WEST CHESTER, Pa.—Although we hold no brief with invisible friends in the sky—not the nine choirs of angels, the eight maids a-milking, the heavenly hosts a-dancing, or the figments of anybody’s fevered second-rate imagination—we are fascinated with the Historical Jesus, the apocalyptic prophet and rabble rouser who did exist and who was crucified by Roman authorities, and about whom nothing else can be known for sure, unless you are willing to credit the bilge water about Jesus the Christ concocted by Saint Paul and the other charlatans whose “work” makes up the New Testament.
We emphatically are not, so we made a few inquiries among biblical scholars, and as a result we were able to obtain an exclusive interview with the Historical Jesus, a fascinating and thoroughly human being.
PUG BUS: How do you feel about the way you are portrayed in the New Testament?
HISTORICAL JESUS: I call it the New Testicle because it makes be look like some kind of super magician with an extra ball.
PB: So you didn’t walk on water or heal the sick . . .
HJ : Hell no. Some of the other allegedly divine preachers in those days resorted to that schtick, but I was a wordsmith, the thinking man’s zealot. That still didn’t stop some of my followers from claiming that I performed miracles, though
PB: What do you mean by “allegedly divine”?
HJ: I never said I was divine. Read the gospel of Mark. It’s the first one written, and it’s the best of the lot, short and to the point.
PB: But there are frequent references to you in Mark as “the son of god.”
HJ: My people—I am Jewish, you know—called everybody the son of god. All that meant was that you were someone god put on earth to help carry out his mission, which was to reward the righteous and to kick the shit out of the Roman downpressors.
PB: So if you weren’t divine, what about the other preachers who claimed to be divine?
HJ: That was just their followers blowing smoke for the most part. I’d run across some of the other preachers occasionally—Appolonius of Tiana, the Egyptian, guys like that—and we’d compare notes about the best places to sleep or to get a free meal. We got along fine, but our followers were always making up shit and getting into brawls about whose guy was the greatest. You know how possessive followers can be.
PB: The Jesus of the New Testament didn’t say words like shit.
HJ: Wouldn’t say shit if he had a mouthful, right? Listen, man, I’m from peasant stock, illiterate, rough-living peasant stock. What did you expect me to sound like, that faggot in the picture frame on zillions of walls, the guy in the flowing robe with the perfumed hair whose eyes “follow you around the room”? Gimme a break. My boys and I were rough; we made that poseur Bruce Springsteen look like the pious middle-class fraud that he is. Sanctimonious wanker wouldn’t have lasted a day in my neighborhood.
PB: Back to the Gospel of Mark . . .
HJ: You know that the gospels weren’t written by the people who got the bylines for them, right? And that they were written in Greek, a poncy language spoken by toffs, not the Aramaic that I spoke, and that none of the authors of the New Testicle ever attended any of my speeches? Mark wasn’t written until at least thirty-five years after the Romans got me, you know.
PB: Yes, I know, but in Mark you are quoted as saying the coming of god was at hand. In fact, you said at one point that many of the people in the crowd listening to you speak would be alive when god arrived.
HJ: OK, so I got that part wrong. As I said, I’m not divine. Lot of other people got that wrong, too.
PB: Was your crucifixion as dramatic as . . .
HJ: Stations of the cross, weeping women, Mel Gibson theatrics, all that shit? Nah. It was less of a production than that, but it did hurt like a mother-fucker. I wouldn’t recommend it.
PB: What happened afterward?
HJ: Afterward? They cut my ass down and threw me on a landfill, the bastards, just like they did with the other troublemakers.. Didn’t even give me a proper burial burial, let alone a fancy tomb in a gated community.
PB: You didn’t rise from the dead?
HJ: Of course not. That opportunist Paul and the gospel writers after Mark made that shit up out of whole burial cloth. What would you have done in their place? Your boy blows the call on the coming of god, gets his ass whipped by the hated Romans, then gets served up on a landfill as dog food. You’d make up some cockamamie story about him rising from the dead, appearing to his disciples, and ascending into heaven, too. What amazes me is that people bought that shit, even the Romans eventually did. Ain’t that ironic? Tell you the truth, I don’t really think my disciples ever meant to start a world religion. They weren’t that ambitious. Most of them didn’t even have jobs. They just wanted to save a little face in the village square. They didn’t foresee this whole Catholic Church con with the guineas in the funny hats and the priests buggering altar boys in the sacristy. Jesus Christ, man, that shit got way out of hand.
PB: True dat. Listen, it’s been great talking to you.
HJ: Same here, brother. I gotta get over to the EWTN for an interview. I don’t think they’re gonna be ready for my act, but neither were the Romans, eh?
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