James 1:22-23

But become makers of the message - and not just hearers misleading yourselves
For if anyone is a hearer of the message and not a maker
he is like a man assessing the face of his 'Genesis' in a mirror [Jm.1:22-23]

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Chapter 12 : The Demise of Abram Wrangler

Copyright Notice
What is presented in this document is my original work. Copyright on this is reserved as follows :
..... Authentic Christianity, 4th edition : (c) 2001 - 2002, 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.

12.1 The Dinner
It was early May. Abram Wrangler was enjoying his last term as an undergraduate at Genesis College. Mathematics was his subject and he knew that the Tripos examination was coming up. But it was a fine spring this year - and he was a 'student of life'.

Abram was always puzzled by his name. His father had impressed upon him that it should be Abram, not Abraham. But he himself found the scriptures confusing - and had never understood what difference was made by how a name was spelled.

He occupied a pleasant set of rooms which overlooked the River Cam. That morning the sun was bright in a clear blue sky. A punt went slowly by. The river genuflected its ripples across his ceiling. He thought for a moment of Isaac Newton, one time fellow of nearby Trinity College. In the seventeenth century Newton had developed the calculus and studied the properties of light. As a mathematician Abram was in awe of Isaac whom he knew to have been a polymath, even analysing the scriptures and coming to the conclusion that they were composed in some form of code. Indeed Newton had offered to the world analyses of many phenomena - but died without resolving his quest to unlock the mysteries set out in the stories of scripture.

He rifled through his mail. In the 'unsolicited' category there was an invitation to a Dinner to be held in honour of the founder of his College. This was for the following Friday. He liked a good meal. Yes, he would attend.

College dinners were held in Hall, an impressively large room with a high ceiling. Abram took the trouble to present himself promptly at 7 o'clock - as the invitation advised. This was not an event to be missed. Many of his fellow students were there - and he took the place named for him at one of the long refectory tables with which he was so familiar. As a scholar at Genesis he had attended in previous years what was known as the Scholars' Dinner. On these occasions each one dining had been served at his place. But this evening's dinner was evidently different. For the menu card indicated a choice. And those dining were to rise, to choose their food, and to return to their places to eat.

Grace said, the company rose. At one end of the Hall was a long serving table which offered dishes of meat. Above it hung a sign 'Herdsman's Game' - and what appeared to be a stuffed raven, swooping down. This table was set out with varieties of roast meat - and differing meat stews. At the opposite end of the Hall a second table tempted the diners with a vegetarian alternative, above it a sign 'Fruits of the Earth' - and what seemed like a stuffed pigeon, swooping down. This table was decked with varieties of bread - and an attractive red lentil stew.

Abram was intrigued to notice that only one man had gone up to the table bearing the sign 'Herdsman's Game'. He knew this man as Abel. He had a reputation for being a whizz at solving anagrams and riddles. But he had an unusual surname - and Abram was unable to recall exactly what it was. Something like Abel Tosolvit, he thought.

But it was clear that the remaining company intended to opt for 'Fruits of the Earth'. Abram was a convivial fellow and he joined his friends in the queue. There were numerous varieties of bread - with recipes from all over the world. There was naan bread, pitta bread, breads made from wheat and from barley flour - and something delightful which he hadn't seen before, a bit like small French sticks but coiled in a serpentine form. He filled his plate and returned to his place. And the college Steward had excelled himself in the choice of wines to be served. Accordingly the dinner was a delightful affair and Abram enjoyed every moment.

Now the student who had opted for the 'Game' menu was seated at the lower end of the table - and during a pause in the conversation Abram noticed that no wine had been served to this man. But he could not see why this should be. He recalled that the Steward this year was a Dr. Noe Arkwright, a senior fellow of the college noted for his inscrutability. Could this omission be some form of penalty imposed upon one choosing from the dishes of meat ? But surely not. For Dr Arkwright was known to be fond of a good wine himself - and it was hardly likely he would give instructions for one of the guests to be deprived in this way. It must be that Abel himself was teetotal.

Waking late next morning, he found a small envelope pushed under his door - and neatly inscribed with his name. It was a note from his tutor, asking to see him at 12 o'clock. He looked at his watch. Already it was 11:40 . Making himself quickly presentable, Abram hurried round to his tutor's set in First Court. He knew Dr Johansen as a busy man. He knocked at the door.

Jean Baptiste Johansen was a fellow of Genesis and a polymath. His relations had expected him to be named after his father, the Rev. Zachary Johansen. But around the time of his birth his father had lost his voice, being obliged to confirm his son's name in writing. Then the family was startled to see the child named Jean. Indeed his Uncle Luke had been much disturbed, asking "So what will this child be ?". For he knew that the Greek equivalent for the French 'Jean' was 'iwannhV'. And in this word he had recognised not an eagle, but an amalgam of the two Hebrew words for a pigeon (or a dove) - and for a serpent.

In his undergraduate days at St John's he had read Natural Sciences - and later turned to engineering. But he read Greek and was a lifelong student of scripture. After some years in industry he had returned to Cambridge to teach. Fourier analysis, pattern recognition and image processing were amongst the several topics with which he was familiar. But he knew also the significance of the evidence about 'Jesus the Nazarene' given within the stories of scripture by his namesake, the Baptist.

He made Abram comfortable and fixed him up with a tonic and lemon. Duties were not always pleasant. But they had to be attended to - and alcohol so often clouded the mind. "Wrangler", he said, "I have some bad news for you". Instantly Abram was worried. More than that, he was very worried. What could it be ? He had not expected this. Dr Johansen had always been so encouraging.

His tutor went on "I am sorry to tell you that you failed yesterday's Tripos examination. As a result the University will not be able to admit you to the degree for which you have been studying". Abram was stunned. What examination ? He was expecting to sit his examinations the week after next. He had been planning to start his revision tomorrow. He began to feel sick. Could this be some kind of joke ? Was his planned career at stake ? He summoned up only one word "What ?".

His tutor was acutely aware of Abram's discomfiture. "Perhaps I should explain ?".

Abram was looking pale. He said nothing so Dr Johansen ventured "You see, the examination was the Dinner last evening". Abram's faculties were in a whirl. But surely that wasn't the right word for it. 'Faculty' was the name they used for a University department - like the Faculty of Divinity. But his mind was racing, veering off all on its own. He could not help thinking of bread, of the delicious blood-red claret which Dr Arkwright had brought up from the college cellars - and of the equation for a helical form. How he wished he could make sense of it all.

His tutor went on "As you know, the colleges are religious foundations and we never forget the importance of penetrating the message of scripture. The man who took his meal from the 'Game' menu appears to have been alone in obtaining a solution to the riddles. He declares that he acted as he knew to be right. He will be presented for his degree in July. The others, I am afraid, will not".

Abram was devastated. What a disgraceful deceit ! This man was saying that the Founder's Dinner had been the Tripos examination and that he, Abram, had failed. And yet no one had been decent enough even to warn him of this - let alone to advise him of the criteria for success. What an appalling trick to play. He wanted no more to do with learning - nor with universities. He was a student of life, not of some arcane set of ideas founded in antiquated so-called 'scriptures', all set out in languages with peculiar alphabets - and prescribing that unwitting candidates should be 'put to the test' using meals.

He said to himself "I shall take the name Abraham. It sounds so much better than Abram. Then they will not laugh at me for missing my degree. I shall eat all the bread I like ... I shall take up that amazing job offer with the supplier of the college claret. And I shall live like a god !"

12.2 Notes
The scriptures are constructed in such a way as to constitute a test, a trial, a puzzle for you to solve. They may be likened to a treasure hunt, to a jigsaw puzzle, to a crossword puzzle - and they are not records of history.

In our age and in our world this is not well understood. Interpretation has suffered neglect. In consequence, many are the ones with hearing and sight impaired. For the risk is that "hearing you will hear but not understand, seeing you will see but not perceive" [Is.6:9; Mt.13:15; Jn.12:40; Ac.28:27]. And who can teach what he or she has never learned ?

The above story is founded upon a holistic analysis of the canon of scripture - from 'Genesis' to 'Revelation'. Should you doubt it's validity, you will surely find the same distinction drawn throughout the texts of scripture itself :

1 Corinthians :
46N 10 25 pan to en makellw pwloumenon esqiete mhden anakrinontes dia thn suneidhsin
46N 10 25 All that is sold in the butcher's, eat - asking nothing for the sake of the conscience

46N 10 26 tou kuriou gar h gh kai to plhrwma auths
46N 10 26 For the lord's (is) the earth - and its fullness [Ps.24:1]

Who is this 'lord' (of the earth) ?
Mark :
41N 6 52 ou gar sunhkan epi tois artois all hn autwn h kardia pepwrwmenh
41N 6 52 For they had not understood about the breads - but for them 'the heart was Petrified'
Romans :
45N 11 8 kaqws gegraptai edwken autois o qeos pneuma katanuxews ofqalmous tou mh blepein kai wta tou mh akouein ews ths shmeron hmeras
45N 11 8 Just as it has been written, "God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes which did not see and ears which did not hear - until the 'today' day" [Is.6:5, 6:10; Gn.4:14-15]

45N 11 9 kai dauid legei genhqhtw h trapeza autwn eis pagida kai eis qhran kai eis skandalon kai eis antapodoma autois
45N 11 9 And David says "May their table become for them a snare and a pursuit - a scandal and a retribution to them [Ps.69:22]

Hebrew Script Hebrew   Greek English
Hebrew012 I.V.N.H Translated -> peristera pigeon = dove
Hebrew012 I.V.N.H Transliterated -> iwna = Jonah
Hebrew013 N.CH.SH Translated -> ofis serpent
Hebrew014 I.V.N.H
Transliterated -> iwnanhs* pigeon_serpent
      iwannhs* John
      aiwna aeon;

12.3 PostScript
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