But become makers of the message -
and not just hearers misleading yourselves
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If you find this
website to be of some interest
Why Call Me God? : The Gospel Seen with a Single Eye
published by Capabel Press in September 2009.
explains the ancient 'mystery' concealed behind the text of the gospels
The riddles of
Greek scripture are soon unravelled to expose the devastating plot
shows that the deeply challenging message of the gospels
For details, please click here
ISBN: 978 0 9562057 0 4
As the basis for my work I have used the Nestlé-Aland 26th Edition Greek text. Copyright on this is reserved as follows :
..... Novum Testamentum Graece, Nestlé-Aland 26th edition (c)1979, Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart;
..... The Greek New Testament, 3rd edition (c) 1975, United Bible Societies, London
This is the Greek text underlying most modern English translations since 1881, including the New American Standard and New International Versions. Certain words within the Nestlé text proper are enclosed in square brackets [ ] or double brackets [[ ]]. These reflect those places where the critical text editors consider the inclusion or omission of such text to be in question.
This text is only available for NON-COMMERCIAL personal/scholarly and educational use.
I have also used the CATSS LXX editions of the Septuagint Old Testament
prepared by the TLG (Thesaurus Linguae Graecae) Project directed by T. Brunner
at the University of California, Irvine and made available through the Center
for Computer Analysis of Texts (CCAT) at the University of Pennsylvania 'for
the use of students, teachers and scholars in study and education
This text is only available for NON-COMMERCIAL personal/scholarly and educational use.
Unless otherwise noted, the remainder of what is presented in this
document is my original work. Copyright on this is reserved as follows
..... Authentic Christianity, 4th edition : (c) 2001 - 2004, Target Technical, York, UK
All rights are reserved - except that this text is made available without charge for NON-COMMERCIAL personal/scholarly and educational use.
In September 2000 I decided to respond to the recommendation of our bishop to 'read the gospels'. Actually I had many times read - or heard read - the 'New Testament' texts over 50 years of regular church attendance since I was baptised in the Roman Catholic [RC] church. As a result I was quite familiar with them in the form in which they come to us through translation to modern English. But now I thought I would recover the Greek which I had learned between the ages of 11 and 14. With that I could read the texts of the Greek 'New Testament' [GNT] in the form (near as may be) in which they were actually written. The GNT version available to me was the Nestlé-Aland v.26 [NA-26]. Of course it is not exactly what was written by those who composed these texts. No original document survives. Instead it is the outcome of much scholarly work over the last 150 years or so in the attempt to reconcile and to authenticate numerous early source documents. In turn it (or the more recent NA-27 which differs only slightly) is the basis for all modern translations of the 'New Testament'.
My education in the 1960's at the college of St Laurence, Ampleforth Abbey [click for photo] - and then at St John's College, Cambridge [click for photo] - had provided me, inter alia, with a solid understanding of the scriptural and doctrinal basis for 20th century Roman Catholicism. Indeed the fundamentals of this had been drilled into me when I was still at infant school, in line with the medieval opinions of Thomas Aquinas which late in the19th century had found a new popularity within the church of Rome. I knew, of course, that some of the doctrine was contentious outside the walls of the RC church - and I understood that mistakes had probably been made in certain areas as the doctrine had developed over the centuries. But in the year 2000 I still thought of the letters of Paul, and of the four gospels, as being essentially records of history - and of 'Jesus the Nazarene' as being most probably a real person who lived in Roman Palestine almost 2000 years ago.
Then I was content to think of Jesus as 'son of God'. But I could not say that he was 'God'. The idea that Jesus was born into this world, lacked a genetic father, and was 'God' in some way fundamentally different from other men, made no sense to me at all. If God had broken the ordinances of his own natural world to lock himself into one passing moment in human history then would it not be forgotten in due course? Then how and why should God choose any particular moment? As a scientist and an engineer, it seemed to me that wishful thinking had perhaps taken the place of a valid interpretation of the Judaeo-Christian scriptures.
Neither could I embrace the concept of a 'triune God' (ie. three persons in one). I knew that this doctrine of the 'Trinity' had no direct scriptural basis, being only inferred from scripture and finally established (with difficulty) as doctrine in the 4th century CE. I had a strong sense that here Christian doctrine was flawed and as a result unconvincing to many - with the church being much weakened in consequence but seeing no way to escape from the strait jacket of its own tradition.
I knew too that the church today was ailing in much of the developed world - with falling membership in most of the Christian denominations in England during my lifetime and other signs of real trouble beneath the surface. I felt that as a member of the church I shared in the responsibility for addressing this situation - but that no action could be effective in correcting the decline unless it be founded in a valid understanding of what the problem was. Too many people go at solving problems and fail because they set out to address symptoms and never get to know what the real problem is. For no one will solve a problem he has not correctly identified.
I had a strong idea that, as a church, our biggest problem was that we didn't know what the problem was.
So I was interested in assessing the GNT to see how much of the doctrinal 'status quo' was sustained by the foundational texts. At the least I hoped for a better understanding of how we had got to the present position. Of course I knew well enough that the RC church justified its doctrinal stance against 'tradition' and not only against the 'canonised' (ie. accepted) scripture. But I knew too that 'tradition' is only the set of ideas which remains once competing ideas have been eliminated from the record. And the survival of one idea does not make it right - any more than the elimination of another makes it wrong. The history of the Christian church has been a distinctly troubled one - with the institutional church at times suffering persecution, at other times acting itself in a violent and destructive manner (including much internal strife). I can recommend Hans Kung's short book on the history of the church [Ref.1].
I began to read the GNT - experimenting (as many have done before me) with making my own translations from certain passages. These translations were no more than a useful way for me to re-learn Greek.
But nothing had prepared me for the surprise which was coming - for I shortly realised that these texts are extensively populated with what we know from the French idiom as 'double entendres' - also with complex riddles of several kinds and with certain components which appear evil in their implication. The following sayings attributed in the texts to Jesus appear (taken at face value) to fall into this latter class :
40N 10 34 mh nomishte oti hlqon balein eirhnhn epi thn ghn ouk hlqon balein eirhnhn alla macairan
40N 10 34 "Do not suppose that I came to cast peace upon the earth. I did not come to cast peace - but a dagger
42N 14 26 ei tis ercetai pros me kai ou misei ton patera eautou kai thn mhtera kai thn gunaika kai ta tekna kai tous adelfous kai tas adelfas eti te kai thn yuchn eautou ou dunatai einai mou maqhths
42N 14 26 "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father, his mother, his wife and children and brothers and sisters - and even also his own soul, he is not able to be my student"
Rapidly it became clear to me that no part of the GNT was a record of history. It was nothing of the sort - for no one writes history with the textual complexity which is to be found here. But if these texts were not history then neither were they nonsense. It was not long before I realised that a large proportion of the GNT was a form of allegory based upon the conventions and stories of the book of 'Genesis'. In some cases the 'old' characters and scenarios were quite thinly disguised in the 'new' text. In other cases (as I suspected) they were so deeply disguised as to be hard to spot at all. I turned to reading 'Genesis' in Greek - in what is known as the Septuagint [LXX] version. This is the base text against which the gospels have been composed - and yet more things became clear.
I also read some of Augustine's 'De Doctrina Christiana' ('About Christian Doctrine') - written when he was bishop of Hippo around 1600 years ago. I have referred to DDC:4:8:22 in more detail in Chapter 5. The essence of what Augustine says here is that the writers of scripture :
"... have expressed themselves with a useful and wholesome obscurity".
He gives the reason as follows. It is :
"... to exercise and to train the minds of their readers, and to break down the squeamishness and stimulate the zeal of those who are willing to learn, whilst also keeping in ignorance the minds of the impious that either they may be converted to piety or shut out from a knowledge of the mysteries".
Now an opinion such as this can register as disconcerting to many Christians in our age - for they have been taught that all is straightforward and by now well understood. But this is the opinion of one who is a key foundational theologian of the western church. And who are those 'shut out from a knowledge of the mysteries' ? Could it be that I (brought up within the Catholic church) was myself one of these?
I suggest that to know the truth of scripture it is essential to pay attention to the detail. This is because evil gains the upper hand through deception - so that those not paying careful attention put themselves at risk. On this theme, P.E. More writes that for Athanasius (4th century CE) :
"The beginning of evil ... was a kind of 'raqumia' (indolence), that slackness of attention or failure of energy, at once the cause and the effect of ignorance, which hinders the soul ...". [Ref.2]
Now it has taken me around 18 months to reach the following understanding :
The events of the gospel stories are then the inexorable outcome of the curses imposed in the stories of 'Genesis'. But all scripture remains just that - a single unified story.
This I have now understood. And here in the chapters which follow I set out the evidence as best I may.
In the course of my work I have made certain enquiries within the academic world in the hope that I might trace others with an interest in the holistic and rigorous interpretation of scripture. This has proved more difficult than I expected. But I would be delighted to hear from anyone who feels able to contribute in any way - even if it be only with constructive criticism of the ideas I have set out.
1.3 Greek NT
Here are some sites where you can download the Greek NT for yourself - and many other versions/translations of the bible besides.
This site is still 'under construction'. So please forgive its shortcomings ! There is always more which might be done.
If you would like to make any comments (favourable or otherwise) or have any corrections to offer, then I would be delighted to hear from you - and please accept my thanks in advance. Please use this e-mail address :
 Kung H., 'The Catholic Church : A Short History', Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 2001, ISBN 0 297 64638 9
 More P.E, 'Christ the Word', p.293 (Ch.10), Princeton University Press, 1927 (out of print)
 Metzger, Bruce M., "Manuscripts of the Greek Bible", Oxford University Press, 1981, : ISBN 0-19-502924-0, p.7