Monday, July 6, 2015

J is for John.


Dean Jones plays St. John in Exile,
no doubt waiting for a reply from an editor.
First Century Scrolls
93 A.D.

John Bar Zebedee
Patmos, Aegean Sea

Dear Mr. St. John,

            I have reviewed your submission, The Gospel According to John. If you had bothered with market research, you would know we have already published three biographies of the obscure Galilean prophet. (Frankly, I wonder how Mr. St. Matthew and Dr. St. Luke got their manuscripts past our acquisitions editor; they’re so similar to Mr. St. Mark’s earlier effort as to be both mind numbing and plagiaristic.) Since this miracle worker from Nazareth has been gone for over half a century, it is doubtful there would be enough interest in his life to warrant a fourth biography.
            While I commend you for your unique approach, I think you don’t understand what interests modern readers. First, break up those long paragraphs of the prophet’s monologues—and what in Hades possessed you to use red ink?!—with action sequences.
            Second, lose the confusing and conflicting metaphors. I am the door? I am the vine? I am the bread of life? If you’re trying to drum up converts for your new religion, you’d do well to use plain Greek.
            Finally, get yourself a thesaurus. In a manuscript as short as yours, to use the same word one hundred times is lazy. Find a few synonyms for “faith” and “believe.”
You can buy a wax seal
just like St. John's at
            While First Century Scrolls has no interest in another biography of this messiah figure, it’s obvious you were well acquainted with the man. Have you ever thought of writing a few short letters about him? We’re about to launch our new Epistles line and I think you might find a niche there. If you’re interested in submitting an epistle, be sure to write “Requested Manuscript” next to the wax seal.

Best wishes,
Philologus, Editor

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