Thank you for inviting me here today. I am going to speak to you about the books of the Bible.
Mostly about how we donâ€™t have enough of them.
The Roman Catholics started it; they added in a load of special texts that some people call the â€˜Apocrypha.â€™ Then the Eastern Orthodox Church added in a few more (probably to make the bumper book of Christian theology bigger and more thumpable). The Ethiopians, seemingly keen to not only expand Jewish Scripture added in not only more books of crazy religious fervour but obviously decided to start a whole new section which I will call the â€˜Even Newer Testament.â€™
We, brothers and sisters, must do more. Not only more, but better.
Which is why Cardinal Darmeus (freshly returned from his adventures in the 23rd Parallel) and I have decided to petition anyone who will listen to add the following texts to the Bible.
One: King Lear – Poor Tomâ€™s a-cold… in Hell!
Two: One Hundred Years of Punch – A pictorial history of Victoriana becoming Post-modernity
Three: Seven Things I know about my Mother… The Giant Robot (to be written) – bound to be a mantlepiece
Four: The Manifesto of Self-Revocation – Already a mantlepiece
Five: The Number 23 (which is to say that we want a page with 23 printed in bold, preferably in Garamond, standing somewhere between the Old and New Testament)
Modern people, especially modern theists, want, nay, need, a modern Bible filled with modern texts that mean as much to them as the current crop of dogma. Itâ€™s been near one thousand and nine hundred years since the last book was written and near one thousand and five hundred years since the canon was fixed. â€˜Jeremiahâ€™ was all fine and good for Hey-zeus (hmm… Maybe we should add the new, JMS overseen, â€˜Jeremiahâ€™ TV series as â€˜Jeremiah II – DVD edition) but modern peoples want the wisdom of Paris and Britney, Hunter and Gore.
We need to rise up together as a literary group and reimage the most popular and best-selling book of all time. And find me not guilty of â€˜Light Treason.â€™
The Defense rests.
PS. We could go the other way; get rid of any books with a numerical suffix and reduce the synoptic Gospels down to one (and write John into it). Iâ€™m thinking of a 300 page potboiler.
PPS. Not guilty.