by Larry Fyffe
This article continues from Bob Dylan Passes On The Bet
Having read the Holy Bible, singer/songwriter Bob Dylan learns the creative trick of leaving gaps in a narrative, and/or changing a previous source story around somewhat:
According to the Gospel of Luke, Jesus eats a passover meal of lamb before He’s betrayed and then supposedly crucified:
Then came the day of unleavened bread When the passover must be killed ..... And when the hour was come, He sat down And the twelve apostles with Him (Luke 22: 7,14)
Things ain’t looking so good, but hold on to your horses – in the song lyrics following, the narrator Jesus has a trick up his sleeve:
"There must be some way out of here", said the joker to the thief "There's too much confusion, I can't get no relief Businessmen, they drink my wine, ploughmen dig my earth None of them along the line know what any of it is worth" (Bob Dylan: All Along The Watchtower)
Holy Smoke, Batman – according to legend, Jesus gets His chance to escape – a Libyan takes His place on the cross:
And as they lead Him away They laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian Coming out of the country And on him they laid the cross That he might bear it after Jesus (Luke 23: 26)
Filling in the gaps, it’s pretty clear that the narrator in the song lyrics below travels to Libya to check out if the Jesus is living there (according to Christian Gnostics, Christ’s an immortal, and can only appear to die); Simon the Cyrenian, of course, would be long dead and gone regardless of how the Libyan comes to die:
Don't try to change me I been in this thing too long There's nothing you can say or do To make me think I'm wrong Well, I'm going off to Libya There's a guy I gotta see He's been living there three years now In an oil refinery (Bob Dylan: I Got My Mind Made Up)
However, a Gnostic-influenced biblical writer springs a surprise. According to the Gospel of John, Jesus has a ‘last supper’, but it’s not the passover feast because that meal is yet to come. Christ symbolically hangs around as the human sacrificial Lamb of God (the Libyan guy is not mentioned):
Now before the feast of the passover when Jesus knew That His hour was come that He should depart Out of this world unto the Father, having loved His own which were in the world He loved them to the end And supper being ended, the devil put into the heart Of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray Him (John 13: 1, 2)
There’s nothing the supposed writer of the Gospel of John can do that the narrator in the following song can’t do – he’s second to no one when it comes to revising stories:
I'm gonna make you play the piano like Leon Russell Like Liberace, like St. John the Apostle I'll play every number that I can play I'll see you maybe on Judgment Day (Bob Dylan: My Own Version Of You)
In yet another revision of the vision, a light bulb flashes above the head of the narrator in the song lyrics below – Jesus, the drifter, gets away – perhaps with the help of Zeus, the Thunder God – before He’s to be crucified:
"Oh, stop that cursed jury" Said the attendant to the nurse "The trial was bad enough But this is ten times worse" Just then a bolt of lightning Struck the courthouse out of shape And while everybody knelt to pray The drifter did escape (Bob Dylan: Drifter's Escape)
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