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.

For details, please click here

Why Call Me God

ISBN: 978 0 9562057 0 4

Chapter 17 : Cain's Mistake : Not Dividing Rightly

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) 2005, 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.

17.1 Introduction
The mythical brothers, Cain and Abel, are introduced in the fourth chapter of the book of 'Genesis'. This remarkable gnostic text was set down in Hebrew some 3000 years ago, rewritten in Greek around 2250 years ago (the Septuagint), then translated to Latin around 1620 years ago (eventually the Vulgate). And despite the corruption brought about through translation, the stories of scripture have been carried forward from one generation to the next over all that time - with the result that these two names are still well known in our age. But what is generally less well known is the pivotal nature of the rôle which these two characters play throughout all the stories of scripture. For they recur in the later narrative of 'Genesis' - now as Esau and Jacob. Here the authors depict the struggle between these two brothers as evident before even they are born [Gn.25:22-26]. Deceitful Jacob (who takes the part of Cain) seeks successfully to restore his original priority over Esau (who takes the part of Abel). From the Jewish tradition there will be some who are not surprised when I point this out - for amongst the religious Jews are those truly devoted to scholarship and who pay careful attention to the Hebrew scriptures which they have inherited from the time of antiquity (though they might understand them still better if they were to read also in Greek, as would have been quite widely the case before the arguments began with the upstart Christian church).

But amongst those devoted to the Christian tradition, how many understand the way in which these rôles are further extended into the narrative of the gospels ? For it is clearly John the Baptist who resumes the role of innocent pastor Abel. His kinsman Jesus then 'takes first place over him' [Gn.4:7; Jn.1:15, 1:30] - whilst the authors obliquely identify him as 'seed of the serpent' (ie. offspring of Satan, see : Chapter 13). For at one and the same time they portray Jesus as the incarnate 'Logos', creator and sustainer of the 'cosmos', the world of light and of life and as the committed agent of the 'Father' - who turns out again to be Satan, the aspiring deceiver of all whose abode is this same world (see : Chapter 15).

Here is the underlying theme of scripture, manifestly 'gnostic'. It is that the 'Light' and the 'Logos' embody the evil influence behind the 'cosmos' to which they give rise, the world of Light, of Action, and of Life. To clarify this proposition, I shall restate it. The driving force of the 'Light' and the structuring influence of the 'Logos' are not held to be responsible for the existence of 'Heaven and Earth' per se - for 'Heaven and Earth' have been made already by the primeval God who is good. But what these twin upstarts are deemed accountable for is the activity, the development, the structure, the order, the change with time of the 'cosmos', in summary the dynamic Life of this 'world' - and thus for the evil found in it.

17.2 God and 'lord god'
In line with this theme, we are told in the opening verses of 'Genesis' that :

LXX Genesis :
01O 1 1 en arch epoihsen o qeoV ton ouranon kai thn ghn
01O 1 1 In a beginning God made Heaven and Earth.

01O 1 2 h de gh hn aoratoV kai akataskeuastoV kai skotoV epanw ths abussou ...
01O 1 2 But the earth was invisible and unformed - and darkness (was) above the abyss ...

Here then is a lifeless creation, 'Heaven and Earth', utterly peaceful, free from the need to distinguish evil because nothing is happening at all.

At the second chapter we are then told :

LXX Genesis :
01O 2 1 kai sunetelesqhsan o ouranoV kai h gh kai paV o kosmoV autwn
01O 2 1 And they were completed, Heaven and Earth and all the cosmos from them.

Clearly the added component is the 'cosmos', its features detailed in the verses which intervene [Gn.1:2-31] - commencing with a spirit and with Light.

Click here to open a separate browser window displaying the LXX Greek text of the first four chapters of Genesis - with closely literal translation to English.

Colour contrast here emphasises the distinction drawn by the LXX translator between God and the lord god. If you would like to read it through, you may begin to see why a hint is dropped to Cain at LXX Gn.4:7 - a hint warning him that he is "not dividing rightly".

Notice that the 'cosmos' here described includes not only Logos, Light, Seas, Dry Land, numerous forms of Life - but also the 'PERSON' who during Day 6 is made "according to the image of a god and according to likenesses" :

LXX Genesis :
01O 1 26 kai eipen o qeoV poihswmen anqrwpon kat' eikona hmeteran kai kaq' omoiwsin kai arcetwsan twn icquwn thV qalasshV kai twn peteinwn tou ouranou kai twn kthnwn kai pashV thV ghV kai pantwn twn erpetwn twn erpontwn epi thV ghV
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 and (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 qeoV ton anqrwpon kat' eikona qeou epoihsen auton arsen kai qhlu epoihsen autouV
01O 1 27 And God made 'THE PERSON'. According to (the) image of a god he made HIM. Male and female he made THEM.

Evidently this is a dual 'person', androgynous, part male and part female - made according to the 'image' of a god, presumably having the appearance of a god. And look, these 'PERSONS' are to "LORD it over the EARTH - and to 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".

The Hebrew word Hebrew026 used at Gn.1:28 means to 'DOMINEER' rather than to 'dominate'. Thus it means to ' act imperiously ', or to ' tyrannize '. In his recent book "The Five Books of Moses" Prof. Alter says "The verb 'radah' is not the normal Hebrew verb for 'rule' - and in most of the contexts in which it occurs it seems to suggest an absolute or even fierce exercise of mastery" [Ref.1].

01O 1 28 kai huloghsen autouV o qeoV legwn auxanesqe kai plhqunesqe kai plhrwsate thn ghn kai katakurieusate authV kai arcete twn icquwn thV qalasshV kai twn peteinwn tou ouranou kai pantwn twn kthnwn kai pashV thV ghV kai pantwn twn erpetwn twn erpontwn epi thV ghV
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 qeoV idou dedwka umin pan corton sporimon speiron sperma o estin epanw pashV thV ghV kai pan xulon o ecei en eautw karpon spermatoV sporimou umin estai eiV 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 shall be for food.

01O 1 30 kai pasi toiV qhrioiV thV ghV kai pasi toiV peteinoiV tou ouranou kai panti erpetw tw erponti epi thV ghV o ecei en eautw yuchn zwhV panta corton clwron eiV brwsin kai egeneto outwV
01O 1 30 And to all the wild BEASTS of the EARTH, and to all the BIRDS of HEAVEN, and to every CREEPING THING that creeps upon the earth (and) which has within it a SOUL of LIFE, (I have given) every (kind of) GREEN GRASS for food". And it happened like this.

Here then is the origin and characterisation of the lord god, manifested through all the subsequent texts of scripture. The requirement for him to "lord over" the earth effectively licenses him in the rôle of impostor, an artful substitute for God himself. From this point on, the lord god seeks to assert that he alone is God [eg. Is.44:8]. In the process he all but blocks our view of God. Then in the circumstances it will help if you can commit to memory the menu which God has declared.

 Species  Cereal Crops
Trees with Fruit/Seeds 
 Green Grass 
 Spreading 'seed' to propagate ? Yes No
 For whom is it to be food ?    
 Androgynous 'PERSON' of Gn.1:27 {LORD GOD Yes  
 Pastoral Beasts ? ?
 All Wild Beasts of the Earth   Yes
 All Birds of Heaven   Yes
 Every Creeping Thing upon the earth (with soul)
 {presumably includes Serpent of Gn.3:1}

Table 1 : Diet Chart

The challenge posed by subsequent scripture is to penetrate the 'mysteries' set out there. But this will not be possible except the reader should first understand the notional construction which has taken place here in the first chapter of 'Genesis'. From now on the scriptural authors will write, employing every art at their command, to develop (but simultaneously to expose with their riddles and contradictions) the deceptive but shallow schemes which they attribute to this impostor 'lord god'. In consequence of this scheme, mistaking the lord god for God himself will prove to be the downfall of many. For scripture does indeed present a stern challenge. Then who amongst us will be able to see their way out of the ideological and spiritual 'trap' which these authors have set ?

As thousands of years of history now show us, and show us with startling clarity, the trap is a clever one and escape from it is not so easy. But with care it can still be done. The way to avoid the trap is to give unerring attention to the riddles and to the detail of scripture in its original format - and by the full cancellation of human pride.

In what now follows I hope to show you how.

Amongst the critical errors inherited from the formative years of the Christian tradition is the confused and presumptuous notion that the text at Gn.1:27 constitutes a description of the creation of man, the animal species we know as 'Homo Sapiens'. The revered King James Version [KJV : 1611CE] here asserts :

So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

How often we fall through pride. Here the translators have stepped straight into the trap set by the authors - apparently overlooking both the direct article (the) and that the words used at Gn.1:27, both in Hebrew and in Greek, convey the meaning 'a person' rather than 'a man' (of course they had King James I & VI to please). Numerous modern translations follow this unfortunate lead. The whole notion was dealt a severe intellectual blow by the work of Charles Darwin, Thomas Huxley, and others in the 19th century. But, despite this, church leaders may still be heard to make the same prideful assertion into the 21st century. It was only recently that I heard Dr David Hope repeat it in an interview broadcast to mark his retirement as Archbishop of York. It is a pity that people promoted into positions of 'leadership' find it so difficult to pay attention to what is carefully explained to them.

Of course this popular view goes hand-in-hand with simplistic monotheism. What comment would the authors of scripture have made ? We can only speculate.

Might they have said that to think in this way was not only mistaken but dangerous, for it leads directly to confusing Good with Evil, Bitter with Sweet, Dark with Light - and the impostor 'lord god' with God himself [cf. theme at Is.5:20] ?

Philo was a Jewish writer from Alexandria (in Egypt). He thought and wrote in Greek in the first half of the 1st century CE - before the gospels appeared and before the city of York was even founded. In his 'Questions and Answers on Genesis' he asks :

[4] How is that 'person' distinguished who was "made after the image of God" ?

And he replies :

This 'person' was created as perceptible to the senses, and in the similitude of a Being appreciable only by the intellect; but he who in respect of his form is intellectual and incorporeal, is the similitude of the archetypal model as to appearance, and he is the form of the principal character; but this is the word of God, the first beginning of all things, the original species or the archetypal idea, the first measure of the universe.

Unfortunately this comment reaches us muddied by translation through the Armenian language, the original Greek being lost or destroyed (were there some who did not wish his remarks to survive ?). But perhaps you will see that his answer may be compatible with my own assertion. For this duplex 'person' who is to lord it over the earth may also be known by the title 'Word of God', in Greek philosophy the 'Logos'. Philo refers to this 'Word of God' as 'intellectual and incorporeal'. But with the later formulation of the gospels this is understood to change. Accordingly the author of the fourth gospel addresses the incarnation of the 'Logos' (now in the person of Jesus) by beginning in this way :

John :
43N 1 1 en arch hn o logoV kai o logoV hn proV ton qeon kai qeoV hn o logoV
43N 1 1 In the beginning was 'The Logos' - and 'The Logos' was with God - and 'The Logos' was a god.

43N 1 2 outoV hn en arch proV ton qeon
43N 1 2 This one was in the beginning with God.

43N 1 3 panta di autou egeneto kai cwriV autou egeneto oude en o gegonen
43N 1 3 Everything happened through it - and without it happened not one thing which has happened.

43N 1 4 en autw zwh hn kai h zwh hn to fwV twn anqrwpwn
43N 1 4 Within it was life - and the life was The Light of 'The Persons' .

43N 1 5 kai to fwV en th skotia fainei kai h skotia auto ou katelaben
43N 1 5 And The Light is revealed within the Darkness - but the Darkness did not comprehend it.
2 Corinthians :
47N 11 14 kai ou qauma autoV gar o satanaV metaschmatizetai eiV aggelon fwtoV
47N 11 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of Light.
47N 11 15 ou mega oun ei kai oi diakonoi autou metaschmatizontai wV diakonoi dikaiosunhV wn to teloV estai kata ta erga autwn
47N 11 15 No great thing therefore if also his ministers are transformed as 'ministers of righteousness' - for whom the end will be according to their works.
43N 1 14 kai o logoV sarx egeneto kai eskhnwsen en hmin kai eqeasameqa thn doxan autou doxan wV monogenouV para patroV plhrhV caritoV kai alhqeiaV
43N 1 14 And 'The Logos' became flesh - and tented amongst us. And we beheld his glory, glory alike to that of an only-begotten beside a father full of grace and truth.
Matthew :
40N 5 37 estw de o logoV umwn nai nai ou ou to de perisson toutwn ek tou ponhrou estin
40N 5 37 But let 'The Logos' of you (alt: your speech) be "Yes, yes. No, no". And what is in excess of these is from the evil one.

Here we encounter the gnostic challenge of the gospels. Could it be stated more clearly ?

... the Light is revealed within the Darkness - but the Darkness did not comprehend it.

... the Logos (anything in excess of "Yes, yes. No, no.") is overtly stated to be 'from the evil one' - but who even noticed ?

To cope with the influence of this turbulent 'Light', we must then proceed with the greatest of care. Do not be dazzled by it.

For the risk here is that we too may become the unwitting 'servants' - of one we would do better not to serve !

John (contd) :
43N 12 39 dia touto ouk hdunanto pisteuein oti palin eipen hsaiaV
43N 12 39 Through this they were not able to believe, for again Isaiah said :
43N 12 40 tetuflwken autwn touV ofqalmouV kai epwrwsen autwn thn kardian ina mh idwsin toiV ofqalmoiV kai nohswsin th kardia kai strafwsin kai iasomai autouV
43N 12 40 "He has blinded their eyes and petrified their heart, that they may not see with the eyes and perceive with the heart - and they may be turned about and I may heal them" [see Is.6:9-10].
43N 12 41 tauta eipen hsaiaV oti eiden thn doxan autou kai elalhsen peri autou
43N 12 41 These things Isaiah said because he saw his glory - and he was speaking about him.
43N 12 42 omwV mentoi kai ek twn arcontwn polloi episteusan eiV auton alla dia touV farisaiouV ouc wmologoun ina mh aposunagwgoi genwntai
43N 12 42 Nevertheless even amongst the rulers many did believe in him [ie. in Isaiah] - but because of the Pharisees they did not admit it so that they would not become (excluded) from (the) synagogue
43N 12 43 hgaphsan gar thn doxan twn anqrwpwn mallon hper thn doxan tou qeou
43N 12 43 For they loved the glory of 'The Persons' more than the glory of God.

This phrase 'The Persons' is surely a reference to the one created at Gn.1:27 - otherwise known as the 'lord god'.

Are your eyes starting to open ? Do you begin to perceive what the authors of scripture have done ?

Thus scripture asserts that the cosmos is inspired and driven by the light. But with the light comes life. And so (as the theme holds) with this life comes evil, an influence permeating the entire cosmos. This idea-set of the Gnostics is nothing more than that. It is a set of ideas. I do not suggest it commands intrinsic priority amongst all the competing ideas of philosophy. But for an observer of the international scene at the start of the 21st century it still does make some sense. I hardly think it is possible to dismiss it as ridiculous, as lacking altogether in ideological merit.

But whether you like it or whether you don't, for us the importance of these ideas lies in the fact that most evidently they did provide the ideological platform upon which all scripture was based. So until you have come to terms with this gnostic way of thinking you will never understand scripture as the authors did themselves. Then how unfortunate - and how unwise - that the Catholic church should have devoted all of the seventeen centuries since first it was established to denying both the Gnostic origin and the underlying gnostic methodology of scripture. This 'church' was - and still is - evidently mistaken on this matter. The mistake is sustained as the abiding 'Achilles heel' of the entire Christian tradition - upon which in due course the whole structure must surely founder.

In the gospels Jesus emulates, in almost every detail, the actions of evil Cain - even speaking with the voice of Cain. Are you surprised that I should make this claim ? The evidence for it is extensive in the Greek texts, though widely overlooked. In the 4th gospel Jesus is heard to repeat 6 times Cain's catch-phrase 'eimi egw' ( AM I ) [Gn.4:9; Jn.7:34, 7:36, 12:26, 14:3, 17:24, 18:37]. In the synoptic gospels and 'Acts' he repeats the same phrase with the words reversed 'egw eimi' ( I AM ) [eg. Mk.6:50, 14:62; Lk.22:70, 24:39; Ac.9:5, 22:8, 26:15] - and the same many times in 4th gospel (see also : Chapter 7, $7.6; Chapter 13, $13.3; Chapter 15, $15.2, $15.3).

And if you did not know this, that Jesus takes the role of Cain, here may lie the reason. By the time doctrine was set for the Catholic Church (4th century CE), many of those responsible had already lost the use of Hebrew and of Greek. No longer could they read the primary texts. No longer did they even hear the voice of Cain - for now the words in direct speech at Gn.4:9 had been obscured through translation to Latin. Besides they distrusted the gnostic ideas - which they did not properly understand. In consequence their ability to penetrate what Augustine of Hippo referred to as the 'obscurity' of scripture was severely impaired. And, one way or another, it is abundantly clear that these 'doctors' and 'fathers' of the church fell directly into the logical, interpretational, and spiritual 'trap' set for them so long before by the wily and resourceful authors of scripture - the very same trap into which (as we shall see) Cain himself falls in the actual narrative of 'Genesis'.

Thus the church named for Christ has failed to establish the identity of its namesake. What a dreadful irony ! What an astounding failure ! For the Christ, the 'anointed one', is Cain, resurrected upon his brother Abel - and first 'anointed' with his blood [Gn.4:8-11]. And yet who knows it ?

In seeking now to correct this historical mistake (or sin), I surely am aware that I contend directly with the core doctrine of the Christian church. But I do not lack confidence in the task - and this for one reason. It is straightforward to show, from scripture alone, that the doctrine established is that of those deceived. The church has no sound defence to offer against what I have to explain. And any amount of bluster can constitute no defence.

The authors of scripture predicate their ideas upon the notion of an eternal conflict between good and evil. This is what all scripture is about. Viewing things from within this frame of reference, I take the side of Abel, of Esau, and of John the Baptist. As good requires, I shall aim neither to repeat nor to tell any lie or deceit. Instead I seek to apply to the primary texts of scripture the combinational principles of deductive logic - and to explain, in the plainest of language, their riddles [see Augustine of Hippo, 'De Doctrina Christiana', 4:8:22]. And if you should then conclude for yourself that the method of scripture is evidently 'gnostic' - and beyond all doubt exceedingly clever - then my efforts may not have been wasted.

17.3 Abel and Cain
This is a clever story : we must follow it carefully. The first we hear of the two 'brothers' is this :

LXX, Gn.4 (earliest extant text, originally translated from Hebrew at Pharos, Alexandria ca. 250 BCE):
01O 4 1 adam de egnw euan thn gunaika autou kai sullabousa eteken ton kain kai eipen ekthsamhn anqrwpon dia tou qeou
01O 4 1 But Adam learned to know Eve, his woman, and she, conceiving, gave birth to Cain. And she said "I acquired a person by means of God" [in Hebr.MT she says instead : "I have acquired a man, the lord"]

01O 4 2 kai proseqhken tekein ton adelfon autou ton abel kai egeneto abel poimhn probatwn kain de hn ergazomenoV thn ghn
01O 4 2 And she added giving birth to his brother, Abel. And it happened (that) Abel (was) a herdsman of flocks, but Cain was working the earth.

01O 4 3 kai egeneto meq' hmeraV hnegken kain apo twn karpwn thV ghV qusian tw kuriw
01O 4 3 And it happened with (the) days that Cain brought from the fruits of the earth a sacrifice for the lord.

01O 4 4 kai abel hnegken kai autoV apo twn prwtotokwn twn probatwn autou kai apo twn steatwn autwn kai epeiden o qeoV epi abel kai epi toiV dwroiV autou
01O 4 4 And Abel brought both he from the firstborn of his flock - and from their fats [Hebr.MT: dairy/milk]. And God looked upon Abel and upon his gifts

01O 4 5 epi de kain kai epi taiV qusiaiV autou ou prosescen kai eluphsen ton kain lian kai sunepesen tw proswpw
01O 4 5 (but) upon Cain and upon his 'sacrifices' he did not pay attention. And it grieved Cain very much - and he fell to the face

In Greek [LXX] Eve says "I acquired a person by means of God". In Hebrew [MT] she says instead : "I have acquired a man, the lord". Confusing, perhaps - but we have a link of sorts between Cain himself and the lord.

But look, Cain was working the earth. The one who was to 'lord' over the earth was the lord god [Gn.1:28]. In this we have a second link.

Now Cain brings 'with the Days' and 'from the fruits of the earth' his 'sacrifice for the lord' [and remember that God called the Light "Day" - so to achieve this result Cain has been relying upon the Light]. Is it not clear that Cain regards and treats the lord god as his god ? Indeed this is what we should expect if, like his mother1, Cain has been brought into being through the agency of the lord god [for notice that at LXX Gn.2:22 it is the lord god who builds into a woman1 the rib which God has taken from Adam].

In Table 1 (above) we noted that 'Cereals and Fruits' indeed were the right kind of food for the lord god. So on that score Cain is not mistaken.

By contrast Abel brings both he from the firstborn of his flock - and from their fats. There is no indication that this is a 'sacrifice' - nor is anything said to suggest that he has brought such 'gifts' for the attention of the lord god. On the contrary, it is God who 'looks upon Abel and upon his gifts'.

Now do you begin to see why it may be that God 'pays no attention, neither to Cain nor to his sacrifices' ? In the story, Cain himself is unable to work it out. But at Gn.4:7 the lord god gives him a big hint :

01O 4 6 kai eipen kurioV o qeoV tw kain ina ti perilupoV egenou kai ina ti sunepesen to proswpon sou
01O 4 6 And the lord god said to Cain "Why did you become sorrowful ? And Why did your face fall ?

01O 4 7 ouk ean orqwV prosenegkhV orqwV de mh dielhV hmarteV hsucason proV se h apostrofh autou kai su arxeiV autou
01O 4 7 Did you not make a mistake [alt: did you not miss the mark, did you not sin] - if you were bringing rightly but not dividing rightly [alt: not distinguishing, not punctuating rightly] ? Wait quietly (until) towards you (is) his aversion (ie. until he turns his back on you) - and (then) you shall take first place over him".

This last verse is of key importance to understanding what Cain has done which is wrong. Indeed it is of key importance to understanding what Jesus later does which is wrong - as to understanding what the entire Christian church has been doing wrong ever since it began to be established almost 2000 years ago. And here the Masoretic Hebrew text [MT] diverges considerably from the Greek in what it actually says. We may usefully consider that where the LXX Greek differs materially from the Hebrew, it is because the translator has determined to substitute an additional perspective for aiding the reader's comprehension. Such assistance may be of particular value in a case such as this - where an otherwise obscure riddle must be solved. Here is the corresponding verse in Hebrew :

JPS 1917 Edition Masoretic Hebrew Text : (c) 2003 Mechon Mamre : Gn.4:7:

Gn.4:7 (Hebrew)
01O 4 7 Surely if it was found acceptable it would have been taken up ? And if it was not found acceptable, at the opening
offences [alt: sins; or their consequence] lurk . And for you (is) his desire; and you shall come to rule over him.

For interest I give also the translations made to Latin (Vulgate) ~385CE and to English (King James Version) in 1611CE. But these are both derived from the Hebrew, adding hardly anything to what we know already.

Vulgate, Gn.4, from Hebrew:
01O 4 7 nonne si bene egeris recipies sin autem male statim in foribus peccatum aderit sed sub te erit appetitus eius et tu dominaberis illius
01O 4 7 Surely if you carry (it) out well you will receive ? But if instead badly, immediately at the gates sin [alt: error] approaches. For his desire shall be beneath you - and you shall dominate him.
KJV, Gn.4, from Hebrew:
01O 4 7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee [shall be] his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

17.4 The Mistake
The debate here traditionally revolves around the possibility that in some way Cain has failed to prepare his sacrifice in the correct way [Ref.2]. But it is pretty obvious that here we are faced with a critical riddle. And such overly literal concerns are hardly plausible because there is no information given in the text which relates to 'preparation' of the offerings - and which might therefore be used to solve the riddle.

Josephus is said to have suggested that God is more pleased with things which grow spontaneously than with that which is "forcibly produced by the ingenuity of covetous man". Then has he overlooked the contribution of the Light and the Days to the 'fruits' which Cain brings ?

Puritan "scholar" John Owen is said to have linked the offerings with Heb.9:22 "... without shedding of blood, remission does not happen", insisting that Cain's bloodless offering was the reason for his rejection. But prior to the slaughter of Abel this make no sense at all - for neither is there any suggestion in the text that the respective offerings are intended to be expiatory, nor that Abel's acceptable 'gifts' involved the spilling of blood.

Few people have made sense of this critical passage. But surely it is not that difficult. Look, Cain's sacrifice is from the 'fruits of the earth'. These are primary photosynthetic foods, foods which grow in the Light. Like the 'green grass' which at Gn.1:30 is assigned to the animals, these are vegetable products. What distinguishes Cain's sacrifice from the ordinary 'grass' is the fact that these foods, cereals and fruit, incorporate and spread their own seed. Propagation by spreading of seed is the characteristic attribute of the lord god throughout all subsequent scripture [eg. Noe at Gn.8:15=>9:9; Abram at Gn.12:7, etc]. Then what Cain brings is food of the exact kind previously described at Gn.1:29.

By contrast Abel's gifts are not food which might be suited for animals, but they are secondary foods. They are foods derived from animals - and thus a kind of opposite. Moreover the pastoral animals can produce this food in Darkness or at Night. Now if the primeval and good God has been for all eternity accustomed to the things of Darkness [Gn.1:2], this may be the distinction we want. If in addition God is unsighted [for corroboration, see the extensive allegory at Gn.27:1 seq.], it well explains his paying no attention to what is derived from the Light, this food which grows only "with the Days". For with it being from the Light, to him it is invisible. So far as he is concerned, it might as well not exist.

Now if God is equally unaware of all else that is evil, we have at the same time an explanation for the coexistence of good and evil. In a sense, each is unaware of the other - and being unaware, neither is able to overcome the other. But these two opposites do come into transient conflict "in the plain" [Gn.4:8] or (as we might say) "in the public domain". And here 'homo sapiens' makes the greatest mistake if (like Cain) he fails to "divide rightly". For, failing to resolve the riddles of scripture, he goes on to mistake, on a massive scale, what is evil for what is good !

This is not just a theoretical notion : the consequences for us all are very real.

I cite for example 1000 years of conflict between Christianity and Islam, the Christian attempt in the 20th century to exterminate the Jews in Europe, and the now infamous 911 attack made by Islamic extremists upon the cities of the United States [11 Sept 2001]. What an appalling irony that the several parties to these tragic conflicts, influenced by the three 'mistaken religions of the book', have been (in varying degrees) all making the same interpretational mistake with the texts of scripture. And it is the same mistake that Cain makes himself.

With our increasingly globalised society, is it not time we extricated ourselves from this unholy mess ?

Now to grasp fully the cultural background to scripture, we must go back at least 4500 years to the civilisations of Mesopotamia - and to Egypt in the centuries before the 18th dynasty. You can see for yourself the icons of this age in the British Museum in London - and no doubt elsewhere. Look for the Pharaoh rulers named AmenHotep, named alternatively AmenOphis [Ophis(Gk.) = serpent], and for the representations of Amun, the ram-headed 'god' whose head-dress (the Uraeus) is adorned with an image of the solar disc and with a serpent renowned for its ability to spit venom in the eyes of its victim (this of course leads to blindness; notice what Jesus does at Mk.8:23).

Picture Credit (head & shoulders selected here) :
Sudan National Museum, Khartoum

The description of this particular statuette of the god Amun (Kushite [Meroitic], 3rd-1st century BCE) goes as follows :

"The granite statue, perhaps the temple's cult image, represents the god of Jebel Barkal as a man wearing the royal shendyt (kilt), with a bewigged ram's head. The round support on the head has a socket that supported a gilt copper-alloy crown of a pair of tall feathers and a sun-disc with uraeus".

The uraeus is "a serpent utilised as a head-dress of Egyptian divinities and kings" [Concise Oxford Dictionary]. The word is derived from Greek 'ouraioV' - itself taken from the ancient Egyptian word for cobra (or the basilisk). Here, then, is the religious tradition which infuses the book of 'Genesis' - and indeed all scripture. But who knows it ?

Now this is how the story of Abraham's encounter with the ram is presented to the reader of LXX 'Genesis' :

LXX Genesis :
01O 22 13 kai anableyaV abraam toiV ofqalmoiV autou eiden kai idou krioV eiV katecomenoV en futw sabek twn keratwn kai eporeuqh abraam kai elaben ton krion kai anhnegken auton eiV olokarpwsin anti isaak tou uiou autou
01O 22 13 And, looking up, Abraham saw with his eyes - and look ! A single ram held down in a Sabek2 plant by the horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and brought it as a whole-fruit (offering) in exchange for Isaac, his son.
01O 22 14 kai ekalesen abraam to onoma tou topou ekeinou kurioV eiden ina eipwsin shmeron en tw orei kurioV wfqh
01O 22 14 And Abraham called the name of that place "I saw a lord" - so that they should say "Today3 in the mountain a lord was seen".
2 This is just the Hebrew word for a 'thicket', here transcribed into Greek. The name Amun means 'Hidden One' : for the Egyptians saw all the other major gods only as manifestations of Amun, his true nature being deemed a secret. Here the ram is discovered hidden within a thicket plant. But why did the LXX translator(s) not use an equivalent Greek word for 'thicket' - such as 'locmh' ? The reason may have been to preserve the name of another Egyptian god, Sobek, the crocodile god, "lord of the waters", perhaps concealed in a thicket of papyrus reeds [temple at Karnak]. Then there may be an allegorical link between this verse and the discovery of Moses concealed in a papyrus basket floating in a water-meadow [Ex.2:5].

3The word 'shmeron' (today) is first spoken in scripture by Cain [Gn.4:14].

Perhaps you spotted the similarity between the words 'kurioV' (a lord) and 'krioV' (a ram). The corresponding words in the Hebrew source do not share this resemblance. But the LXX translator is content to let Abraham refer to 'krioV' (the ram he has just seen) by using the word 'kurioV' (lord). Then surely he means to indicate to his readers that the two are in some way equivalent. And then it is clear enough that the NT authors understand the lord Jesus to be also the (male) lamb [Jn.1:29, 1:36; Ac.8:32; 1P.1:19] (in the English language, a male lamb is properly termed a 'tup').

Goat_Ur INRI
Picture Credit :
University Museum, Philadelphia
The same concept some 4,500 years later ...
"Today3 you will be with me in Paradise" [Lk.23:43]

Above (left) is a representation of this lord - from around 1500 years before the book of 'Genesis' first appeared. He is eating from a tree of some kind. The tree is yielding flowers, the precursor to fruit. So here we have a "TREE which has within itself FRUIT (having) SEED to propagate". This is exactly what is specified at Gn.1:29 as food for 'THE PERSONS' - as food for the 'lord god'.

Above (right) we see how the same concept has been developed - in the extended tradition of the gospels. If we turn back to LXX Gn.2:8 we see that it was indeed the lord god who "planted a Paradise within Eden in the east - and placed there the person which he formed".

Now should we be surprised if Cain's so-called 'sacrifice' for the lord god turns out to be a superior kind of animal food ? I think not. Indeed the pieces of the scriptural jigsaw puzzle do seem to fit together remarkably well. For this also explains why, in the gospel attributed to Luke, it should be prescribed as a 'sign' to the shepherds that they will find the infant Jesus "keimenon en fatnh" (lying in an animal feed trough) [Lk.2:12]. For this is the newborn lord god and, as a lamb [Jn.1:29, 1:36], it is surely animal food he will be needing.

The shepherds are "afraid with a great fear" [Lk.2:9]. And why ? Abel was a pastor just as they are. And as good students of 'Genesis' they are well aware what became of him - at the hands of evil Cain.

Thus is the underlying plot of the gospels disclosed. The (true) shepherds are terrified of Jesus - who [like Jacob : Gn.30:32 seq.] is coming to steal away their flocks. Then John the Baptist exerts his riddles to warn the people against him. But all to no avail. For John is promptly detained - and Jesus now takes to the stage [Mt.4:12-13; Mk.1:14-15].

----- o -----

But let us get back to the core of the riddle which faces us. By implication the charge is levelled at Cain that he has "not divided rightly". In the Hebrew text he is further directed as follows : "... (the) offences lurk at the opening". How wide awake do you have to be to recall that it was at Gn.1:4 that "God divided - between Day and Night" ?

LXX Genesis :
01O 1 4 ... kai diecwrisen o qeoV ana meson tou fwtoV kai ana meson tou skotouV
01O 1 4 ... and God divided [alt: separated, segregated, dissociated, discriminated] amidst the Light and amidst the Darkness.
01O 1 5 kai ekalesen o qeoV to fwV hmeran kai to skotoV ekalesen nukta kai egeneto espera kai egeneto prwi hmera mia
01O 1 5 And God called the Light 'Day', and the Darkness he called 'Night'. And evening happened - and morning happened (DAY ONE).

Here, at the very opening of scripture, we are told that God divides. Then Cain is accused of "not dividing rightly". So does Cain's offence stem simply from his mistaken notion about the manner or about the consequences of this prior division - which by contrast Abel understands aright ? Can this be the answer to the riddle ? That it is here that the "the offences with a consequence lurk" ?

Then if, as a reader, you should follow Cain's example and divide wrongly at this point, you too will get into endless trouble ? For you are failing to realise that the primeval God is and remains good but that, as God himself "divides", the upstart Light (and all that springs from it) are deemed in their entirety to be evil.

Ah, but you object as follows. This cannot be the explanation. For we are told :

01O 1 4 kai eiden o qeoV to fwV oti kalon ...
01O 1 4 And God saw the Light as good ...

But your objection is misplaced. This statement does not assert that the light was good - merely that God saw it as good. And a God who is unsighted may 'look' for ever and a day - and never register the true nature of this troublesome light.

Thus it may be that God is good but remains wholly unaware of the Light - which in the convention of scripture is evil from its very inception [Gn.1:3].

Then Abel is the one who knows God - and knows what gifts are appropriate for Him. He brings "both he from the firstborn of his flock - and from their fats [Hebr: dairy/milk]" - and I think this means he brings Cain himself (the first-born lamb/ram) along with the dairy products.

By contrast we have noted that the offerings brought by Cain are of food grown in the light - a trait which discloses reliably that he considers the lord god to be his god.

Now do we understand how it happens that God pays no attention, neither to Cain nor to his inappropriate 'sacrifices' ? It is because to him both are invisible.

And all at once we understand why Cain now takes the manifestly evil advice proffered by the lord god - slaughtering at the first opportunity his brother, Abel. For the lord god masquerades as God - and Cain (ab initio a creature of the Light) is fully convinced by this imposture. Thus the god Cain heeds is evil, the advice Cain receives is evil, the action Cain takes is evil. Indeed, his singular task is the assault upon what is good - all cunning, deception and violence to be employed to this end.

A complex plot such as this can make it difficult to penetrate the self-declared 'mystery' of scripture. But just as no examiner is stupid enough to set an exam which cannot be passed, no author of scripture configures a riddle which cannot be solved. Then let us not say that the mystery of scripture is "beyond us all" to solve. Nothing could be further from the truth. For have we not just solved one part ?

----- o -----

Now let us turn to the perspective of the 'New Testament' authors upon this matter. It is interesting to see what they say.

In the following passage Cain (overtly declared to be "from the evil one") is the one making the mistake.

But Abel (who is "born from God"), is "not able to make a mistake". Notice the first reason given for this : it is "because his seed remains within him". This appears to signify that :

The concept of 'spreading seed' has its origin in scripture at Gn.1:11-12 & 1:29. These gnostic authors consistently associate fecundity with the lord god - and with the proliferation of what is evil. But for them Abel - and later John - exemplify what is good.

1 John :
62N 3 8 o poiwn thn amartian ek tou diabolou estin oti ap archV o diaboloV amartanei eiV touto efanerwqh o uioV tou qeou ina lush ta erga tou diabolou
62N 3 8 The one making the mistake (alt: the sin) is from the devil - for from the beginning the devil mis-takes. For this (end) the son of God was revealed, that it might set free the works of the devil (alt: that you shall untie the works of the devil ).

62N 3 9 paV o gegennhmenoV ek tou qeou amartian ou poiei oti sperma autou en autw menei kai ou dunatai amartanein oti ek tou qeou gegennhtai
62N 3 9 Each one who has been born from God does not make a mistake because his seed remains within him. And he is not able to make a mistake, because he has been born from God.

62N 3 10 en toutw fanera estin ta tekna tou qeou kai ta tekna tou diabolou paV o mh poiwn dikaiosunhn ouk estin ek tou qeou kai o mh agapwn ton adelfon autou
62N 3 10 In this the children of God are revealed - and the children of the devil. Each one not making justice is not from God (and the one not loving his brother).

62N 3 11 oti auth estin h aggelia hn hkousate ap archV ina agapwmen allhlouV
62N 3 11 For this is the message which you heard from the beginning - that we may love one another

62N 3 12 ou kaqwV kain ek tou ponhrou hn kai esfaxen ton adelfon autou kai carin tinoV esfaxen auton oti ta erga autou ponhra hn ta de tou adelfou autou dikaia
62N 3 12 Not like Cain. He was from the evil one and he slaughtered his brother. And for the sake of what did he slaughter him ? Because his works were evil - but those of his brother (were) just.

The object of revealing the 'son of God' was that this should expose the 'works' of the devil.

It is of critical importance that every reader of scripture should learn to draw the distinction between the impostor lord god created at Gn.1:27 - and God himself who is good [Gn.1:1]. It is a distinction between complete opposites. But, in all the confusion of the cosmos, who ever gets to know it ?

Abel however is born from God :

Hebrews :
58N 11 4 pistei pleiona qusian abel para kain proshnegken tw qew di hV emarturhqh einai dikaioV marturountoV epi toiV dwroiV autou tou qeou kai di authV apoqanwn eti lalei
58N 11 4 By faith, Abel brought for God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he was given witness to be just - from God giving witness upon his gifts. And through it he, having died, still speaks.

On this score Abel makes no mistake. And neither should you.

17.5 The Eucharist
If you have understood something of what is explained above then you may have guessed what comes next. For animal food, even superior animal food of the kind which incorporates and spreads its own seed, is impossible to disguise.

At Gn.4:15 the lord god says to Cain :

paV o apokteinaV kain epta ekdikoumena paralusei
"Each one who kills Cain shall set free seven vengeances".

Perhaps unwisely, the doctrinal and liturgical tradition of the (Roman) Catholic church maintains seven sacraments. These are :

  1. Baptism (from infancy)
  2. Penance (from age 7)
  3. Eucharist (from age 7)
  4. Confirmation (from age 12)
  5. Holy Orders (for deacons and priests)
  6. Marriage (for others)
  7. Anointing of the Sick

The norm for this church is daily 'celebration' of the Eucharist - known otherwise as "The Blessed Sacrament". This ritual entails bringing bread (usually unleavened) and wine, next pronouncing over these "elements" the so-called "words of consecration". These are more or less the same words spoken by Jesus in the fictional narrative of the third gospel [Lk.22:19-20]. Until about 1962 all was in Latin. Since that time vernacular languages have been adopted instead - and some variations are permitted. What follows is currently typical :

4 In the original Greek text the phrase for "the new covenant" is 'h kainh diaqhkh'. There we perceive, hardly concealed, the name of 'kain' (Cain). But in translation to Latin and to other languages the name of Cain can no longer be seen.

The Roman Catholic church teaches that on each occasion these words are pronounced the offerings of bread and of wine are transformed into the body and the blood of Jesus. It further teaches that this Jesus is the same character identified in the gospel narrative, a real person, then and now, simultaneously and perpetually both God and man.

There is (as all agree) no change in the outward appearance, nor in the sensible properties of the foods presented - but what the church claims is that the substance of these foods becomes altered at the instant the specified words are said. The term used for this alteration is transubstantiation. The church asserts that this is a miracle brought about - when the words are said - through the unseen agency of God5.

These claims for transubstantiation, so hotly debated through the centuries of the European Reformation, are based in particular upon the texts of the 4th gospel, Chapter 6. This is considered a pivotal passage where Jesus says :

John :
43N 6 51 egw eimi o artoV o zwn o ek tou ouranou katabaV ean tiV fagh ek toutou tou artou zhsei eiV ton aiwna kai o artoV de on egw dwsw h sarx mou estin uper thV tou kosmou zwhV
43N 6 51 "I AM the living bread which came down out of Heaven. If anyone eats from this bread, he will live in Eternity. And then the bread which I shall give is my flesh - for the life of the cosmos.
43N 6 55 h gar sarx mou alhqhV estin brwsiV kai to aima mou alhqhV estin posiV
43N 6 55 For my flesh is real food - and my blood is real drink".

In this passage Jesus repeats (in reverse) the phrase 'eimi egw' (AM I), first uttered by Cain in the narrative of 'Genesis' as he denies responsibility for the slaughter of Abel, his 'brother'. And here the mention of flesh and blood brings to mind the fate of Abel - for he was the first blood sacrifice in the narrative of scripture.

Of course it is the sentiment of Cain we hear voiced in the verses quoted above. As the 4th gospel develops its narrative, his own death (which at Gn.4:14 he predicts) will shortly take place upon the wood of the cross. At Gn.4:11-12 God curses Cain for killing his brother, Abel. And, as we may expect with scripture, the curse is sustained - for look what we are later told :

Galatians :
48N 3 13 cristoV hmaV exhgorasen ek thV kataraV tou nomou genomenoV uper hmwn katara oti gegraptai epikataratoV pas o kremamenoV epi xulou
48N 3 13 Christ bought us off from the curse of the law, he becoming a curse upon us. Because it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs upon wood" [ Dt.21:23 ]
Goat_Ur INRI
Picture Credit :
University Museum, Philadelphia
The same concept some 4,500 years later ...
"Today3 you will be with me in Paradise" [Lk.23:43]

What a great mistake was made by those who sought in the early centuries CE to establish the narrative of scripture as though it was a literal record of human history. For these texts were never anything else but fiction - gnostic fiction, it is true, but fiction all the same.

Would that the Christian church, in all its wondrous diversity, should actually understand the scriptures which in reality constitute the only possible basis for all its unreasonable claims. What are we to say to the Roman Catholic priest who confidently tells his hearers that it is he himself who works the miracle of the Eucharist (he being filled, as he asserts, with the Holy Spirit). Even his superiors in Rome do not teach this (see5 above). When this man's ideas were challenged he threatened to call the police. Later he set his housekeeper on guard at the door, week after week, with specific instructions to exclude from the premises the one who sought to debate with him.

Unfortunately the Catholic church acts like a magnet for people such as this. Ignorant and deluded, such a person blights our whole society with his manipulative behaviour. The sexual abuse of our children is merely the tip of the iceberg where this so-called 'church' is concerned. For it is the entire activity of the organisation which is abusive. From cradle to grave this 'church' seeks to exert itself over its 'stolen' flock, over its ill-gotten "glory" [see Gn.30:31-31:1]. It seeks to exert itself to an end and a purpose which in fact scripture itself discloses to be evil. In all its ignorant folly it hurtles through the pages of human history. Those trapped within the 'invisible walls' of this assertive but confused institution are there for one cause only : they are unable to recognise what is wrong. On and on they stumble - for such is the din in hell that the truth can never be heard [Is.6:9-10; Mt.13:14-15; Ac.28:26-27].

Accordingly I am entirely confident that you will never come across anyone taking part in this so-called 'sacrament' of the Eucharist who has correctly understood what (in scripture) it has been configured to signify. For anyone fortunate enough to fathom the gnostic 'mystery' embedded in scripture will never wish to take part in this unfortunate ritual, even one more time.

Put another way, the only ones still performing this ritual are those successfully deluded, those blindly indoctrinated, those led utterly astray - those who have no idea whatever of the enormity of the mistake (as defined in scripture itself) that they continue to make.

 For they are re-enacting the 'sacrifice' of Cain, the offering ignored by God

Jesus too is ignored (which now may not surprise us) :

Matthew :
40N 27 46 peri de thn enathn wran anebohsen o ihsouV fwnh megalh legwn hli hli lema sabacqani tout estin qee mou qee mou inati me egkatelipeV
40N 27 46 But around the ninth hour Jesus cried up with a loud voice, saying "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani". That is "My god, my god, for what have you abandoned me ?".
The false equivalent rendered here in the Greek text of the gospel is abstracted from Ps.22. But the words ascribed to Jesus are the Hebrew "Eli, Eli, lema sabachth-ani", thus :

"My god, My god, why do you glorify me ?"

The Christian church maintains such ignorance of the scriptures it has sought to make its own - and so of the attributes of God which are defined there - that it quite fails to see where it has gone wrong. But the problem is simple. Like Cain himself in the narrative, the members of this 'church' have mis-taken the lord god for God. Like so many before them, they have fallen into the trap which was set for them. Theirs is the cardinal error (or sin) - the error which lurks at the very heart of scripture. For the artful impersonation of God in scripture has caught them out. It's as simple as that.

For anyone who gives even a moment's thought to the matter, it surely must be clear that bread is derived from "every GRASS spreading SEED to propagate which is above all the EARTH" - and wine from "every TREE which has within itself FRUIT (having) SEED to propagate". And God declares : "For you it shall be for food" [Gn.1:29].

But who was God addressing here ? Who was this food to be for ? It was for the 'PERSON' he had just made at Gn.1:27 - it was specified for the lord god.

We have reached this conclusion by paying attention to the texts of the book of 'Genesis' in particular. But so robust and self-consistent are the themes of scripture that we can easily confirm it from quite different texts of scripture - as now I shall explain.

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The first in scripture to have his offerings specifically identified as 'artouV kai oinon' (breads and wine) is the mysterious figure of Melchizedek (see : Chapter 8). At Gn.14:18 he is referred to firstly as 'basileuV salhm' (king of Salem) - but at Gn.14:21-22 as 'basileuV sodomwn' (king of Sodom).

LXX Genesis :
01O 14 18 kai melcisedek basileuV salhm exhnegken artouV kai oinon hn de iereuV tou qeou tou uyistou
01O 14 18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out breads and wine. He was a priest of God the Most High.

01O 14 19 kai huloghsen ton abram kai eipen euloghmenoV abram tw qew tw uyistw oV ektisen ton ouranon kai thn ghn
01O 14 19 And he blessed Abram and said, "Blessed be Abram by God the Most High who made heaven and earth :

01O 14 20 kai euloghtoV o qeoV o uyistoV oV paredwken touV ecqrouV sou upoceiriouV soi kai edwken autw dekathn apo pantwn
01O 14 20 and blessed be God the Most High who delivered your enemies underhand for you." And he gave him a tenth of all.

01O 14 21 eipen de basileuV sodomwn proV abram doV moi touV andraV thn de ippon labe seautw
01O 14 21 But the king of Sodom said to Abram "Give me the men - but take the horse for yourself".

The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are subsequently destroyed for their irredeemable iniquity [Gn.19:24]. This should serve well enough to warn us of the adverse attitude maintained by the scriptural authors towards bread and wine.

And if you should doubt it, you have only to turn to the prophets :

Ezekiel [a reference to Gn.19:30-36, by which Lot's seed was preserved :
26O 16 49 plhn touto to anomhma sodomwn ths adelfhV sou uperhfania en plhsmonh artwn kai en euqhnia oinou espatalwn auth kai ai qugatereV authV touto uphrcen auth kai taiV qugatrasin authV kai ceira ptwcou kai penhtoV ouk antelambanonto
26O 16 49 Full (was) this, the iniquity of your sister Sodom : pride in abundance of bread, and in sqandering cheap wine. And her daughters started this with her - and from her daughters the hand of the poor and of the day-worker did not receive (any remuneration).

26O 16 50 kai emegalaucoun kai epoihsan anomhmata enwpion mou kai exhra autaV kaqwV eidon
26O 16 50 And they boasted greatly, and committed transgressions before me : and I picked them off as I saw fit.

Next we see that the author of 'Acts' associates bread and wine with what is 'koinon kai akaqarton' (common and unclean). This is no accident : he emphasises his compositional achievement by repeating the phrase three times over - here at Ac.10:14 and again at Ac.10:28, 11:8.

Acts :
44N 10 8 kai exhghsamenoV apanta autoiV apesteilen autouV eiV thn iopphn
44N 10 8 And setting forth everything to them, he [Cornelius] sent them to Joppa
44N 10 9 th de epaurion odoiporountwn ekeinwn kai th polei eggizontwn anebh petroV epi to dwma proseuxasqai peri wran ekthn
44N 10 9 But on the morrow, with their taking that way and coming near to the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray, around (the) sixth hour.
44N 10 10 egeneto de prospeinoV kai hqelen geusasqai paraskeuazontwn de autwn egeneto ep auton ekstasiV
44N 10 10 And he became hungry and wished to taste (something) - and with their preparing (it), there came upon him a trance.
44N 10 11 kai qewrei ton ouranon anewgmenon kai katabainon skeuoV ti wV oqonhn megalhn tessarsin arcaiV kaqiemenon epi thV ghV
44N 10 11 And he perceived Heaven opened up - and a certain container came down, like a great (piece of) linen with four branches, proceeding down upon the earth
44N 10 12 en w uphrcen panta ta tetrapoda kai erpeta thV ghV kai peteina tou ouranou
44N 10 12 In which were existing all the four-footed (creatures) - and reptiles of the earth and birds of Heaven.

44N 10 13 kai egeneto fwnh proV auton anastaV petre quson kai fage
44N 10 13 And there came a voice to him "Rising up, Peter, make sacrifice and eat !"
44N 10 14 o de petroV eipen mhdamwV kurie oti oudepote efagon pan koinon kai akaqarton
44N 10 14 But Peter said "Certainly not, lord. For I have never eaten all (that is) common and unclean".

We hardly need X-ray vision to perceive here the word 'satanaV' (Satan), written partly backwards, along with the words 'oinon' (wine) and 'arton' (bread) written forwards. In earlier times when it was common to read from the uncial Greek texts, with no spaces between the words, it would have been easier still to spot what has been done here. Then these are the common and unclean foods towards which Peter expresses such aversion. But how many leaders of the Christian church have known it ?

By contrast it is vital to notice that John the Baptist (who in the gospel narrative plays the rôle of Abel) consumes neither bread nor wine.
Notice the anagram wordplay here - along with the irony ...

Luke :
42N 7 33 elhluqen gar iwannhV o baptisthV mh esqiwn arton mhte pinwn oinon kai legete daimonion ecei
42N 7 33 For John the Baptist came not eating bread and not drinking wine - and you say he has a demon !

If we follow the narrative we realise that John the Baptist eats locusts and honey :

Mark :
41N 1 6 kai hn o iwannhV endedumenoV tricaV kamhlou kai zwnhn dermatinhn peri thn osfun autou kai esqiwn akridaV kai meli agrion
41N 1 6 And John was clothed with camel's hair and a leather belt around his loins - and eating locusts and wild honey.

Here is the rationale behind his nominally curious diet:

Do you see the pattern ? Primary (or photosynthetic) foods are deemed suitable only for animals, be it rams, lambs, locusts, creatures such as Cain - even the impostor lord god (the cultural derivative of the Egyptian god Amun).

In total contrast, secondary foods are deemed suitable for Abel, for John - and importantly for God himself [as at Gn.4:4].

----- o -----

It follows that either as food for humans or as food for gods, bread and wine are tokens of what is inferior - or of what is evil.

But meat, locusts, milk and honey, these are tokens of what is better - tokens indeed of what is good.

This convention forms a key part of the subtext throughout all of scripture.

Look, here is the warning of Wisdom :

Proverbs :
20O 9 1 h sofia wkodomhsen eauth oikon kai uphreisen stulouV epta
20O 9 1 Wisdom built for herself a household - and underpinned seven pillars
20O 9 2 esfaxen ta eauthV qumata ekerasen eiV krathra ton eauthV oinon kai htoimasato thn eauthV trapezan
20O 9 2 She slaughtered her own victims, she mixed in a wine-bowl her own wine, and prepared her own table
20O 9 3 apesteilen touV eauthV doulouV sugkalousa meta uyhlou khrugmatoV epi krathra legousa
20O 9 3 She sent out her own servants - calling together, with proclamation most high, to a wine-bowl, saying :

20O 9 4 oV estin afrwn ekklinatw proV me kai toiV endeesi frenwn eipen
20O 9 4 "Who is foolish ? Let him deviate (alt: decline) with me". And to those deficient in teaching she says :
20O 9 5 elqate fagete twn emwn artwn kai piete oinon on ekerasa umin
20O 9 5 "Come, eat of mine breads and drink wine which I mixed for you".

20O 9 6 apoleipete afrosunhn kai zhsesqe kai zhthsate fronhsin ina biwshte kai katorqwsate en gnwsei sunesin
20O 9 6 Set aside folly and you shall live - and seek prudence so that you may live on and accomplish understanding in gnosis.

Who then is foolish ? Who has 'deviated' ? And who is 'deficient in teaching' ?

Proverbs :
20O 12 15 odoi afronwn orqai enwpion autwn eisakouei de sumbouliaV sofoV
20O 12 15 (The) ways of the foolish (appear) straight before them. But wisdom hearkens to counsel. [see then Jn.1:23, 14:6]

What an appalling mistake has been made - over this 'Eucharist'  - and over much else besides !

17.6 Conclusions

  1. The Eucharist - Bread and Wine - is the Sacrifice of Cain

  2. Cain offers his 'sacrifice' to the 'lord god' (an alias for Satan)

  3. Jesus does the same : the one he addresses as 'Father' is evidently Satan

  4. So how does it happen that for 1700 years the Roman (or western) church has done the same - but so persistently has failed to establish (or to admit) the significance assigned to it by the authors of scripture ?

As ever, the answer is given in scripture itself ...

1 Corinthians :
46N 11 23 egw gar parelabon apo tou kuriou o kai paredwka umin oti o kurioV ihsouV en th nukti h paredideto elaben arton
46N 11 23 For I received from the lord that which also I delivered to you - that the lord Jesus, in the night in which he was betrayed, took bread.

46N 11 24 kai eucaristhsaV eklasen kai eipen touto mou estin to swma to uper umwn touto poieite eiV thn emhn anamnhsin
46N 11 24 And giving thanks, he broke (it) and said "This is my body - on your behalf. Do this in my memory."

46N 11 25 wsautwV kai to pothrion meta to deipnhsai legwn touto to pothrion h kainh diaqhkh estin en tw emw aimati touto poieite osakiV ean pinhte eiV thn emhn anamnhsin
46N 11 25 Likewise also the cup, after the thing(s) to eat, saying "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, whenever you drink, in my memory".

46N 11 26 osakiV gar ean esqihte ton arton touton kai to pothrion pinhte ton qanaton tou kuriou kataggellete acriV ou elqh
46N 11 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink the cup, you declaim the death of the lord - until he may come.

46N 11 27 wste oV an esqih ton arton h pinh to pothrion tou kuriou anaxiwV enocoV estai tou swmatoV kai tou aimatoV tou kuriou
46N 11 27 Accordingly whoever may eat the bread or drink the cup of the lord unworthily will be guilty of the body and the blood of the lord [see Gn.4:14].

46N 11 28 dokimazetw de anqrwpoV eauton kai outwV ek tou artou esqietw kai ek tou pothriou pinetw
46N 11 28 But let a person test himself - and thus eat from the bread and drink from the cup.
46N 11 29 o gar esqiwn kai pinwn krima eautw esqiei kai pinei mh diakrinwn to swma
46N 11 29 For the one eating and drinking eats and drinks judgment to himself - not discerning the body.

46N 11 30 dia touto en umin polloi asqeneiV kai arrwstoi kai koimwntai ikanoi
46N 11 30 On this account many amongst you (are) weak and sickly - and quite a few may be asleep.
46N 11 31 ei de eautous diekrinomen ouk an ekrinomeqa
46N 11 31 But if we were discerning (for) ourselves, we would not then be judged.

----- o -----

Sleepy eyes ... not discerning kain (Cain) for 1700 years ?

Could it be time to rub those eyes and wake up ?

17.7 Appendix 1 : The Choice of Source Text
With the texts of the 'New Testament' [NT] canon - including the gospels - the language situation is quite straightforward. For with the possible exception of the gospel attributed to Matthew (for which some claim an Aramaic precursor, but if so it has not survived), all were set down in Greek, the universal language of the then known world.

But these NT texts are evidently sequels to the 'Old Testament' [OT] book of 'Genesis' - first inscribed in the Hebrew language perhaps a thousand years before. The earliest texts we have now of Hebrew 'Genesis' are copies of the Masoretic texts [MT] dating from around the 9th-10th century CE. By contrast the earliest Greek texts are copies dating from around the 2nd-4th century CE of the Septuagint [LXX] version produced at Alexandria in the middle of the 3rd century BCE. In the dissertation above I have used the LXX as my base text despite the fact that 'Genesis' was first established in Hebrew. My reasons are as follows :

It is of course vital that any translator should first understand the plot, the subtext of the author he translates. In the case of a gnostic work, replete with sundry riddles and peppered with attempts to deceive the hasty reader, such understanding should not be easily presumed. In all probability very few will be qualified to attempt such a task. And then consider that even one translator deceived will result in innumerable readers being deceived. Even one copyist confused (and so amending, with the best of intentions, the divine names) will result in yet further numbers being led astray. On balance it therefore seems best to set aside Jerome's now distant concerns about discord between Jews and Christians, seeking instead to establish the truth by relying upon the earliest text of 'Genesis' to which we still have access. This is the LXX.

That said, the use of the several divine names between the MT and LXX narratives of 'Genesis' is somewhat inconsistent and I doubt if this difficulty will ever be fully resolved. Jobes and Silva make the comment [Ref.4] that "interchange of the divine names is a particularly common problem in the transmission of biblical Greek texts, both LXX and NT". And if that is so, then I suggest we are faced by at least an equal problem with manipulation of this kind arising in the course of copying the ancient Hebrew texts. Remember that our earliest extant copies in Hebrew are from about 600 years later than the earliest extant Greek - and these copies were produced by Jewish Masorete scribes in a world long since subjugated to conventional Christianity under rulers such as Charlemagne. Like Constantine before him, the sophistication of this Frankish king is well reflected in his reputation as a traditional Germanic warrior who spent most of his adult life fighting. In the Saxon campaigns he imposed baptism by the sword, treating those who resisted to a merciless slaughter. On the other hand, he placed his immense power and prestige at the service of Christian doctrine, the monastic life, the teaching of Latin, the copying of books, and the rule of law. Was this the regime to provide for the Hebrew texts to be copied with scrupulous accuracy ? It could be unwise to rely on it.

In a dumbly monotheistic world - as Europe mostly was after the 4th century - a variety of names for the triune God seemed to pose no great problem. From Hebrew there was Elohim (God), Adonai (lord) and YHWH (tetragram) - from Greek there was o qeoV (God) and kurioV o qeoV (lord god) - and from Latin there was Deus (God) and Dominus Deus (lord god). If there was only one god then any name would do. Why seek to draw any distinction ? Good question.

Just one problem, though. What if the monochrome presumption of only one god in scripture was not in fact valid ? What if the authors of scripture had actually drawn in full colour what dull-minded Europe now saw only in black and white ? After all, NT scripture declares that "A war happened in Heaven : Michael and his angels made war with the dragon ..." [Rv.12:7]. It is myth, of course. But for such a war to have happened in Heaven surely presupposes more than one god in the ideological framework ? For a conflict we must have at least two parties opposed.

The authors of scripture may themselves have seen something more like this. From Hebrew, Elohim (Gods), Adonai (lord) and YHWH (tetragram) - from Greek, o qeoV (God) and kurioV o qeoV (lord god) - and from Latin Deus (God) and Dominus Deus (lord god). The war in Heaven might not yet be over. Worse in its implication, the war may have spilled over and yet be taking place upon the Earth right now - with us as unwitting pawns in the game ? For we are told :

Revelation :
66N 12 9 kai eblhqh o drakwn o megaV o ofiV o arcaioV o kaloumenoV diaboloV kai o satanaV o planwn thn oikoumenhn olhn eblhqh eiV thn ghn kai oi aggeloi autou met autou eblhqhsan
66N 12 9 And he was thrown down, the great dragon, the ancient serpent, the one called a devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world. He was thrown down onto the earth - and his angels were thrown down with him

So was this polymorphic 'deceiver' - dragon, serpent, devil, Satan - equivalent also to one of the 'gods' aforementioned ? Good question.

In antiquity there was a long tradition that one god might appear disguised as another. In the religious culture of Egypt the ram-headed god Amun was was said to be able to assume any form he wished, with each of the other gods being one of these forms. Yet this was the environment in which the texts of OT scripture had their cultural roots. So we face the possibility that scripture will be complicated not only by the interchange of divine names but the interchange of divine identities.

Then the position for the reader may well be complicated further as follows. In passages of direct speech the writer may provide for the one speaking to refer to 'kurioV o qeoV' (lord god) as "o qeoV" (God) - and for no other reason than that (as the narrative develops) the speaker himself is considered to have mistaken the one for the other. In such a case the reader should realise that the speaker is himself deluded on this point, mistaking the one god who is good for the other who is not. But should the reader fail to follow the plot, then he in his turn may be led far astray.

This is getting tricky to sort out - intellectually quite demanding. So what should we do ? By going right back to the 'old' LXX text of 'Genesis' - and by sticking firmly to it - then I fancy we should still be able to make reasonable sense of it all. That way, provided the LXX translators understood the plot themselves, we may come close to doing so too. It is this principle which I have tried to follow.

17.8 Postscript
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 :

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17.9 References
[1] Alter, Robert, "The Five Books of Moses", W.W. Norton and Co., 2004, : ISBN 0-393-01955-1, p.19
[2] Jobes KH and Silva M., "Invitation to the Septuagint", Baker Academic/Paternoster Press, 2000, : ISBN 0-8010-2235-5 or ISBN 1-84227-061-3, p.213
[3] Idem, p.184
[4] Idem, p.208