Parable of the Poached Egg
The Parable of the Poached Egg is one of the lesser-known parables of Jesus. For many centuries, it (along with the Parable of the Three-Legged Bar-stool) remained in relative obscurity, mostly because professional theologians didn't quite know what to make of it. It was only in 1952 that the rank amateur theologian C. S. Lewis succeeded in drawing attention to this atypical gospel passage when he used it to support his famous Trilemma Argument.
Along with the Pericope Adulterae, the Parable of the Poached Egg has little to no textual support within the Christian canon. Modern textual criticism suggests that the original text, which may have been an integral part of any one of the four original Chick tracts, was accidentally misplaced by a working-temp stenographer sometime during the 2nd century. It was only in 1947 that the missing and moth-eaten Greek document was accidentally found stuffed inside a disused filing cabinet in the basement of a Cleveland lawfirm. Most modern Bibles have it situated between Mark and Luke in an upside-down ROT13-encoded footnote in extremely small print stuck between two securely-glued pages, so as not to "rock the boat" of fundamentalist sensibilities.
Time-frame and setting of the parable
The time-frame of Jesus's telling of the parable cannot be given with any great certainty. It can only be established that Jesus likely told it sometime between his controversial and frankly disgusting comments about law-abiding Jews willfully consuming the remains of his ravaged corpse and his violent cursing of the fig newton.
It was a politically turbulent atmosphere in the Roman-occupied Judea of that time, particularly since the Romans had passed legislation which outlawed the possession of eggs. This was in spite of the fact that eggs were ceremonially unclean to law-abiding Jews, anyway. Jesus, who was particularly fond of poached eggs, but not particularly fond of overly-legalistic Pharisees who wanted to beat the holy crap out of him, took this opportunity to teach a valuable life-affirming lesson to his ragtag band of intellectually-challenged followers. As the story begins, we see Jesus and Company running away from the authorities in Jerusalem and collapsing in a haphazard heap somewhere in the Judean wilderness.
- 01 And after all these things had passed, Jesus and His disciples were all gathered together under the great sycamore tree in Bethany.
- 02 And the sycamore tree didst cast its long shadow over the fields of Bethany, for it was a great sycamore tree, and it was comparatively late in the afternoon.
- 03 And Jesus spake unto His disciples with these words: Behold, I am a poached egg.
- 04 And the disciples marveled at His words, and didst quietly murmur amonsgt themselves if Jesus had truly lost His marbles or something.
- 05 For they recalled that previous stuff concerning ritualistic canniballism, and wondered how the hell this one was going to play out.
- 06 And Jesus waxed wroth at their murmurings and said Why do you murmur amongst yourselves? O ye of little faith, are you so blind that you cannot see the noses in front of your faces?
- 07 And Peter shewed great courage and even greater foolhardiness by standing up in the midst of the disciples and dared to ask Jesus why He said He was a poached egg.
- 08 And Peter admonished his Lord that His public approval rating was as great risk of sinking to an all-time low if this one ever got out.
- 09 And Jesus said unto Peter, I was speaking metaphorically, you fool!
- 10 For it is a logical truth that there are only three choices available unto you, that I am either a liar, or a lunatic, or that I am truly He that says who it is I that I say that I am.
- 11 Durst thou, Peter, calleth me a liar? And Peter responded, no, Lord, of course not.
- 12 And Judas Iscariot snidely remarked One down, two to go. And the other disciples chuckled in bemusement at this snide remark, but Jesus ignored them.
- 13 And Jesus inquired further of Peter, Then thou considereth me a lunatic, perhaps? Huh? Huh???
- 14 And Peter, sensing from a mile away where this particular argument was going, decided on a fresh tactic by changing the subject all of a sudden.
- 15 Thus, Peter, trembling with great fear, inquired as to the true metaphorical interpretation of Jesus's seemingly bizarre teaching.
- 16 And for the next several hours, Jesus expounded at great length on His words in the hearing of all His disciples. And the disciples were truly amazed by His wisdom, and His uncanny knowledge of poached eggs, and their doubts were swept away as mountain dew is swept away by the morning sunlight.
- 17 And the disciples realized that they had completely lost track of the time, what with the long night having passed them by. So Jesus took them to the local tavern for an impromptu brunch, where they dined on poached eggs.
It was C.S. Lewis, who was never on record as being particularly fond of poached eggs, that first succeeded in applying the principles of three-valued logic to any and all apologetic arguments After Lewis suddenly realized that the thorny theological problem can be recast into the arcane symbolism of quantum mechanics, he hired a professional quantum mechanic to build his own personal quantum computer (complete with three logical quantum-entangled qubit states: "0", "1", and "oodles"). Running the computer immediately provided Lewis with a perfectly logical conclusion, which, against all odds, turned out to be completely identical to his initial assumption. This, then, was C.S. Lewis's greatest contribution to philosophy, theology, and apologetics, all in one fell swoop.
What exacty did Jesus mean when he claimed that he was a poached egg?
Even though, after many grueling centuries, the great and unresolved Trilemmic paradox was finally resolved to everybody's satisfaction in the affirmative, the question remains as to what exactly did Jesus mean by saying that he was a poached egg. The recovered gospel fragment simply doesn't say, and unbridled speculation has failed to run rampant. The avant-garde philosopher John Lennon once attempted to declare himself an eggman and a walrus simultaneously, but he was shot through the lungs for his efforts. Unfortunately, Jesus fared no better.
- Schlemeil, Schlemeil, Schlimazel, Schlemeil, and O'Brian, Attorneys at Law.
- The Authorized KJV is based soley upon the Codex Textus Recepticus Authoriticus (Byzantine Books, 1609), which does not contain the parable for some strange reason.
- John 6:51-60.
- Matthew 21:19
- This dietary regulation is not listed in Leviticus, nor anywhere else in the Old Testament. Other evidence suggests that it was simply made up on the spot by Pharisees just for the fun of it.
- The parts of the text rendered in italics indicate the additional English words that, while not appearing in the original Greek, have been supplied by the translators in order to make it marginably readable.
- "Ewww, yuck!!!"
- C.S Lewis, Mere Bibliolatry, pg 174
- As of today, it remains the only successful application of three-valued logic.