steve howard's update of the new testament


The Gospel According to MARK


chapter 04

Right then. Back to the lake to tell the story about the sower of seeds. To demonstrate in a story one possible way to perceive what the secret is behind the meaning of our being suddenly aware that we are becoming aware of being aware that our awareness must mean something.

Which is might. But jumping Jesus. It is much too soon to come to a conclusion about the whole thing.

If one was to take all the books ever written, all the songs ever sung, all the stories ever told and worked through them to discover a meaning, one would start to approach a shadow of a small piece of it. And it would still be a narrow beginning because we are just becoming aware of the size of the universe around us. We are just starting to let go of some of our fantasies of fear and loathing. Just barely getting to see that we are but a small part of it.

So there are still many seeds to be sown and many questions yet to be asked.

And a book is not evidence if it sells the impossible. It is often full of deception if it claims to be the truth. The writers of fiction usually include more truth than books of history and religion. One has to be a detective to start to understand.

GNB vs. 11: You have been given the secret of the Kingdom of God, ... EQ.

Gideon vs. 12:

That seeing they may see,
and not perceive;
and hearing they may hear,
and not understand;
lest at any time they should be converted
and their sins should be forgiven them. EQ.

And this is still the way it is. Our worst, actually our only, enemy is us. Our persistent belief that we are not deserving of what life has to offer.

The kingdom of heaven is now. Life blessed us. Evolution is not random. It is progressive. What didn’t work is long gone.

Then mustard seed stories again. Just to demonstrate that even something little can grow to be grand. Well, how about a red wood seed. Also very small and can become a master of the sky. Until greedy myopic primates come along and hack them all down.

Anywhore, we have a repeat of Jesus having a nap while the storm rages, which makes me think the storm wasn’t so bad if Jesus slept through it.

Thing is, you can’t tell a storm to relax. It is not a personal event. If someone writes that Jesus told a horse to relax and it did, that would be acceptable. Even a badger. But if you are out in a boat in a storm don’t waste your time praying for salvation. Get to doing what has to be done. Batten down the hatches and make certain that the boat is either headed with or against the waves so that you have a better chanced to stay upright.

If you are in a canoe, keep paddling and ride the waves. Keep the boat straight with the waves and it won’t capsize. Do not stop to pray.

chapter 05

Now the story about the mad man and the pigs. Again.

Mark’s version of the mad man in and about the tombs is quite different than Matthew. Matthew has two men. Mark has one man with multi-personality. Mark tells us that he had been chained up several times and always broke out of the chains. He also had the habit of cutting himself with stones.

He came running to Jesus. Called him ‘Son of the Most High God’. Fell on his knees and begged Jesus not to torment him.

“No worries, Mate. What’s your name.”

“Legion. We are a legion.”

“No. You are a man with a great number of voices in you head. And though no one will admit to it, it is not such an uncommon condition.”

Well, the demons, as these voices were called, didn’t want to leave the country and made a deal with Jesus to enter the 2,000 pigs. And as we all know, this was a fatal act for the pigs. They ran over the cliff and drown in the lake.

Now this story might be trying to teach us something. But I can’t figure it. A variation on calming the storm. The mad man was suddenly a calm and reasonable fellow and wanted to hang with Jesus but Jesus told him to go back to his family. So he went to ten towns and told of the grand event.

Now this could have happened. But not like it was written. In fact, all the details with chains and suicidal pigs are simply mad. It may be an intelligence test. If you believe the story, you failed.

The pig herders.

Pig herders on the mountain.

The demons jumped out of someone’s head and 2 thousand pigs killed themselves.

A pig does not care about humans. In fact they likely find us disgusting. If the 2 thousand pigs had screamed:

“We don’t want to be butchered by the Pig eating Romans. Jesus Christ save us too.”

That I would believe.

Because it has plausibility.

Everything that can be, is plausible. Anything that can not be is not plausible. As a generalization. Of course, not a law.

Pigs did not run off the cliff. Ever. And there are many who suspect that even Lemmings don’t have this tendency. That people will believe they do if someone see half a dozen jump off a cliff in a silly documentary film when big scary human monsters are chasing them with their cameras. They aren’t as clever as pigs. But suicidal tendency is a very human thing.

And had Jesus really managed to scare 2,000 pigs into suicide, I would be in the crowd that told him to go far away.

Demons possessing pigs. Come. Let it go.

So Jesus went somewhere else.

Who had that put in there with the pigs. Off with his head.

“Burn him.”

“Smash his bones and burn him again.”

vs. 11: “... a great herd of swine feeding” and, sorry, vs. 5: “... always, night and day, he was in the mountains, ...” EQ.

Eating only mountain pig.

Okay, enough already. Here the story is: little daughter and she is twelve years old and Jairas, a high ranking Jew, asks Jesus to bring his daughter back to life.

Jesus has trouble getting through the crowds and stops to talk to a woman when her bleeding finally stopped upon touching his rob.


Detail distraction. The important point to note is that Jesus says, and even knows all along as he takes his time to get there: GNB vs. 39: “... the child is not dead - she is only sleeping!” EQ.

And Mark is a strange fellow. I don’t believe him that she is twelve. Why, well it is too important for his story. He doesn’t want us to think it was a lover of Jesus.

This doesn’t prove Jesus went to have a visit with his woman or a girl friend. But there is no denying the avoidance of the subject of sex. As if kids came from God or storks.

A children’s fairy tale.

chapter 06

GNB vs. 2: “... How does he perform miracles?” EQ.

Well, he doesn’t. Or better said. Exactly the question is the answer. Keyword. Perform. He sets them up.

Now I don’t want to suggest that amazing things didn’t happen in the Jesus campaign. Just that they had been told a few hundred years before written and every time a story gets told it gets embellished.

Our teacher demonstrated this for us in public school. She whispered a very short story to one student and that student whispered it to the next and within only a few minutes the original story was not at all recognizable. That is what has happened with these stories. They may have started out as real stories about real events but it is anyone’s guess what the events were.

In verse three again the logic, if Jesus got at least four brothers, James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon (also called Peter) and at least two sisters and Mary mothered them all. Then he ain’t nothin’ but a punk ass kid that disrespects the laws of his ancestors. And Mary certainly was not a virgin.

Jesus said, GNB vs. 4: “A prophet is respected everywhere except in his own home town and by his relatives and his family.” EQ.

And in verse twelve, an interesting new point.

GNB vs. 12: “They drove out many demons, and rubbed olive-oil on many sick people and healed them.” EQ.

First mention of a real remedy other than washing in the river with John TB. For all those people with skin trouble in the desert climate, a little olive-oil. How about that for some simple probability.

And again the head of John the Baptist on a plate story.

The boss marries his brother’s wife and wants to make love to the daughter, tells her. He thinks she will go for it. On account some woman can be charmed with a kings wealth. Make a vow before his dinner guests. But she didn’t take the bait and someone who actually tried to warn Herod Jr. of his testosterone madness.

Ends up losing his head.

Which teaches us what. That the decadent ruling class doesn’t have any regard for life. Make a boast at a party and it cost someone their head.

That has to be clear.

What do people mean when they say they believe in Jesus.

How does it mean anything. Is belief then ownership. Does it buy you a one-way ticket to the promise land. Does it give you the right to kill anyone who doesn’t believe. Are believers any more intelligent than mold.

The only way to heaven is back here.

Anyhead. The moral of the head on a plate story could be.

Do not swear by heaven or earth.


The only real different thing in the rest of feeding 5,000 women and their men and children, is, Peter don’t try to walk on the water when he thinks he sees Jesus doing it.

Well, I’m sorry. Unless it was frozen, he didn’t. Don’t argue: well, it was written.

He put a bucket of water in the closet and pulled out a dog 2 days later.

“I saw it on TV. It must be true.”

mark chapters 07 - 09