About + Comments + How to use these images.

ABOUT ME AND ASBO

i make my living out of the things i did in the margins of my school books.
i thought i’d use this space to show work that no one would be daft enough to pay for!
hope you enjoy!
jon

btw. for the non british among you… an ‘asbo’ is an ‘anti-social behaviour order’… the courts here award them to people who are deemed to be constant trouble in their neighbourhoods… presumably according to their neighbours!

ABOUT PICTURE USAGE

several people have asked about the possibility of donating for the use of these cartoons.
there is now a donation button in the sidebar which will take you to the appropriate paypal page.
i want to stress that the 72 dpi (low res.) images on this site are absolutely free for you to use… only donate if you really want to or can afford it, otherwise please don’t.
i only ask if you use these images on your webpage or blog that you give a credit and a link back to asbojesus.

in short… asbo is free, donate if you want to.
cheers, jb.

252 Responses to About + Comments + How to use these images.

  1. myles says:

    hey great blog….i have suscribed to your RSS so hope to see more!

  2. jonbirch says:

    cheers myles… there’ll be more! j:-)

  3. Hi, love the pics – thanks for sharing them.

    Could you give each post a title so that when it is pulled in to my news reader (google homepage) I can tell if I’ve seen it or not.

    Cheers

    David

  4. Andy says:

    Hi Jon, brilliant work but I too would like a catchy title on your feed even if it’s just something like the date or a counter.

  5. jonbirch says:

    thanks for the advice… will do. :-)

  6. Dr.Q says:

    Nice site. The irony in these images is great!

    Keep them rolling,

    Dr.Q

  7. nakedpastor says:

    love the cartoons. brilliant. wanna exchange links?

  8. jonbirch says:

    i’m going to link you now! j:-)

  9. charlie says:

    you are a little genius birchy boy…am loving this…

  10. brodie says:

    just found your blog, like the pics a lot!

  11. Sarah says:

    Can we have a strip about (certain parts of the) church’s obsessive preoccupation with gay people to the expense of everything else.

    Sas x

  12. jonbirch says:

    i’m bound to do one at some point! jx

  13. Wulf says:

    What licence are you publishing these under? #34 caught my eye as something I might possibly want to stick on the projector at church as people come in this Sunday morning.

  14. jonbirch says:

    grab it and use it wulf. :-)

  15. I just found this site – man are you twisted (what’s the UK equivalent?) Love it! Can I put this website in my resource book – it’s for a book I’m doing talking about how to reach those for whom church is not in their vocabulary. Also, how do you license this stuff – no promises but I want to show this to my Wittenburg Door editor when he gets back from a retreat.

  16. jonbirch says:

    ‘twisted’ is the uk equivalent. hi becky!
    i’d love you to put it in you resource book! :-)
    what’s ‘wittenburg door’… sounds interesting… by all means show this stuff to your editor… i was thinking of self publishing this stuff at some point, when i’ve grown a few more cartoons… but if someone showed a genuine interest i’d be delighted.

  17. Glad to hear I got the slang right – I wonder how much of my satire translates across the Atlantic. Actually it’s a resource list at the end of the book . I’ll pass on the URL whenever my Door editor emails me (he’s on an extended writing reatreat with no phone or email – lucky bum). No promises but this stuff makes me laugh and it’s a problem finding quality cartoonists who happen to be Christian – our motto at the Door is “we love Jesus but hate the church.”

  18. jonbirch says:

    i kind of have a love hate thing going on with it.
    funnily enough, there’s a good few cartoons i’ve not done because i’m sure they won’t translate well across the pond, i’d like this stuff to be open to as many people as possible.

  19. The Wittenburg Door’s online presence is at http://www.wittenburgdoor.com – I sent Jonny a copy so see if he can show it to you. Yeah, hate is a strong word – we tend to shoot down the sacred cows of anyone who puts anything above serving God with a special fondness for fakers. It’s hating the sin but not the sinner thingee …

  20. jonbirch says:

    know what you mean:-)

  21. pastorsandy says:

    Hi Jon,
    thanks for stoppin by my Blog and dropping a line!
    Your assumption was right (and babelfish did a great job): I started being a pastor a year ago in a lutheran church in germany and I am still making my first steps!

    Your work is great, i really love your deep and smart jokes/cartoons about christianty.
    I wish the church wouldn’t scare so many artsy people away. We need more people like you!
    Greez from Germany
    S.

  22. jonbirch says:

    thankyou very much ps! i wish you all the very best in your new employ. if i could read german i would comment on your blog… but i have a real sense of where you are coming from… bless you. jx

  23. Jon – shoot me your mailing address at bgthedoor@aol.com and I’ll send you a copy of the rag.

  24. wendy says:

    Just checked out your site from np. Your comments on the artist jenny savilles has made me curious. I actually really like your humour!

  25. jonbirch says:

    thank you wendy… haven’t done any new ones for a couple of weeks. but i have a few more in my head, once i ge a moment. i love np’s blog.

  26. morphinelife says:

    John,
    Wanted to say “thank you” for the kind words about my father over at NakedPastor then I stuck around reading your comics. Great stuff. i will add a link to my blog….if you don’t mind. Trent Yaconelli

  27. jonbirch says:

    thanx morphinelife… he was and is a gem! will check out your blog later! j :-)

  28. Steven says:

    What program do you use to make the cartoons? My daughter draws her own funny cartoons and wants to put them on her blog.

  29. jonbirch says:

    hi steven… am using an old copy of flash. just because it’s really fast to draw in and the thing with these cartoons is to get the idea down as quickly as possible. find an old copy of flash or illustrator (which i also use)… but get an old version, new ones are dead pricey.
    hope that helps.

  30. Carole says:

    I’ve just drifted in from Jonny Baker’s blog and spent a very pleasant few minutes browsing this blog. You are so creative and funny! Some serious issues raised in good humour. I would like to link to your blog from my blogs, if that is OK, because some of these cartoons really hit the mark. If you OK it, do you prefer a link to the cartoon posting on your site or a copy of the cartoon on mine with a link back? Thanks for giving me a great start to the day. It can only get worse now!

  31. jonbirch says:

    aah carole, i hope your day didn’t get worse… i’d feel terrible. :-)
    ofcourse you can link me, i’d be delighted… do it in whatever way you prefer. glad the stuff works for you! :-)

  32. Lorna says:

    just found this site (courtesy of Sally who also saw it over at John (locusts and honey) and it’ sGREAT

    keep laughing :)

  33. PatrikP says:

    Hey Jon,
    I have put one of your brilliant images on my blog, with a link to yours. Please let me know if you dont agree, or if you want an English translation of the Swedish text.
    All the best!
    /p

  34. jonbirch says:

    thanks lorna…

    no probs patrik… glad you like!

  35. barrenmind says:

    i love your cartoons …

    nice art!

  36. Rob says:

    Jon
    I have just found your blog and wanted to say this is excellent. I have just ooked at all the posts – some made me laugh and others made me cry as you hit the nail on the head in a cool and provocative way.
    Cheers

  37. Johnny Laird says:

    Hi Jon

    A few of my blogrole buddies have been flagging your Asbo Jesus pics, so I’m going to do the same.

    It’s all good.

    Peace & Blessings

    J :-)

  38. jonbirch says:

    thanks johnny… welcome aboard the asboat!

  39. Victor says:

    great blog!
    just goes to show how funny humans can be.

    God bless,
    Victor

  40. alan hirsch says:

    Hey Jon, just wanted to say that you are brilliant. Keep up the fantastic ‘drawing in tongues’

  41. jonbirch says:

    thank you alan. feeling a bit low today. your comment has lifted me. i really appreciate it.
    j :-)

  42. krislinatin says:

    I agree with all the people above, you are gifted and talented and wise.
    Many blessings to you!
    The Home Engineeer

  43. Hi Jon
    Used a few of your images to introduce theological reflection, hope this was okay. I loved the reactions it provoked from confusion to questions to where do I find this stuff!

  44. jonbirch says:

    no probs richard… glad they were of use to you! :-)

  45. Bill Kinnon says:

    Jon,
    Thanks for the work you put into the cartoons. They are brilliant. I’ve linked to a number @ my blog.

  46. jonbirch says:

    bill… you’re a star! thank you! J :-)

  47. hee hee hee. These are great!

  48. leslietreece says:

    My husband told me about your site and it may be my most favorite site yet. Thanks for sharing your creativity!

  49. jonbirch says:

    that’s very kind, leslie… and may i say, what a good choice of husband! :-)

  50. Youthblog says:

    Jon,

    Fab stuff. laughter and thought in equal measures! You have a great ministry as a stick man prophet!

    (btw is it ok to use a cartoon on the blog with a link?)

  51. Rob says:

    H Jon
    What licence are you publishing these with and how do i get permission about using one as a backdrop and thought provoker in worship?

    cheers

  52. jonbirch says:

    copy it and use it rob, no strings attached…
    i will be doing a book of them, and t-shirts etc. soon… but i want people to use them. just link me at some point if you’re feeling kind.
    glad you find them useful! :-)

  53. jonbirch says:

    yup, mt youthblog, sir. go ahead, use and link away! :-)

  54. Daniel says:

    These are genius. Some of them at least. I would be willing to pay for them!
    Please contact me if if it would be OK for us using them for tshirts etc in Sweden. We will pay.
    Also, I wonder if you would be interested in designing some tees for us.

  55. jonbirch says:

    hi daniel… i’m just about to do asbo t-shirts myself… also a book… you’ll be able to buy them soon.
    let me know more about the t-shirts you’d be interested in me doing for you.

  56. markofando says:

    Want to start your private office arms race right now?

    I just got my own USB rocket launcher :-) Awsome thing.

    Plug into your computer and you got a remote controlled office missile launcher with 360 degrees horizontal and 45 degree vertival rotation with a range of more than 6 meters – which gives you a coverage of 113 square meters round your workplace.
    You can get the gadget here: http://tinyurl.com/2qul3c

    Check out the video they have on the page.

    Cheers

    Marko Fando

  57. jon, this is one of the best things I’ve seen on the internet in a long, long time. Keep ‘em coming.

  58. jonbirch says:

    thank you very much jeff. at the moment they won’t stop coming! :-)

  59. Rob says:

    thanks Jon
    you shall be fully credited

  60. jonbirch says:

    cheers, rob. :-)

  61. JoeM says:

    lol@ this website. You’re a freaking idiot. Do something useful with your life or just commit suicide or something

  62. jonbirch says:

    joe… you seem to be angry. :-)

  63. Nicholas says:

    wanna xchange bloglinks?

  64. jon steel says:

    i’ve just been browsing your cartoons and love them all. I don’t know how you are so prolific (although i suppose there’s a rich seam for you to mine). Do you let people use your cartoons in presentations etc – I can think of a few I’d like to share?

    Keep up the great work anyway and thanks for brightening up the world and reminding us what it should be about.

    jon

  65. jonbirch says:

    thanks jon… nice name!
    just take what you want and use it for your purposes. if it’s possible to credit asbojesus then please do, that’s my only request. other than that you are free to use at will.
    cheers, jon :-)

  66. Happy says:

    Hey, jon – i’d love to use a few of these on my site as well, if that’s okay. definitely will include a link back to your site. is that okay?

  67. jonbirch says:

    of course it is, happy! …nice name. :-)

  68. jonbirch says:

    you’re welcome

  69. Kerry says:

    Hi Jon, its your brother here! Love the site – but can’t help being challenged that although some people might ‘hate’ the church, Jesus loves it unconditionally. Amidst all this creative insight, have you anything positive to say about this? Is this what you mean by a ‘love-hate’ thing going on? Love the work though. See you next week for an important event bro. Kerry.

  70. jonbirch says:

    hey bro… good comment!
    i’ll do some specifically on that subject, it’s a good idea! :-)

  71. Jenn Calhoun says:

    I just found you through a link. I’m linking you.

    Great stuff! :)

  72. jonbirch says:

    thank you very much jenn. :-)

  73. Will Taylor says:

    was thinking of a series based on the things we put in the way of our relationship with God in his name. Christian self help books or fix your relationship with jesus in 40 days type thing as an example. All distract from the actual task of spending time with people and spending time with God. It can seem very self indulgent and very off point from jesus’ teachings.

  74. jonbirch says:

    will think on this :-)

  75. Jon, excellent stuff.

    I found your blog through the nicholasfielder blog from Alabama. But… I remember you. You went to Culverhay, right? What a small, small world. And how life moves on…

  76. jonbirch says:

    trying to place you, andrew… give me a clue. thanks for making yourself known. hope you enjoyed the site! jon :-)

  77. I was younger, and in John Fenning’s choir. Did you do the Sladebrook/Englishcombe Youth Group thing too? I think I was a bit … up tight, back then. It’s all rather hazy now, though.

  78. jonbirch says:

    that’s me alright. wow. hmmmm. i feel i should know what you look like.

  79. :-) I’ve added my facebook picture to my blog at the URL above… but it’s been a long long time. (School friends I’ve found on facebook have laughed at the picture).

    No worries.

    Anyway, the Ongoing Adventures are v. good – and though-provoking.

  80. Jon,
    Further to the naked pastor mailings yesterday, I thought you might find this of interest (please note, this concerns Dr Rohl’s first book, ‘A Test of Time’, but it hints at what I was seeking to unpack) . Regards, Howard.

    How myth has become history

    By Times Correspondent, Peter Martin

    Most of us have a passing familiarity with the wonders of ancient Egypt, if chiefly with Tutankhamun’s fabulous burial treasure. But the big mystery is how such a sophisticated culture sprang up so quickly, as if from nowhere, and how this ties in with civilisation’s best-known founding story, the Old Testament.

    The Eastern Desert rock carvings depict an epic journey made by a godlike people – exotic and terrible strangers – who, by what looks to have been a surprise invasion of Egypt, dragged their large reed ships overland from the Red Sea to the Nile. These were plainly warships, with up to 80 oars apiece, their chieftains armed to the teeth and pointing westward. Great lines of other men are shown dragging the ships with ropes. Strategically, you can see how it could have worked: haul the ships two-thirds of the way, get into the dried-up river beds, then wait for the annual high Nile to carry you to war at 80-oar speed.

    Rohl is convinced that these invaders came from Mesopotamia at the onset of the 3rd millennium BC: ‘We can tell this from their style of weapons, ship design, their dress and their religious symbolism,’ he says. ‘They carry pear-shaped maces, far more lethal than the disc-shaped maces the Egyptians used at that time, and their ships are typical Mesopotamian seagoing vessels. Their chieftains wear tall twin plumes, and kilts with animals’ tails attached. I’ve linked them with the mythical ‘followers of Horus’ because the carvings feature the falcon god, Horus.’

    Rohl’s interpretation of these rock-art sequences as an all-out invasion of Egypt neatly elides with an archeologically famous ceremonial knife. Unearthed at nearby Gebel el-Arak, it was made in the same era as the invasion. Carved on its ivory handle is the world’s oldest pictorial record of a battle. ‘And we know who won it,’ says Rohl, ‘because it shows the long-haired Nile-valley dwellers succumbing to the pear-shaped maces of the short-haired invaders. We also see the high-prowed boats knocking the hell out of the people in the crescent-shaped Nile boats, who are shown drowning.’

    Further evidence strongly suggests that these foreigners eventually became the pharaohs: ‘Within 500 years, in pyramids and tombs, we begin to see all this Mesopotamian symbolism now become part of Egyptian culture. The gods wear tall twin plumes, the kings have tails attached to their kilts, and the bodies of the pharaohs are dragged to their underworld tombs in high-prowed ships. After the falcon god in the rock carvings, we soon get the Horus kings of Egypt. We see pharaohs smiting their enemies with pear-shaped maces and, as with King Tut, they’re all depicted wearing false beards, as if imitating the divine heroes of Mesopotamia.’

    But what has all this to do with civilisation’s founding story, as told in the Old Testament (OT)? According to Genesis, following Adam’s ancestral line from the Garden of Eden, through Noah and the flood, it was Ham’s second son, Mizra, who came with his tribe and settled Egypt. Still today, an Egyptian will refer to himself as Masri, a descendant of Masr. Not just a phonetic similarity, it’s an etymological fit.

    As civilisation’s founding stories go, the OT is by no means an exclusive. The Sumerian and Akkadian epics come to us from Mesopotamia, written down for the first time – in cuneiform script on clay tablets – circa 2,500BC. Albeit with different names, they tell the same story – the first of all stories – involving the same principal characters. Like Eve in the OT, in Mesopotamian legend ‘the Lady of the Rib’ is banished from eternal life in heaven. Next, there’s Noah, the exact double of the Sumerian flood hero Utnapishtim. Both send out doves from the ark to find dry land. Later, Noah’s great-grandson, Nimrod – warrior, mighty hunter and builder of the great city of Erech – has his twin in the Sumerian saga of Enmerkar, ‘Enmer the Hunter’, the warrior and builder-king of Uruk. Same man, same city?

    But of all Rohl’s evidence for the adoption of Mesopotamian culture by Egypt, here’s a language-trail detail to lift the hair on your neck. The odd epithet ascribed to the ancient Mesopotamian flood hero, ‘the far distant’, is the exact meaning of the Egyptian word ‘Horus’. This takes you from Noah to the pharaohs in just one word.

    That Rohl packs more into one book than most archeologist-historians would attempt to set down in a lifetime is only the half of it. In his latest work, The Lost Testament, he upsets convention by very ably demonstrating that the OT was in great part based on real people and actual events. Following the Mesopotamian invasion of Egypt, he pieces together Joseph’s life as Pharaoh’s right-hand man, through to how Moses came to learn the true name of God – Yahweh – to the exodus, the Israelites’ storming of the promised land, and the extraordinary rise of King Saul and King David, ending with the fall of Jerusalem to Nebuchadnezzar in the 6th century BC – 5,000 years of history delivered at a tremendous lick. If, here and there, Rohl’s evidence reads a little thin, it’s chiefly because he’s attempted to tell a seamless story for a lay audience. At the back of each chapter, however, he presents his evidence cold.

    Of course, conventional academic wisdom holds that the OT is little better than a fairy story because no archeological evidence for it has been found. On the contrary, says Rohl. There’s evidence galore, and all sorts of specialists have been staring at it for decades. The mistake, he argues, is that the ancient world has been dated wrongly. Take Joshua and his Israelite army destroying the city of Jericho. Jericho’s tumbled walls are still there, along with storage jars, the grain inside burnt to a cinder, consistent with Joshua’s infamous torching of the city. The glitch is that orthodox chronology would place Joshua at the end of the late Bronze Age, when no such fortified cities were built. Hence, either Joshua was born too late to have had anything to do with Jericho, or he never existed. Everyone’s problem, of course, is that there were no calendars BC, only tantalisingly incomplete king lists and dynastic records. All we have, then, are evidence-based interpretations – and ferocious arguments.

    When Rohl first advanced his new chronology in A Test of Time, published in 1995, he got some awful stick. The leading Bible scholar Professor Thomas L Thompson insisted that any attempt to write history based on a direct integration of biblical and extra-biblical sources was ‘not only dubious but wholly ludicrous’. The very architect of Egyptian chronology, Professor Kenneth Kitchen, dismissed Rohl’s thesis as ’98% rubbish’. Undeterred, in his next book, Legend, Rohl advanced new discoveries relating to the Book of Genesis. Indeed, as readers of The Sunday Times may recall, he even gave a geographical fix for the Garden of Eden, in Iran, based on his deciphering of the ancient-language names of the four rivers given as co-ordinates in Genesis, chapter two.

    For our story, we went and we saw, including a place ‘east of Eden’, as described in Genesis, that is still called Noqdi, the Land of Nod.In the interim, the pendulum of serious opinion has begun to swing Rohl’s way. Dr Ronald Wallenfels, for example, the curator of New York’s Metropolitan Museum, and an Assyrian specialist, says there’s plenty of flexibility in the ancient Assyrian dates. Given that all chronologies are interdependent, the same flexibility would inevitably apply to the Egyptian time line. Just recently, too, one of Rohl’s peers, an American Egyptologist, cold-canvassed a number of other Egyptologists with a single question: if you were to place the Israelite sojourn and exodus in any period in history, what would it be? The majority picked the middle Bronze Age, concurring with Rohl.
    Of all OT characters, the best-drawn is Abraham’s descendant Joseph, but Rohl gives him the evidential kiss of life. This – to remind you – is Joseph of the coat of many colours, whose jealous brothers had him sold for a slave into Egypt. Eventually, his talent for dream interpretation brings him to the attention of Pharaoh, who has had a nightmare of seven emaciated cattle rising up out of the Nile to devour seven fat cattle. As Joseph divined it, seven years of plenty would be followed by seven of famine, and he urged Pharaoh to reorganise the nation’s grain supply against the lean time to come. Joseph, the Hebrew foreigner, got the job of vizier of all Egypt.

    But did it happen, and if so, what caused the famine years? In 1844 a German Egyptologist discovered a series of flood records – water heights chipped into cliff faces just south of the Nile’s second cataract. Dating from the late 12th dynasty, when Rohl’s chronology places Joseph in Egypt, under Pharaoh Amenemhat III, the records show flood heights of nine metres above normal. The American hydrologist Barbara Bell recently calculated that, on those reckonings, the Nile valley would have been inundated with four times the usual volume of water, making seed-sowing impossible for several years and famine inevitable.

    The OT also tells us that Joseph, as part of the now-centralised grain strategy, forced Egypt’s landowners to sell him their stocks. Intriguingly, the 12th-dynasty archeological record shows that tomb-building for regional chieftains suddenly ceased, as if they’d been dispossessed. Separately, contemporaneous Egyptian papyrus documents mention the setting up of an agricultural office called ‘the Department of the People’s Giving’, Grain to be handed in for later redistribution in the famine years?

    Stronger evidence suggests that reorganising Egypt’s grain supplies was by no means Joseph’s only great work. We know from Diodorus Siculus, writing in the 1st century BC, that a canal was dug to drain off the Nile’s destructive inundations. Today, in the Arabic, the canal is still known as Bahr Yussef, the Waterway of Joseph. At the time, Amenemhat III was so taken with the canal, he had his pyramid built overlooking it.

    Rohl’s research has produced evidence that Joseph, a Hebrew regarded as the saviour of Egypt, had his own palace at Avaris in the part of the Nile delta known in the OT as Goshen. As per the OT, too, Hebrews were now so welcome in Egypt that they soon became very influential in Egyptian affairs, and the archeology concurs: wealthy Semitic graves at the middle Bronze Age level have been found at Avaris. Joseph, at his death, unheard of for a foreigner, was entombed in a small pyramid in the grounds of his palace, with a chapel containing his colossal cult statue.

    On Rohl’s reading, it was following a series of weak 13th-dynasty pharaohs, with consequent political chaos in Egypt, that the Hebrews were infamously pressed into slavery. Grimly tallying, middle Bronze Age documents have yielded up pharaonic slave lists with Hebrew names, and the tinpot grave goods of an underclass have been unearthed at Avaris. When excavated, Joseph’s pyramid tomb turned out to be empty. ‘But that’s consistent with his dying wish to be returned to the promised land,’ argues Rohl. ‘At the exodus, they took his body with them.’ What was found in the chapel of the tomb, however, was a busted-up painted statue of an Asiatically pale fellow with reddish hair adorned with the multicoloured coat of a middle Bronze Age chieftain.

    Although seemingly outrageous, Rohl’s bold placing of these events in time, often to the very year, has lately been vindicated by independent researchers, here and in the United States, in the complex field of astronomical dating. What they did was to retro-calculate the dates of astronomical events – chiefly eclipses and moon phases – as described in the ancient texts. And the results? Rohl had fixed the coronation date of Joseph’s pharaoh, Amenemhat III, at 1678BC. It turned out that he had missed by just four years, and has since tweaked his time line accordingly.

    Also, in a head-to-head contest, Rohl’s placing of Amenemhat III in the 17th century BC resulted in 37 out of 39 lunar month-length matches, whereas orthodox chronology – which keeps its options open with two possible placings – scored no better than 21 matches. The astronomer Dr David Lappin, of Glasgow university, concluded: ‘Most of the astronomical data – particularly the 12th-dynasty lunar dates – simply do not fit with the orthodox chronology, while the support it gives to David Rohl’s new chronology is nothing less than startling.’

    So let’s revisit Jericho for a moment. The Book of Joshua describes the Israelites destroying not just Jericho but also the cities of Ai, Debir, Hebron and Hazor. ‘And the king of Hazor is actually mentioned by name – King Jabin, who was personally knifed to death by Joshua,’ says Rohl. ‘Now, at Hazor they’ve found a tablet with the name Jabin on it. And where? In the same middle Bronze Age levels that mark the destruction of Jericho.’

    Of all the scoops in The Lost Testament, Rohl’s marshalling of evidence for the late-11th-century life and times of King Saul is so impressive that it makes the orthodoxy look like a flat-Earth proposition. Background: at the same time that a politically complacent pharaoh, Akhenaten, came to power in Egypt, the Israelites found themselves with a fierce warrior leader in Saul. Saul – Shaul in Hebrew – was not his actual name, but an epithet meaning ‘asked for (by the people)’ that was given to him by the later Bible writer.So who was this first king of Israel, what was his real name, and what evidence is there, outside the OT, of his existence? One of the great finds of the mid-19th century was the el-Amarna letters, 3,000-year-old eyewitness accounts, in the form of 380 clay tablets, that represent the correspondence sent to Pharaoh Akhenaten by his vassal rulers. They tell of a new and belligerent Habiru rebel leader called Labaya. Some letters from vassal kings complain to Pharaoh that Labaya keeps making war on them. Others, from Labaya himself, reveal a crafty long-game specialist.

    The thing to grasp here is that the orthodox time line fixes Saul and his Hebrew army at a distance of three centuries from Labaya and his Habiru fighters. In Rohl’s chronology, however, they come up as exact contemporaries. But are they the same man? Judge for yourself. As per the OT, Saul, having declared his war of liberation, seized the two towns of Gibeah and Michmash. Similarly, in a letter from Labaya to Pharaoh, the Habiru chieftain argues that his recent taking of two (unarmed) towns was justified because they were his in the first place. Bolshie in the extreme, this particular letter not only omits the customary obeisance – ‘I am the dirt under your feet’ – but issues Pharaoh with a veiled warning: ‘If an ant is struck, does it not fight back and bite the hand of the man that struck it?’

    More persuasive that Labaya was Saul is their identical family politics. In the Bible account, Saul was enraged by the close friendship of his son Jonathan with the rebel mercenary David. Since David was also Saul’s son-in-law, he and Jonathan should have been rivals for the kingship. Instead, famously, they doted on each other. In the OT, Saul cursed Jonathan as the ‘son of slut’ – and you can see why. At one point, his bosom pal David and his Hebrew mercenaries were fighting on the side of the Philistines against Saul. And guess what: Labaya, in an ostensibly embarrassed letter to Pharaoh, protests that he didn’t know that The name of one of the rebel leaders in the Amarna letters, Tadua – an epithet bestowed on him by his Hurrian warriors – means ‘the beloved’. The Hebrew name David also means ‘the beloved’, which in its earlier, Canaanite form would have been written as Dadua. But the clincher is that Saul and Labaya shared exactly the same death. As in the OT, so in the Amarna letters, both die in battle – against a coalition of city states from the coastal plain – on or near Mount Gilboa, both as a result of betrayal.

    Combining information from both the Bible and the Amarna letters, Rohl has reconstructed the course of the battle. At first, it seemed that Labaya/Saul couldn’t lose. He was at the top of Mount Gilboa, and the only access for Philistine chariots and archers was protected by his ally Tagu. But Tagu had done a treacherous deal with the Philistines and, in a surprise onslaught from the rear, Labaya was mortally wounded. Rather than be taken in shackles to Egypt for ritual slaughter, however, he fell on his own sword.

    Rohl completes this chapter with a stunning flourish. The OT also tells us that Saul’s body was taken from Mount Gilboa to the fortress of Beth-Shean, beheaded there, and hung on the wall. Three thousand years later, in 1993, the excavators of Beth-Shean found a fragment of a small cylinder seal, the sort used for quick communication between allied commanders in battle. Cylinder seals usually came with a string attached for hanging them around your neck. The Beth-Shean seal fragment reads: ‘To Labaya, my Lord, speak. Message from Tagu: ‘To the king my Lord. I have listened carefully to your message from me.” The rest is missing. Let Rohl savour it: ‘So here we have a message from the traitor Tagu, probably delivered to King Labaya/Saul before the battle on Mount Gilboa, then carried here to Beth-Shean still around his neck, fallen to the ground when he was beheaded.’But what of David? Later in the OT, King David, as he now is, storms and takes Jerusalem. Among the Amarna letters is a plea from Abdi-Heba, the ruler of Jerusalem, begging Pharaoh for reinforcements against the besieging Habiru army. Then the pleas stop. Jerusalem has fallen.

    The final battle between the Philistines and the all-conquering Hebrews is described in both the OT and the Amarna letters as having taken place in exactly the same spot – just outside Jerusalem, in the Vale of Rephaim. One difficulty in fixing King David as a real historical figure was the lack of evidence outside the ancient texts. Until just under a decade ago, that is, when a stone stela fragment bearing the phrase ‘The House of David’ was found in the city of Dan, incorporated into a 2,800-year-old wall.

    As after a round of musical chairs, not the least effect of Rohl’s new chronology is that many ancient figures have switched thrones. That of mighty Ramesses II of the 19th dynasty, once thought to be the repressive pharaoh of the exodus, is now taken by Dudimose, a petty king of the 13th dynasty. Ramesses, meanwhile, becomes a contemporary of the Israelite King Solomon, David’s son. Orthodox chronology puts Solomon in the relatively impoverished early Iron Age. But, as described in the First Book of Kings, Solomon’s reputation as a successful merchant king sits far better in the wealthy late Bronze Age.

    Take his fabulous palaces, commissioned from the best of ancient stonemasons, the Phoenicians. They used three rows of fine-cut stone, topped by a cedar beam, backfilled with rubble to protect the structure against earth tremors. Today, Solomon’s late Bronze Age gate at Megiddo is a perfect example. No similar construction technique was used in the early Iron Age, where orthodoxy places Solomon.

  81. jonbirch says:

    hey howard! thanks!
    i know this stuff too, and love it! faith building stuff in the extreme!
    i absolutely agree that badly disciplined historical study has missed the obvious in its flawed timelines. Rohl is wonderful, in that he has come to the subject in an unprejudiced way and done the work properly across the disciplines.

  82. Hey, Jon–

    I just wanted to say that I had the pleasure of exploring your site this week (oh, the advantages of a boring desk job!) and want to thank you for putting all this out there for us to see. I appreciate your artistry & your fearlessness. Very good, challenging stuff…

    Amy

  83. Steve says:

    Can you give me the details about how to properly use your stuff in print (i.e., copyright, payment, etc.)…say like in a church bulletin.

  84. jonbirch says:

    please, just download and use steve.
    i’m in the middle of setting up a paypal link. so if people are using them and they want to donate they can do so at their discretion. cheers. :-)

  85. Sarah says:

    Hi there,
    Love the cartoons, my partner found the site and made me look at 100s when I got back from work one day before I was ever allowed to take my coat off!
    I’d like to use the environmental one (the church with all the cars parked outside) in some Bible study materials that I’m producing for Methodist Churches on climate change. You can see the kind of stuff we do on http://www.mrdf.org.uk I get the impression it’s okay just to download and use, but if you have a higher res version, that would be much appreciated?
    Cheers, Sarah

  86. ben angus says:

    Jon,

    So great! I am wondering, I would love to print these out as a “discussion starter” or post them up around our youth house…do you have any objections? I don’t want to do anything without permission.

  87. jonbirch says:

    hi ben and sarah.
    feel free to download and use. that’s what the blog’s for.
    sadly, this is the resolution for the moment, while i work out how else to use these images.
    but, please, please, take and use!
    and thank you for your very generous comments! :-)

  88. Danny says:

    Have just stumbled across your blog… brilliant and very challenging… I’ve already shared the link!!

  89. jonbirch says:

    thank you danny… very kind. :-)

  90. John D says:

    I’m somebody who appreciates seeing the work of other creative people… good stuff you have: simple, to the point, and makes a person smile – even laugh out loud and/or think.

  91. jonbirch says:

    thanks, john d. appreciated! :-)

  92. Max Cross says:

    Hey how about one with

    “what you secretly believe the youth worker does all week”

    I’m think game consoles, feet on table etc.

    Max.

  93. jonbirch says:

    haahaa! but isn’t that what they do? :-)

  94. Max says:

    Harsh indeed. Not all week. On Sundays we have to be in Church!

  95. Love your cartoons. I posted one of your cartoons at the Church for Men site. Women and Poetry. Great work!

  96. jonbirch says:

    thanks, mike… that’s cool. :-)

  97. pete says:

    I’ve a friend who’s an ASBO lawyer – he’ll love this (i hope). Keep up the great work Jon.

  98. jonbirch says:

    cheers, pete! :-)

  99. Jani says:

    Just to inform you, that I reviewed this site – shortly and positevely – in my small and quite personal blog. It’s written in finnish to finnish audience, so don’t except to understand a word. :)
    http://huutava.blogspot.com/2007/11/kirkkokritiikki-sarjakuvan-keinoin.html

  100. jonbirch says:

    thank you jani… i saw asbo on a chinese (i think) blog the other day. haven’t clue what it said! :-)

  101. Charlotte says:

    Hi,

    Great work – don’t know if this is possible, I’m sure you’d know as your more technically minded than me. Is there a facebook application you could do – I’d love to have these cartoons on my page (I’m sure loads of other people would add them too) and get people thinking.

    Thanks Charlotte

  102. jonbirch says:

    thank you for the kind words charlotte. :-)
    i don’t think i could do this within facebook. i guess i could set up a link site there. you are welcome to put them on your site with a link if that’s possible… but i’m not sure facebook works like that.

  103. Mark Burgess says:

    Where do you reside, Jon?

    Not anywhere in Somerset are you? Would love to have a coffee with you sometime if you were.

    Sorry, hope this doesn’t make you think I’m a ‘fan club!’ – just good to chat with someone who’s got a passion like you have and daring to think (and ‘speak’) outside of the box.

  104. will says:

    OK 1st, Facebook. It is possible to design an application that could draw your posts into it too much like hard work and they have their own language. People could use a blog application that already exists and if they had your user name and password for wordpress they could automatically add your posts. People could simply copy and paste your images into the superwall, funwall or even share a link in the simple version “The Wall”.

    My guess is the best place for people to see each and every one of your delightful posts is to use the good old fashion Blog.

    If you really wanted to you could set up a site there yourself and add the blog application yourself but then people may start to leave comments there and you are gonna have to start monitoring that.

    Personally i like the face that all the conversation and debate happen in one place.

    2nd,

    Was having a very heated debate (in facebook strangely) about the Golden compass film. About Christians boycotting a film because they don’t like what it may or may not say about Christianity. I was trying to get people to engage in conversation by watching the film. This wasn’t going to happen. Anyway thought i would drop that one on you and see if it got the juices flowing…..

    Really, really, really looking forward to seeing you soon. Love ya keep it up good buddy.

  105. jonbirch says:

    think i don’t have the time for facebook as well then. however… should anyone wish to link to asbo from their facebook, that would indeed be lovely. :-)

    strange what people boycott and what they don’t. it’s called ‘boycotting’ when you disapprove… everybody else calls it ‘not going to the cinema’, which was everyones right last i heard.
    i’m reading book one of the trilogy now. it seems he’s having a bit of a pop at the institution and the dronelike behaviour of the masses. it’s not that clear so far, but it’s quite an engaging read. i dare say it’ll be like many other things people boycott… i will probarbly find that it has plenty of valuable stuff to say… we’ll see. :-)

    btw. harry potter (you know, that other evil piece of literature) turned out to be a work of genius with so many valuable nuggets about responsibility, relationships, choice, loyalty, struggle etc. that i’m more than glad i read it… and would encourage anyone else to do so… excellent stuff.

  106. Chris says:

    Jon,

    Just wanted to say thank you for what you’re doing. Your images manage to be thought-provoking and insightful.

    I write for a blog called thinkchristian.net, we’ve used your images a few times, and probably will continue to in the future.

    Thanks again,
    Chris

  107. jonbirch says:

    chris… thank you and you are welcome. :-)

  108. Mike says:

    Great stuff! Keep up the good work!

    Peace,
    Mike

  109. jonbirch says:

    cheers, mike. :-)

  110. csalzman says:

    Anyway you could add a search box to your site? I keep finding myself thinking about a certain pertinent ASBO Jesus, but then I can’t find it.

  111. jonbirch says:

    i’ll see what i can do csalzman. :-)

  112. Eddie says:

    Hi Jon,

    Hope it’s ok to use the comments facility, as I couldn’t locate an appropriate email address!

    I’ve commented once or twice, but I’ll introduce myself properly. Name’s Eddie Chapman and I’m currently working for the Salvation Army in Australia in a social policy/justice kind of role, but in my off-time am involved in a range of alt.worship (are we still using that term? :) are we still ‘alternative’?) activities, including running the Labyrinth here in Oz to some good results… It’s through Jonny that I landed at this site… and it’s now a regular read! Thanks for all the effort you put into it…

    Anyway, long story short – I’m interested in whether you could do me a bit of a professional favour. And I hesitate to ask as you seem overwhelmed with people asking for stuff related to these cartoons. But I currently have climate change as one of my portfolio’s here at the Salvation Army (along with things like human rights, refugees, etc.) and I was interested in the recent cartoons you did around ‘loving thy neighbour’ in response to environmental issues. I’m writing an article for some national Army publications here, and was wondering (a) whether it might be ok to use some of them (acknowledged of course!), but (b) whether you might be interested in doing one that related to the issue of climate change globally, and the need to love our neighbours on a global level. The two I saw were brilliant, but quite localised (logging, pollution). Would that be something you’d be interested in? If you could, that’d be great and I think it’d be a great addition to what we’re hoping to publish.

    Anyway, let me know what you think (if you have time at this crazy time of the year)…. And thanks again for all your work and sharing your creativity so freely. Remarkably gracious of you.

    If you want to chat offline, feel free to use the email provided.

    Cheers

    Eddie.

  113. jonbirch says:

    hi eddie… my email is down at the moment… still trying to sort it! AAAARGH!
    yes, please use what’s on this site and i’d be more than happy to do a cartoon of the nature you suggest. when do you need it by?

  114. Eddie says:

    thanks muchly Jon – no rush, especially with the new year upon us. realistically it’ll be a few weeks until the article gets written, so something like that would be great if that’s possible…

    Thanks again!

  115. Carole says:

    Jon, these cartoons are brilliant. They are starting discussion on all kinds of topics on ASBO JESUS. They prompt laughter, thought and occasionally anger on this site. More than that, they are rippling out onto blogs all around the globe. They are such good discussion starters. I appreciate that you are a person of wonderfully generous spirit and give freely of your gift here. But, is there no scope for extending this to some kind of formalised resource? You have lots of experience in this area (and I don’t) but I think they would provoke just as much lively debate in small groups/youth groups or even in schools as they do here. I know it’s probably been said by lots of people but there’s no harm in saying it again.

    But, whatever, thanks anyway. What you have done here has certainly invigorated my thoughts on a whole load of issues.

  116. Job Thomas says:

    I like your images a lot! And I have often used them to point out stuff to people…

  117. Happy says:

    Hey, Jon. I know you’re swamped, but I know from personal
    experience that an artist’s brain is rarely quiet, so I’ve tagged you anyway in a meme that’s going about – I think you could probably come up with something brilliant for it. :) Feel free to accept or decline the tag as you wish; details are all over on my blog in the post entitled “No Man’s Land”, along with a link to the original author.

    Peace,
    Happy :)

  118. Brian Fegter says:

    You should publish these in a book. Lulu.com or blurb.com and make them available to the public in printed form. You have enough to fill up a book. Possibly add some of the conversations in it as well for each cartoon. Just a thought

  119. jonbirch says:

    hi brian. am looking into it at the moment.
    sadly, lulu would make it far to expensive for the purchaser. it’s not a good way to print in full colour and get a good price. fortunately, i think through proost we’ve found a print house who could do the job far more reasonably. thanks for the thumbs up. :-)

  120. Won aka DP says:

    Hi Jon,
    Got to page 10 at one sitting! Bookmarked to finish up L8r.
    I appreciate Ur unique thinking. I will use #236 soon. Goes back almost 3 decades when I was hushed, yet anyone with a guitar around their neck could spew for as long as they wanted. I will link with you, as soon as I get “Links” Up! Now I have a reason to do it! Blessings, as you remain obedient to HIS Direction! 1

  121. Matt Wardman says:

    Brian

    I’m planning to run some of your cartoons on Saturday mornings on mattwardman.com – as they make points by “going round the side” of objections, and my readers like them.

    Normally when I run a cartoon regularly, I make a point of putting your badge in my sidebar under “House Cartoonists”.

    Do you happen to have a 125×125 badge I could use?

    I think they are good enough that a magazine would pay you for a weekly cartoon. I don’t own one (sorry), but you are every bit as good as other people who do have paying gigs.

    Excellent work.

    Cheers

    Matt Wardman

  122. Matt Wardman says:

    Jon

    Sorry – muddled you up with Brian!

    My comments stand.

    Matt

  123. jonbirch says:

    thanks matt. you can call me brian. :-)
    will get a 125×125 badge made up and sent.
    love what i’ve seen of dave walkers cartoons.
    cheers, j.

  124. lmparks says:

    I read a quote today that made me think of your cartoons…I think it would fit in perfect.

    “Christians don’t tell lies they just go to church and sing them.” ~A.W. Tozer

    Sad, but true…

  125. jonbirch says:

    sad, but true, indeed.

  126. Forrest Scott Wood says:

    Hey there;

    Two words:
    disturbingly insightful.

  127. jonbirch says:

    thank you forrest… i think! :-)

  128. youthworkerpete says:

    Hi Jon,

    I’m just wondering if I can use one of your cartoons (number 315 to be precise)? I’m in the middle of making a MA presentation into a grove booklet (there’s no guarentee it’ll be published though). It’s not got a catchy title yet, but its about how we are in danger of indoctrinating young people out of ignorance rather than malicious intent, and how some misguided human activity we think we are doing for God may actually be getting in the way of letting His Kingdom grow.

    The picture would be in the context of ‘look at all these people who recognise the church can indotrinate, Matt Groening, BBC Have Your Say readers, Richard Dawkins, even other Christians…’

    I’d be happy to send you the current draft of the booklet if you want to check the context properly.

    While I was searching for different artwork on the theme of indoctrination I noticed how, even over the past 3-4 months, the number of people actively commenting has increased loads! You must find that really encouraging!

    God Bless,

    Pete

  129. jonbirch says:

    please pete… go ahead and use. i work on trust in the full knowledge that it might be abused. :-) i’m more than happy to trust you.
    on the increased comments front… it’s both exciting and daunting. the most amazing thing is that the core asbo-ers are so respectful and gracious with one another. ifeel like everyone’s taking me on a journey. fascinating, edifying and pretty darn ‘real’ for a ‘virtual’ world.
    thanks for the encouragement. :-)

  130. youthworkerpete says:

    Thank you!

  131. sarah says:

    Yes Jon it is real… and we love you very much.

    keep up good work

    Sas x

  132. jonbirch says:

    why thank you kindly ma’am. :-)

  133. sarah says:

    Schucks!

    Jon – suggestion. Could you add a `back to top` button at the bottom so that when you’re reading a long thread it’s easy to navigate to the top to check out other strips etc.

    Don’t know if the functionality allows that or not.

    Sas x would be helpful!

  134. jonbirch says:

    i’ll see if i can. :-)

  135. Will Taylor says:

    Hey Jon, have been trying to get hold of you for ages. my email keeps getting bounced back and cannot get you on the phones. If you get a mo, give us a call would be great to say hi.

  136. scot says:

    awesome stuff! I’m not sure whether i should laugh or cry… laugh i guess!

    i’ve just spent the last hour trawling the archive; hilarious, disturbing, insightful and such fun. thanks

  137. jonbirch says:

    thanks scott. :-)

  138. becstar77 says:

    Hey, I just stumbled across your blog by accident – I LOVE your cartoons…. have you considered a book? PS. I posted a couple of your cartoons on my facebook posted Notes, with an acknowledgement and link, do you want a contribution?

    PS. can you do “The Church: The Only Army that Shoots it’s Wounded”?

  139. Jason says:

    hey… just recently discovered this site and you’ve got a lot of great stuff. thanks for your contributions to life!

  140. jonbirch says:

    becstar77… thank you. :-)

    thank you jason. :-)

  141. Andy Barnes says:

    Hey ya Jon, LOVE the blog. It’s my new favorite thing!! Do you have an RSS address for http://asbojesus.wordpress.com ?

  142. hi jon
    Keep doing the great job I had couple of ideas I wondered about – how about an asbo on church with the fundraising therometer outside for new roof verses a fundraising thermometer for ahomeless project. I also wondered on a similar theme if you could do something around the notion of “bums on seats” – a pic of a full church with the caption -church centred church then the same pic but with no-one there but out doing something in the community with the caption jesus centred church. anyway just playing around with the idea of where would Jesus be from one your earlier pics

  143. Wesley says:

    Just wanted to see if you’d be interested in helping me on my idea…
    I started JC and The Juice. The story of how Jesus didn’t come back to save humanity, he came back to be a f**king rockstar.
    Just trying to pull everything together and find someone that can draw.

    Thanks!

  144. Jon Roper says:

    Hi Jon,
    Great name…ASBO Jesus…not Jon, although that is quite a cool name in itself, I might be biased…oh yes… love the website. Definitely going in our links section.
    Just spent half an hour going through your material. Its great, Keep it going! God bless.

  145. Pingback: The Ongoing Adventures of ASBO Jesus « Christian Selvaratnam

  146. Jaybrams says:

    jon, can you email me (via the email provided)? can’t find an email specific to you on any of your 17 sites. :P

    Thanks

  147. Forrest Scott Wood says:

    Dude you are dangerously disturbingly insightful.
    More power to ya!
    (even when I feel like the 100 point bullseye)
    ;-D

  148. jonbirch says:

    thanks forrest… cool name! :-)

  149. angela says:

    Hey! I love you!

    oh and your blog is pretty good as well…

  150. Hanna says:

    Hi!

    I’m Hanna, a christian from Sweden. Found this website and I think it’s great! The cartoons make me laugh and reflect. I think that God has really blessed you!! :) I find that some of the cartoons challenge me and my views in a good way. They take my sinful, judgemental views into the light. That’s awesome (and also a bit painful, hehe)!!!

    I have a suggestion for coming cartoons, feel free to use it or not! I think it would be fun to see some cartoons concerning that Jesus really was a human being, along with his divinity.

    I mean, sometimes when we humans are tired, words can accidently come out wrong. And what if Jesus, for example, instead would have said “may the one without stone cast the first sin” and then someone without a stone would have thrown the forbidden fruit on the adulterer?
    I don’t think that Jesus’ teachings in the bible have come out wrong, but what if they had? That would have been fun! So it would be entertaining to see some cartoons when Jesus means to say something (a famous Jesus-quote from the Bible) but it comes out wrong…

    This is just a tip, so please don’t feel forced to do it! :)

    Peace & love!
    Hanna

  151. Rick says:

    This is great! These are so funny. I’m a student at Dallas Seminary – keep up the good {fun} work!
    -Rick

  152. drewman says:

    Thankyou.

    All of a sudden the computer part of being a ‘youthy type’ is not so painful to me!

    Drew

  153. Any chance you’d ever want to tackle any of these particular lies?

    http://tinyurl.com/52k8tg

    I can see some of these so clearly done by your art!

  154. Jeanetta says:

    Can’t find the words to tell you how much these cartoons speak to me. Thanks!

  155. Rachel says:

    Hi there, love the cartoons (and hope you’re feeling well-rested by the time you pick this up).

    My partner and I are putting together a Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual (LGB) Christian handbook, full of ideas, stories, quizes, etc, about how to survive as an LGB Christian. It’s upbeat, practical, and pro-gay. So far we’re editing together 40 contributions from LGB people, parents, children, church leaders, friends etc etc. Hoping to publish in print, or otherwise online.

    Some of your pics would be ideal as illustrations – would you be happy for us to include a handful?

    Can send you further info about the book if this’d be helpful.

    Thanks for reading.

  156. andy t says:

    Hey Jon,
    Great site c u later
    a

  157. LOVE IT- LOVE IT- LOVE IT!
    It does sooo bless with the medicine of Laughter!
    I wonder how many “healings” that have taken place … just from stopping on this site! I do it regularly just to keep my health and sanity up!
    Thou dost officially ROCKITH!

    shalom!
    Cathryn

  158. TyTe says:

    Hi Jon

    Any chance you could add a search bar to your right hand page? As I’m new to this blog, it’d be useful to search for cartoons on specific topics.

    Heaps of Peace

    Gavz

  159. bill says:

    i don’t understand you, is it necessary to understand you b4 I understand you? do you think God really lives and cares? will He be coming to my heart soon, as far as you understand? Acts 2:38

  160. Fiona Maccabe says:

    Hello Jon
    Last time I looked at this site, a few months ago, I was directed to it by Rob Waller’s blog on Mind and Soul, there were loads of cartoons you could browse through – especially on the mental health side of things. I was wondering how to get another look at them, since I can’t see how to access them now? I edit a small newsletter for a local counselling agency, and I was thinking of including one of your cartoons in it, and alerting people to your site (though it is not a christian counselling centre). Could you let me know if they are still available to view?
    Many thanks, fiona

  161. Catherine says:

    Brilliant! More please…

  162. louise says:

    Thanks for putting into pictures what’s stirring in a lot of people’s hearts and minds.

    Is there such a thing as a ‘church therapist’ coz I think you’d be a whiz at that job

    Cheers, Louise

  163. Great cartoons! I visited a friend who was on sabbatical in London this March and we were always teasing each other that we were going to get an ASBO…so I had to laugh at the blog title.

    Like your cartoons so much I am adding you to my blogroll…

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  167. David Ker says:

    Hey Jon, I’m having a hippo doodling contest at my blog and would love you to participate: http://lingamish.wordpress.com/2008/07/28/doodling-contest/

    Cheers.

  168. Andrew Davis says:

    Jon,

    I’m a student at university over in the States. For the past two years here at little Houghton College in NY, I’ve been editing a campus comic strip newspaper. I think running your strip among the others would add a great deal of thought-provoking spiritual honesty to the paper. May we reprint various strips of yours throughout the year? (Judging from what you’ve generously already said on this page, I’m guessing the answer is “yes”, but I thought I’d ask first.)

  169. Ava Semerau says:

    After reading through your blog, I’d like to invite you to participate in a blog book tour I’m having October 1. I think the topic – the Biblical Principles of pleasing God – would be of interest to both you and your readers. If you’re interested, here’s a link with some additional information. Thanks and I hope to hear back from you soon! Ava

    AGWP Blog Tour

  170. Keith Hebden says:

    It’s a great talent you have guys, thanks for these. I’d like to put some in future copies of ‘A Pinch of Salt’ (Christianity and anarchism in dialogue magazine).

    Love,

    Keith

  171. marion says:

    very generous…
    am surprised that you are giving permission for usage of your pictures…so many Christians don’t give their art for free [only Keith Green and Don Francisco come to mind who do]

    thanks for living ‘freely received, freely give.’

  172. Sigrid says:

    Hi, great cartoons. I saw “Diligence versus sloth” on another website, but can’t seem to find it here. Is that true?

    Thanks – keep up the good work!

    Denmark

  173. Hi, hope you dont mind, I used one of your pictures in my blog! They are excellent. I also placed your info next to the picture so that readers can easily find where I got that great cartoon! Hope its okay.. i did see you say we can use your cartoons.. Thanks!! I used the ‘fresh expressions worship” picture! It’s a classic!

  174. jonbirch says:

    thanks getting there… feel free to use! :-)

    thanks sigrid… yup ‘diligence versus sloth’ is somewhere here… must sort all these out at some point! :-)

    cheers marion! :-)

    andrew davis… please do. :-)

    no probs keith… i love the idea that you think more than one person does these… sometimes it feels like that to me to! :-)

  175. beatthedrum says:

    John

    Have you done anything about the hypocrasy of FAT preachers calling out the gay sinners?

    Cheers

    Beatthedrum

  176. Um, would you mind me using a couple of the cartoons for a seminar I’m doing about pregnancy crisis work…

    would like to start off with the abortion clinic one just to make a point of what we’re NOT about…, and the hope one…for what we ARE about.

    I will of course give full credit for cartoons and direct all doctors to ASBO Jesus blog…

  177. karla says:

    I just linked to you in a post. I’m new at the terminology and etiquette of blogging, but well-intentioned and all about giving credit where credit is due. Please let me know if there’s a different or another step to create the necessary linkback beyond what I’ve done? Thanks, and I’m about to sub to you in a reader. This is GREAT! Thanks.

  178. chi says:

    i dont remember how i came across this site. but i love it. great images. great heart. like a breath of fresh air….aaah! good job. x

  179. Sandra and Daniel says:

    Hi Jon,

    thanx for your great blog. Every Evening we are looking forward to see the new picture. Your Picture No. 601 inspired us to use the picture for a T-Shirt. Could you please mail us a link for a usable format. This would be great.

    Looking forward to hear from you!

    Sandra and Daniel from Germany

  180. Cathryn says:

    I’m not sure if it was Andrew Jones (TSK) or Shannon Hopkins that first sent me over to this site.. (i’m in Austin Texas) I gotta say… Hats off.. amazing, never ceases to make me laugh.. sometimes to the point of crying. Blessings to the deepest in the wild ride to the Heart of God!
    xo cathryn

  181. Deb Hirsch says:

    hey Jon,
    not sure how to get hold of you other than here,
    my husband Alan and I are great fans of your work and are currently writing a book, we would love to use some of your images in the respective chapters, what’s the deal?
    of course we’ll acknowledge you, etc. etc.,
    just wanting to check first,
    look forward to hearing back
    Deb (&Alan) Hirsch

  182. al johnson says:

    jon just seen your work its al johnson….you played piano for me at st mikes in 01…..how are you great stuff

    take care…

  183. Kim Wilkens says:

    I’ve really enjoyed viewing your work – it’s great catharsis. I thought of you and your own “discernment” talents when I read this (read with discernment – http://www.lifewaystores.com/lwstore/rwdiscernment.asp). Apparently the Holy Spirit isn’t cutting it anymore. We need extra discernment – maybe some sort of Super Hero Discernment Man to save the day?

  184. Kim says:

    I can remember the cartoons and what they were about, my faves, but not the numbers so I don’t know ifthats much use to you, but here goes: Exercising the Dogma; No-one Could Love Me (Clouds);Too Busy to Marvel(Rainbow, washing line); the recent one with the worship leader dressed as Rocky Horror Show type; Jesus throws a spanner in the worrks of organised religion.

    And my personal No.1 fave, Guy praying “God, why do you allow so much suffering in the world?” God: “Mm, I was going to ask you the same question” . Just genius!! Thanks again and again!

  185. TimP says:

    Hi Jon Birch!

    Been trying to e-mail you but can’t find one that works, and the blueyonder one bounces…

    Please get in touch :o)

    Cheers

    Tim

  186. Abdur Rahman says:

    Peace Jon,

    An interesting blog, with some amusing and true cartoons. I found my here from Simon Woodman’s facebook page (I understand you know him). At any rate, God willing, I’ll be stopping by again in the future.

    Abdur Rahman

  187. Rachel says:

    Hi Jon,

    Rachel here again (from 161). Well, nearly a year later, the book ‘Living it Out’ is nearly finished, and has a publisher – Canterbury Press.

    We’ve been tentatively including your cartoons, based on your general positiveness about people doing so, generosity, and paragraph at the start of this page.

    The production manager says that 72dpi will be fine for publication.

    So, I just wanted to double double check you’re OK with this! If not, could you let me know?

    Thanks so much.

  188. Teus says:

    Hi Jon,

    My name is Teus and I’m living in the Netherlands. In the last few weeks I read all your cartoons and lots of comments and that was really great! Like everyone says: thought-provoking! I think I don’t agree with you on every topic (on much I do agree though) but that’s allright I guess. I really love the way you care about ‘the drop outs, the losers, the sinners, the failures, and the fools’ (Switchfoot, http://lyricsspot.com/switchfoot-beautiful+letdown-lyrics-32852.html), especially gays (in Dutch the word ‘gay’ sounds a bit negative, but I think in English it doesn’t?).

    I think I’ll look on your site almost daily and maybe sometimes leave a comment. Keep going!
    The Lord bless you.

    Teus

  189. Robb says:

    How have I missed out on the party. I didn’t even know this place existed!

    About….

  190. dennis says:

    how very strange neither did I!!

  191. Nedatron says:

    Hello,

    was introduced to your stuff at Spring Harvest this year. They are really good! A while age I used the phrase ‘We are tools in His hands, not the brains behind His plans’ seems it might make a good cartoon subject…

  192. Will says:

    just in case you wanted some further ammo for the worship subject:

    “Worship Leading” -

    A level 2 qualification in worship leading run an a part time/open basis designed to equip worship leaders and potential worship leaders with the practical and spiritual skills needed to lead worship in the local church.

    The thing that intrigued me the most was the “Level 2″ Much better than mere level 1′s but could only aspire to be a level 3 worship leader

  193. Will says:

    Worship academy .co.uk someone sent me a link thinking that I would be interested. I’m not !

  194. fergie says:

    Thank you for the thought provoking cartoons.

    I’ve listed you on my blog as a ‘bella’ winner… meaning, as a new reader to your blog, it means a lot to me. Thanks!

  195. nomieenerd says:

    hey :)… love you site, and all the pictures, they are all really special – and have found a hand ful that are SO relevant to me – its scary!

    hehe… had an idea for a cartoon, whilst in the prayer meeting this evening…

    my little sister ALWAYS takes all my nice new things – new shoes, t shirts, and books and stuff – claiming them for her own… but WHENEVER it comes to doing the dishes or cleaning the house, im ALWAYS the one to get the jobs – she always seems to be in a hurry to take my nice things, and to copy my nice fashions, but NEVER takes the horrible jobs or my humble approach to life…

    MAYBE could this be represented as a churchy thing?… taking the nice clean friendly things that God offers, but never really wanting to take the important meaningful sometimes nasty jobs?

    or maybe its an inside the church thing, where ONE person has all the hard jobs, setting up, behind the scenes – tidying up – and everyone else looks nice,and takes the nice easy pretty jobs – welcoming people, smiling, doing the welcomes etc

    dont get me wrong i LOVE my sister dearly, but sometimes it gets annoying when i see her with MY stuff, and copying MY styles, but she wont help me with the washing up… :\

    just an idea :)…

    LOVE your works x x x

  196. David says:

    Thank God I don’t have to donate because I am poor and broke. I used one of your photos yesterday and gave you a linkback credit.

    Like your work!

  197. Pingback: Identity Crisis « tRaIlS from the HeArT

  198. bill says:

    hmmmmmm i went looking for culverhay boys school Bath UK where i had some very unhappy and surprising times…..was also in mr. fenning’s choir he was RE teacher early 1970′s….religion has a bad effect on the world and individuals, its about control and conservative narrow mindedness. it takes away individuality and misleads people into thinking they can can do what they like in the name of “god” and its ok because they have a second chance….they dont! its here and now and its a bad world out there and there are plenty of good people in this world who dont give a monkeys about god. the sooner people loose this idea of redemption as crucial and the whole organised mumbojumbo the better.

  199. bill says:

    sorry that was a bit heavy and i know some very nice and well meaning christians, muslims and other really committed religious people…. i just find it all very creepy and feel people are being tempted by the promise of something that really isnt there….am i wrong?

  200. Kim says:

    Hi jon, I’m not sure if this works as a way of contacting you on non-cartoon specific matters. There is an issue thats come up for me using your site and NP’s and I feel like I need to progress it a little but don’t really want to do it publicly. I will contact David Hayward by email, and maybe he will good enough to forward it on to you. Hope thats ok? Cheers Kim

  201. Rachel says:

    Hi Jon, Rachel (from 194) here again. ‘Living It Out: a survival guide for lesbian, gay and bisexual Christians and their friends, families and churches’is finally published at the end of this month.

    We’d love to invite you to the launch – but not to put the details publicly! If you’d like to come along, let me know and I’ll send an invite.

    Best wishes

  202. michaela says:

    such a great site.your stuff is brilliant-keep up the good work!
    Michaela
    Brighton

  203. Anna says:

    So what does ASBO stand for?

  204. letsgotonarnia says:

    Dear Jon,

    Only just discovered your site through a link someone posted on Facebook – and am hooked!

    Your cartoons are witty, cheeky and the ones about equality really spoke to me, given that one day I’m going to be a priest!

    Also checked out Greenbelt site – what a fantastic looking festival!!

    Sorry I’m gushing a little bit, but just to let you know, I was very very impressed, and have added a link to you from my own blog: letsgotonarnia.wordpress.com.

    Thanks,
    Emily =]

  205. metalpig says:

    Stumbled your blog from a link of a plugins’ creator site =)
    I <3 the cartoons and their messages(subliminal??).

    Keep up the good works Jon, and thanks for sharing!

    Cheers!
    metalpig

  206. Tim says:

    Hi Jon,
    I have been following ASBO Jesus for sometime now. Thanks, it is stunning. I do some work for the the fresh expressions team as an associate missioner(http://www.freshexpressions.org.uk/associatemissioners.) We are in the process of re-working our Vison day material(http://www.freshexpressions.org.uk/vision) and would like permission to use some of your cartoons. It would be up to 10 cartoons and we would like to pay you for them, up to £250 for the 10. Could you let me know if that would be OK. Cheers, Tim

  207. Hi,

    I’ve also been following for a little while, and you’ve always got me thinking! Just thought I’d let you know that I’ve been thinking about the whole ASBO Jesus thing – would he get one? Anyways, I’ve posted some thoughts on my blog: http://timcadoux.co.uk/?p=330 and I just wanted to say ta for all the hard work you’ve done!

    (Of course Jesus would get an ASBO – He got crucified instead though!)

  208. jonbirch says:

    thank you tim… nice post on your site. :-)

  209. jonbirch says:

    THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR KIND COMMENTS ON THIS PAGE. I DON’T COME TO THIS PAGE OFTEN, SO LOOKING TODAY IS A VERY NICE SURPRISE. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. :-)

  210. rob culhane says:

    Thanks for your pics and humour. I’ve put your address on my blog roll so hopefully, more people in Australia (and Melbourne from where I live), will see them. I like your desire to be authentic and free from glib or trite Christian responses.
    Rob culhane

  211. jonbirch says:

    thank you rob. very kind. i’m glad you get it. cheers. :-)

  212. Fear No Man says:

    Thank you for permission to use. I hope to evetually go to print and use your Lemmimgs/ Star Wars cartoon with attribution.

  213. Will says:

    you want to start charging for us to make our own t-shirts with your designs or what?

  214. I started my blog as another way to reach the young people in my Youth group. Low and behold I found that several members of the congregation read it also (the pastor included!)I applaud the way you minister through your art! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been prompted by your drawings to write something relevant to my youth. They all know that I am not artistic enough to have drawn them myself but I always link back here…just so they know where the talent lies. Thank you for allowing me to share you with them!

  215. Pingback: Stories from the Edge « Shawn Hofing

  216. Jon,
    I wanted you to know that I added your site to the “Blogs I Read” section on my site.

    I hope that you are recovering from the theft and that you’re getting excited to start up again soon!

    Today I prayed for you.

    Barry

  217. jer hunt says:

    great to share a meal with you earlier mate, it would be my privilege to take you to gb 2010 and back early if needed! don’t forget you will hear Baker, Banwell, Birch, Burrows etc etc in full over the weekend!
    take care
    jer
    x

  218. Jay says:

    First off, I have enjoyed stumbling onto this site. great content and great graphics. the curious side of me has to ask, what software do you use to make such cool graphics? just curious and thanks again for the site.

    j

  219. Wulf says:

    Hi Jon, I’m building up my own blogroll. Yours was the first link I added :) Feel free to have a look at my site.
    Cheers, Wulf

  220. jonbirch says:

    thanks wulf. :-)

    big thanks to all others who have left kind comments here. i very often forget to visit this page, so am sorry for not responding sooner. :-)

    jay… i use flash because it’s really quick. but i would not recommend it unless you want to animate. i am an animator so therefore have that software but it would be far too expensive to purchase just for a bit of vector cartooning. any vector drawing program would do the job equally as well. i’d think a second hand illustrator or freehand off ebay or somewhere would do the trick nicely. :-)

  221. Hi,

    I work as an editor in a small indie publishing company from Barcelona called Gentle Noise Publishing.
    We are working on a book about faith and pop culture and we’d like to interview you and print a few cartoons translated to Spanish.
    If you’re interested please send an email to:
    editor@gentlenoise.com

    Regards,

    Nuria McPherson

  222. Max Cross says:

    Jon

    You paypal account doesn’t seem to be accepting donations. I got an error email back fro Paypal it looks like you j*******h(at)b********r.co.uk account doesn’t work.

  223. Mate – you have some serious talent.

    Keep it up, loving your work.

  224. Just Me says:

    Love the site.x
    I liked the one where the preacher is giving it about Gods love and the punter asks “then why did he make me sit through this?”.
    After a dreadful afternoon session in a catholic christening yesterday my retort is thus… if God so loved the world then how on earth did we come up with this rubbish? lots of us quite obviously don’t get it, not even a bit, not even at all… or my Sunday afternoon would have looked a lot different!

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  227. Abigail says:

    I’ve been following your blog. Um.. I just love it. I love love love your cartoons. I sometimes use them on my blog or show it to my church mates and non Christian friends. I find it a very effective reminder, personally, in my daily walks with Jesus. Anyway, just spreading the love. Make more cartoons :-)

  228. jonbirch says:

    thank you abigail. that’s very kind. :-)

  229. jonbirch says:

    thank you ‘pop thy collar’ and ‘just me’. i don’t come to this page that often and it’s really nice to see kind messages. :-)

  230. Chris Wilson says:

    Do you think you could add a search function on to the sidebar so they are easier to find? Love the Comics by the way :)

  231. mrbenblogs says:

    Great blog. I loved your most recent blog; Ad execs believing Jesus having an image problem – genius!

  232. Austin says:

    How can I contact you about ideas and a request for a personalized cartoon?

  233. Pingback: “We are very much the ‘present’!” | What Can We Leave Out…

  234. Good stuff ASBO is awesome

  235. Annie Wald says:

    Just found your site…love your images. Thanks for creating–and sharing.

  236. Jsites says:

    that’s done right! lol. Love it

  237. Find a date says:

    Online dating discussions

  238. Hayden says:

    Hi, I log on to your blogs on a regular basis. Your humoristic style is witty, keep it
    up!

  239. Really cool image collection. thank you

  240. obat kutil kelamin says:

    Just found your site…love your images. Thanks for creating–and sharing

  241. obat kutil kelamin tradisional says:

    nice article maybe I can wait new article from your site

  242. Nice article ! Thanks for sharing such nice information here on the web !

  243. Hi, I would like to subscribe for this weblog to
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  244. SRI REZEKI says:

    Jangan selalu katakan “masih ada waktu” atau “nanti saja”. Lakukan segera gunakan waktumu dengan bijak.

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