Paul Verhoeven's Jesus Bio

The director of Robocop has apparently written a biography of Jesus with a less than miraculous story of his conception-- Mary being raped by a Roman soldier.

This isn’t a new idea, I’m certain I remember some traditions of Jesus’ paternity involving a Roman soldier, though I don’t recall whether the act was consensual or not.

Bill Donahue of the Catholic League mocks the idea as having “no empirical evidence to support his claim”, and somehow manages to keep his head exploding from the irony.

[monty python]

Brian Cohen: “You were RAPED?!”
Mrs. Cohen: “Well… at first…”

[/monty python]

It’s an old theory.

It’s not grounded in “absolutely nothing”, the story of Jesus’s father being a Roman soldier go back to the second century (complete with the supposed name of the soldier).

Of course, that’s not wildly convincing evidence, either, especially since if memory serves, the people spreading the story were anti-Christian, but it’s not complete speculation either.

It’s an ancient accusation, arguably present in the Talmud. I don’t believe it for a second, but it’s still more plausible than a Divine insemination.

I don’t know why people like Donohue feel like they have the right to dictate exactly what artistic interpretations of Jesus other people are allowed to express. There is no more empirical evidence for Mel Gibson’s resurrection scene than there is for the old Pantera smear, but at least the latter is not hampered by being physically impossible.

Anyway, doesn’t Verhoeven have the same right to film something from the Talmud as Gibson does from the Gospels?

Cecil did a column about it, the name of the hypothetical soldier was ‘Panther’ IIRC.

Does anyone know the title of Verhoeven’s book? I can’t seem to find it on Amazon.

This one. Tells us nothing on that point Wikipedia doesn’t.

Well, he warmed up by shitting all over Robert Heinlein, now he’s ready to shit all over God…

Remember, people, it’s satire.

…if this was anyone but Paul Verhoeven I’d be terribly excited about this.

I’ve always assumed the immaculate conception was just a cover up for some good old fashioned pre-marital sex. In fact I’ve toyed with the idea of pitching this very idea (except it’d be a comedy).

It is being printed in Dutch. An english translation is expected in 09.

From The Monty Python Scrapbook of Brian of Nazareth (the half containing material that was never used in the movie):

SOLLY: What do you mean, the Holy Ghost?

SARAH: I said, the Holy Ghost done it.

SOLLY: He got you up the gut, the Holy Ghost did?

SARAH: Yeah.

SOLLY: You expect me to believe that the Holy Ghost took a night off from Heaven, came down to number 42, Sheep Way, and shacked up with you.

SARAH: Yeah.

SOLLY: Let me get this right – the Spiritual ruler of the entire Universe feeling a touch randy and in need of a bit of the other, manifests himself, comes down and nips into bed with you.

SARAH: Yeah.

SOLLY: Nice one. I don’t get a bit of nookie out of you for two years and next thing your having knee tremblers with a bloody archangel.
It goes on like that for some time . . . Finally:
SARAH: He was ever so nice. He said I could call him Brian.

SOLLY: Brian.


SOLLY: Brian the Holy Ghost.


SOLLY: And do you recollect throughout two thousand years of scriptures the Holy Ghost ever being referred to previously as Brian.

SARAH: Erm no.

SOLLY: So it never crossed your mind that this smutty seraphim, this rampant genie with his pants round his ankles, might perhaps not be an angel of the most high in rut but some quite ordinary mortal with a gift of the gab and a penchant for banging underage briffit.

SARAH: I’ve never done it before.

SOLLY: I’m afraid my dear you’ve fallen for a very old line.


SARAH: Do you want me to show you what he did?

SOLLY: What?

SARAH: Do you want me to show you what he taught me?

SOLLY: What all the way? Bareback?

SARAH: I can’t get any more pregnant, can I?


SARAH: Somebody’s got to be second.

SOLLY: Yeah.

SARAH: It’s ever so nice.

SOLLY: All right.

SARAH: Between you and me, I never fancied him that much.


SARAH: No, it wasn’t very big.

SOLLY: That’s not supposed to count.

SARAH: I know. But it helps.

Was that really unused LoB material or did you make that up?

If the latter, well played, Sirrah!

Really offensive, but still well played!

No, it’s there all right. That book is mandatory reading for all LoB fans, some of the extra stuff in there is achingly funny. I do see why that scene was left out though, it doesn’t fit with the flow and general feel very well.

All, I gotta say is that if there is a God, then we’re gonna find out really soon as no doubt He’s gotta be mighty pissed and there’s gonna be a whole lotta smitin’ goin’ on!
Is it wrong of me to hope that God pops into existence, discover this book and the proceeds to get, well, biblical on Verhoven’s ass in the most spectacular way, before popping out again?

$20 says he lives for quite some time.

What’s that? Paul Verhoeven making a film adaptation of a popular book that is completely offensive to those people who like the book? You don’t say…

I’d rather God have stepped in to interrupt THE WICKER MAN re-make.

I was very surprised, on reading T.H. White’s The Bestiary (A book I heartily recommend) to find a footnote mentioning the story that Jesus’ real father was a Roman soldier named Pantera. This utterly blew me away, as I’d never heard this before (and me raised in a Catholic school – can’t imagine why!) I looked for information about it for years, without luck (you kids don’t know how lucky you are to have the internet. Why, in my day, we had to walk uphill to the library against the wind, carrying buckets full of water to get information.)
I finally did find a very full description of the evidence in Morton Smith’s book Jesus the Magician. I recommend it as a source for odd details like this, but also recommend that you read him with more than a grain of salt. The man makes logical errors and suppositions that don’t require specific training to notice. But he does fully footnote his work. He mentions the tombstone, and idly notes that it is just possible that it’s our “only genuine relic of the Holy Family”, but that’s just for effect. The legend predates the discovery of that Roman marker by almost two millenia.