The internet has been all a-gog lately over what might be the most pressing controversy of our time. Not many have fully comprehended the depthitude of the gravity of the heightening breadth of the debate, and what it means for all doctrine, whether fundamentalistic or not so fundamentalistic. Some try to dismiss it as irrelevant, others say it is distracting the church from finding new ideas to grow itself. What the Trinity was to the fourth century, the crusades to the twelfth, the Protestant Reformation to the fifteenth…err…sixteenth…err…, the Mid-Trib rapture to the 1990’s, this controversy is to our era–Epic and Mind-bloggling.
Of course, I can be speaking of nothing less than the color of Jesus’ sash.
There are certain heretical unorthodoxical pseudo-fundamentalistical quasi-NEOevangelical persons who have been denying the redness of the sash of Jesus. I here present twelve reasons why the sash of Jesus MUST be red:
- Red was a color of a dye used in Mediterranean and African regions. The Holman Illustrated Dictionary of the Bible says on page 311, “Reds, purples, and . . . were the known natural dyes of the Mediterranean and African regions.” There’s the proof. Do you see the word “blue” in the sentence I just cited? I don’t think so.
- Red was used in the tabernacle. Exodus 25:4 says, ” . . . and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen” (ESV) were donated to the tabernacle process. Do you see the word “blue” there? No. I don’t think so.
- Blue dye was made from pomegranates. Franz Bibfeldt wrote an influential article, “The Scarcity of Blue in the Life of Jesus” (BibSak 1932: 132-33) arguing that research has shown that there was a great pomegranate crisis in the three years of Jesus’ public ministry. Jesus couldn’t have had a blue sash because there was no pomegranates with which to make a blue dye. Duh.
- Crimson dye was made from grubs or worms that fed on oaks. Biblical entomologist Sly Miebughs has offered unquestioned scholarship and air-tight exegetical arguments on passages such Acts 12:23 that Judea was experiencing a grubs and worms outbreak of astonishing proportions during the time of Jesus’ ministry. This points to the obvious truth that only a biased theologian with a hermeneutical agenda could ignore: Jesus wore a red sash.
- The Orans in the Catacomb in Via Anapo, Rome, from the middle of the 3rd Century AD (above), often thought to be a representation of Jesus by important scholars (scholars who at this time would be tedious to mention) depicts the individual in a red sash. If this is supposed to be Jesus, the case is closed. Even if it wasn’t, WWJW (What Would Jesus Wear) was a popular slogan in the 3d century, and it is quite likely that all Christians wore red sashes because Jesus did.
- The Good Shepherd catacomb image (below), thought by many scholars to be an early image of Jesus, shows the Shepherd, again, in red.
- The seventh reason, though I would love to give it, is far too technical and pedantic for a blog. You are just going to have to trust me that is quite powerful if you are a scholarly person.
- Red (and its synonym Scarlet) are mentioned a total of 91 times in the English Standard Translation of the Bible. Blue is only mentioned 46 times. This further proves that Jesus, who would have known how many times each word was going to be used in the Bible, would have preferred to wear a red sash, not that he could have worn a blue sash, even if he wanted, since there was a scarcity of pomegranates.
- Michael Riley, who has shown considerable NEOEVANGELICAL leanings, argues that the sash was blue and uses NEOEVANGELICAL Bible picture books to prove it. On that one alone I can pretty much rest my case. The blue sash argument is a NEOEVANGELICAL (i.e., liberal) argument.
- The children of Israel crossed the “Red Sea.” Jesus no doubt wanted to symbolize that crossing with his wardrobe, and so wore a red sash.
I could go on, but time will not allow (and, as I said earlier, this is a blog post). For the time being, I hope Mr. Riley (and Mr. Aniol, if the young man is up to it) can provide some kind of counter argument that matches the sheer weight and force of the one you, my gentle readers, have just read for yourself. Of course, I will understand completely if they decide to bow out at this point, because of the sheer power and vastness of my argumentational skills.