Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Epistle of Barnabas

The Epistle of Barnabas was reportedly in the running to be a book of the New Testament.  It's a good thing it lost.  Apart from the fact that it's an intensely anti-Jewish screed, which would have made Jewish-Christian reconciliation even more difficult, Christians would have been saddled with a bunch of absurd folk tales.

Among other things, Barnabas claims that the Jews profoundly misunderstood  the laws of Moses.  Take the dietary laws, for instance.  God wasn't talking literally, you idiots, he was speaking metaphorically.  You can eat hare, for example, just don't grow multiple orifices like those slutty hares do:
Barnabas 10:6
Moreover thou shalt not eat the hare. Why so? Thou shalt not be found a corrupter of boys, nor shalt thou become like such persons; for the hare gaineth one passage in the body every year; for according to the number of years it lives it has just so many orifices.
The hyena, it turns out, is a sex change artist:
Barnabas 10:7
Again, neither shalt thou eat the hyena; thou shalt not, saith He, become an adulterer or a fornicator, neither shalt thou resemble such persons. Why so? Because this animal changeth its nature year by year, and becometh at one time male and at another female.
And the weasel apparently takes oral sex to a whole new level:
Barnabas 10:8

Moreover He hath hated the weasel also and with good reason. Thou shalt not, saith He, become such as those men of whom we hear as working iniquity with their mouth for uncleanness, neither shalt thou cleave unto impure women who work iniquity with their mouth. For this animal conceiveth with its mouth.

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