The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

february morning

The four gospels of the New Testament each make a claim that Jesus walked on water.
Only Matthew's gospel troubles to mention that Peter at his own request, also walked on the water when Jesus beckoned him to, before sinking purportedly due to his lack of faith.
Some commentators suggest that a detail like Peter walking on the water is not something one would ever forget or leave out of a gospel if one had lived through such an event and were writing it down.
The implication is that the lack of a mention of Peter walking on the water in three gospels is a contradiction and points to the gospel narratives, possibly all of them, as being fictionalised and untrue.
There may be other explanations.
Police investigators of today maintain that in any contemporaneous eye witness accounts, there are always disparities.
As far as they are concerned, such things are to be expected and may not invalidate the testimonies.
Scholars believe that the apostles were with Jesus for between one and three years.
During that time they saw the dead being raised, the blind given back their sight, paralysed people getting up and walking, demoniacs freed from the domination of evil spirits, a handful of bread slices being used to feed 5000 people, Jesus in physicality becoming luminous with divine light, and so on.
The apostle John reminisced that all the books in the world could not contain all the things Jesus did.
Is it possible then, that after experiencing all these events directly themselves, mentioning Peter walking on the water, wasn't a particularly vital piece of the history or even particularly interesting for Peter's old companions and friends?
The gospel of Mark doesn't mention Peter walking on the water but we might adduce a more direct reason for that.
Mark was Peter's secretary and the gospel of Mark was written under Peter's authority.
It is not hard to conceive of Peter playing down his own importance in the narrative and omitting this gem.
The gospel of Luke was written by Paul's secretary. Paul himself was not an eye witness to the walking on water incident and only encountered Jesus after Jesus had been killed and rose from the dead.
Paul's direct knowledge of the life of Jesus is believed to have been based on his contacts with the apostles who formerly he had persecuted.
Paul has been described by the late British philosopher Anthony Flew as a "first class intellectual," and may not have thought Peter's brief moment on the water was the salient part of the story recounted to him by the apostles, the salient part being that Jesus could walk on water at will.
John's gospel was written by an eye witness, that is to say by an apostle who was there throughout Jesus public ministry.
We assume the apostle John who wrote the fourth gospel was in the boat at the time Jesus walked up to it on the lake. But he mightn't have been. Every apostle did not witness every incident. At times they were off on assignment, as it were.
Again we must ask ourselves, how important would the bit about Peter be to the overall memoir of any gospel writer? Bear in mind that we understand John to have been very old when he finally wrote his gospel down.
Matthew's gospel was traditionally believed to be the first one written.
I tend to hold to this tradition. In the present era, scholars tend to suggest Mark came first.
My instinct was always that Jesus' call to the educated, literate, numerate tax collector Matthew, connotes the possibility that Matthew was writing stuff down as it happened. If I'm correct in this, Matthew's gospel would effectively be contemporaneous with Jesus life and death and resurrection from the dead.
Scholars who tend towards my position often assert that there was an earlier version of Matthew written in Hebrew and that the present version we possess is based on a later translation of the lost Hebrew version into another language.
My point here is that if Matthew was writing contemporaneously, why yes, that may explain why he mentioned Peter walking on the water. Any of us might dwell on it if it just happened yesterday. It would have seemed splendid and wondrous and unprecedented and all the rest of it.
But it wasn't the point.
The other gospel witnesses, on mature reflection, having lived through Jesus' mission on earth, and having lived long after it, having seen and been a part of such signs and wonders everyday as never before had been seen on earth, may quite reasonably in their memoirs have been much less focussed on that strange brief moment in Peter's life.
The other gospel writers may also have thought that since Matthew had described Peter walking on water, there was no further need to mention it. The incident is not a central one to the good news of the Lord and the lesson it demonstrated had been clearly expounded already.
This leads to another perspective.
The whole purpose of each gospel witness was to impart central truths that Jesus had brought to them in his actions and his life, in his courage and his teaching, in his friendship and his love.
The central truth of the gospels is not the amazing miracles Jesus performs or enables his apostles to perform or enables his followers to perform to this day.
The central truth of the gospel is Jesus Christ dying for each one of us on a cross so that we may live, and then conquering death so that we may know he is Lord and thus live forever.
The clear guidance Jesus left to us was to love God with all our hearts, all our minds, all our souls, and all our strength, and to love our neighbours as ourselves.
In this context, the moment when Peter walked on the water is not the most important detail or even a very significant one for every gospel witness.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


"If I were you, I wouldn't say: The pharaceutical companies are poisoning people with anti depressants and anti psychotics. You lose credibility when you say that. I'd say: There is evidence to suggest that long term use of anti depressants may cause brain atrophy, chronification of the illness, addiction and early death."
"Cynthia old pal," I told her (for I had known her a full five minutes), "I really want to land the punch."

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

more of the night THEY came home

"What do you want me to do with it, Commander Gakkkkk?"
"I suppose we could eject it back into space, Vortak. Although it might then be picked up by other civilisations in the galaxy. And what have any of them done to deserve having a Tesla inflicted on them!"
"What's that sound, Commander?"
"It's playing earthling music on a continuous loop."
"Eerie isn't it?"
"It makes me yawn Vortak. Space Oddity. David Bowie. How utterly predictable. They should have picked Jas Mann's classic Spaceman. I've a good mind to open fire on them... with all weapons... and then despatch War Rocket Ajax to bring me back a Mercedes."
(War Rocket Kickinthebawls surely? - Ed note)

Monday, February 12, 2018

close encounters of the turd kind

"What do you want to do with your new car, Commander?"
"I suppose we might as well take it on board for a look."
"Will I use the tractor beam?"
"Nah. There's no such thing. Fly up along side it and then bring it into the cargo bay using our ship's extensible retractor arm."
"So we've no tractor beams?"
"That's about it. No transporter rooms either. Beam me up Scotty my aunt Fanny. Listen. If you convert someone to wave form, you know what's going to happen? They're going to be dead. And no force fields. There's no such thing and there never will be. No time travel either. The past cannot be visited because it no longer exists in the expansion. And no light speed. Light has no speed because it has no mass. You know Vartak sometimes I am quite astonished by how many earthlings have given up their faith in God while sustaining a vague but sincere belief in the non science of  Doctor Who, Time Tunnel, Superman, Space 1999, Star Wars and Star Trek."
"Some of those non sciences were fun."
"Shut your vlorpil. The only good science fiction film ever made was Dark Star."
"Right so I'll, er, bring the car on board using the mechanical extensible retractor arm, shall I?"
"You do that."
"Car's on board Commander."
"Let me have a look."
"What do you think of it close up?"
"It's still a ****ing Tesla."
"It's not so bad."
"Vortak have you lost your neural nitzers? It's ****ing awful. A car that doesn't ****ing work because it's supposed to be clean. I'll tell you this. If they keep throwing billion dollar government subsidies at Elon Musk to make these, the earthlings are going to find out the hard way that it's possible to turn prosperous countries into poor ones."

Sunday, February 11, 2018

a little reported intergalactic incident following businessman elon musk's launching of a car into orbit last week

"Something troubling you, Vortak Nine?"
"I'm getting a strange reading on the lateral scanner, Commander Gakkkkk."
"What is it?"
"It appears to be an object leaving earth orbit."
"Scan closer Vortak."
"It's... it's.... it's a car, Sir."
"Oh goody. The earthlings are probably sending it to me as a tribute. Can you get any closer?"
"Zooming in now Sir."
"Ah for ****'s sake. It's a ****ing Tesla."
"Still Sir. A free car when all is said and done."
"Free car my zogabongs. I'm not taking that heap of shite back to Zorgotrix."