and heal. Do not be bitter or vengeful. Do not slander. Let go of any malice. Be kind to each other, forgive each other as God has forgiven you.

 

Chapter 5:

Imitate God and Christ Jesus.

There should be no immorality, impurity, or greed among you. You are saints. No immoral, impure, coveting, or idolatrous person will get into the Kingdom of God.

God’s wrath is upon men for these things, so don’t be like those guys. You used to be like them, but you’re supposed to be different now. Act differently.

Be wise in your conduct, making the most of your time on Earth. Do not be filled with alcoholic spirits, but with the Holy Spirit.

Wives, you’re subordinate to your husbands. Men are in charge. Okay, Jesus is in charge of the men, but He’s not here now is He? So we’re in charge of everything. Hooray for having a penis!

Husbands, love your wives, like Jesus loved the church and died for her. Some of you may be willing to die just to get away from her, am I right? Who’s with me?

But seriously, guys, happy wife, happy life.

But really, seriously, the one of the penis is in charge, ladies.

 

Chapter 6:

Kids, obey your parents and stop being little shits. It says that in the Old Testament.

Dads, don’t be assholes. Raise your kids with discipline and instruction of the Torah.

Slaves, ha ha ha, yeah… slaves, you’re free in Christ, but seriously, you’re still slaves. Obey your masters in all things with fear and trembling. Serve them as if you’re serving God. (See, we’re not advocating slave rebellions, nice Roman government… don’t kill us.)

Masters, try not to threaten or beat your slaves so much. God is watching.

Be strong in the Lord. Put on the armor of God, which is: truth, justice, peace, faith, salvation, and wisdom. So doing, you will be able to stand against any evil, visible or invisible. Yeah, there are invisible evils floating about in the ether that you can’t see. I am not a crazy person.

Pray always for one another and for me. That I might continue to be a good witness to Christ. Tychicus is coming with this letter to fully inform you of how I’m doing.

Peace, love, faith and grace to you all.

The TL:DR Bible: Ephesians 1-3


Chapter 1:

It’s Paul.

Hi, Ephesus, grace and peace to you.

Blessed be God who has given us every spiritual blessing in Christ and chose us from eternity past to be holy and blameless before him. In love, he predestined us to be children through Jesus, so his grace would be glorified and praised. In Christ, we have redemption through blood and forgiveness of our sins.

He has made known to us the wisdom and insight of the mystery of his will. That is, that in the fullness of times, all things will be reconciled and brought into Christ. In Christ, we have obtained this inheritance. In Him, you have believed and obtained salvation, and were given the Holy Spirit as a pledge to the glory of God.

I rejoice and give thanks for you always in my prayers. That God might give you wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ. That you may be enlightened and know the hope he has called you to. In Christ, he has placed all authority, power, and dominion and all things in subjection to Him, the head of our church. And we are his body.

 

Chapter 2:

You used to be dead, living according to your own lusts, and were children of wrath, but God, in mercy and love, made you alive in Christ and raised you up with Him and placed you on a heavenly throne with Him, so He might show you even more grace and kindness. Through faith you are saved, not by works, so there is no boasting. You are God’s great work, made to do good works.

You used to be strangers to God, but now are one with the Jews. Christ being the one to break the racial and ethnic divide between us. He reconciles us all to God through his death. So you are no longer strangers, but saints of the house of God which is the church upon which Jesus is the cornerstone and the apostles are the foundation.

 

Chapter 3:

So God has given me the job of ministering to the Gentiles who are fellow heirs to his grace and love. I’ve been given the job, so God’s wisdom might be revealed to you.

So I ask God to really bless you guys with strength, power, the Holy Spirit, so you might be grounded in love and understand the deep love Christ has for you.

Glory be to God who can do more than we can ask or think.

The TL:DR Bible: Galatians


Chapter 1:

Paul, I’m really an apostle, guys, come on! God picked me!

To the Galatians.

I’m surprised you guys are abandoning Jesus. Yeah, I’ve heard you’re following other doctrines, and I’ve always said, either you agree with me, or you’re accursed.

I’m not trying to please men. If I were, I wouldn’t be a Christian.

Guys, my doctrines aren’t from my own head, I saw a vision of Jesus and He taught me everything I believe.

“What if someone else claims the same thing?”

…Anyway, you guys know I used to try to kill Christians, but then I saw Jesus who called me to preach to the Gentiles. So after receiving my vision, I didn’t go and consult with the first apostles, no, I went into the deserts of Arabia and then returned to Damascus. Then I went to Jerusalem to meet Pope Peter and hung out with him for fifteen days, and I met James, the brother of Jesus. I’m totally not lying guys.

And then I went around and visited other churches, but they didn’t know me by sight, only by the word of my conversion in which they glorified God.

 

Chapter 2:

After 14 years, I went back to Jerusalem because some other Jesus followers, who were not Jesus followers because they disagreed with me, called a council at which I proclaimed the gospel I preached to the Gentiles. They had hoped to make all of you follow the Law and cut part of your penis off, but I prevailed and the church elders were cool with my message. They only asked us to remember the poor, which I wanted to do anyway. So there.

And when Peter came to Antioch, I told him off to his face when he ate with the Gentiles one day and shunned them the next because some of the more conservative Jewish Christians came to visit. (I thought we were supposed to restrain our liberty if our weaker Christian brethren objected, Paul?)

I said, “Why are you trying to force Gentiles to live like Jews when you don’t? We died to the Law in Christ and now live for him. He lives in us. Do not nullify the grace of God by the works of the Law, for if righteousness comes by the Law, Jesus died in vain.”

 

Chapter 3:

You idiots. Why have you abandoned faith for the Law? You received the Spirit in faith, not through keeping the Law.

Those who are born of faith are sons of Abraham. He believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness. So the bible, seeing that God would justify by faith, said to Abraham, “All of the nations will be blessed in you.”

Those under the Law are under a curse, as it says, “Cursed is the one who does not keep all things written in the book of the Law.” No one is justified by the Law. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse, as anyone hung on a tree is cursed.

God promised Abraham that the entire world would be blessed by his seed, that is singular, meaning Jesus Christ. The law came later, much later, and it does not invalidate God’s promise to Abraham.

So the Law was meant to be a tutor that lead us to Christ. Now that we have faith, we no longer need it. You are all sons of God through faith in Jesus Christ. There is no race, ethnicity, gender, or status in Christ Jesus, we are all one with Him and with one another. You are all heirs of the promise.

 

Chapter 4:

As heirs, when you were children, you were under the authority of others, until you became an adult. We were in bondage to the Law until the fullness of time came and God sent his son born of a woman under the Law, so He could redeem us under the Law and we might become the sons of God.

Now that you have become sons of God, how are you returning to the Law that is weak and worthless? I’m afraid that my work among you was in vain.

Remember when Abe raped a slave girl and had a son with her? It’s like that. She and her son were under bondage, which represents the Law, but Isaac was the son of promise and free, and he represents those born of faith. And which kid got kicked into the desert to die? Yeah, the slave’s kid. Not us.

 

Chapter 5:

Christ called you to be free and enjoy freedom, don’t go back to keeping the Law.

If you are circumcised, then you’re not a Christian. You’re under the Law and must keep the entire Law. You are cut off from Christ. Circumcision means nothing in Christ.

“Then why did he put it into the bloody Law and make us cut off a bit of our junk?”

The one disturbing you will bear his judgment. I wish he would cut off his entire dick.

The Law may be fulfilled with one command: Love your neighbor as yourself. If you fight, take care that you are not consumed.

Walk in the Spirit (How?) and you will not act in the flesh. The actions of the flesh are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing. Anyone who does these things is damned.

The fruit of the Spirit is love, that is: joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, fidelity, empathy, and self-control.

 

Chapter 6:

If anyone sins, those who are spiritual, restore that person in a spirit of gentleness, each one being mindful of his own weaknesses.

Bear each other’s burdens.

Do not be self-deceived about your life. Share what you have learned with one another.

God is not mocked, what you sow, you will reap. Act accordingly and do not lose heart in doing what is right. Let us do good to all people while we live and breathe, especially to other Christians.

See how large my writing is?

The people asking you to cut off a bit of your penis are just trying to get in good with the Jews to avoid persecution. Yeah, I’m assigning them an evil motive rather than seeing them as people who legitimately disagree with me. What of it? I only boast in Jesus, not in my perfectly circumcised dick.

Let no one bother or mock me because look how much I’ve suffered for Jesus.

Grace to you. Amen.

The TL:DR Bible: Two Corinthians 10-13


Chapter 10:

I’m meek toward you when present, and bold when absent. I’m asking that you don’t make me have to get bold with you like I’m going to be with those who accuse us of walking in sin. We do not fight against humanity, but we fight spiritually with weapons that can destroy fortresses and ideas that are against God, and we discipline our minds to be obedient to Christ and are ready to punish all disobedience. (You can take the boy out of the Pharisees, but not the Pharisee out of the boy…)

If someone thinks he is in Christ, let him consider that we are as well. If I pull rank and boast of my authority, I’m not ashamed. It’s for your own good. I don’t want to scare you guys with my letters. Some say that I write boldly, but my personal appearance is unimpressive. We are the same in words and deeds when present.

We’re not going to compare ourselves with prideful idiots. We will not boast of ourselves beyond measure. We were the first to come to you with the knowledge of Christ.  We do not boast in others work, but hope that in your growth, we will gain a measure of credit. It is not the one who boasts who is approved, but the one the Lord approves of.

 

Chapter 11:

You want me to boast, then I’ll boast, if it will keep you faithful. You guys handle Jesus people who disagree with me well and reject them.

I consider myself one of the great apostles. If my speech stinks, then I make up for it with knowledge.

I preached to you without being a burden to you. The Christians in Macedonia supported me. I do this, so you’ll be able to recognize me from the false Jesus people who come and sponge off of you. Even the devil comes as an angel of light, so it’s not a surprise his servants (those people I don’t agree with) come as apostles of Christ.

So I’ll boast. You are so wise, I’m sure you’ll tolerate my foolishness in boasting accordingly.

I’m a Hebrew, an Israelite, a descendent of Abraham, a servant of Christ who has born more for Jesus than anyone else. I’ve been imprisoned, I’ve been lashed five times, I was caned three times, I was stoned, three times shipwrecked, I spent a full day adrift in the ocean. I have journeyed much, been in danger from robbers, from the Jews, from Gentiles, from false Christians… everywhere I go, I’ve been in danger. Often in hunger and thirst. Often cold. Once I had to escape over the city wall in a basket.

 

Chapter 12:

I could boast more, but I’ll go on to visions. I was caught up to heaven and heard wonderful things I cannot speak of.

Because of how great I am, I received a chronic condition to keep me humble. I prayed that God would remove it three times, but he finally said, “Stop asking. My grace is sufficient for you. My power is perfected in your weakness.” So I gladly boast of how weak I am, so that Christ may live in me. When I am weak, then I am strong.

I’m coming to you a third time, and we’ll take care of ourselves financially. You’re my kids and I’ll happily spend all I have to take care of you. I don’t want to be a burden. I love you guys, but you love me less… I haven’t taken advantage of any of you, have I? Did Titus?

Not that I have to defend myself, because God knows I’m talking about Jesus. I’m just afraid when I visit, things aren’t going to be what I expect and then we’ll have fights. I’m afraid I’ll embarrass myself by crying over those who are sinning and haven’t repented yet.

 

Chapter 13:

This is the third time I’m coming to see you. When I come again, I will not spare the sinners, since you guys are seeking proof that Christ is in me.

Test yourselves to see if you remain in the faith. We pray you will refrain from sin and be strong, for in that we rejoice.

Rejoice, be of similar mind, live in peace, and God will be with you.

Everyone here says “hi.”

God be with you all.