Wednesday, May 26, 2010

How the Parable of the 'Ninety Nine Sheep' PROVES that the Gospel was Originally Written in Aramaic

Here is something important for all people interested in the gospel and early Christianity. Remember when Irenaeus makes that important reference to Marcosian kabbalah?:

Wherefore also they, by means of their "knowledge," avoid the place of ninety-nine, that is, the defection--a type of the left hand,--but endeavour to secure one more, which, when added to the ninety and nine, has the effect of changing their reckoning to the right hand.[AH i.14.2]

The same thing is present in the Gospel of Truth with specific reference to what the 'hundred' represents:

He is the shepherd who left behind the ninety-nine sheep which had not strayed and went in search of that one which was lost. He rejoiced when he had found it. For ninety-nine is a number of the left hand, which holds it. The moment he finds the one, however, the whole number is transferred to the right hand. Thus it is with him who lacks the one, that is, the entire right hand which attracts that in which it is deficient, seizes it from the left side and transfers it to the right. In this way, then, the number becomes one hundred. This number signifies the Father.

Now it has been pointed out that an ancient method of counting is still employed in the Middle East which shifts numbers from the left to right hand at decads. Ninety nine would be on the left hand and one hundred moves the counting to the right.

Nevertheless the source for the interest in one hundred is absolutely Jewish. The number one hundred is represented by the letter Qof in the Jewish culture and also signifies God like we saw in the Gospel of Truth:

Qof means the Holy One (Qodosh), implying who does all, that has been mentioned, is holy. Resh means Roshoh (wicked), implying, who does the contrary is wicked. Why does the crown of the Qof look down upon the Resh? just as the Qodosh (Holy One, blessed be He) looks down upon the Roshoh (the wicked), saying: Turn from thy ways and I shall also give thee a crown. Why does the foot of the Qof hang unsupported? In order to admit of the wicked entering into the Qudoshim (holiness) if he turn from his ways. [Sabb. 104a]

Now what I have been reinforcing to my readership time and again here is that if we want to understand the mystical system developed by these Semites centuries ago, we have to leave our traditional way of thinking at home. When it came to the basic Marcosian idea that the fabric of the universe had been torn through the loss of the sixth letter vav/episemon the same basic idea could be expressed in many different ways.

The common idea is that our physical universe is 'one less' than perfection or the way things should be.

So the same basic concept of our world having a 'defect' could be explained as Irenaeus and the Gospel of Truth have it - viz. with respect to a complicated notion of 'things adding up to' ninety nine (i.e. witnessing that they are one short of perfection or 'the one hundred'). But this is clear a Greek adaptation of the original mystical concept in Judaism which is that if the loss of vav has pushed all the letters which come after it 'back' one place so letters from ten (yod) to one hundred (qof) all lose ten points to their value.

Irenaeus's Marcosian source clearly knows that this idea is part of the original understanding because just before our last citation from his report HE ALSO SAYS:

this Lambda, being the eleventh in order, descended to seek after one equal to itself, so as to complete the number of twelve letters, and when it found such a one, the number was completed, is manifest from the very configuration of the letter; for Lambda being engaged, as it were, in the quest of one similar to itself, and finding such an one, and clasping it to itself, thus filled up the place of the twelfth, the letter Mu [ibid]

Now if you read Irenaeus's original report the way ninety nine is reached seems utterly forced. It involves multiplying the Lambda (eleven) with Zambda (nine) to get ninety nine ALL THE WHILE REFERENCING the 'loss of position' for each of the letters which come after vav:

for Lambda is the eleventh in order among the letters ... and also forms a representation of the arrangement of affairs above, since, on from Alpha, omitting Episemon, the number of the letters up to Lambda, when added together according to the successive value of the letters, and including Zambda itself, forms the sum of ninety-nine [ibid]

My point through all of this is that THE ONLY REASON why the Marcosian system sounds so complicated and forced is because again IT IS TRYING TO ADAPT A CONCEPT ORIGINAL DEVELOPED IN HEBREW TO AN ALPHABET IN ANOTHER LANGUAGE (viz. Greek). The original idea was really much simpler and straightforward namely that after the vav left the universe GOD LOST HIS PLACE AS THE ONE HUNDRED AND RESH (THE SYMBOL OF EVIL - SEE ABOVE) NOW SITS IN THE POSITION FORMERLY HELD BY QOF (THE HOLY ONE).

It really IS that simple folks - another example showing that the later Greek kabbalah developed from an Aramaic original. Oh and by the way, it is easy to see how the idea that the letter 'R' symbolized a wicked usurper of the place that the Holy One was supposed to sit could have gotten the Marcosians in all kinds of trouble. 'Rome' the last I checked begins with the letter R and Rome is ALWAYS identified as the Malkut ha-resha'ah (Gen. R. lxxvi.) in near contemporary Jewish literature. Even Irenaeus (or perhaps Hippolytus) preserves a similar mystical understanding in his writings (AH v.30.3).

I guess you can see why the Romans weren't so crazy about this Marcosian sect ...

Anyway, I have literally been thinking about this example of the ninety nine sheep all night and wondering how it must have appeared in the original Aramaic gospel (if you haven't read Black's (1967), An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts stop reading this post and do so right now). In our gospels there are two parallel sayings which are presented together to explain the same idea. The sayings appear in Luke as:

"Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

"Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.' In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
[Luke 15:4 - 10]

Now there should be no doubt in anyone's mind that this represents a redevelopment of the original material. Notice the deliberate attempt TO INJECT A LESS 'MYSTICAL INTERPRETATION' in the first saying (now about righteousness) and notice the injection of another saying into the second (i.e. 'light a lamp ... find it').

I am beginning to suspect that Luke knows the original Hebrew saying known to the Marcionites (against whom the gospel of Luke as a whole was developed in the late second century). For on the one hand we have a reference to a number of 'lambs' or sheep and on the other we have 'nine' things and one thing missing.

The Aramaic word for lamb is טלה and has a value of 44. The word for 'lambs' can be spelled either טלאים which has a value of ninety OR טליים which has a value of - well you guessed it - ninety nine.

As such I am certain that the Aramaic original of the gospel simply referenced someone having a single lamb (the vav) leave the fold of the טליים which has a value of ninety nine. Notice now how the strangeness of the 'ninety nine sheep' reference in our later gospels is entirely replaced by something natural in Aramaic.

If we think in terms of טלאים we witness the fall of the letter Qof because Qof is ninety. The letter M in Hebrew (spelled mem yud mim) is the first letter of the name 'Mary' and has a value of ninety also in this form.

But let's take matters one step further.

Let's ask where the Christian traditions outside of the Roman Catholic faith understood that the problem of the 'ninety nine' (i.e. the restoration of the last lamb) is referenced?

The answer is absolutely clear and certain - viz. Mark 5:21 - 34. There is no passage in the entire gospel which betrays signs of reworking like Mark 5:21 - 34. Irenaeus not only went out of his way to mention and refute the gnostic story of the restoration of the ninety nine but I believe he reworked the gospel in such a way in order to make it 'self-evident' how crazy the heretical tradition of Mark really was.

The point is that Mark 5:21 - 34 is now a DELIBERATE FUSION of two narratives - the original story of how Mary touched the hem of Jesus's cloak (טלית) which the gnostics referenced in all the explanations of the redemption of Mary the symbol of the lost lamb and then this other narrative unknown to the gnostics about Jairus and his twelve year old daughter.

As I have noted many times here the existing gospels were later redactions to 'foil' the original interpretation of the gnostics. To this end, the material is spread across three sometimes four texts all held to be 'one gospel' when read together as a way to effectively stamp out the original 'heretical' interpretation.

Take a close look at Mark 5:21 again. Can anyone REALLY deny that the story of Jairus was LAYERED ON TOP of the far more important narrative of the redemption of Mary Magdala? It's so obvious once you look at it with a critical eye it's not even worth debating. Everywhere in the writings of the Church Fathers we hear that the heretics take an interest in the story of Mary clinging to the cloak of Jesus while not one of them references the Jairus story.

I will argue that the layering in effect PREVENTS us from seeing the original context of the Mary Magdala story. As such a worthless narrative about Jairus and his daughter is fused directly on top of the original body of the redemption of Mary, where specifically the original ending of the redemption narrative becomes attached to Jairus's daughter and where the 'anonymous lady' is addressed with the standard orthodox insertion from Jesus to every sinner "Go in peace your faith has healed you." [Mark 5:34]

Let me illustrate how Irenaeus read the original narrative in the writings of the heretics:

When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. Then one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came there. Seeing Jesus, he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, "My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live." So Jesus went with him.

A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed." Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who touched my clothes?"

"You see the people crowding against you," his disciples answered, "and yet you can ask, 'Who touched me?' "

But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth
He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."

While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. "Your daughter is dead," they said. "Why bother the teacher any more?"

Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, "Don't be afraid; just believe."

He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. When they came to the home of the synagogue ruler, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. He went in and said to them, "Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep." But they laughed at him.

After he put them all out, he took the child's father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and he said to her, "Talitha koum!" (which means, "Little girl, I say to you, get up!" ). Immediately the girl stood up and walked around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.

Clearly then the original passage simply read as follows:

A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had received her menstrual flow. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed." Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who touched my clothes?"

"You see the people crowding against you," his disciples answered, "and yet you can ask, 'Who touched me?' "

But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. And he said to her, "Rise little lamb." Immediately the girl stood up; she was twelve years old. At this they were completely astonished. He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this ...

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that SOMETHING LIKE THIS last example was the original reading. The idea that she had her menstrual flow for "twelve years" is a diversionary tactic by the Roman editors of the canon. There never was a reference to a "twelve year old daughter of Jairus, a ruler of a city." If you want to go one step further Mary - Marcus Agrippa's older sister Berenice, was twelve years old - must have just received her menstrual flow.

The 'lesson' absolutely follows the implicit (and explicit) teachings of the so-called 'Gospel of the Egyptians' which as Clement notes ALWAYS references the idea of women 'unsexing' themselves (to quote Lady MacBeth) in order to receive salvation viz:

Salome saith: Until when shall men continue to die? (Now, the Scripture speaks of man in two senses, the one that is seen, and the soul: and again, of him that is in a state of salvation, and him that is not: and sin is called the death of the soul) and it is advisedly that the Lord makes an answer: So long as women bear children. [Clem. Alex. Strom. iii. 9. 64]

And why do not they who walk by anything rather than the true rule of the Gospel go on to quote the rest of that which was said to Salome: for when she had said, 'I have done well, then, in not bearing children?' (as if childbearing were not the right thing to accept) the Lord answers and says: Every plant eat thou, but that which hath bitterness eat not. [Clem. Alex. Strom. iii. 9. 66]

When Salome inquired when the things concerning which she asked should be known, the Lord said: When ye have trampled on the garment of shame, and when the two become one and the male with the female is neither male nor female. In the first place, then, we have not this saying in the four Gospels that have been delivered to us, but in that according to the Egyptians. [Clem. Alex. Strom. iii. 13. 92]

The Lord said to Salome when she inquired: How long shall death prevail? 'As long as ye women bera children', not because life is an ill, and the creation evil: but as showing the sequence of nature: for in all cases birth is followed by decay.[ibid iii. 6. 45]

And when the Saviour says to Salome that there shall be death as long as women bear children, he did not say it as abusing birth, for that is necessary for the salvation of believers.[Excerpts from Theodotus, 67]

But those who set themselves against God's creation because of continence, which has a fair-sounding name, quote also those words which were spoken to Salome, of which I made mention before. They are contained, I think (or I take it) in the Gospel according to the Egyptians. For they say that 'the Savior himself said: I came to destroy the works of the female'. By female he means lust: by works, birth and decay.[Strom. iii. 9. 63]

Is there really any doubt any longer that the so-called 'Gospel of the Egyptians' is really 'Secret Mark' referenced under another (safer) name?

In any event, the point of course is that kabbalah is the only way to make sense of the secret teaching of the gospel - and more importantly - this understanding can only be properly understood once the gospel is restored to its original language, Aramaic.

Just look at the restored scene one more time. Mary is now on the ground holding on to Jesus's טלית which in the early system of writing at the time of the gospel (with no symbol to double the lamed) had a value of 449. Jesus then declares:

"טליתא קומי." Immediately the girl stood up

What is completely lost on everyone who doesn't have reference to the original Aramaic is that טליתא is essentially a pictogram illustrating the 'little one' - signified by the א - cleaving to the garment (טלית) of Jesus. What was once lacking (טלית = 449) is now restored (טליתא = 450 ) with the alef clinging to the garment.

I STRONGLY suspect this is how the legend of Berenice clinging to the garment of Christ developed. It was a symbol of the restoration.

Now for those who wonder why 450 would have any value in this system, they need only remember that round numbers like 450 drop their 'extra zeros' so 450 = 45. What is so significant about 45? Well, guess what? It's one of the most important words in Jewish mysticism.

You see for probably like forever Jews knew that if you took apart the name of God - i.e. the Tetragrammaton (יהו״ה) - and spelled out each letter that made up the Name i.e.:

יוד, הא, ואו, הא

The "secret Name" of God is 45 which adds up to the same number of Adam i.e. אָדָם (Adam). So the point then is that (a) the established understanding of the Marcosians understanding that the universe was defective owing to the loss of one letter in the beginning and (b) the idea of a lamb (טלה which equals 44) being restored by holding on to 'one' thing represented in the 'pictogram' טליתא is essentially a hidden teaching about humanity being made perfect by the addition of divinity.

Now for those readers who don't mind me taking this kabbalistic speculation one step further let me remind them that there is always one passage which is understood to express these ideas most perfectly - Proverbs 30 which as the reader will see IS CONNECTED WITH A PASSAGE WHICH THE APOSTLE UNDERSTANDS TO HOLD SOME GREAT SECRET GNOSIS. The beginning of Proverbs 30 reads:

Who hath ascended up into heaven, and descended?
Who hath gathered the wind in his fists? Who hath bound the waters in his garment?
Who hath established all the ends of the earth?
What is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou knowest?
Every word of God is tried; He is a shield unto them that take refuge in Him
[Proverbs 30:4,5]

I will leave the issue of Romans chapter 10 (and the different Marcionite recension) right now and only say that the Jewish mystics always took the line "what is his name?" i.e. מַה-שְּׁמוֹ to mean that 45 (מַה) is his SECRET name (Zohar, Yitro, 79a).

מַה of course is the equivalent of 'man' here symbolize man made whole. The 'perfect' example of man made full is Jesus who is identified as 'the word' in the Alexandrian tradition. Most people realize that in Aramaic מלה 'word' derives from the verb מלל which means 'to speak' but has a value of of 100.

The secondary meaning of מלל however is border or edge of a garment which figures prominently in ALL accounts of Mary cleaving to Jesus's garment but has strangely been taken out of Mark. So Matthew and Luke specifically tell us:

She came up behind him and touched the hem (or edge) of his cloak.[Luke 8:44 cf. Matt 9:20]

There can be absolutely no doubt that original Aramaic word for 'edge' or 'hem' is מלל and it was symbolically taken to mean that Mary held on to his words (or literally his 'speaking') in order to get healed.

Yet I wonder if the first readers of the gospel understood the very word 'word' מלה to be a pictogram of man (מַה) in this mystical formulation or Adam (i.e. the 45 = אָדָם) with the power of the 'fullness' of the thirty resting in his inner being (i.e. the lamed = 30).

What came to my mind was that if - as we mentioned at the beginning - there was some kind of idea of the letter R (ר) dislodging the Q (קֶ) from its position as the 100 the reconciliation of the two letters would have a value of 300 (or 30) which in turn - if understood to enter into the power of man (מַה).

If the letter קֶ and ר are understood to be the 'two' referenced by the Apostle in the saying:

For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the fence, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his gospel (or 'flesh') the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body [Eph 2:14 - 16]

You end up with a pictogram for the name 'Mark'- viz:

מַ    ה
מרקֶה = Mark

Just a thought, for what might lay behind the Marcosian interest in the redemption passage ...

And one other note - why would the Marcionites have been interested in this saying if they didn't develop kabbalistic interpretation? I think the whole business about two separate sects - the Marcosians and the Marcionites - is all smoke and mirrors. By the third century the unrepentant followers of Mark were 'handled' with the 'Marcion myth' that he corrupted Luke etc. Thus getting around the tradition known to Hippolytus that they were really 'followers of Mark' and used the Gospel of Mark.

Remember Irenaeus the man might have come before Hippolytus but the Refutation and Overthrow of All Knowledge Falsely So Called was only assembled with Justin's Syntagma AFTER Hippolytus. The real 'lectures' of Irenaeus as Photius calls them are now all lost to us. We only know Hippolytus's VERSION of Irenaeus's writings ....

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