ON THE LOGOS AND ON JOHN THE BAPTIST
Let us start by showing how those zealots of the new cult (Christianity), into whose hands the ancient message (John 1:1-37) once fell, unscrupulously took liberties with its text.
The unknown author of this message had once written words with the following meaning:
‘IN THE BEGINNING IS THE WORD, AND THE WORD IS IN GOD, AND GOD IS THE WORD.
EVERYTHING IS ALIVE ONLY IN HIM, AND WITHOUT HIM IS NOTHING ALIVE: NOT EVEN THE SMALLEST THINGS.
IN HIM ALL THINGS HAVE LIFE AND HIS LIFE IS THE LIGHT OF MEN.
AND THE LIGHT SHINES IN DARKNESS, AND THE DARKNESS CANNOT EXTINGUISH IT.
IT IS IN THE WORLD AND THE WORLD IS MADE THROUGH HIM, BUT THE WORLD RECOGNISES IT NOT.
IT IS IN HIS OWN, BUT HIS OWN RECEIVE IT NOT.
BUT AS MANY AS RECEIVE IT TO THEM, IT GIVES POWER TO BECOME CHILDREN OF GOD: THOSE WHO ARE BORN NOT OF BLOOD, NEITHER OF THE WILL OF WOMAN, NOR OF THE WILL OF MAN, BUT BORN OF GOD, OUT OF THE FULLNESS OF GRACE AND TRUTH.’
Once the continuity was not interrupted here by anything. It was merely the author’s intention, to give a clear indication to his followers to whom he addressed the message, of the sense by which what followed was to be understood, in words which were closely linked to the then widespread teaching of the ‘Logos’.
Only then did he begin to tell the story of the Baptist, which he had already found in the old scriptures. He evaluated it in his own way, since he not only knew himself opposed to the disciples of the Baptist, who were still around at that time, but also wanted to show his own followers that neither strict asceticism, once preached by the Baptist as an emissary of a mystic sect, nor baptism by water, as advocated by the new cult which called itself after the exalted Master, would bring salvation.
He also wanted to refute the error – found in an older legend – that the exalted Master had first been a pupil of the Baptist before he started to teach himself.
Therefore he has the Baptist’s disciples abandon him at the point when he has to confess that, although he baptises with water, Jehoshuah baptised with the spirit.
These are the original words – according to their sense:
‘THERE WAS A MAN WHOSE NAME WAS JEHOCHANAN.
AND THESE THINGS WERE DONE IN BETHANY BEYOND THE JORDAN, WHERE JEHOCHANAN WAS BAPTISING.
I BAPTISE WITH WATER, BUT IN THE MIDST OF YOU STANDS ONE WHOM YE KNOW NOT: HE WILL BAPTISE WITH THE SPIRIT!
I AM NOT WORTHY TO UNLOOSE THE LATCHET OF HIS SHOE.
AGAIN ON THE MORROW JEHOCHANAN WAS STANDING AND TWO OF HIS DISCIPLES.
AND HE LOOKED UPON JEHOSHUAH AS HE WALKED AND SAID: THIS IS THE MAN!
I KNEW HIM NOT, BUT HE WHO CAUSED ME TO BAPTISE WITH WATER, SAID UNTO ME:
WHEN YOU SEE A MAN ON WHOM THE SPIRIT DESCENDS AND REMAINS IN HIM: HE IS THE ONE WHO WILL COME TO BAPTISE WITH THE SPIRIT.
AND JEHOCHANAN BARE WITNESS SAYING:
I SAW THE SPIRIT DESCENDING ON HIM LIKE A DOVE AND ABIDING ON HIM, AND THE SPIRIT REMAINED IN HIM.
AND THE TWO DISCIPLES HEARD HIM SPEAK, AND THEY FOLLOWED JEHOSHUAH.’
If the original text were now to lie before a translator, he might perhaps render the form of the sentences in a different way but without arriving at any other meaning.
The author of the ancient message had no intention for the form in which he narrated events, to overlap with the accounts which sought to use his text to confirm the belief, that the Baptist had recognised and proclaimed the Master as ‘Messiah’.
Much is missing here that is found in the same place in that version of the text passed on to us.
From: The Wisdom of John pdf pages 75-80
Bô Yin Râ ''Logos''
From this day onwards he began to tell others very clearly about what he had received.
He now spoke in the full awareness of his inner authority and, with the help of the ancient scriptures which had been spiritually disclosed to him, he showed the profoundest meaning found in the sayings of the ancient seers, whilst continuing in his manual work as before.
Yet his listeners were much amazed at his words and were at a loss to explain how this uneducated man could come by such knowledge.
The change in him appeared to his friends and relatives to be so unprecedented that they imagined, despite the profundity of his words, that he had ‘lost his mind’. In the end he could no longer stay in his homeland.
And so he left to go to another place where he was not known; there he could support himself through the work of his hands and awaken souls through his words. Yet wherever he went he could not stay, for people heard him say things which had never been said before. The scribes were full of envy because many people seemed to believe him more than them. Now he wandered the land for a long time before returning to Capernaum, a town to which he had become attached.
There he had first encountered one of his elevated brothers; they now also assured him that there he would find the rest he
In Capernaum he made friends with a wealthy man who received him with joy and listened enthusiastically to what he had to say.
At this man’s home he also made other educated friends; in this place of refuge he learnt from them how to read and write the letters of his native tongue.
The esteem he enjoyed among men of good repute gradually spread his name around the region.
As in those days people believed that such a wise man should have secret powers to heal every sickness, so it was that visitors would come to the distinguished man’s house and ask the wise Rabbi to heal them.
In the beginning the Master resisted these entreaties and sent the sick to the physicians.
But the wave of visitors increased and, moved with compassion, he went out to the sick to comfort them.
It so happened that many of those he touched soon felt healed, and the Master himself did not know what to make of it all.
By now it was no longer possible for him to turn away from the pleas of the sick who asked nothing more than to be touched by him.
From far and wide the sick were brought to him, and the belief in his ‘miraculous power’ increased over time. Whenever someone claimed to have been healed, the Master would constantly emphasise that it was the sick man’s own faith which had cured him.
He also strictly forbade the sick to tell of their healing, since he felt he could scarcely cope any more with their numbers.
Over a period of time, however, he recognised that he possessed a power of healing, and it was not just the faith of those who had been healed which had brought about their recovery.
Although he could not cure every sickness, the numbers of the healed increased day by day.
He needed a large part of the day to lay his hands on all those seeking healing from him.
Yet far into the night he found himself in the midst of those who wanted to listen to his new interpretation of the Law. Among these were the first he deemed suitable to become his chosen pupils.
He sought to reveal the source of his wisdom to them alone.
He had realised long ago that he could no longer carry on his trade.
Yet since he knew that he would always abundantly find what he needed, if he – true to the spiritual law – left it to his ‘Father’ to feed and clothe him, (Matthew 6:31-32) he felt no concern. In the end he asked his host to bless his departure so that he could teach in other places.
The hostility of those early days now seemed to him less of a concern.
But the first pupils he had found in Capernaum did not want to abandon him and followed him.
Each one, in his own way, received within himself what the Master had to give.
On account of his reputation as a healer he was joyfully welcomed in many places along with his pupils; in other places he experienced harsh rejection, while for the inhabitants of his home town he remained the presumptuous ‘fool’ they had seen in him from the start.
The ordinary people, however, called his acts of healing – where they could take place – ‘miracles’, and did not understand him when in such cases he always emphasised that only their own faith, together with the power emanating from the healer’s body, brought about these ‘miracles’.
He gave an interpretation of ancient teachings of his people which allowed their continued existence even in the face of higher knowledge. Only when he saw that the faithful were oppressed by sterile formulas or that sacrifices were required by the gloomy tribal god of ancient times did he say:
‘TO MEN OF OLD IT WAS SAID…’
‘BUT I SAY UNTO YOU…!’*
From: The Wisdom Of John PDF pages 39-46