Wrong Palin

A lot of people are repeating the line, “Jesus was a community organizer. Pontius Pilate was a governor.”

Um, well, no. The word “governor” as it appears in some English translations of Luke 3:1 is only a rough translation of the Latin* “procurante” which refers not to an elected executive position in a free state, but rather to an appointee of the Roman Senate to act as its representative in an occupied territory. Whatever you may think of Sarah Palin, she’s not a Procurator. Read some history, people. Or rent Ben Hur.

As for “community organizer, I can’t find the text in the Gospels that describes how Jesus accepted either public funds or grant money to distribute to special interest groups. If anyone comes close to fitting that description it would be Judas Iscariot. Here’s his resume from John, Chapter 12, verses 4-6 (after Mary annoints Jesus with spikenard):

But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.

* A comparison of parallel texts shows that the Greek word used for the Roman office is ἡγεμονεύοντος (ēgemoneuontos), from hegemon — to act as ruler. Not “governor” in the American sense. You wouldn’t call Bill Clinton the “Hegemon” of Arkansas, or Billy Carter the “Ruler” of Georgia.


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