The News of the Ancient World

15/07/11 | Posted by MattPage

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The journalists, headline writers and editors are often right in what they say. So you must be careful to live as if it will be your life under the microscope on tomorrow's front page. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.

 Jesus’ original speech was directed at the religious leaders of his day.

“Everything they do is done to sell papers: They make their indignation plain and their rants long; they love the place of honour at posh meals and their influence on the seat of power; they love to be greeted with respect and to be called ‘powerful’ by others.

“But you are not to be called ‘powerful,’ for God is more powerful than people - indeed you are all brothers and sisters. And do not give others authority over you: leave that to your Father in Heaven The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

“Woe to you, journalists, headline writers and editors, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the society in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.

“Woe to you, journalists, headline writers and editors, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win someone to your cause, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.

“Woe to you, journalists, headline writers and editors, you hypocrites! You give a small portion of your profits to he poor, but evade tax and promote the very behaviour that leads to such a gap between rich and poor. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

“Woe to you, journalists, headline writers and editors, you hypocrites! Your front pages criticise those who live immorally clean, but inside your papers are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind guides! First clean the inside of the paper, and then the outside also will be clean.

“Woe to you, journalists, headline writers and editors, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

“You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned? Look, your house is left to you desolate.”

Loosely Based on Matthew 23

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I can’t help but feel that we get the newspapers and journalists that we deserve.

After all, we (the UK, rather than you and I) made the NotW the most popular Sunday newspaper.

#1. By HughB on July 15, 2011

Sure, the News of the World was terrible. Unfortunately, the Bible is far worse and infinitely more damaging.

#2. By Spectrox War on August 03, 2011

The Bible itself isn’t damaging, Spectrox War. But the way some people interpret and read it is definitely damaging.

Totally agree there!

Is Macbeth damaging? Are the James Bond books damaging? The novels of Stephen King?

I don’t see books themselves as damaging, just the way they are used.


#3. By Andrew Wooding on August 04, 2011

I completely disagree. The obvious difference that deep down people know that the Scottish play (I’m not superstitious really) and James Bond are not real. Theists who believe their Holy Book is the infallible word of God will be affected in an entirely different way. Our beliefs inform our actions. Unless of course you think that Blofeld or members of the RSC had a hand in the Twin Towers incident?

#4. By Spectrox War on August 05, 2011

You have a point. But there’s a difference between seeing the Bible as the infallbible word of God and the literal word of God.

Fundamentalists would probably believe in a literal six-day creation and a literal Adam and Eve with a literal talking snake.

Me, I see the Bible (which means library) as a collection of 66 very different books, some of which are poetry, fable, allegory, metaphor, letters, historical documents, prophecy, fiction, dreams - in short, a work of art inspired by God. I don’t see works of art as dangerous in and of themselves, unless you believe in censorship?

And no, I don’t think Scaramonga and Laurence Olivier were terrorists, at least as far as I know… smile


#5. By Andrew Wooding on August 05, 2011




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