I am reading Terry Eagleton presents Jesus Christ The Gospels. The meat of the book is found in the Introduction and Note on the Text. The rest of the book is The Gospels by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and may be found in any Bible near you. The version of The Gospels translation used here, Terry Eagleton explains, is the New Revised Standard Version, which
is the academic translation of choice for university theology and probably the most widely authorized among churches.
Of course this version of The Gospels comes with footnotes that explain some of the issues raised in the introduction.
I have to confess, despite not being born into the Catholic tradition, that I have not read the Bible. I tried in my early teens, but I didn’t get it. I have been told by S that the biblical text is rather poetic, but I have not yet stumbled upon such instances, or I haven’t noticed them.
One thing I did notice on my current exploration of The Gospels however, was this in Mark chapter 11:
11 Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve. 12 On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. 13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see whether perhaps he would find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it. 15 Then they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves; 16 and he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple.
If you, like me, suffer from sudden sugar lows you too may have recognised what I recognised in this story. Jesus was hungry. He had not eaten for a while and had become ratty. This happens to me, too, when my blood sugar levels drop and I become single-mindedly focused on food. It makes me wonder whether, had Jesus eaten, or had there been figs on that tree, would the story have unfolded as it did? Would he have driven out all the traders?