Sunday, March 24, 2013

New Take on the "Old" Bible

Christianity doesn't teach Jesus’ message, according to Dr. Rocco Errico, an ordained minister, international lecturer and author, spiritual counselor, and one of the nation's leading Biblical scholars working from the original Aramaic Peshitta texts. Dr. Errico speaks of well-intentioned ministers who teach what they were taught. 

Unfortunately, it's incorrect. 

No, Dr. Errico is not saying that the ministers are bad students. They just received bad information. 

To understand Jesus’ message, you have to understand Jesus’ language, Aramaic. Dr. Errico, a devoted Aramaic scholar and founder and president of the Noohra Foundation at reads the Bible in Jesus’ own language to capture the nuances of the idiomatic phrases. For example, he said, "If someone tells an Arab, 'Get it straight from the horse's mouth' -- they'll have no idea what you're talking about. They'll think something is wrong with the horse." 

Jesus spoke in idioms that were in current usage in ancient Middle East. And in a language that wasn't always translated perfectly. 

Dr. Errico explains the Lord's Prayer as an example. "First," he said, "Jesus had no idea that we were going to institutionalize this prayer. This was his suggestion of how to get started." 

Dr. Errico pointed out that discrepancies exist even in the first line: Our Father who art in heaven. "'Our Father' in the Middle East is a genderless term of endearment equating to 'beloved.' Fathers call children 'Father.' Mothers call sisters 'Father.' Sons call mothers 'Father.' It has nothing to do with parentage or gender. When Jesus said 'Our Father.' it was the same as saying 'O Beloved.'" 

What about "Who art in Heaven?" In Aramaic, the word that was translated as "Heaven" actually means: everywhere, universal, omnipresent. So, once again, Jesus has been misinterpreted, Dr. Errico says, and actually said, "O Beloved which is everywhere..." 

Think about it. If God is anything, he is everywhere. The Baptists, Catholics, Jews, Muslims or New Thought believers have no ownership of the Spirit. 

Dr. Errico spends much of his talks discussing the impact of that short phrase that opens our most popular prayer. WE have a lot to learn about the real teachings of Jesus and that can only be understood reading the words in his own language. 

And if we understood them as he used them, "the world would be a much better place," Dr. Errico says.