Tag Archives: religion

The TL:DR Bible: Matthew 13

Chapter 13:

Jesus is teaching to a large crowd.

“A farmer went out to plant seed. He threw some seed and some of it landed on the ground and the birds ate it. He threw some on rocky ground, and the plants died because they had no roots. He threw some into weeds, and the weeds killed them. And he threw some onto good ground and it grew up and bore fruit.”

Sounds like a pretty bad farmer.

The disciples say, “Why aren’t you teaching them normally? Why use parables?”

“You guys are in the in crowd, but they are on the outside. I’m trying to obscure the truth from them so they don’t get it.”

I thought they were supposed to be spreading their message, not hiding it.

“So the explanation is that the seed is the word of God. Some people have hard hearts and the devil takes the word away from them. Some people receive the word, but don’t have good roots, so they fall away during times of persecution and trials. Some people receive the word, but their hearts are divided and the love of the world chokes out the message. Some people have good hearts and the word grows and produces good works.”

“The kingdom of God is like a man who sowed a field, and his enemy came along and threw a bunch of weed seeds into the field too, so when the crops began to grow, he noticed the weeds. His slaves noticed too and wanted to pull up the weeds, but he stopped them and said, “Wait until harvest, so we don’t accidentally get rid of any of the good plants.”

“The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of seeds (it’s not), but then it grows up into a large tree and the birds of the air nest in its branches.”

“The kingdom of God is like yeast which a woman added to her bread dough.”

Disciples: What was that thing about the wheat and the weeds?

Jesus: “The field is the world. I’m the farmer. I sow good seeds. But the devil comes along and sows bad seed, and the two grow up together in the world. So at the end, I’ll gather all of the good seed together, but burn the bad seeds with fire.”

The kingdom of heaven is like hidden treasure, a costly pearl, and a dragnet full of good and bad fish.

Jesus goes back to his hometown and preaches there, but everyone is like “Yeah, this is Jesus. We know him. We know his family. Come on…” And Jesus gets offended and doesn’t do many miracles there.

The TL:DR Bible: Matthew 9-10

Chapter 9:

Jesus goes back to Capernaum and they bring a paralyzed man to him.

Jesus: “It’s cool, Bro, your sins are forgiven.”

Scribes: “Whoa, there, Blasphemer.”

Jesus: “Dudes, I could have told the guy to get up and walk-“

Paralyzed Man: “I kind of wish you had.”

Jesus: “But so you guys know I can forgive sins too, you, get up and walk.”

Ex-paralyzed man: “Sweet.”

Jesus leaves and sees Matthew at the Tax Collector’s booth. “Come on, Dude,” he says. Matthew closes up shop and leaves with Jesus. Matt throws a big party for all of his friends: other tax collectors and sinners.

Pharisees: Why are you hanging out with them?

Jesus: Everyone needs love, man. Especially the outcasts and sinners. Don’t be so religious, man. Be compassionate.

Disciples of John: Hey, how come you guys don’t fast?

Jesus: Because I’m here. When I leave, they’ll fast.

Jairus: My daughter’s dead. Come and bring her back to life.

Jesus: Okay.

A woman grabs his cloak to be healed.

Jesus: It’s cool. You’re healed.

They arrive at Jairus’ house. Jesus brings the little girl back to life.

Jesus heals some blind men and asks that they keep it to themselves, which seems odd because bringing a little girl back to life seems like he’d already be pretty famous.

Jesus casts out demons. Jesus spends his days teaching and healing people. But there are so many people out there, He wishes He could have some help.


Chapter 10:

Meet the twelve apostles. Most of them aren’t important to the stories.

Jesus: Go take my message to the people. But only the Jews. No Gentiles or half-breeds. Tell them the kingdom is coming. Heal people, raise the dead, cast out demons. Don’t bother taking anything with you, the people will support you. And if they don’t, God will get them.

This next passage sounds like it was adapted later after Jesus’ death.

“You guys will be like fat juicy lambs in a pack of wolves. They’re going to arrest you and whip you and you’ll be brought before kings and governors. Don’t worry about what you’ll say. The Spirit of God will talk through you.”

“You’ll be betrayed by family and sent to death. Everyone will hate you, but continue the mission. You won’t finish preaching to all the towns of Israel before I come back.”

They did finish. They went to the uttermost parts of the Earth.

“You’ll be treated like I’m treated. Badly. But don’t be afraid of them. Be afraid of God who can burn you forever in hell. He’s watching you. Over you, I mean. He’s watching over you.

“I didn’t come to bring peace, but to divide families and friends.”

But the angels said, “Peace on Earth…”

“Who are you going to believe? Me or some random angel? Anyway, if you love your family more than Me, you’re not worthy to be My disciple. But if anyone receives you, they will be rewarded. Now who’s ready to go out there and get some persecution!”

Disciples: You know… uh… I just remembered… we have a thing… Peter? Didn’t you say we had a thing with the… nets…? But you know… after that. Totally on board with the persecution thing. Yea, persecution! Just let’s go do the thing first….

The TL:DR Bible: Matthew 8

Chapter 8:

Jesus meets a leper who asks for healing. Jesus touches him, which was a big no-no, and heals him. Jesus tells him to keep it to himself and go show the priests and present his offering as the Law required.

Then a centurion sends word to Jesus that his slave (or possibly lover) is sick and asks for Jesus to heal him. Jesus is like, “Sure, I’ll come by your house.” This was also a big no-no, so the centurion sends word against saying, “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, I understand how authority works. Just order it and I know it will be accomplished.”

Jesus says, “Wow. This guy has more faith than all of you.” And the slave/lover is healed.

Jesus stays at Peter’s house.

“What’s a bro gotta do to get some lamb kebabs, Pete?”

“Well, normally, my wife’s mother handles that, but she’s sick. I’ll order a pizza.”

“Dude, I’m not feeling pizza. I’ll just heal her and she can make the kebabs.”

Then Jesus spends the rest of the night handing out free health care to anyone who needed it like a common Democrat.

So they’re leaving the next day, and a scribe says, “Hey, I want to come with you.”

Jesus: “I’m homeless and we sleep on the ground with rocks for pillows. You okay with that?”

Another guy, “Hey, I want to come too, let me go back and bury my dad.”

Jesus: “Just come with me. Let your family handle the funeral preparations.”

Jesus’ recruiting message needs work.

They get into a boat, Jesus takes a snooze, a storm hits, and everyone is like, “Wake up! We’re going to die!”

So Jesus gets up and addresses the storm clouds, “HEY! KNOCK IT OFF! I’M TRYING TO SLEEP DOWN HERE! YA BASTIDS!”

Storm: “Oh… okay. Terribly sorry. I didn’t know. I’ll just be off then. Good night.”

So they land, and they’re met by two violent lunatics full of demons.

“Hey, Jesus… you’re early. We weren’t expecting Armageddon for a while. Are you here torture us?”

“No, but you need to leave,” Jesus said.

“Come on… seriously? We just put down some hard wood flooring.”

“Yeah, you’re going to have to move out of these guys.”

“Fine. Hey, can we move into those pigs over there?”

“Yeah, sure. Whatever. God hates bacon, you know.”

Pigs: “Uh… what?”

Pig farmer: “Uh… what?”

Demons: “Woo-hoo! Life as a pig is going to be pretty sweet.”

Pigs: “Oh. Hell, no.”

The demons leave the men, the pigs commit suicide, and the locals come out and ask Jesus to leave.

The TL:DR Bible: Matthew 6-7

Chapter 6:

Practice your faith without publicity. Do you good works in obscurity and anonymity. God will notice your generosity and kindness.

Pray in secret, not loudly out in public. God will notice your piety.

You don’t have to continually repeat yourself to God. Well… there goes most of modern worship songs. God knows what you need before you even ask.

So pray simply.

Our Father, who is in heaven, hallowed is your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who have sinned against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, Amen.

God will forgive you according to the same standard that you forgive others.

Fast in secret. God sees your devotion and will reward you.

Do not spend your days acquiring wealth. Wealth will not last. Seek justice, goodness, kindness, mercy, and grace. You cannot serve both God and wealth.

Do not worry about your life. You cannot control most things. You cannot change many things. Trust that God will provide for you as he provides for the birds and the flowers. Seek God first. And do not worry about tomorrow. Each day has plenty of things to worry about on its own.


Chapter 7:

Do not judge others. God will judge you by the same standard. Do you see someone’s sin? Your own sin is worse. Focus on dealing with your own sins first, and then you can help your brother with his problems.

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. God knows what you need. IF you being a man know how to give good things to your children, how much more will God give good things to his children?

Treat others the way you want to be treated.

Seek the narrow way, it will lead to life. Too many follow the system that leads to misery and death.

Beware of false teachers. You will know them by their works. Not everyone who claims to be my disciple will enter the kingdom of heaven. There will be those who feign devotion, but lacked love.

If you hear my words and do them, you are like a builder that laid down a solid foundation for his house. If you hear my words and do not do them, you are like a foolish builder that built on sand.

And everyone was surprised by Jesus because He didn’t reference other teachers in his sermons.

The TL:DR Bible: Matthew 4-5

Chapter 4:

Holy Spirit: Let’s go into the desert. Let’s go into the desert. Let’s go into the desert…

Jesus: And get ourselves a treat?

Holy Spirit: And fast for forty days.

Jesus: Uh… yea?

Satan: Hey, you look hungry. Why don’t you just turn some rocks into bread, since you’re the Son of God?

Jesus: Is this a temptation? How is this a temptation?

Satan: Come on, I’m doing my best… I haven’t done any actual tempting since I got some woman and her clueless husband to eat an apple.

Jesus: It shows. Anyway, the bible says, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word from God.’”

Satan: Okay, well… what if you jump from the top of the Temple. Angels will totally catch you, everyone will see that you’re the Son of God, and start worshipping you.

Jesus: I mean… that’s better, but still, you don’t test God by jumping off of buildings.

Satan: Okay… how about I make all of the world’s leaders follow you and bow to you and all you have to do is bow to me?

Jesus: Seriously?

Satan: A little bow? A teensy-weensy bow? Just nod your head? No?

Jesus: You’re making this awkward. You should go.

Angel: Hey, boss, here’s some bread from heaven.

Jesus goes back to Galilee and settles in Capernaum. Matthew pulls a few more verses out of context.

Jesus: Everyone stop being dicks to each other. The Kingdom of Heaven is coming!

Later, he’s walking along the shore and sees Peter and Andrew.

Jesus: Follow me, guys.

Peter: Sounds good.

He sees James and John working with their dad in their boat.

Jesus: Follow Me.

James and John: Okay.

Zebedee: Hey! What about the nets? Stupid kids…

So Jesus goes around the area giving sermons and healing people and he gets really famous.


Chapter 5:

Jesus goes up on a hill and teaches the people:

  • Blessed are the poor in spirit, they will inherit the Kingdom of God.
  • Blessed are the afflicted. They will be comforted.
  • Blessed are the gentle. They will inherit the Earth.
  • Blessed are the hungry and thirsty for justice, they will see justice.
  • Blessed are the merciful, they will see God.
  • Blessed are the peacemakers, they will be called sons of God.
  • Blessed are the persecuted for doing what is right, they will inherit the kingdom of God.

Do what is right, good, pure, merciful, and just and be an example to others, so they can glorify God.

I have not come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it. Not one letter of the Law will pass away until all is accomplished. So if you teach anyone to disobey a commandment, you will be cursed. But if you teach them to obey the commandments, you will be blessed.

Unless you’re more righteous than a scribe or a Pharisee, you will not see the kingdom of God.

It was said, ‘Do not commit murder’, but I say take the principle even farther and don’t even hate or insult your fellow man.

It was said, ‘Do not commit adultery’, but I say take the principle even farther and don’t have lustful thoughts about a woman who isn’t your wife.

Moses said you could divorce your wife, but I say that unless she is guilty of adultery, if you divorce her, you make her an adulteress, and whoever married a divorced woman commits adultery.

Do not make oaths. Say what you mean and do what you say.

It was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth’, but I say, do not return evil for evil. Do not be violent. Do not resist an evil man. If someone strikes you, offer him another free shot. If someone tries to take your coat, offer him your shirt too. If a Roman tries to make you carry his gear for a mile, go two miles.

Give to those who ask of you and do not turn away from the one in need.

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate and persecute you. God is good even to those that hate him or don’t know He exists. So you do the same. There is no reward in doing good to those who do good to you. Everyone does that, but you be good towards everyone.

I end with an observation made by Kurt Vonnegut:

“For some reason, the most vocal Christians among us never mention the Beatitudes (Matthew 5). But, often with tears in their eyes, the demand that the Ten Commandments be posted in public buildings. And of course, that’s Moses, not Jesus. I haven’t heard one of them demand that the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, be posted anywhere.
“Blessed are the merciful” in a courtroom? “Blessed are the peacemakers” in the Pentagon? Give me a break!”

The TL:DR Bible: Matthew 1-3

Chapter 1:

Matthew would like us to know that Jesus was a direct descendent of the royal line of David and possessed a right to the throne of the kingdom of Israel.

The birth of Jesus:

Mary: I’m pregnant.

Joe: Who’s the father?

Mary: God.

Joe: Hahaha… yeah, right. Look, we’ll just head to divorce court, do it quietly, and I won’t even ask for you to be stoned to death.

Joe goes to bed and has a dream…

Angel: Hey, Joe, Mary’s telling the truth. God’s the father.

Joe: Great. Talk about not being able to live up to your wife’s previous boyfriend.

Nine months later, Jesus is born thus creating a holiday where we all stress out, binge drink, and go into debt to buy crap no one really needs.

Also, Joe didn’t sleep with his wife until after Jesus was born.


Chapter 2:

Sometime later…

Magi: We three kings of Orient are, bearing gifts we traverse afar…

King Herod: Who are you looking for?

Magi: We’ve been watching the skies. A new king of the Jews was born and we followed his star. Do you know where He is?

King Herod: Priests?

Priests: Bethlehem

King Herod: You don’t say? Hey, guys, when you find him, come and tell me where I can find him so I can go “honor” him.

Magi: Sure enough.

They go to Bethlehem.

Magi: Knock knock.

Mary: Who’s knocking about at this hour? Go away!

Magi: We want to give your son some gold.

Mary: Come right in.

The Magi worship Jesus and give Joe and Mary gold, frankincense, and myrrh. They bed down for the night.

Angel: Hey, guys, Herod was lying. Take a different road home. Also, Joe, take your wife and kid and head to Egypt.

So the Magi leave and Joe takes Mary and Jesus to Egypt. And the two of them stay there until Herod dies.

Also, the author of Matthew is pretty good at taking verses out of context.

Herod: Oh, those wise men tricked me!  Kill all the children two years and under in Bethlehem.

But Herod dies. Joe and Mary come back and settle in Nazareth.


Chapter 3:

John the Baptizer shows up wearing a camel hair coat and eating grasshoppers and honey. For some reason, everyone thinks this means they should listen to him. So they came out to see him, he’d yell at them to repent and dunk their heads under the water. Everyone had a good time.

Until the Pharisees showed up anyway.

John: You venomous snakes. You’re going to hell. Being Jewish won’t help you.

Pharisees: When has being Jewish ever helped anyone? There are a lot of racists out there, you know.

John: Anyway, I baptize with water, but the one who comes after me will baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire and burn worthless things up.

Jesus: Hey, dude, I’m here. Can you dunk my head under the water?

John: You’re not a sinner. You should be dunking my head under the water.

Jesus: Just do it. It’s a really hot day.

So John shoves Jesus’ head under the water and when He comes up, the Holy Spirit descends upon him like a dove and God says, “That’s my boy, everyone. That’s my son! Woo! Go Jesus!”

“Daaaaaad… stop embarrassing me!”

“I’m just really proud of you. You took that baptism like a man!”

“This is worse than the time you showed up at my prom.”

“I’m God. I’m everywhere.”

“You always use that excuse. I wish I had never been begotten from before eternity.”

“You think you have it bad,” the Holy Spirit said. “I don’t even get any lines in any of these books.”

The TL:DR Bible: Malachi

Chapter 1:

“I love you guys,” said the Lord.

“Uh… we’re not seeing that down here,” said the Jews.

“I have loved you. I hate your brother Esau. I’m totally screwing over his kids, but you guys are back in your own land. So get to the magnifying Me part.”

“Okay,” God said, “I do have a few things to talk about. First, stop offering me flawed animals. Only Grade-A or above beef and lamb, please. You guys keep bringing me lame, flawed, or stolen critters to kill before Me, and I don’t like it. Only bring the best to Me. I am your priests-, I mean… you great King.”


Chapter 2:

“Speaking of priests, you guys better shape up and honor Me too or I’m going to curse you and smear shit on your faces. You guys are showing favor to the wealthy.”

“We all have one father and God has created us all. But seriously, don’t marry foreign women. That makes God mad. Although God says He hates divorce, so maybe don’t kick your wives and children out into the streets because Ezra says so.”

“Also, God’s getting really tired of you guys saying that evil people prosper and wondering where the justice in the world is. Yes, evil people prosper and there seems to be no justice in the world, but God’s getting tired of you complaining about it.”


Chapter 3:

So God said, “I’m going to send a messenger. A Purifier who will purify the priests, so they can present pleasing offerings to the Lord again. And I will come and judge the sorcerers, even Gandalf, Harry Potter, and Merlin! And I’ll judge the adulterers, the liars, the oppressors, and the racist xenophobes.”

“I don’t change, so I haven’t destroyed you. But come back to me.”

“We’re right here,” said the Jews.

“You’re not giving me all of the stuff I told you to give to me! If you just give me your stuff, I’ll give you more. But seriously, guys, stop talking shit about Me.”

“We’re not,” said the Jews.

“Really? I hear a lot of whining about how evil people prosper, while you suffer for being good.”

“Yeah, it’s not just us. There’s a lot of that in the New Testament too…”

Then the pious got together and spoke well of the Lord and the Lord noticed and had a book written with all of their names and the nice things they said about Him, so He would spare them in the day of wrath and not kill them horrible the way He planned to kill everyone else.


Chapter 4:

“The day is coming when I’m going to burn the wicked, but you guys will go forth leaping with joy and happiness as you crush the wicked too.”

“Don’t forget the Law of Moses. Seriously, girls on their period are way unclean, bros…”

“And I’m going to send Elijah back to you guys before the final judgment happens. He’ll make sure you guys are ready, so I don’t curse you too.”

And that’s it. The last of the prophets.

In the time following this, the Judean monarchy would not be restored. The Greeks would come and introduce Hellenistic ideas and philosophies. There would be a period of strife between the Seleucids and the Judeans known as the Maccabean revolt that would restore the cult of Yahweh. And then the Romans would come and conquer Judea. Eventually, the Romans would support the appointment of an Edomite king known as Herod to govern the region, and there would be a period of apocalyptic fervor with many men coming forward claiming to be a Messiah there to reestablish the Jewish kingdom and monarchy under Yahweh.

And then the stories of the New Testament begin…