Love versus the Bible

"Love Versus the Bible" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward
“Love Versus the Bible” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward


A couple of months ago I did a cartoon very similar to this, but it portrayed Jesus talking to a group of men from his time period. They could have been interpreted as being Pharisees. My intention was to contrast the hermeneutics of love and inclusion with a hermeneutic of something more about purity and exclusion.

My intention was not to feed into the antisemitism that is latent within Christianity. In other words, I did not intend the cartoon to communicate that Christianity is better than Judaism.

When I did post that cartoon, I got tweets and messages and emails from people, including a few rabbis who appreciate my cartoons, concerned with what I meant and suggesting that the cartoon, even if I didn’t intend it, communicated an antisemitic bias. I agreed that even though I didn’t mean to communicate it, the cartoon itself took on a life of its own and did.

So, I deleted that cartoon from all my social media. I did my absolute best to remove it from the internet.

Here’s a better version of it.

You can buy the original drawing or prints in my nakedpastor ETSY shop.

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9 Replies to “Love versus the Bible”

  1. Pray for my friend. His name is Jerry. He has OPM it is nerve damage to His brain stem. I think the doctor. says it is Oculopaletal myoclonus. No medical cure exists. Pray for his recovery. Urge others to pray for him.

  2. I have always liked the passage where Jesus says to the Pharisees, “You search the scriptures … and they testify to me.” (John 3:39) Clearly there is some sort of distinction between the Word of God and the words in the scriptures. As with interpretation, there is what the text says and what the text means, that is getting past the horizon of language and getting to that to which the language points, the referent. You have introduced “Love” as a dimension of interpreting the scriptures, on the part of Jesus. I think that is fits within a christological way of seeing the text. Can you say more about the methodology itself, however personal that may be, that would show examples to people of how to do that? Or is there already something in print that would be a guide? I can think of many bible teachers who might find that a helpful tool in teaching.
    Thanks in advance, Paul Mannes

  3. Did you also create the version of this where it’s the same caption but the group that Jesus is speaking to all look the same and have long beards and caps. If so, who are those people depicted in that version which is being circulated on facebook?

  4. The problem with this (admittedly interesting) cartoon, is that I would rather have 783,000 words to help me understand love, than have a contemporary definition of love attempt to define all 783,000 words.

  5. David: I think this update of the cartoon is better, and even more spot-on. I agree that Jesus used a hermeneutic of love as he read the scriptures of his time, and then contributed that hermeneutic to those who would follow him. It was so radical an approach that it caused one of his followers to declare that “God is Love!” The turn of phrase you employ here brings to light the fact that too many Christians today have forgotten to use the hermeneutic that Jesus used. Thank you for your cartoon.

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