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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If you find this website to be of some interest
then you may also like to read:

  Why Call Me God? : The Gospel Seen with a Single Eye  

published by Capabel Press in September 2009.

The book explains the ancient 'mystery' concealed behind the text of the gospels
at the time they were first composed.

The riddles of Greek scripture are soon unravelled to expose the devastating plot
which must have been familiar to the Gnostic authors.

Analysis then shows that the deeply challenging message of the gospels
is not what the Christian churches say. It is something very different…
and now explained in this groundbreaking book.

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Why Call Me God

ISBN: 978 0 9562057 0 4

Chapter 14 : On Opening the Mouth of the Fish

Copyright Notice
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 contexts'.
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.

14.1 Introduction
That most curious of scriptural trifles, 'stathr' (a standard coin), is mentioned just once in the whole of what we know as the 'New Testament' - in the gospel attributed to Matthew. This happens upon Jesus' return to Capernaum, the mythical seaside settlement first introduced at Mt.4:13. Following an exchange with Peter about liability to tax, we find Jesus saying this :

40N 17 27 ina de mh skandaliswmen autouV poreuqeiV eiV qalassan bale agkistron kai ton anabanta prwton icqun aron kai anoixaV to stoma autou eurhseiV stathra ekeinon labwn doV autoiV anti emou kai sou
40N 17 27 But so that we may not cause them to stumble [alt: cause them scandal], go to the sea, throw a (fish)hook, and take up the first fish coming up. And opening its mouth, you will find a standard. Taking that, give (it) to them in exchange for me and for you.

Judaeo-Christian scripture is littered with riddles - and surely this is one of them. Many have puzzled over its meaning, but few with much to show for it. The Greek word 'stathr' (a standard) is derived from the verb 'isthmi' (I stand). It is therefore the name for a standard coin, commonly of silver or gold. At the literal level, it may refer here to the Jewish shekel. Another possibility is the Greek tetradrachmon coin [4 drachma]. If the latter, then this would explain how, for two people, it could pay the didrachma tax [2 drachma] just mentioned at Mt.17:24. As much is well known : but there is more to the verse than this.

Look, the directions given resemble those for a 'treasure hunt'. Now a gospel is a written message : any directions it contains are directions to the reader. But what is the locus for the search defined here ? Where is this fishing expedition to take place ? Well, there is only one tangible locus accessible equally to the author and to his readers and this is the text itself. So could it be that the author of this gospel has hidden a 'stathr' somewhere in what he has written - and that we (as readers) are expected to look for it ? And how very strangely this riddle is posed ... should we really expect to find the coin in the mouth of a fish ?

I have shown elsewhere how the major 'currency' riddles of the gospels (Talents, Minas and Drachmas) are constituted to teach the anagram techniques extensively embraced by the authors of scripture {unpublished as at May 2004}. This compact but impressive riddle seems to fit the same pattern.

And in all that follows do not forget the purpose declared for this fishing trip. It is 'so that we may not cause them to stumble'. Then a key function of this riddle may be to keep us from error. Some 1600 years ago Augustine of Hippo wrote in his classic 'De Doctrina Christiana' (About Christian Doctrine) :

Sed multis et multiplicibus obscuritatibus et ambiguitatibus decipiuntur, qui temere legunt.
But they are caught out by the many and manifold obscurities and ambiguities, those who read casually.
[DDC 2:6:7]

Then if we can penetrate this riddle it may have a rôle to play in saving us from being 'caught out' - from being led astray by the literal import which a hasty or shallow reader may so easily derive from the text of the gospels. For the use of riddle techniques does provide for a casual reader to reach one particular conclusion - whilst the reader who can solve the riddles, gaining an extra perspective, may then arrive at an understanding altogether different - even contrary. Such a compositional method may be known by the term 'gnostic', calling to mind the dualistic concept introduced in the book of Genesis - with the 'tree of knowing the knowledge of good and evil' [Gn.2:9].

Then let us embrace the challenge posed here - and see what we can learn.

Note :
In what follows I shall avoid the use of the Greek lower case letter S in its terminal form ' V ', replacing it with the non-terminal form ' s '. Where anagrammatic rearrangement is involved this should help to keep things clear. In the early texts of the gospel there was no difference anyway : for in Uncial script the letter S appeared throughout as C, and in Capital script as S.

14.2 The Meaning of 'Opening its Mouth'
To explain this properly I must first quote from the Hebrew text of the Book of Genesis. Remember that Hebrew is written from right to left and ignore the vowel marks below the main characters (absent in all early texts). At Gn.4:8 Cain has killed Abel, his 'brother'. Now 'God' (Hebr: YHWH) speaks to Cain in these terms :

JPS 1917 Edition Masoretic Text : (c) 2003 Mechon Mamre : Gn.4:10-11

Gn.4:10 (Hebrew)
01O 4 10 And he said "What have you done ? A voice of the blood of your brother
cries to me from the earth

Gn.4:11 (Hebrew)
01O 4 11 And now you are cursed from the earth which
has opened a mouth to receive the blood of your brother from your hand".

There is a word play here which appears to work like this. In Hebrew (here transliterated) :

Accordingly it is valid to say that "A voice of the blood ... cries to me from the earth" - "the earth which has opened a mouth to receive the blood of your brother from your hand". For now, whenever the word 'earth' crops up in the subsequent texts of Hebrew scripture, it will always be liable to 'open its mouth' - with the sound of the word 'blood' emerging in its midst.

Attention is drawn here to what is actually a form of anagrammatic dispersion. A first word 'opens its mouth' - and listen ! We 'hear' a second word embedded within it. In our culture wordplays of this sort are mostly confined to puzzle books for children [and in that connection see Mt.18:2 seq:]. But this simple principle is amongst the techniques established here in the Hebrew 'Genesis'. Later (from the third century BCE) the same principle was transferred to the Greek texts of scripture - even extended and elaborated, for example by reversing or scrambling the letter sequence of the embedded word(s).

Here is a simple example at Mt.12:33 :
40N 12 34 gennhmata ecidnwn pws dunasqe agaqa lalein ponhroi ontes ek gar tou perisseumatos ths kardias to stoma lalei
40N 12 34 Offspring of vipers, how are you able to speak good things, being wicked ? For out of the surplus of the heart the mouth speaks.

The word 'stoma' (mouth) emerges from the "surplus" of the word 'perisseumatos' (of surplus). This is typical of the way language is used in the gospels.

And this word has a yet wider vocabulary :
'perisseumatos' => 'sapros' (corrupt).
'perisseumatos' => 'o speiras' (the one sowing at Mt.13:39) - whose 'number value' 666 (as defined at Rv.13:18).
The 'Sermon on the Mount' begins with Mt.5:2 :
40N 5 2 kai anoixas to stoma autou edidasken autous legwn ...
40N 5 2 And opening his mouth, he taught them, saying ...
Then it may be worth paying close attention to what Jesus actually says in the verses which follow [Mt.5:3-12] because :
40N 15 11 ou to eisercomenon eis to stoma koinoi ton anqrwpon alla to ekporeuomenon ek tou stomatos touto koinoi ton anqrwpon
40N 15 11 (It is) not what enters into the mouth (that) defiles the person - but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the person.

14.3 A Computer Method
In the gospel story Jesus chooses the fishermen Peter and Andrew, James and John to be his disciples (his 'students') [Mt.4:18-22]. On the face of things they are professional fishermen - which Jesus is not. But despite their expertise, as the narrative unfolds they struggle to find any 'fish'. Those familiar with fishing in the Levant will know that it is mostly done at night. But in the gospels no fish are caught at night [Lk.5:5; Jn.21:3] - only when Jesus is around and/or when the sun is up. This is a deliberate feature of the myth - emphasising that Jesus is 'the light' [Jn.1:4; 8:12]. Indeed dark/light dualism has its origin in the first few verses of 'Genesis' and is maintained consistently in subsequent scripture. Thus it is Jesus' perspective that "no one is able to work at night" [Jn.9:4].

It seems that these 'daylight' fish are something a little different from what we normally understand by the term. But when the disciples follow the suggestions made by Jesus, their nets are soon filled [Lk.5:4; Jn.21:3]. So we face this question : what is meant in the gospels by the term 'fish' ?

In the Greek texts of the four gospels only a handful of words employ the consonantal letter pair (the digram) 'cq' []. Prominent amongst these are the short words 'icqus' = fish (21 times) and 'ecqrosecqra' = enemy / enmity (17 times). Both these words are found in the first three chapters of 'Genesis'. By solving some of the numerical riddles around the repeated gospel stories of the 'Feeding of the Multitudes', I showed at Chapter 3 that the authors appear to use the term 'fish' to refer to the digram 'cq' itself - or more generally to any word containing the two letters 'c' and 'q'. For now I shall proceed on this basis.

Here in the gospel we are looking for a 'fish' which has something particular 'in its mouth'. From what is explained in the previous section we may suspect that the riddle relies upon some form of combinational anagram implemented in the text itself. In our age a computer is an excellent tool for those seeking to resolve such puzzles. With it the whole text of the Greek 'New Testament' [GNT] may be searched for a specified word - either as a literal string or concealed as an anagram. Such a search may be completed in less than one second. For a quick result I chose this method first.

I began by locating all words which exhibit the pair 'c...q'. In this gospel alone (Matthew) there are sixty-four - including 'sabacqani', the last word uttered in Hebrew by Jesus dying on the cross [Mt.27:46]. But if these are the 'fish', then which is the one we want ? I reasoned that a 'fish' [cq] which has swallowed a 'standard' [stathra] could be a word which comprises the letters 'c...q' (so making it 'fishy') as well as all the letters of the word 'stathra' (a 'standard').

Searching now for any word with all of the letters 'cq.stathra', the surprising result was this. There is only one word in the whole Greek 'New Testament' which incorporates all of these letters. Then we have a singular solution - in golfing parlance, 'a hole in one' ?

Here it is - at Mt.5:6 (notice that we are back to the 'Sermon on the Mount') :
40N 5 6 makarioi oi peinwntes kai diywntes thn dikaiosunhn oti autoi cortasqhsontai
40N 5 6 "Fortunate (are) those hungering and thirsting (for) righteousness - for they shall be foddered

Do you see it ? Here is a 'fishy' word [c...q] - with a 'standard' [stathra] as we might say "in its mouth". Indeed the coin does seem to have been 'digested' inside the fish, for the letters are all mixed up.

Now this word 'cortasqhsontai' is from the future tense of the verb 'cortazw' (I fodder). Derived from the noun 'cortos' (grass), it means 'to feed with grass (or with hay)'. Notice that this is a verb used for feeding animals - with food which grows in the light. Significantly it is used here - as in the gospel stories of the 'Feeding of the 5000/4000' where we find the word 'ecortasqhsan' (they were foddered). At each of the five episodes which appear in the synoptic gospels this is the word used [eg. Mt.14:20; 15:37]. And of course both 'bread' and 'fish' do take a key rôle in the narrative of the feeding stories, turning us back to the connection with fish.

Now perhaps you think that :

On the first two points you can decide for yourself. I have sought to keep an open mind, working as carefully as I can with the evidence of the texts. The challenge is to know the mind and the method of the scriptural author. The word 'cortasqhsontai' is an anagram source for the full word 'icqus' (fish) where the letter 'u' appears to have been replaced by the word 'stathra', and three additional characters added to form the full word. And then, if we write it again 'cortasqhsontai', we can see that between the letters 'c' and 'q' lie the letters 'ortas'. Slightly rearranged, these yield 'artos' (bread). Thus are the crowds foddered - with bread and with fish [Mt.14:20; 15:37]. The gospel authors write with the benefit of a tradition which really is quite clever - though translation to another language will be certain to obscure much of what they have done.

But with the last point I surely agree. The author of this gospel could never have expected his readers to perform a raw anagram search right through the whole gospel : it would have taken far too long. So let us instead approach the problem as a reader of the first century might have done. Let us start again, this time just following the steps set out in the gospel narrative.

14.4 A Conventional Method

Here are the directions given to the reader at Mt.17:27

  1. Go to the sea
    poreuqeis eis qalassan

  2. Throw a (fish)hook
    bale agkistron

  3. Take up the first fish coming up
    ton anabanta prwton icqun aron

  4. Opening its mouth ... you will find a 'standard'
    anoixas to stoma autou ... eurhseis stathra

  5. Taking that, give (it) to them in exchange for me and for you
    ekeinon labwn dos autois anti emou kai sou
Let us follow these steps :

  1. Go to the sea :
    poreuqeis eis qalassan

    Starting from the beginning of this gospel (Matthew), we read until we find the first reference to the sea. Those familiar with the text may recall where it is first mentioned.

    This is it - at Mt.4:13 :
    40N 4 13 kai katalipwn thn nazara elqwn katwkhsen eis kafarnaoum thn paraqalassian en oriois zaboulwn kai nefqalim
    40N 4 13 And leaving Nazareth, coming, he settled down in Capernaum - the seaside in (the) regions of Zebulun and Naphtali

  2. Throw a (fish)hook :
    bale agkistron

    This suggests we read on until we find a fish-hook (or something of the kind) being thrown. What about this - just 5 verses further on at Mt.4:18 ?

    40N 4 18 peripatwn de para thn qalassan ths galilaias eiden duo adelfous simwna ton legomenon petron kai andrean ton adelfon autou ballontas amfiblhstron eis thn qalassan hsan gar alieis
    40N 4 18 But walking around the sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, the one called Peter, and Andrew, his brother, throwing a casting-net into the sea. For they were fishermen.

    Clearly 'amfiblhstron' (a casting-net) is not quite the same as 'agkistron' (a fish-hook) - but it is certainly related in function, both words begin with the same letter, and both end with the letters '...stron'.

    Notice, before we move on, that their 'amfiblhstron' (casting-net) has 'ofis' (a serpent) [qv. Gn.3:1; Rv.12:9] concealed within it - just as 'agkistron' (fish-hook) has 'kain' (Cain) concealed within it. There are 70 'ofis' words in Matthew's gospel - of which 'amfiblhstron' is the first. And here are some more [Mt.23:27] :

    40N 23 27 ouai umin grammateis kai farisaioi upokritai oti paromoiazete tafois kekoniamenois oitines exwqen men fainontai wraioi eswqen de gemousin ostewn nekrwn kai pashs akaqarsias
    40N 23 27 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you resemble plastered tombs which outwardly appear beautiful but inwardly are filled with bones of (the) dead - and with every uncleanness

    The letter 'f' is 3 times in the above verse. Perhaps you saw the serpent concealed ? Being able to spot what's inside things is a business with serious consequences. For many are the things which at first sight look attractive - but it is only when you can see what lies inside them that you can hope to distinguish 'what is good' from 'what is evil'.

    Then, yes, at Mt.9:15 we hear Jesus refer to himself as 'o numfios' (the bridegroom). Thus are the casting-net, the Pharisees, the tombs and the bridegroom linked inexorably to 'ofis' (the serpent).

    And of course the letter 'f' is common to 'ofis' (the serpent) [Gn.3:1] and 'to fws' (the light) [Gn.1:3; Jn.1:4-9]. Then at Rv.18:23 'fws' (light) is yoked together with 'numfios' (the bridegroom). These are to come to an end - as the things of the 'farmakeia' (sorcery) 'within which all the nations were deceived'.

  3. Take up the first fish coming up :
    ton anabanta prwton icqun aron

    So we read on from Mt.4:18 (where the net was cast), watching out for 'fishy' words, those with the two letters 'c' and 'q'. The first comes up 13 verses further on ...

    Here it is - at Mt.5:6 ('The Sermon on the Mount'):
    40N 5 6 makarioi oi peinwntes kai diywntes thn dikaiosunhn oti autoi cortasqhsontai
    40N 5 6 "Fortunate (are) those hungering and thirsting (for) righteousness - for they shall be foddered

    It takes under a minute to locate this by scan reading - which seems reasonable to expect of a reader in the first century.

  4. Opening its mouth ... you will find a 'standard' :
    anoixas to stoma autou ... eurhseis stathra

    Notice that we have the same result now as with the Computer Method. But this time we have achieved it by following the explicit directions of the author, step by step. And when we 'open the mouth' of this 'fish', there we find all the letters needed to spell out 'stathra' (a 'standard') - exactly as promised.

    In fact there are nine words in this gospel which provide the seven letters needed to spell out the word 'stathra'. Here is a list of them :

     5:6 <cortasqhsontai>  they shall be foddered 
     14:1 <tetraarchs>  Tetrarch
     17:27 <stathra>  a 'standard'
     18:10 <katafronhshte>  despise
     21:37 <entraphsontai>  they will respect
     22:6 <krathsantes>  seizing
     26:48 <krathsate>  seize
     26:55 <ekrathsate>  you seized
     26:57 <krathsantes>  seizing

    Table 1 : Anagram sources for 'stathra' in Matthew's gospel

    But apart from the first these are not 'fishy' words.

    Such a 'fishing expedition' serves to teach the use of anagrams within Greek scripture - of which this example is but the tip of a very much larger iceberg.

    And almost two millennia after this riddle was set down we were still able to find the standard within the mouth of the fish.
But we are not quite done - for there was one more direction :

  1. Taking that, give (it) to them in exchange for me and for you :
    ekeinon labwn dos autois anti emou kai sou

    At the narrative level this makes perfectly good sense. Jesus seems to be telling Peter to hand over the standard coin to settle the tax on behalf of the two of them. But is there more to this than the literal ?

    Look again at Mt.5:6 :
    40N 5 6 makarioi oi peinwntes kai diywntes thn dikaiosunhn oti autoi cortasqhsontai
    40N 5 6 "Fortunate (are) those hungering and thirsting (for) righteousness - for they shall be foddered

    Do you (almost) see there the text 'kai sou' (and for you) ? And perhaps you can just make out 'dos' (give) in the word 'dikaiosunhn' (righteousness) ? It is difficult to be sure, but the final phrase 'kai sou' looks as if it might have been written with one eye on confirming the solution to this riddle.

14.5 Some Implications ?
As noted above, the word 'cortasqhsontai' (they shall be foddered) is from the future tense of the verb 'cortazw', meaning 'to feed with grass (or with hay)'. Then it is interesting that in Luke's gospel the sign for the shepherds should be 'brefos' (a foetus) 'keimenon en fatnh' (lying in a feed trough) [Lk.2:12].

At Mt.14:20 (Feeding of the 5000) and Mt.15:37 (Feeding of the 4000) the same verb appears in the aorist tense as 'ecortasqhsan (they were foddered). So is there anything else we can 'find' when we 'open the mouths' of these 'fishy' words ?

Consider 'ecortasqhsan (they were foddered) :

ecortasqhsan => ecqros (enemy). Recall that at Mt.13:39 the 'enemy' is the 'devil'.

ecortasqhsan => satan (from Heb: SaTaN = enemy)

ecortasqhsan => artos (bread).
Of course 'bread' is what they have just eaten at Mt.14:20; 15:37.
Here we find the 'bread' [artos] in the mouth of a 'fish' [c...q] !
- and 'cortasqhsontai' (they shall be foddered) - at Mt.5:6 :

cortasqhsontai => stathra (standard)
- our original 'standard' coin, concealed in the mouth of a 'fish' [c...q] !

cortasqhsontai => cristos (Christ)

cortasqhsontai => satan (from Heb: SaTaN = enemy)

cortasqhsontai => artos (bread).
Again we find the 'bread' [artos] in the mouth of a 'fish' [c...q] !

Is.6:9 => Mt.13:14 & Ac.28:26 :
23O 6 9 kai eipen poreuqhti kai eipon tw law toutw akoh akousete kai ou mh sunhte kai bleponteV bleyete kai ou mh idhte
23O 6 9 And he said "Go and say to this people : With hearing, you will hear, but not understand. And seeing, you will see, but not perceive"
Mt.13:17 :
40N 13 17 amhn gar legw umin oti polloi profhtai kai dikaioi epequmhsan idein a blepete kai ouk eidan kai akousai a akouete kai ouk hkousan
40N 13 17 For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous (men) desired to see what you see - and did not perceive (it). And to hear what you hear - and did not hear (it).

14.6 The Background
There is rather more to a 'gospel' than may, at first, meet the eye. The fish [icqus] and the serpent [ofis] are the creatures (respectively) of the water and of the dry land. They have their origin in scripture at LXX Gn.1:9 (Day 3) where (in preparing for their formation) we hear this said :

sunacqhtw to udwr ... kai ofqhtw h xhra
"Let the water coalesce ... and let the dry appear"

The species are linked again, this time explicitly, at Mt.7:7-10 :

40N 7 7 aiteite kai doqhsetai umin zhteite kai eurhsete krouete kai anoighsetai umin
40N 7 7 Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened to you.
40N 7 8 pas gar o aitwn lambanei kai o zhtwn euriskei kai tw krouonti anoighsetai
40N 7 8 For each one who asks, receives - and who seeks, finds. And to the one knocking it will be opened.
40N 7 9 h tis estin ex umwn anqrwpos on aithsei o uios autou arton mh liqon epidwsei autw
40N 7 9 Or what person is there out of you who, (if) his son asks him for bread, will not give him a stone ?
40N 7 10 h kai icqun aithsei mh ofin epidwsei autw
40N 7 10 Or (if) he then asks for a fish, will not give him a serpent ?

----- o -----

And if you don't understand why the Christ should be associated with grass or with hay, look at LXX Gn.1:24-31 (Day 6 of the Elohistic creation sequence) :

01O 1 24 kai eipen o qeos exagagetw h gh yuchn zwsan kata genos tetrapoda kai erpeta kai qhria ths ghs kata genos kai egeneto outws
01O 1 24 And God said "Let THE EARTH bring forth A LIVING SOUL AFTER A FOUR-FOOTED KIND, and creeping things and wild beasts of the earth after (their) kind" : and it happened like this

01O 1 25 kai epoihsen o qeos ta qhria ths ghs kata genos kai ta kthnh kata genos kai panta ta erpeta ths ghs kata genos autwn kai eiden o qeos oti kala
01O 1 25 And God made the wild beasts of the earth after (their) kind, and the pastoral beasts after (their) kind, and all the creeping things of the earth after their kind. And God saw them as good

01O 1 26 kai eipen o qeos poihswmen anqrwpon kat' eikona hmeteran kai kaq' omoiwsin kai arcetwsan twn icquwn ths qalasshs kai twn peteinwn tou ouranou kai twn kthnwn kai pashs ths ghs kai pantwn twn erpetwn twn erpontwn epi ths ghs
01O 1 26 And God said, "Let us make A PERSON ACCORDING TO OUR IMAGE and according to LIKENESSES : and LET THEM RULE over the fish of the sea, over the birds of Heaven, and over the pastoral beasts, and over all the earth - and over all the creeping things which creep upon the earth"

01O 1 27 kai epoihsen o qeos ton anqrwpon kat' eikona qeou epoihsen auton arsen kai qhlu epoihsen autous
01O 1 27 And God made 'THE PERSON'. According to (the) image of a god he made HIM. Male and female he made THEM.

01O 1 28 kai huloghsen autous o qeos legwn auxanesqe kai plhqunesqe kai plhrwsate thn ghn kai katakurieusate auths kai arcete twn icquwn ths qalasshs kai twn peteinwn tou ouranou kai pantwn twn kthnwn kai pashs ths ghs kai pantwn twn erpetwn twn erpontwn epi ths ghs
01O 1 28 And God blessed THEM, saying "Grow and multiply and fill the earth and LORD over it. And rule (over) the FISH of the SEA and (over) the BIRDS of HEAVEN - and (over) all the pastoral BEASTS and (over) all the EARTH - and (over) all the CREEPING THINGS which creep upon the earth"

01O 1 29 kai eipen o qeos idou dedwka umin pan corton sporimon speiron sperma o estin epanw pashs ths ghs kai pan xulon o ecei en eautw karpon spermatos sporimou umin estai eis brwsin
01O 1 29 And God said, "Look, I have given to YOU [pl.] every GRASS spreading SEED to propagate which is above all the EARTH - and every TREE which has within itself FRUIT (having) SEED to propagate. For you it will be for food.

01O 1 30 kai pasi tois qhriois ths ghs kai pasi tois peteinois tou ouranou kai panti erpetw tw erponti epi ths ghs o ecei en eautw yuchn zwhs panta corton clwron eis brwsin kai egeneto outws
01O 1 30 And to every wild BEAST of the EARTH, and to every BIRD of HEAVEN, and to every CREEPING THING that creeps upon the earth (and) which has within it the SOUL of LIFE, (I have given) every (kind of) GREEN GRASS for food". And it happened like this.

This PERSON, 'made according to the image of a god', is 'male and female' (twins or androgynous ?) and is to 'fill the earth and LORD over it'. Does that explain the virgin birth [Is.8:3; Mt.1:23], the 'bridegroom' and the 'bride' [Is.62:5; Jn.3:29], and Mt.12:8 ?

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Now how does this contribute towards the aim 'that we may not cause them to stumble' ? Perhaps you are beginning to see. For to assess things correctly, first we must work out who's who - and what's what.

Without resolving the riddles, we may be all at sea. There are plenty of fish around - but we cannot catch any.

But as the riddles resolve, everything begins to fall into place. The nets fill up. And total amazement may envelope us. Yes, the authors of scripture were quite clever. And no, scripture is not the same thing as history.

Lk.5:6-9 :
42N 5 6 kai touto poihsantes sunekleisan plhqos icquwn polu dierrhsseto de ta diktua autwn
42N 5 6 And doing this, they scooped up a great multitude of fish - and it was breaking their nets
42N 5 9 qambos gar periescen auton kai pantas tous sun autw epi th agra twn icquwn wn sunelabon
42N 5 9 For amazement enveloped him - and all those with him - at the catch of fish which they took

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Perhaps you will see that 'every grass spreading seed to propagate' [Gn.1:29] may refer both to wheat [Mt.13:25] and to barley [Jn.6:9] - from which in mills [Rv.18:21-22] is derived flour [Gn.18:6; Mt.13:33] and then bread [1Cor.11:23]. And the 'tree which has within itself fruit (having) seed to propagate' [Gn.1:29] may refer to the vine [Jn.15:1] yielding grapes [Rv.14:18] from which is derived the wine [Jn.2:9].

Then at Gn.9:20 'kai hrxato nwe anqrwpos gewrgos ghs kai efuteusen ampelwna' (And Noe began [as] a person, an earthworker of earth, and he planted a vineyard). In the story he wastes no time in getting drunk - and Ham is alert enough 'to see the nakedness of his father' [Gn.9:21-22]. By contrast Shem and Japheth 'went in backwardly appearing [Gk: opisqofanws]' - and 'covered the nakedness of their father' [Gn.9:23]. We are left to realise that the cover-up executed by the two brothers may the work of the serpent [Gk: ofis] - who would prefer his nakedness not to be exposed !

After the slaughter [Gn.14:17], it is Melchizedek who brings 'bread and wine' [Gn.14:18]. He is equated with the 'king of Sodom' [Gn.14:21].

Within the convention of the authors, these 'fruits of the earth' seem to be the symbols of 'excess' [ perisseuma @ Lk.6:45 ] - and of the 'lord' himself, whose creation is reported at Gn.1:27. But 'green grass' [Mk.6:39; Rv.8:7] is to be the fodder for his creatures [Gn.1:30] - wild beasts [Mk.1:13], birds [Mk.1:10], and creeping things [Jn.3:14].

Notice that 'fruits of the earth' are also the trait of Cain - another 'worker of the earth' who brings these things as his 'sacrifice for the lord' [Gn.4:3].

Cainkain ] is a satanic figure. The name Cain appears embedded in the title 'The New Testament' [ h kainh diaqhkh @ 1Cor.11:25; Lk.22:20 ]. At Gn.4:8 he is 'resurrected upon Abel, his brother, and he killed him'.

14.7 PostScript
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