MOVING MOUNTAINS

2016 07 10 mountains

An online commenter has asked, are we not all “sons (children) of God,” and isn’t the point that we should all be “moving mountains” (Matthew 17:20).  I will add, why not move mountains, if that is what Jesus taught us to do?

For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”

I rather doubt that Matthew 17:20 is a parable, that is, a “simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson,” rather, it is a teaching tacked onto a demonstration by Jesus of how to move mountains (Jesus removes a so-called “demon”).

Is Jesus a god and the only one to move mountains?  It does no honor to the historical Jesus, a Jew, to make him into a Pagan god as many do today, and the Gospel, which draws its supposed legitimacy from the antiquity of Hebrew religion, does not make Jesus into a Pagan god, not exactly; rather just makes allusions to Pagan imagery, such as, virgin birth, bride and bridegroom, sacrifice of the god, resurrection, etc.

However, it would seem the Gospel is, at least at some level, really serious about the concept of resurrection.  Probably it takes more than just dying to escape the misery of Samsara.

Jews know that their God is One and that is why they don’t subscribe to god-junior. Also, they know their Yahweh would never accept a human sacrifice.  This deliberate?? error in the Gospel — of Jesus as a human sacrifice — lets the Jews know the Gospel is not for them.  Rather the Gospel is crafted to impress the Pagans that are being lured into a supposed “monotheism” confected just for them and their tastes.

I think the following, from Daily Word April 28, 1997, while perhaps overly optimistic?? is a valid interpretation of Matthew 17:20-21: “ Spirit moves through me as the wisdom and strength to do what I need to do. In touch with the one Power in the universe, I realize unlimited potential. My goals are attainable, new ideas flood my mind, and I am guided to the right solutions. I welcome each day with joy and expectation, for I am lifted in spirit by my belief in the power of God to see me through. With faith, I believe that all things are possible.

Most Biblegateway versions of Matthew 17:20 have Jesus say that his disciples fail at removing demons because they have “little faith.”  However the Mounce interlinear says “poverty of . . . faith” instead.   So what is this poverty that is an impediment to moving mountains?  Perhaps it is a poverty of attitude that does not perceive the Love that is always for us, never opposed.  The Love that is Abundance.

I never did like the interpretation that made for straining to try to have more and more faith, when all that is needed is to ‘let go and let God’ move that mountain.

The next verse (21) is relegated to a footnote by the NRSV as being of possibly later origin. It does seem overstated. It advises the reader to make a greater effort to achieve results by fasting.  But Jesus’ formula for moving mountains is to have an attitude of gratitude.  Could fasting result in greater clarity of mind so as to focus better on having gratitude for abundant goodness?  I’ll tell you, when I fast, I have great clarity of mind visualizing the foods I crave.

Do I move mountains?  Sure, all day long.  Tons of them.  Just molehills, really.  But by the time I get through a day, I have moved so many molehills, the total volume approximates a mountain.  So same thing.  Besides most of these molehills seem like mountains.

 

 

 

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WORD OF GOD IN SIRACH

2016 05 07 pray for peace gif

The author of John 1 seems to be saying that Jesus of Nazareth is the “Word” who is God.

The writers of the New Testament knew perhaps of the Book of Sirach, aka Ecclesiasticus, “The word of God on high is the fountain of wisdom, and her ways are everlasting commandments” (1:5 (DRA)).

But in the NRSV, Sirach 1:5 is omitted and is only a footnote to verse 1:4:

The footnote says, “Other ancient authorities add as verse 5, ‘The source of wisdom is God’s word in the highest heaven, and her ways are the eternal commandments.’”

The “word of God” becomes “God’s word.”

In the NABRE, the book is called “Ben Sira,” and verse 1:5 is also included only as a footnote:

“The wellspring of wisdom is the word of God in the heights, and its runlets are the ageless commandments.”

The feminine disappears.

These two translators take out verse 1:5 and put it into a footnote, but they do not renumber, so their text has a blank space.  So rip a verse out of a book and what do you get?  A big empty space where the verse used to be.  I can only imagine how offended these translators are to find the term “word of God” right there where they think it shouldn’t be.

The WYC is the only translation at Biblegateway besides the DRA??, that includes Sirach 1:5 and the WYC translates to wipe out the feminine and insert a “son” of God.  A son !!!

The well of wisdom is the son of God in high things; and the entering of that wisdom is (the) everlasting commandments. [The well of wisdom (is) the word of God in heights; and the in-going of it (is) everlasting commandments.]”

If the word “son” is not there, how can it possibly be justifiable to add it to a translation?

You examine the various translations and you just have to wonder if these are translations, or if the translators are just pushing their own agendas.

Another phrase from John 1:  In the beginning . . .

So similar to Sirach 24:14 (DRA): “From the beginning, and before the world, was I created, and unto the world to come I shall not cease to be” — the context is Her (Wisdom).

Sirach 24:9 (NRSV)

“Before the ages, in the beginning, he created me, and for all the ages I shall not cease to be.”

A masculine creator is added.

Ben Sira (NABRE)

“Before all ages, from the beginning, he created me, and through all ages I shall not cease to be.”

It would be nice to know if “he” is a correct translation.

In a footnote for 24:9, the NABRE acknowledges a link to John 1:  “As in Proverbs 8, Wisdom is personified as coming from God, yet distinct from him. This description is reflected in the Johannine logos, or Word (Jn 1:1–14).”

Re: numbering of verses.  Not clear how DRA’s 24:14 ends up as 24:9 in the other translations.

Amazing how the NABRE moves verse 24:18 to a footnote (leaving a gap).  It says in part, “I am the mother of fair love, of reverence, of knowledge, and of holy hope.”  Well heaven forbid that we have any expression of the divine feminine.

Another verse banished to a footnote is verse 24:24, “The Lord Almighty alone is God, and apart from him there is no savior.”  Well, I can see why that verse might be banished.  No other savior?  Not even the second person of the Trinity?  Let’s just move that one out to a footnote, too.  What happens if people read the footnotes?  At least these translators allow us to have footnotes.

Does it matter if Jesus of Nazareth is derived from Wisdom, word of God in the beginning?  Yeah, it’s interesting.

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Posted May 17, 2016

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SEEING THEY DO NOT PERCEIVE

2016 02 16 seeing they do not perceive gif

Amazing that so many people cannot see what is right in front of their nose.

 

Many people are simply not attentive, not mindful, not even very alert, maybe doing drugs or alcohol, just not receptive, just not paying attention, etc.  Just too, too busy.  Just too, too preoccupied.  Not open to new ideas.  They do not perceive.  So there is often no point to trying to tell them anything, except in parables.

 

A parable does not say much directly.  But because it is in the form of a story, it lingers longer in the mind, and maybe with reflection, the person can gain some insight.  A story is easier to understand than mere concepts.

 

The reason I speak to them in parables is that ‘seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand.’  With them indeed is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah that says: ‘You will indeed listen, but never understand, and you will indeed look, but never perceive.’”  Matthew 13:13-14

 

You may have noticed that this same idea about a lack of perception is repeated in each of the four books of the Gospel and also in Acts:  Matthew 13:13-14, Mark 4:12, Luke 8:10, John 12:40, and Acts 28:26-27.

 

So maybe being perceptive was important to whoever wrote those books?

 

A step in the right direction is to start being aware of your own awareness.

 

It helps if you turn off the TV (stop filling your mind with garbage) and stop clicking on your apps once in a while.

 

Some people will “never” perceive.  Yeah, with some people it is “never” or at least not anytime soon.

 

Luke 12:41

Peter said, ‘Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for everyone?’”

 

Peter wants to know, but oddly enough Jesus does not give him an answer.  (Was it edited out?)  Perhaps Jesus did not reply because he thought that Peter was likely missing the point of the teaching by not listening closely??  Instead Peter was worried whether the teaching was a secret just for him.  His mind was focused on himself (is it always about you?), not on Jesus’ teaching.

 

What is it that people are thinking anyway?  A routine is always running in the background.  Much of it negative.  Much of it worry.  Much of it me, me, me.

 

Jesus spoke openly to everyone.  But not everyone was tuned in.

 

I think there are puzzles in the Bible, and this blog is dedicated to finding and solving them.  While the puzzles generally are not too obvious, I do believe that the authors wanted us to find and solve the puzzles and did not make them overly difficult to solve.  So the puzzles are “secrets” that are meant to be shared.  Why have puzzles?  Because the alertness and awareness that is gained by solving puzzles is important for one’s spiritual development.

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SEVENTY TIMES SEVEN

 

2015 01 31 2170 thirty-six point stars w 77 percent paste gif

What is so special about “70 x 7,” the factor that emerges in many parts of the Bible through calculation with the Sower’s numbers (30-60-100 or 100-60-30)?

I like the answer I’ve come up with in my post on Pαscαl’s Triangle (side-bar).

But here is another clue I’ve found: When 70 x 7 or 490 (or even 49) is the divisor, the decimal fraction that results has some number sequences that seem magical. Each number is twice the previous number!!! For example: 06 12 24 48.

Could the ancients have been fixated on such things??

The decimal results obtained by dividing certain numbers by 81 (the number set for Ezekiel temple measurements) is also interesting. The result is eight consecutive numbers in sequence that repeat. For example: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 or 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2.

But how could the ancients know of it without a 34-place Windows calculator?

Ten examples follow:

DIVIDING BY 490

Example one: 1 / 490 =

0.00204081632653061224489795918367

Sequence is 02 04 08 16 32 or 20 40; then 3 06 12 24 48 or 22 44; then 9 18 36

Each number is twice the previous number!!!

This only seems to work with whole numbers (integers)

Example two: 55/490 =

0.11224489795918367346938775510204

Sequence is 12 24 48 or 11 22 44; then 9 18 36; then 1 02 04 or 5 10 20

Each twice previous

Example three: 99/490 =

0.20204081632653061224489795918367

Sequence is 02 04 08 16 32 or 20 40; then 3 06 12 24 48 or 22 44; then 9 18 36

Each twice previous

Example four: 1260 / 490 =

2.5714285714285714285714285714286

Sequence is 7 14 28 (repeats)

Each twice previous

A number divisible by 7 will have that pattern or similar when divided by 490

Example five: 27 / 490 =

0.05510204081632653061224489795918

Sequence is 5 10 20 40 or 1 02 04 08 16 32; then 3 06 12 24 48; then 9 18

Each twice previous

SUMS OF DECIMALS

Example six:

Sum of (100 / 490) + (30 / 490) + (60 / 490) =

0.38775510204081632653061224489796

Sequence is 5 10 20 40 or 1 02 04 08 16 32; then 06 12 24 48 or 22 44 or 4 8

This ability to sum the decimals and still get the same sort of “doubling” holds for at least one other example. Likewise for subtracting one decimal result from another (based on examples not shown).

DIVIDING BY 81

Example seven: 10/ 81 =

0.12345679012345679012345679012346

Notice the sequence of eight consecutive numbers: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7; then repeats

Each number is one more than the previous number

Example eight: Likewise for numbers in intervals of 10 + 9n, divided by 81; for example, 10 + 9 = 19; then

19 / 81 =

0.23456790123456790123456790123457

Notice the sequence 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7; then repeats

Example nine: a reverse sequence of eight consecutive numbers

8 / 81 =

0.09876543209876543209876543209877

Notice the sequence 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2; then repeats

Each number is one less than the previous number

Example ten: Likewise for numbers in increments of 8 + 9n, divided by 81; for example, 8 + 9 = 17;

17 / 81 =

0.20987654320987654320987654320988

Notice the sequence 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2; then repeats

Each one less than previous

 

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TREAT ‘EM LIKE A TAX COLLECTOR

 

2015 11 29 love thy neighbor

Some people show their insecurities by trying to excommunicate other people.

They think Jesus would approve, and they quote Matthew 18:17 to justify excommunicating members of the Church:

If the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”

But how did Jesus treat tax collectors? He dined with them! (Mk 2:15-16). So that is how you should treat those you would despise. You should dine with them.

As a teacher, Jesus could expect his disciples to follow his example. He told his disciples — you shall treat A as you treat B, knowing that he had already demonstrated how to treat these others — with kindness!! By all means, invite them to dine with you in Eucharistic joy!!

Would Jesus have asked his disciples to do anything less than he did? Jesus expected his disciples to dine with tax collectors, not former reformed tax collectors, but the real thing. Jesus expected his disciples to copy his behavior. Yes, treat all those you disagree with like tax collectors, that is, dine with them in Eucharistic joy!!!

Also, do you recall that Jesus dined, not just with tax collectors, but also with Pharisees with whom he disagreed (Lk 7:36). Jesus did not shun those he disagreed with. Instead he dined with them.

(Isn’t this sort of like the saying, “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer”!!!)

Jesus says treat disagreeable people as you would a tax collector (Mt 18:17). But Jesus is talking to his disciples. In all things, the disciples are supposed to follow the Way of their Teacher. As teacher, Jesus expected them to follow his example of forgiveness and inclusiveness.

Have any of the fanatics trying to excommunicate people noticed that the passage that they mistakenly believe has Jesus excommunicating people (Mt 18:17) is part of a section on forgiveness?

Notice that section of Matthew 18 starts out with “if another member of the church sins against you,” and concludes with “forgive 70 x 7 times.” So this is instruction on forgiveness.

It is followed by the story of mercy where the servant fails to forgive. The point is clear – Jesus’ disciples were servants of their Master — those who did not show mercy and forgiveness were not worthy.

It is preceded by the passage where the Good Shepherd leaves the 99 righteous sheep and goes out searching for the 1 lost sheep. Jesus didn’t say stick with the 99 and excommunicate that lost one.

If you take Matthew’s chapter 18 as a whole, you see much of it has to do with mercy and forgiveness. And disciples are supposed to follow their Master in all things, even to dining with tax collectors, even to dining with Pharisees with whom they disagree! (Mk 2:15-16; Lk 7:36).

In fact, what does Jesus say about those who are so filled with self-righteousness that they would exclude others such as tax collectors? Jesus says in Matthew 21:31, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you.” That does not sound like a prescription for excommunication.

Jesus never excommunicated anyone.

The fanatical self-righteous will claim that Jesus is welcoming into the kingdom those tax collectors who have repented, that is, FORMER tax collectors.

The Gospel tells us that the apostle Matthew was a tax collector.  But I never heard that he was a “former and repentant” tax collector.  Jesus did not say the former tax collectors and former harlots will go before you into the Kingdom.

It does seem however, that only believing tax collectors and harlots go into the kingdom of heaven (not necessarily repentant though, Mt 21:32). Believe in what? Being loving and inclusive?

Jesus could hardly have been dining with only former, repentant tax collectors, as that would not have been noteworthy.  Also, it does not seem to me that a former tax collector is still a tax collector. If the tax collectors and harlots had repented, they would have been no longer in those jobs presumably, and thus could not be said to be entering the kingdom except as FORMER tax collectors and FORMER harlots.

The “harlots” were likely priestesses in the local Pagan religion, and harlot is a pejorative term used by biblical authors. Probably neither the priestesses nor the tax collectors thought there was anything wrong with their occupations. Nice that Jesus tends to shy away from condemning those sorts of jobs which were thought to be sinful by others, but not necessarily by those who held the jobs.

Jesus had mercy for the priestesses targeted by religious bigotry, mercy even for the tax collectors who were collaborators of the Roman invaders.

Let’s also take note of Luke 18:9-14, where Jesus makes it clear that the prayer of the humble tax collector is more worthy than the prayer of the self-righteous Pharisee.

We don’t know if Jesus instituted the Eucharist in a ceremony at the Last Supper OR if he instituted it at every dinner he shared with motley people, even priestesses and tax collectors, even those with whom he disagreed, even with sinful people, in every blessing of loaves and fishes, and in every moment of his life when he was in full communion with his Abba and with all the members of the Christ.

Every dinner with a tax collector was a Eucharistic event.

Are we excused from following Jesus and dining with tax collectors or anyone we disapprove of? Maybe Jesus had “special abilities,” and maybe he was like a superman who could dine even with enemies, even with those who would deny him like Peter, and those who would betray him like Judas. But Jesus said his followers would “do greater things” (Jn 14:12). I think he expected his disciples to follow his example and do even greater things.

That is, treat all disagreeable people as you would a tax collector – dine with them, and more.

Jesus wasn’t kidding when he said to love your neighbor as yourself – the second great commandment (Mark 12:31).

If you excommunicate someone, you probably aren’t treating that person like a tax collector, or loving him/her like yourself.

Who is my neighbor?

The tax collector.

The priestess.

If you excommunicate someone, who are you excluding from communion with them?

Yourself.

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NRSV and footnotes used throughout this post

 

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TALPIOT’S REAL SIGNIFICANCE

2015 04 21 shine your light this season

Finding out Jesus might have been real after all

The discovery (or rather the re-discovery) of the Talpiot tombs by James Tabor and Simcha Jacobovici is the most monumental archeological finding in 2,000 years of Christianity.

Why is finding the alleged bones of Jesus of Nazareth so important? Because it refutes the theology of a physical resurrection? Yes, it does refute it, but I don’t think the New Testament speaks clearly as to whether Jesus had a physical resurrection or some other type of resurrection, so there is nothing to refute, except a mix of traditions that have no basis in anything except a selective reading of scripture.

In my own case, if I happen to resurrect, I sure hope it will not be with a recycling of these old bones. The Almighty could save Itself a great deal of trouble trying to rectify my decrepit body, by just starting over from scratch and giving me a brand new body. I would be willing to suggest some specifications.

But a physical body does not exist absent a biosphere or other life-support system. So don’t give me a new body unless it has a biosphere to go with it, please. However, a brand new body gloriously free from the laws of physics, one that could subsist on starlight and the sparkling morning dew, might be quite a nice experience and very welcome.

The Talpiot tomb is important to me because it tells me that the historical Jesus really did exist, as least beyond a reasonable doubt. The ossuaries in the tomb had a cluster of names that is unique and telling in terms of probability. I thought the idea that the Talpiot tomb belonged to the Jesus family was very compelling even without the “James-brother-of-Jesus” ossuary. Now the James ossuary is even more conclusively linked to the tomb by this most recent chemical analysis of soil clinging to it by geologist Aryeh Shimron.

Of course the historical Jesus is not entirely the same as the mystical Jesus who was promoted by Paul the Apostle in his zeal to spread monotheism to those looking for a compromise between monotheistic Judaism with its many hundreds of inconvenient rules, and the bloody Pagan tradition of the Lady and her sacrificed Lord. Pauline Christianity was the hybrid they bought into.

The New Testament is not very convincing as to the historical actuality of Jesus of Nazareth, so the Talpiot tomb is critical to our understanding. Nice to know Jesus of Nazareth was a real person – in all probability.

As far as I know, the Vatican has had nothing to say about Talpiot (give them time and they may come up with a response after a few centuries). Certainly they should be grateful that there is now a strong indication that Jesus of Nazareth actually existed historically. Or maybe that would be quite an assumption on my part that the cult of the Curia and its princely cardinals in white lace and flowing red silk have anything to do with Jesus.

There is nothing to support the assertions about Jesus in the New Testament other than the historical fact that some people were martyred defending their personal beliefs about Christianity, but what evidence if any did the martyrs have, and could they have misunderstood or even been delusional??

Now with the findings from Talpiot, for the first time there is strong scientific evidence showing the probability that Jesus actually existed. That’s why the tomb is significant!

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HOW TO USE THE SOWER’S PARABLES NUMBERS

2015 02 08 Seven equal circles each one-third the enclosing circle gif

 

Just simple arithmetic: add, multiply, and divide

You can use the Sower’s Parables numbers (30 60 100 and 100 60 30) to reveal a hidden factor of “seventy times seven” embedded in the sacred text.

HOW TO USE THE SOWER’S PARABLES NUMBERS

The method common to various sacred texts is this:

(1) Divide a discrete number set into three equal parts, and sum the values in each part;

(2) Multiply the first sum by 100, the second sum by 60, the third sum by 30;

(3) Sum the multiplication products;

(4) Divide by 70 (does it divide evenly?), if yes, repeat with the reverse 30-60-100. Divide both sums of products by 70 and by 7. Does either sum divide evenly? If yes, you have reached your goal of a biblical “70 x 7.”

If that doesn’t work, improvise.  If the biblical authors intended to make puzzles, then each solution might be expected to vary slightly from another, otherwise it would be too easy.

For example: Test if the values should be worked in the order given in the text or in ascending order. Put the values into rows and columns and test if you should add rows or columns. Test if you should sum the sums of products. Test if you should use the numerical value of Greek letters (use the first letter only or the whole word?) Is there a puzzle within the puzzle? Does the puzzle span one book or two or is it just a small list?

I did come across a puzzle in the Syriac version of Aseneth in which the number set did not divide into three equal parts, but was rather composed of values within three dates. Some puzzles are as small as three single values.

What can we learn from doing such mathematical manipulations? For one thing, we can get an idea as to which of competing manuscripts is the least corrupted. The one with an intact Sower’s sevens puzzle is likely the original or the least corrupted.

When the number sets of puzzles span all four books of the Gospel, and against all odds, produce a biblical “70 x 7,” then I have to conclude that the four books were under the control of one party, a single author or editor, at some time in the Gospel’s early development. An example of a number set spanning all four books is in the six combined stories of the Loaves and Fishes.

Alternatively, I could conclude that God came down from heaven and dictated the numbers in the loaves and fishes stories to each of four men writing books of the Gospel independently and now, nearly two thousand years later, I have assembled these “independent” values and they fit together miraculously.

I could conclude that any result of a factor of 70 x 7 is just a fluke against all odds, a fluke that happens over and over and over again (14 times and counting). So far I have published 14 examples of hidden 70 x 7’s that are revealed by Sower’s Parables numbers. See side bar for “Sower’s Sevens,” “Sevens,” and “100-60-30,” for these 14 examples.

Where to find 70 x 7 and 30-60-100 in the Bible:

Seven is a favored number in the Bible. The biblical “70 x 7” is found printed in Matthew 18:22 (footnote NRSV) and also in Genesis 4:24.  By the way, I believe that means seventy times sevenfold (DRA), not 77 times.

The Sower’s Parables numbers can be found at: (1) Matthew 13:8 (100, 60, 30); (2) Matthew 13:23 (100, 60, 30); (3) Mark 4:8 (30, 60, 100); (4) Mark 4:20 (30, 60, 100); and (5) Luke 8:8 (100).

Update June 12, 2016

A SIMPLE AND EASY EXAMPLE SOLUTION

Here is a Sower’s Sevens number puzzle found in Acts 28:4-30:

This is a number set of 9 numbers.  Arrange the numbers into 3 subsets of 3 numbers each, in the order in which they appear in the text.  Sum the numbers in each subset.

1, 3, 3

Sum = 7

3, 1, 7

Sum = 11

3, 1, 2

Sum = 6

Sum of sums = 24 (that is, 2 x 12, with 12 being a special number in the Bible).

Multiply by the Sower’s parable numbers 30 – 60 – 100

30 x 7 = 210

60 x 11 = 660

100 x 6 = 600

Sum of products = 1,470, factors of 3 x 70 x 7

Thus a biblical “70 x 7” is achieved.

Did you notice that the sum of products is 1,470, that is, 14 (2 x 7) hundred and 70, both 7 and 70 being special numbers in the Bible.

What evident care the biblical author took to achieve this special effect!

 

February 9, 2015

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