The third installment of the Back in Time series:
Here’s the full script as written, though it may have been modified in performance or in editing:
Ishamel: Martha, have you had any news about your brother Peter, the one who decided to follow that famous rabbi Jesus?
Martha: Yes, I have. Peter is in Jerusalem with some other followers of Jesus. They are doing their best to avoid the Romans, and trying to figure out how they can carry on the good work that Jesus was doing.
Barnabas: Yes, Jesus did do good work, didn’t he? He helped people who were homeless, and he got food to give to people who were hungry, and he told rich people that they should sell everything they owned and give it to the poor.
Ishmael: But that’s not why Jesus is so famous. They say he rose from the dead! They say he walked on water!
Barnabas: Well, actually, I’ve asked around about those miracles. I’ve never talked to anyone who actually saw Jesus walk on water. It’s always someone who has a friend who knew someone whose friend saw it.
Ishmael: No, no, Barnabas, I KNOW these are true stories. Jesus did things that have never been done before!
Barnabas: Well, actually, every time a new prophet comes along, people like to tell stories that make the new prophet more amazing than older prophets. In olden times, the prophet Elisha made an axe head float on water. So Jesus comes along, they have to make him better than Elisha, so they say he walked on water.
Ishmael: You and Martha are doubters, like that fellow Thomas, one of the followers of Jesus. I heard that Thomas doubted that Jesus had risen from the dead, and then Jesus appeared and spoke to him. You HAVE to admit that is amazing.
Martha: Ishmael, to me, the most amazing thing about Jesus was his kindness. He’s like Rabbi Hillel, who taught that the most important thing the Torah teaches is to treat other people the way we would like to be treated.
Barnabas: Ishmael, you seem pretty impressed with Jesus. Are you going to go become one of his followers?
Ishmael: Me? Go join the followers of Jesus? Oh, no. I’m too busy here in the village. I have my business to look after, you know.
Martha: How about you, Barnabas? Are you going to Jerusalem to join the followers of Jesus?
Barnabas: Well, actually I was thinking about it. I think I would like to help make the world a better place. But I’m not sure…it seems like it might be… dangerous….