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What John Lennon Said About Jesus Just Before He Died

Showbiz CheatSheet logo: MainLogo Showbiz CheatSheet 10/12/2022 Matthew Trzcinski


  • John Lennon explained his “more popular than Jesus” comment in 1966.
  • He said he was very religious during an interview he gave not long before his death in 1980.
  • John discussed his definition of “magic.”
The Beatles’ John Lennon | Ron Howard/Redferns © Provided by Showbiz CheatSheet The Beatles’ John Lennon | Ron Howard/Redferns

John Lennon discussed his views on Jesus in 1966, the same year as his infamous “more popular than Jesus” comment. Shortly before he died in 1980, John revealed what he thought about Christ’s words. Notably, John identified as “religious” near the end of his life, but he had his own definition of what that meant.

John Lennon said he never meant to say The Beatles were superior to Jesus

The book Lennon on Lennon: Conversations with John Lennon includes an interview from 1966. During the interview, John discusses what he thought about Christianity at that time. He said he was raised Christian; however, he did not profess the faith.

On the other hand, John said he wasn’t “anti-Christian.” He believed the good things people said about Jesus. He said his comment that The Beatles were “more popular than Jesus” was made offhand and he wasn’t trying to say the Fab Four were superior to Christ.

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John Lennon said he was ‘religious’ rather than ‘anti-Christ’

The book All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono includes an interview from 1980. In it, Yoko said people often understood God as an old man with a beard. “They don’t know it’s an old woman with a beard,” he said. “[Chuckles] It’s easier to

identify with a human than with a concept.

“The [Muslims] tried it by not allowing images,” he added. “There’s a little of that in the Christian church; the agnostics, meaning self-knowledge, were the true essence of Christianity, but they were stamped out or chased to the hills.”

John then promoted individual religious figures. “Read Christ’s words, read Buddha’s words, any of the great words,” he said. “But we don’t need the imagery and the ‘Thou must worship like me or die.’ People got the image I was anti-Christ or anti-religion. I’m not at all. I’m a most religious fellow.” John felt the message of Christianity was very similar to the message of Marxism.

Jesus | GraphicaArtis / Contributor © Provided by Showbiz CheatSheet Jesus | GraphicaArtis / Contributor

RELATED: John Lennon Discussed How Jesus Would React to The Beatles’ ‘Eleanor Rigby’

The former Beatle wanted his fans to read the words of Jesus

John explained what religion meant to him. “I’m religious in the sense of [admitting there is] more to it than meets the eye,” he revealed. “I’m certainly not an atheist. There is more that we still could know. I think this magic is just a way of saying science we don’t know yet or we haven’t explored yet. That’s not anti-religious at all.”

John created controversy with his remarks about Jesus, but near the end of his life he asked his fans to read Christ’s words.

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