Deborah Ross: Our Woman in Crouch End

I take the Bible so literally I stoned Sue from up the road to death for playing away from home

Share

The other day there was a knock on the door and on the step were two jolly, smiley, plump ladies. They said: "Good morning." I said: "Good morning." They said: "Have you ever thought about letting Jehovah into your life?" I said: "It depends if he is prepared to do his bit. If he is just going to lie about watching Eurosport and leaving smelly socks everywhere like all the other people in this house who pretty much think they are God then 'I must sayeth no unto you. But if you can sayeth that he will picketh upeth his own socketh and babysiteth every other Saturday and smite the loins of those who rise up against me until they rise no more, then my heart will rejoiceth big-time'." (Debiticus, 5:13)

They said: "Thank you for talking to us. We must get on. Is your neighbour in, do you know?" I said I didn't know. I said I've always been deeply envious of his goods, coveted his wife, and last week even gave false evidence against him, so it's not as if we're exactly on speaking terms. I also kicked his cat who keeps pissething on my lawn and sometimes even does a mighty shiteth. They said: "Good-bye."

However, they did leave me a leaflet, Why You Can Trust The Bible. The picture on the front of the leaflet is of a young man with a side parting wearing a cheap suit, sitting on a Dralon armchair and with, one assumes, a Bible open on his knee. ("And from the looketh of him it was obvious he was badeth in bed with no loins to writeth home about." Fourth Book of Dross, 72:9).

Still, I read it, just as I read everything. I am a compulsive reader. Not just books and, of course, newspapers, although little of what's been in the newspapers lately has come as news to me - Kate Moss does coke, Fern Britten is fat, Amanda Platell attacks Fern Britten for being fat, Fern sits on Amanda (we wish)! You may even consider adding this wish to your nightly prayers: "Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, and if Fern could somehow sit on Amanda, that would be a lot of fun."

I also read cereal packets and mini-cab cards (you can test me on the airports served by the various companies) and the classifieds and the serving suggestions on the side of packets ... what cheese on an oatcake, and not boot polish? Are you having a laugh? What kind of fool do you take me for, expecting me to fall for that? Grow-upeth. I read bankruptcy notices, liquidation notices, the advertisements for extra-wide shoes and things that allow you to let out your trousers as featured in the back of The Daily Express and, always, the death notices in the Hornsey Journal that go, more or less: "Florence Davies much-loved wife, mother, grandmother and supreme Victoria sponge maker, fell asleep peacefully ..." Well, I'm guessing there is no rousing her now. Do you want to break it to the grandchildren or shall I? It's so heartbreaking, the way they keep shaking her and crying: "Grandma, wake up, wake up! You promised we'd make a cake."

Where's the proof?

So I read the leaflet. The leaflet starts with: "Some people say the Bible is unreliable, and their views have gained wide acceptance."

What?, I thought. Some people don't accept it was written 6,000 years ago by an invisible yet-all powerful deity for whom there is no proof whatsoever?

"Thus many dismiss what the Bible says as untrustworthy."

Not me. I take it all very literally, which is why I poked out the eye of my manservant yesterday when I discovered he was stealing from me and then stoned Sue from up the road to death because I was led to believe she was playing away from home, if you get my drift, the dirty slag.

"Is there really evidence that the Bible is unreliable?"

I hope not. Or I'm going to be in big trouble with the human rights people, women's groups, and possibly the police.

"Has anyone ever shown you an actual example? Some persons will draw attention to what they consider a discrepancy in the Bible, asking: 'Where did Cain get his wife?'"

Why would some persons do that?

"The assumption is that Cain and Abel were the only children of Adam and Eve."

That is generally the assumption, yes.

"But the assumption is based on a misunderstanding of what the Bible says."

I'd think carefully about where you're going with this, if I were you.

"The Bible explains that Adam 'became father to sons and daughters' (Genesis 5:4)."

If you are now about to say what I think you are going to say, I'd recommend keeping quiet and settling for the Bible being unreliable and not to be taken literally, even though I suspect it's going to result in a lengthy prison sentence and much feminist haranguing for me.

"Thus Cain married one of his sisters!"

Oh, well, that's all right then. Phew! I thought, for a minute there, that in your efforts to prove the Bible trustworthy at any cost, you were going to bring up some kind of extreme perversity. A bit of incest never hurt anyone. Fun for all the family!

"Often, critics are just looking for contradictions."

As if it might be an improvement on what you're offering? Can you believe it. I know I can't.

Next week: We will be taking a close look at the leaflet which has just come through the door telling me why I need my carpets steam-cleaned by a professional. This will give you something to live for if you can't find a family member to have sex with.

d.ross@independent.co.uk

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Reach Volunteering: Financial Trustee and Company Secretary

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Manager

£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Shopfitter

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a successful an...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Sales Account Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Sales Account Manager...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Bob Geldof  

Ebola is a political AND a medical disease

Paul Vallely
 

I've tried reason, but my cat is pig-ignorant

Dom Joly
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, say DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin