Most New Testament scholars say that the Gospel of Mark originally ended with the story of the women who go to the cemetery, only to encounter a mysterious young man pointing to Jesus’ empty tomb and announcing the resurrection. One of the challenges of this view is that if Mark truly ended his narrative here, he seems to have concluded by deliberately not concluding, by dangling something incomplete and unsatisfying before the reader in the final verse.
As Jesus was about to descend the Mount of Olives to enter Jerusalem, Mark reports, he dispatched two of his disciples to fetch a colt. A seemingly minor matter of transportation it would seem, but surprisingly, over half of Mark’s story of Jesus’ entry into the city is occupied with mundane details about acquiring this animal—where to go to find it, what kind of colt to seek, what to do, what to say.
The British band Delirious has always been smart, drawing comparisons to U2, Radiohead and Blur. With the album The Mission Bell, the band shoots for added lyrical depth and force. “Our God Reigns,” a key-of-D dirge built around spare acoustic guitar, keyboards and thunderous percussion, may be the hardest-hitting piece, tacking issues like abortion and the AIDS pandemic. (“My Chinese take away/ Could pay for someone’s drugs.”) “Love Is a Miracle” alternates between smoldering, soulful verses and wide-open, gospel-flavored choruses, while “Paint the Town Red” rocks as hard as anything Delirious has ever cut.
After scripture scholar Phyllis Trible lectured on the story in Judges 19 about a woman who was gang-raped, murdered and dismembered, a woman came up to Trible weeping, saying that she too had been raped, and didn’t know the Bible contained "her" story. Rather than being offended by its inclusion, the woman felt blessed by it. “You never throw away any part of the Bible,” says Trible. “You never know when . . . it will relate to a reader.”