Messiah Mashed by Monster
Jesus did not die on the cross - he was killed when his pet dinosaur turned on him, according to new evidence coming from the scientists working in the Holy Land.
Dr Seth Croyant, Chief Scientist with the Biblical Fact Foundation, is leading a team of evangelical archeologists based in Tel Aviv. According to Croyant, the team has uncovered several rock strata not dissimilar to those in other countries in which dinosaur remains have been found.
"And yet," he says, "these are the exact same rocks in which we find ancient tombs not unlike the one in which Christ was buried and from which he arose."
This led Croyant to re-read sections of the Gospels that deal with Christ's death. "Most of them are actually a bit skimpy on details when it comes to the whole crucifixion thing," he says. "And they're inconsistent. It looks to me like there's been some rewriting, perhaps to cover up an embarrassing truth."
Croyant says he will reveal the full details of what's he's discovered in a press conference in July, which is when he will also launch the book, DVD, iPhone app and range of apparel based on his findings. In the meantime, though, he's keen to head off criticism of his new interpretation of biblical history.
"Some other so-called scientists would have you believe that dinosaurs became extinct millions of years before God created humans," he says. "But as the Earth is only 6,000 years old, that means there was no planet for the dinosaurs to roam on, which proves the scientists are wrong. It's simple, really."
The Bible makes frequent references to dinosaurs - or 'behemoths' and 'leviathans' as it prefers to call them. There's evidence that some demons may also have been carnivorous dinosaurs, says Croyant. And some scholars have claimed that early editions of Paul's Epistles contained references to a 'Jesus Horse' which many scholars took to be a T. Rex.
"We now know this to be an Abelisaurus, or 'Abel's Lizard'," says Croyant. "That's a two-ton, 30-foot carnivore easily capable of killing a man. Maybe that's what killed Jesus, though it could still have been a T. Rex. I definitely think the Jesus Horse is what Christ rode into Jerusalem, and it got changed in the Gospels to a donkey so that it would fit Old Testament prophesies. But then, we all know how unreliable the Old Testament can be."
Not all scientists agree, however, and the new findings have prompted a furious debate about Christ's relationship with dinosaurs.
"Jesus spread a message of love," says Rodriguez Ignare of the Texas Organization for Scientific Harmony in Houston, "and there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that he had any kind of relationship with anything but vegetarian dinosaurs.
"I think this new evidence has been misinterpreted," he adds, "and that Christ's death was nothing but an unfortunate accident. He was probably crushed when his tame Brontosaurus was just loved him too much."
However, both Croyant and Ignare agree on one issue
"He died for all our sins," says Croyant, "including the sins of dinosaurs."
Christ scarfs evolution papers
Two ninth grade students from Finger, Tennessee say that Jesus destroyed their biology homework.
"He appeared in a blaze of light and jes’ chewed it right up," said one of the girls - sisters aged 14 and nearly 15 - who cannot be named for fear of further visitations. "I have never been more afraid, or more excited."
According to the girls, Christ appeared in the bedroom they share with their seven brothers, none of whom saw anything but one of whom claims the girls were acting, "Kinda weird, kinda holy."
The Lord commanded the girls to hand over the papers they had written.
"The subject of the homework was evolution," said the elder girl. "I could see he was angry."
Pausing only to request some ketchup, Christ quickly devoured the papers, said "Let that be a lesson" and vanished.
It’s not the first time the girls have had dealings with supernatural forces. Two years ago, they were at the center of a storm when they discovered their gym teacher, Agnes Dawkins, was a witch. Ms Dawkins, whose whereabouts are currently unknown, was never proven innocent.
Some townspeople have criticized the school for setting homework on such a dangerous subject.
"It’s dancing with the devil," said Justice Ezekiel Torquemada, the town’s Judge and District Attorney, and who also runs the county’s leading undertaking business. "We shouldn’t be teaching our children about these black arts. Fortunately, Our Lord stepped in to prevent any damage to these young, impressionable minds. I’m not sure why he ate the papers, though. A bolt of lightning would have done the trick."
The school authorities, however, have been surprised at the reaction.
"We weren’t really expecting them to write about evolution as such," said their science teacher, Rev. Elijah Seraphim. "We just wanted them to explore how Darwin and all that stuff is a government-sponsored conspiracy to turn people away from the true faith. After all, I am the science teacher and that’s what science education is all about, seeking the truth an’ whatnot."
He added that the girls would not be penalized for the mishap.
"As their response to a paper on evolution was to turn in nothing at all, we think that deserves top marks," said Seraphim. "If God had wanted us to believe in evolution, he wouldn’t have sent his only son to eat this homework. Which is proof that evolution is wrong. What could be more scientific than that?"
The Real Face of Jesus
An Italian scientist has proven that the Turin Shroud - a sheet that bears the miraculous image of the crucified Christ - is genuine and shows the real face of Jesus. And the research was paid for by a bunch of non-believers!
Luigi Garlaschelli, a professor of organic chemistry at the University of Pavia, exactly reproduced the shroud using materials he says were easily available in medieval times.
Prof Garlaschelli laid a linen sheet over an assistant, rubbed it with an acid-soaked pigment and baked the sheet in an oven for that authentic 'biblical' look.
"The result is spooky," said businessman Jack Betise, an acknowledged expert in religion, the occult and the paranormal. "It's an exact replica of the Holy Shroud."
The Italian prof's research was funded by a group of atheists and agnostics, trying to prove that the real Turin Shroud could have been manufactured by con artists in the Middle Ages.
Two decades ago, carbon dating of the original Shroud dated it to between 1260 and 1390, but many Christians have maintained that it is the real thing - the burial cloth laid over Jesus after he was taken down from the cross.
"Professor Garlaschelli has shown, beyond reasonable doubt, that the image on the Turin Shroud was formed by direct contact with a real body," said Betise. "This completely blows out of the water any theories about it being a 'painting' or some other kind of fake. There has to have been a body. And, obviously, that body must have been our Lord Jesus Christ. Just look at the face. Who else could it have been?"
The image produced by Prof Garlaschelli was made even more realistic with the addition of blood stains, burn holes, scorches and water stains. He claims that this shows the real Turin Shroud could have been created at any time by anyone. But this is unlikely to worry the faithful, says Betise.
"That's just the usual scientism we've come to expect from these sorts of people," he said. "You know, scientists. As Homer Simpson said, you can prove anything with facts.
"In fact, this shows the strength of faith," added Betise. "Now we know the Shroud was formed by contact with the real Jesus, we can go back to dismissing mere evidence and once again glory in our beliefs."
Jesus jumps to rival team
Following the lead of ex-President George W Bush, religious leader and messianic prophet Jesus H Christ has converted to Islam.
"It was a long time coming, but I couldn't resist the inevitable any longer," says Christ, 33, from his home in Dead Horse, Kansas.
A stores assistant in a local factory producing self-assembly furniture, Christ says he hopes his followers will understand and even emulate his example. "The next time you're passing a mosque or are about to drink a beer, ask yourself 'what would Christ do?'," he suggests.
Members of Christ's church, the Sacred Heart of Dead Horse, are rumored to be unhappy at the move.
"He's done some dumb stuff in his time, but this about beats everything," says Wienus Cornstobble, 89, lay preacher and editor of the church's MySpace page. "I mean, his fish supper evenings were pretty bad, what with everyone going home hungry. And that stunt on the lake ... well, I don't even want to talk about that. But this is just plain stoopid."
Christ, however, is unrepentant.
"Just look at Christianity, which is what I was preaching," he says. "I mean, it's so old. It's just out of date, which is why everyone is giving up on it. Islam, on the other hand, is younger, more vibrant. I think it has a lot more appeal. And in today's dog-eat-dog religious environment, you have to go where the market is."
Born as Billy-Bob Aletius Neufuffle, the preacher changed his name to Jesus Hellacious Christ in January 2000 after what he says was a moment of revelation.
"When the Y2K thing didn't happen I figured it was for a reason," he says. "I knew I had a mission."
Christ took a correspondence course in past life regression from the Wichita School of Spiritualism and Soothsaying. To his amazement, he discovered he is the reincarnation of the original Jesus.
"That blew me away," he claims. "It completely changed my life. I knew for certain then that I wasn't just another working stiff - that I had an important role to play in this world."
Christ immediately moved out of his brother-in-law's back bedroom into one of Dead Horse's most upmarket trailer parks.
"I got me a double-wide," he says. "Nothing less would do for the Son of God."
Since then he has established his church and built a congregation of over two dozen members. "It varies a lot," says Cornstobble. "Most of them are pretty old so the numbers tend to dip come winter."
For the congregation, Christ's message that the End Times are near is what attracted them to the church.
"The first Jesus kept banging on about how God's kingdom was nigh," says Emily Scroggit, 93, "and that was two thousand years ago, dammit. I ain't got much time left, so if it's gonna happen it, it'd better happen damn soon. Billy-Bob ... I mean, Jesus H, said he could bring it on. But now he's fooling around with all this A-rab bullhickey. Ain't nuthin' in that for me, so I figure I might try them Mormons."
Wearing a taqiyah and white
Second Coming and Going
Jesus Christ has returned to Earth. But instead of heralding the Apocalypse, it turned out to be just a brief visit by the Messiah, who said he was "a bit pushed for time".
Christ appeared unexpectedly in the home of 74 year-old Apocrypha Cartwright, an ex-nun and bingo caller living in Duluth.
Cartwright, who has previously been visited by the Virgin Mary, Gandhi, Elvis and Oprah [check that last one, it might be true - ed], said that she was taken by surprise when she found Jesus in her utility room.
"I was just going to put some of my husband's shorts in to soak, because they've got some of those difficult stains, and there He was, standing by the tumbledryer," she quivered. "At first I thought He might be cleaning His robes, but then I could see they were all sort of glowing and ethereal and that sort of thing really needs hand washing."
The Messiah then explained that he was only "popping by".
"I asked Him if He was going to scourge the wicked and cast them into the bottomless pit and bring forth locusts with hair of women and teeth of lions and bring about God's kingdom on Earth," said Cartwright. "But He told me it wasn't really an official visit."
Unsure what she should do, lest she be judged, Cartwright offered the Messiah a cup of tea, which he gladly accepted. "I asked Him if He wanted herbal but He just wrinkled His nose. He also asked if I had any vodka to put in it, which I thought was strange. But I'd drunk the last of it that morning."
Although disappointed that Christ had not come to punish evildoers, the old woman confessed that it was also a bit of a relief. "I was a bit worried I was going to be cast into the great winepress of the wrath of God," she said. "And I still had my curlers in. Hopefully, we'll get a bit more warning when the Apocalypse really happens."
Although his visit was brief, Cartwright says Christ left a message for the world.
"He said to say He was really sorry he couldn't stay," said Cartwright, "but He was literally in the neighborhood and thought He'd drop in to see how we're getting along. He said He'd try to stay longer next time."
Ancient relic still shows traces of saviour's sandwiches, claim scientists