Hercule Poirot is now beginning part deux of his followance in the footsteps of Paul. He’s very keen to portray Paul, and wants to find out more…
Paul’s manifesto is apparently that all are equal… but would this really have been sufficiently unusual to attract such attention?
Ooh he’s walking on the famous Via Ignatia, heading to Philippi. “The heavy presence of empire surrounded Paul.” Wow these stone carvings up on the cliffs are awesome – I’d love to go see that. I love how in Greece and similar places so many of these treasures are simply left in their original setting.
YAY! Thessalonica – ahh, the memories… He’s at the Vlattadon monastery. When I was trying to find that place, I tried to tell people in Greek that we wanted to find the monastery, and they simply could not understand my rubbishy modern Greek. And it turned out that the monastery was closed anyway. But on the bright side, there were peacocks there. Ohhh now that I see they’re claiming that Paul preached there… hmmm… Eddie Adams is chatting to him… hey, cool, we’re seeing a Greek manuscript being written. Why is he quoting Galatians instead of Thessalonians though?
Ohhhh my goodness… HE’S QUOTING 1 CORINTHIANS! He’s talking about 1 Cor 14, and talking about Paul’s views on women. He’s fascinated to hear that “the seeds of women’s liberation today could have been sown in Paul’s own theology.”
Now he’s walking to Athens. This may take a while. Oh wait, he’s now decided to go by car and train. That’s speeding things up nicely. Hercule is saying that his view of Paul is changing – Paul now seems to be pro-women, and he is tenacious. Okay, we’re in Athens. Ten bucks says we see the Erechtheion within the next 10 seconds…. hmm… Okay, that didn’t happen. I owe you all ten bucks. He says “AreoPAYgus.” Imagine if the AreoPAYgus was in DamARscus.
Ooh he’s in the restored Stoa in Athens. I currently have a snoring child next to me, so I’m not quite picking up everything that’s being said. I think my son really needs his adenoids out. Do they take out those other things from people’s throats any more? What are they called? You know… tonsils. Do they still remove tonsils? WHOA, I’ve been missing stuff – he’s in a SYMPOSIUM!! The fun type, not the academic type! This is good – he’s making a good point about the possibility of the Lord’s Supper being misinterpreted in such a cultural context.
“And so to Corinth.” Sweet! He’s appropriately impressed as he goes through the canal. Man, this snoring is really loud. I assume Poirot is saying something about Corinth. “Corinth was literally a melting pot.” Really? Hey, now he’s looking at the Lechaion road, and seeing all of the good stuff. There’s the Temple of Apollo. Oh dear, someone’s mentioned Britain, and that’s got Poirot all excited. Now he’s going up to Acrocorinth. I sense a quote of 1 Cor 9 coming up – ten bucks says he quotes it…. YES!! He did! In your face – I get my ten bucks back.
“Returning to Jerusalem turned out to be a fateful decision.” True, in a negative and positive sense.
Now onto Caesarea – I see Herod’s swimming pool. Caesarea is awesome. You must go there. Best three places to visit in Israel: 1) Jerusalem; 2) Caesarea; 3) Beth Shean; 4) Massada. I know that’s four, but I couldn’t stop.
Wait didn’t he just get a Bible quote wrong? He said “Our salvation is nearer now than we first believed.” But surely it should be “Our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed” – that’s a very different meaning! He’s building a lot on the idea that Paul was deadset convinced that the world was about to end. I’m just not so convinced.
We’re now on the way to Rome. And Hercule is walking on the Appian Way. Nowadays people like Sophia Loren live on that road. At least, that’s what the tour guide told me. Ooh there’s Rome. Now he’s discussing the relationship between religion and state. Good stuff.
Hmm… he’s hearing the true point that Paul’s claims would have come across as political. But I do feel that this point is usually made in an overly simplistic way – but for a general, popular-level documentary, it’s fine.
Now they’re discussing the claimed bones of Paul – but it’s being done with appropriate qualification.
Now, in concluding, Poirot is setting his well-known detective skills to the task of pondering how to know Paul. “If I really want to find Paul, the best place to look is his own words”… and so he reads 1 Corinthians 15. Poirot, you’ve done it again. High five, Poirot. High five.