Thanks to Brant Hansen for breaking this important news story. I’ve copied the whole thing below since I know most of you don’t bother clicking on links, and this is just way too monumental to risk anyone not reading.
Qumran, or However You Spell It, Near the Dead Sea (AP) —
Scholars here are abuzz after new biblical fragments were discovered. “Now, everything adds up,” says Ehud Oren of Hebrew University. “It all makes sense, now. By the way, it’s pretty awesome that we keep finding stuff in this awesome cave.”
This find includes original, previously lost, texts from the biblical Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Scholars, in a collective statement, admit “some surprise” but they now see how the American church is squarely “on the right track.”
“We found these fragments with Jesus telling his disciples to grab some serious real estate, build it, and try to attract people to it,” the statement says. “He even throws around the term ‘250 billion bucks’, which corresponds to the net real estate holdings of American churches at this very moment. It’s freaky,” they say.
“He has some side conversations with the Pharisees, too, where he tells them he’s really all about, above all, being theologically astute, learned, and correct. In these fragments, he’s real into arguing about ‘predestination’ and having the right hierarchy set up and all that stuff,” the report says. “It was a real emphasis.”
There’s even a reference to wanting his followers to market mint candies with scriptures inside. “He told some businessmen, ‘If it reaches just one person, it’s worth it.'”
“It’s now clear, ultimately, that Jesus wanted his followers to prize knowledge, seize on academic differences, split 33,000 times, and set up parallel institutions across the street from each other,” the report says. “So we’re right on track.”
There will be new verses to memorize, like John 47:12: “And lo, you need to collect some money from yourselves, and then spend a full 85 percent of it on congregational maintenance,” and Mark 57:2: “Check this out, disciples: Some day, I’m going to let you guys satellite uplink yourselves.”
The scholars say the new texts emphasize the need for a permanent, professional class of experts to figure out what Jesus really meant, like when he said his teachings were actually “easy”. (Matthew 11)
“We’re looking at a fragment now that continues on from where Jesus said all commands were summed up with just two, about loving God and neighbor. Turns out, in the fragment, Jesus goes on to say, ‘Well, those two, plus a bunch of other ones, but you’ll understand those later when you get a Bible put together and start cutting it up in verses and stuff.’ — that’s what it says. So we’re right on course,” the statement says.
“Turns out, we’ve been smack-on when it comes to ‘taking stands’ for stuff. Previously, we didn’t have Jesus saying anything about ‘taking stands’ here and there, but now – in the new Matthew 73 — he goes down a long list: Take a stand against Hollywood, against welfare reform, and against ‘The Shack’.”
Scholars point to the new Matthew 73:12: “I know I said, I am the Truth, and I’ll always be with you, but I want you to act like the truth is this dainty, fragile thing that can only exist thanks to your personal heroic efforts to preserve it. Take a stand, and then a bow.”
“We’re hitting on all cylinders,” the report concludes, citing the ongoing divisions and spending to justify expert debates over the Bible. “It all makes sense now.”