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]

St John's College

St John's College, Cambridge
(c) 2003, Target Technical, York, UK

The task of reconciling the many texts of scripture - and so of penetrating the 'mystery' - may be likened to the task of completing an enormous jigsaw puzzle where the 'pieces' are inscribed in Hebrew and in Greek. It was always a challenging task - and remains so today.

As with a jigsaw puzzle, one may know it is being completed correctly when all the pieces fit neatly together - with no contradictions remaining.

Lk.6:47-8 :
42N 6 47 pas o ercomenos pros me kai akouwn mou twn logwn kai poiwn autous upodeixw umin tini estin omoios
42N 6 47 "Each one coming to me and hearing my sayings (alt: my logos's) - and 'making' them - I will show you who he is like ...
42N 6 48 omoios estin anqrwpw oikodomounti oikian os eskayen kai ebaqunen kai eqhken qemelion epi thn petran plhmmurhs de genomenhs proserhxen o potamos th oikia ekeinh kai ouk iscusen saleusai authn dia to kalws oikodomhsqai authn
42N 6 48 He is alike to a person building a house who dug and went deep - and laid a foundation upon the rock. And (with) a flood occurring, the river tore against that house and did not have the strength to shake it - on account of its being well built."

The river identified here may not be the one appearing in the foreground of the picture above (the River Cam). Instead it may be the mythical river introduced at Gn.2:10. Unlike the forbidden 'tree of (eternal) life' [Gn.3:3], this river bears no literal fruit nor seed - but it does have four 'branches'. These appear to be the 'branches' of 'the tree for knowing the knowledge of good and evil', itself introduced in the foregoing verse.

This college is named for St John. The ancient knowledge of good and evil was extinguished in the western church some seventeen centuries before our time. But in the gospel myth it is John the Baptist who, with his riddles, identifies correctly the Christ.

Another John, John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, helped to found this college. In 1535 CE he was deprived of his bishopric, charged with denying the supremacy of the king. In the gospel narrative John the Baptist is executed, his head brought 'epi pinaki' ('upon a plate') [Mt.14:11; Mk.6:28]. Fisher really was beheaded - at Tower Hill, London on 22 June 1535. In the myth of 'Genesis' it was of course 'kain' (Cain) who killed his brother. But now, in real life, it was the king of England.

With his friend Erasmus, Fisher sought to study scripture - yet in the language of scripture itself, in Hebrew and in Greek. Upon his resigning the Presidency of Queens' College, the Fellows wrote, to their right heaviness, that : "The bishop was a man that, without flattery, was very dear to them all, not only on account of his ingenuous humanity, but for his excellent learning and prudence". And the good he did subsisted when he himself was gone.