December 26th, 2006


There was this guy with dredlocks on TV last night saying how Christianity was a smale-scale, Jewish, do-gooding outfit until St Paul hijacked it and turned it into a Greekified mystery religion. If you want to recapture the original message of Jesus, he told us, you've got to read the Epistle of James.

James was Jesus's brother, see- his older brother (whoops)- and after Jesus died he took over leadership of the Jerusalem church. It was a nice little family run business- the spiritual equivalent of a corner shop.

Then along came  Paul with his ambitions and visions and his amazing Jacobean prose style...

So I read the Epistle of James. What it says is, be excellent to one another, dudes- and watch out because  the rich are going to hell.

Yeah, right. I'm not going to take issue with any of that but Paul is a lot more interesting.

Would Christianity have developed into a global franchise if it had all been all down to James?  I think not.

Then dredlock guy did something extraordinary. OK, he said (facing into the lens so we could taste his sincerity)) I've proved that Pauline Christianity is a massive fraud and Jesus wasn't the Son of God- just an ordinary chap who believed in being nice to people- but actually I still believe he was the Son of God and rose from the dead and all that because the Church tells me to.