Saturday, January 23, 2016

What Did Jesus Say / Mean?

The thoughts,words, and deeds of Jesus were predominantly in Aramaic. 

 Thirty five years after Jesus' earthly life ended, printed copies of the "good news" began to be written in Greek, thus already a translation. 

In the following centuries, the good news was again translated into Latin. The very best of Catholic biblical scholarship today believes that when these last translations were made, there were some serious mistranslations. 

Two quite serious errors may have occurred in the translation of the earliest Gospel accounts of Jesus' first recorded words as found in the earliest written of the four Gospels, Mark. The first of these is the Greek word "Μετανοιετε"[Metanoiete] which was translated into the Latin as "poenimine" which means literally "Repent!". A study of Treadwell Walden entitled "The Great Meaning of Metanoia" (1896!) indicates that the first and most likely translation of that word should have been "Change the way you think". From the meaning of Metanoiete as "Repent", evolved centuries of debate as to why those who first encountered Jesus had to repent. From this debate, the early great Councils arrived at the doctrine of original sin. It seems a little strange that Jesus would call his 'good news' "good" when it proclaimed that all are sinners from the "get go"

The second possible mistranslation is in translating the Greek
"ηγγικεν" [heggiken] with the word "appropinquavit" [draws near]. I.e., "Repent, and believe for the Kingdom 'draws near'".

A better translation,according to the best Catholic biblical scholarship is that the word "ηγγικεν" has a first translation not unlike what a waiting commuter means when he says "the train is here" i.e., coming into the station or simultaneously coming and already here. Thus the more accurate translation of the verse in Mark should be " The present moment is the right time. Change the way you think for the Kingdom of God is WITHIN you. Believe this 'good news'[Mk1:14-16].

In other words, God, Whom mankind has sought outside himself, is in reality closer to him than the man is to himself. Thus to pray, Jesus advises us to "enter into our inner room and pray to our Father who is within"(Mt.6:6). Now that IS really good news!

So it is not heretical to strive to understand what Jesus meant, rather than putting so much emphasis on what the interpreter may have thought.
                                                                 Charlie Mc