Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Gospel of Melvin translation update!

I've been a slacker at the blogging, I know, but I've been quite busy at translating the Melvin manuscript.

This passage, reminiscent of Luke 7:11-15, follows on the heels of an absurd story in which Jesus causes a fig tree to bear melons, and then to wilt from the exertion--thus proving to the intended readers, some scholars suppose, that melons are superior to figs. Others who see this pericope as parabolic teaching see the fig tree as a new believer or recent convert and the melons as teaching that is too advanced for them. The message is, then, "pace yourself." Other scholars presume the parable's point is that change is good, but let's not be ridiculous.

And after that, Jesus entered a city called Nain, having just passed through Sovin and Aight. He and his disciples were followed by a large crowd, many of whom were bearing one of the cantaloupes plucked from the fig tree. As they neared the city gate, they collided with a funeral procession coming out, and many were the people that stumbled at the impact. And great was the fall of dropped melons, and greater still was the wet splatting sound they made. For some time, many were confused, for it seemed to them that a young man had died in the chaos. Soon, however, it became clear that he was the youth who was being borne to his tomb--for his widowed mother had said, "He is my dead son."

When Jesus saw her, he was moved with compassion for her, and he said, "Don't cry."

"I'm not crying," she said. "That's melon juice! It wouldn't be so bad if your disciples wouldn't keep dropping them!" For the disciples, attempting to pick up the broken fragments that remained to see if they would fill twelve baskets, had found them very slippery. And Matthew, who was a tax collector, began out loud to account for all the pieces. "Seventy melons, dropped an average of seven times each... seventy times seven..."

"That reminds me, Lord," said Peter. "About that whole forgiving my brother thing: Are you sure you're not being a bit over-the-top about that number?"

And the Lord replied, "Pete, I swear, if you keep asking me about that, you'll spend your final days feeding sheep!"

By this time, the body of the young man had been restored to its place, and Jesus approached and touched the bier. And he said, "Yup. He's dead alright."

In the indignant silence that followed, Matthew could be heard counting, "486, 487, 488..."

Jesus, knowing what was in the crowd's hearts said to them, "I always make sure someone is really dead before I resurrect them. Ever since that one time that John was sleeping so soundly we thought he had passed from this life and I tried to raise him, I've been extra careful." (From this, a rumor began among some that John would never die, but Jesus did not say that.)
"...And then there was that time that I was called to the bed of a girl who really WAS dead, and I told everybody not to worry, because she was just sleeping. That did NOT go over well!"

Then Jesus turned his attention to the deceased. "Okay kid," he said, "time to get up, now." And the dead boy sat up, and began to speak, saying, "Man, am I starving! Hey Ma, have we got any cantaloupe?"


HMSnow said...

I myself would hold to the "change is good, but let's not be ridiculous" camp, but... let's admit it: if some of us didn't have "ridiculous," what would we have left?

Allen's Brain said...

I certainly wouldn't have a blog were it not for "ridiculous."

Of course, the two statements: "Change is good" and "Let's not be ridiculous" do not necessarily have to be antithetical to one another; i.e., some change is okay, but not extreme or absurd change. They may simply be two independent thoughts: I agree with you that change is good. However, I disapprove of your persistent attempts to sew badges to your girlscout uniform with spaghetti--especially since you are a boy. Let's not be ridiculous.

PaperSmyth said...

Allen, you must have had a really hard time translating that.
I am sending you something in your e-mail. Hope it makes you laugh as hard as I have from reading your posts!