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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

A little game

The above picture is of the Church of Jesus Christ the Adolescent, which is found on the top of a hill in Nazareth in Israel. It presumably gets its name from the fact that Jesus Christ did apparently spend his teenage years in Nazareth. I post the picture merely because everyone I have shown the picture to so far has laughed at the name.

Thinking about it more, though, asking people to complete the phrase “The Church of Jesus Christ the…” with the most entertaining ending is possibly almost as much fun as “For all its faults,…”.

(Yes, I think Evelyn Waugh played with this exact idea in The Loved One. It is still fun, however).

23 comments to A little game

  • Jeff

    My entry:

    The Church of Jesus Christ, that is one fine looking retaining wall.

  • Grant Freedom

    um…, wouldn’t he have gone to a synagogue? I was never indoctrinated so I don’t know, but presumably there’s some Rabbi who taught him, with a lot of explaining to do.

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    A win for gingers, or rangas! “The Church of Jesus Christ, the Red-head”!
    After all, King David was described, when Samuel met him, as a red-headed boy. Hence the link to red hair in movies. (But shouldn’t Jesus be ‘the Christ’? It’s not as though Christ is a family name!)

  • Antoine Clarke

    The rabbi in question would be John the Baptist.

    Who did indeed have a lot of explaining to do.


  • RAB

    Well continuing on the adolescent theme…

    The Church of Jesus Christ the S’not Fair! It wasn’t me, it was Judas!!

  • RAB

    Damn! missed the obvious…

    The Church of Jesus Christ the Not the Messiah, Just A Very Naughty Boy.

  • Ed Snack

    Well, it is quite arguable that Jesus wasn’t born in Nazareth anyway, which may not have existed in that time. Originally he was “Jesus the Nazorean” which refers to a class or sect in Judaism of the time. The association with Nazareth is likely a misassociation. The Gospels were not written down in their current form until well into the second century.

    Paul’s writings, written in probably the 50-60AD timeframe do not once mention Nazareth.

    And John the Baptist, again, arguably died after Jesus, was certainly more contemporaneous than the standard christian presumption that he was the forerunner of Jesus.

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    More nit-picking- Jesus was born, we are told, in Bethlehem, not nazareth. Luke thought it might have been because of a census. The three wise guys need not have turned up just on Xmas day either, whenever that really was.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    The Church of Jesus Christ, the Chav.

  • The Church of Jesus Christ, the Pizza Face.

  • Rob H

    Ed Snack:

    “And John the Baptist, again, arguably died after Jesus, was certainly more contemporaneous than the standard christian presumption that he was the forerunner of Jesus.”

    John the Baptist . . . . .Baptised Jesus. He was therefore by definition “contemporaneous” and being older ALSO the “forerunner”.

    Jesus died young on the cross. . . .you might have heard about it.

    So given those facts it is entirely likely that John the Baptist outlived Jesus, this is the account given in the Bible.

    I’d be delighted if you could point to the Christians who believe otherwise?

  • Rob H

    Could resist this.

    Ed Snack:

    “Well, it is quite arguable that Jesus wasn’t born in Nazareth anyway”

    The Bible says he was born in Bethlehem.

    Once again I’d be delighted if you could point to the Christians who thin he was born in Nazareth.

  • Well here sure as Hell wasn’t born in Stockport. No way you’d find three wise men and a virgin round here…

  • Only slightly OT…

    My most amusing Church name I ever is St Andrew of the Wardrobe. It’s in the City.

    Yes, I now know where the name comes from.

  • ‘Nuke’ Gray wrote:

    But shouldn’t Jesus be ‘the Christ’?

    Let me guess: you’re one of those sticklers who insists on calling higher math THE Calculus. :-p

  • Jesus was born in Bethlehem, died in Jerusalem, and the site where he was baptised (as an adult) is on the river Jordan fairly close to Jerusalem, but most of his evangelical activities took place in the Galilee region. Nazareth is in that region, so his coming from Nazareth is consistent with that. There was some sort of a village there at the time, even if it was not a large town.

    (I started leaving a comment here about the place where St John the Baptist baptisied Christ, but it turned into another post).

  • Steven Groeneveld

    It would be more historically and archeologically accurate to have, “The Church of Jesus Christ the never here“. Nazareth as a town did not apparently exist until about the 3rd Century and all the biblical references are probably post hoc misattributions of a different place and group or sect.

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    Also, the bible mentions that John Baptist was beheaded by order of Herod King- Jesus later met up with the ghost of John (Elijah) Baptist keeping company with the ghost of Moses Lawgiver on the Mount of Transfiguration. John would have had to be dead, therefore he died BEFORE Jesus. (And I always use the example of John the Baptist as a Christian example of reincarnation, since the bible makes it clear that Elijah came back as John.)

  • Ed Snack

    Rob H, and Nuke, you of course use the New Testament as sources. As I stated, the gospels did not get written down in the form we have them until well into the second century, and are thus not necessarily very reliable. They were written at third or fourth hand from oral traditions (and quite likely no longer extant manuscripts such as the theorized “Q” document) and as such are creations rather than eye-witness statements.

    Being born in Bethlehem, yes, mea culpa, but he is described as being “from Nazareth”, which is probably unlikely although the evidence (external evidence that is) is not conclusive either way. I do point out though that we do have some near contemporaneous writings, Josephus and Paul’s letters (and bits of Acts perhaps). Paul doesn’t mention Nazareth, neither does what we believe to be original Josephus. But then there are no undisputed references to Jesus in Josephus although his brother James is certainly mentioned.

    John the Baptist, again, the narrative in the NT is not authoritative no matter how much people wish it to be so. JtB was executed by Herod, which “Herod” ? There were many. But it is reasonable to assume that it was Herod Antipas, and for reasons in the narrative, that the execution occurred after Antipas’s brother Philip died. Philip it is known from independent sources died in AD34, which is well after the generally accepted date for the crucifixion which varies but is usually placed in AD30.

    Lacking definitive sources, we’ll probably never be sure, but the NT assertion is explicable on doctrinal grounds. JtB was formulated as the forerunner to Jesus, so he had to die first, historical records be damned.

    Nazareth is similar, the early error in translation from being a Nazarite to being from Nazareth is certainly possible, but once incorporated into the traditions it was impossible to expunge.

    So, in the spirit of this post as originally asked, “The Church of Jesus from Somewhere Else”.

  • MojoMonkee

    Can’t claim credit for this one but from one of the funniest blogs I’ve ever read:

    The Church of Jesus Christ, the purportedly magic Jew

    far inferior to Pikkiwoki the Papa New Guinean Mud God! 🙂

  • Steph

    To the degree that the acounts in the gosples are to be relied on, John was only slightly older than Our Lord, 6 months to be exact.

  • Tedd

    Bethlehem, Nazareth, whatever — the point is it’s in Pennsylvania.

    (Christ, I’ve been waiting a long time to use that one!)

  • Dale Amon

    So Tedd, as a fellow Pennsylvanian, would you say that a Bird In Hand is worth two in Intercourse?