Dear Mr. Hicks,
We read your submission, “The Gospel of Brandon,” with great interest. Unfortunately, we regret to inform you that we will not be using it for publication in The New Testament at this time.
Although we appreciate your enthusiasm for the subject, we feel that perhaps you did not know Jesus of Nazareth well enough to provide an accurate biography of him. Quite frankly, your manuscript just doesn’t have the up-close-and-personal details about Mr. Christ that we’re looking for.
We cannot refute your claim that you met the Son of God at Solomon’s Bar and Grill outside of Galilee, and we appreciate the significance of his divine presence there. However, we take issue with how he is portrayed in this chapter. Please remember that we are trying to reach a devoutly religious audience with this text, one which perhaps will not fully appreciate a messiah who can “drink like a fish” [2:6], or “beat literally anyone at wine-pong” [2:8].
We have received an influx of submissions in the past few months since the passing of Mr. Christ. After we put out our initial call for stories, we received eleven hand-written manuscripts from some of his closest associates in the first week alone, as well as a half-finished “tell-all” from a prostitute who claims to have known him intimately.
This is not to suggest that we saw no value in your book. We particularly enjoyed the parables that you say Jesus recited at the bar, such as the one about the three blind rabbis, or the one that ends with the man telling his wife “Liquor? I hardly know her!” While these stories do amuse, we are not convinced that they convey any unique insights into the message that Jesus was trying to impart. Especially the account of the martyr crossing the road — we are quite sure we’ve heard that one before.
We respect your determination to provide your account of the life of the Son of God, and believe you showed great gumption in procuring an in-depth interview with Lazurus of Bethany. Nevertheless we found that some of his quotes, such as “All I see is hellfire and pain. Please kill me.” [8:11] to be more upsetting than inspirational.
Your proverbs [14:1-26] show a talent for clear, concise writing. But we found some of these edicts, such as “Do not set foot on a crack. For this action shall break thy mother’s back.” [14:10-12] to be somewhat unrealistic. We also found that a great number of these proverbs could be interpreted as being both extraordinarily misogynistic or homophobic (particularly around [14:16-23]). Although we may agree with many of these sentiments, this is something that we are trying to move away from in our latest edition.
Overall, while we enjoyed your submission, we do not think that the text is compatible with our New Testament. Still—we think you have talent. We’ll be sure to keep your work on file for when we begin gearing up for our retrospective companion book, tentatively titled, Second Coming: A Testament to a Cute Face and a Strong Message.
God bless you, and all of your future endeavours.
John the Apostle
Editor-in-chief, The New Testament ♦
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