The Real Meaning of Jesus’s Teachings Lost in Translation?

This is a bit of a different kind of post than I usually write, but I hope you enjoy it, none-the-less. Through this less busy time with the “stay-at-home” order due to covid-19, I have been able to dig more deeply into some of my interests and also found some new ones, too.  For about the past 6 months, I have been reading the books “Life and Teaching of the Masters of the Far East” by Baird T. Spalding.  There are 6 volumes.  I am only on Volume 4 because I read the volume, and then re-read it and take notes, really studying it and working to implement the teachings in my life.  Whether or not the author (Mr. Spaulding) really took a physical trip to the Far East or if he took an internal journey, I am not here to argue that, but the messages he offers are core teachings of Jesus (Yeshua ben Yosef) and the Masters, who were able to defy “physical laws”.  

By reading the following sentence in Vol 4 of the book (page 98), it lead me to investigate the Aramaic translation of the “Lord’s Prayer”: “There is inner meaning in the Lord’s Prayer which cannot be given out expect privately and orally.  If man understood the meaning, he would be in the Kingdom of Heaven.”  This quote from “The Life and Teaching of the Masters of the Far East – Vol 4” was written in 1948 and I believe that the times and energy have shifted so that the true meaning is available to all people now, not just for people who receive the message privately and orally from a Master.

In my search to understand what that means, (hello Google!), I looked up the Aramaic translation of “The Lord’s Prayer”.   The English version, which was translated from the Greek version and the Greek which was translated from Aramaic, had lost some of its real meaning in translation. Not even the Greek version was totally correct and then taking an English translation from an incorrect translation made it even more distorted.  “The Lord’s Prayer” came from the answer Jesus gave when his disciples ask him “Lord, teach us how to pray.”  “The Lord’s Prayer” is in the bible only twice in Luke 11:1-4 and Matthew 6:5-15.  (different verses in different versions of the bible).  

Here is the version of the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic and then translated by Dr. Rocco Errico, a scholar in Aramaic:  https://noohra.com/the-lords-prayer/  I encourage you to listen to the words in the original Aramaic on the left-hand side.  Below in BOLD is Dr. Errico’s Aramaic to English translation and the comments in (parentheses and italics) are mine based on my understanding from my study of the “Life and Teaching of the Masters of the Far East” and other comments Dr. Rocco Errico has made. 


THE LORD’S PRAYER TRANSLATED FROM ARAMAIC
Krisanne’s comments in ( ).

Our Father who is everywhere  (or Beloved/God/Creator/Divine energy which is everywhere. Everywhere means all encompassing….earth, plants, people, planets, dirt, houses, food, YOU!…there is no place God is not, which means you, too.)

Your name is sacred  (Everything is sacred, everything is Father/Beloved/God/Creator/Divine energy.)

Your kingdom is come (Notice present tense:  IS come, is here now!  Kingdom is the state of privilege that is yours as one of the “created” right now.  The Kingdom is realization of oneness with the Whole and you are one with the Whole.  The Kingdom is available now if your mental beliefs will allow it to be…easier said than done, by the way.

Your will is throughout the earth (All created on Earth is available to allow the will of God/Creator/Divine to flow through it. We also have a choice not to, which causes our suffering, BUT the Divine Blueprint [God’s will] IS here on Earth if we surrender, open and allow it to direct and guide us. This is not saying we don’t have free will. We do.)

Even as it is throughout the universe (The Divine blueprint [God’s will] flows all through the Universe..or this could be another meaning for “As above. So below”.)

You give us our needful bread from day to day, (The Universe [God] provides what we need every day in full and loving abundance as we need it….no hoarding necessary. Share the toilet paper.)

And you forgive us our offenses (The Divine doesn’t even see our errors/mistakes.)

Even as we forgive our offenders (We don’t give attention or judgement to others’ mistakes or errors, and without attention, the mistake or error has no power over us and through our forgiveness, we are set free. We are one with the Creator and take on its attributes.)

And you let us not enter into materialism (One with God, we do not enter into separation thoughts or being “of the world” and do not value what the false ego thinks is important.)

But you separate us from error  (God only sees us as perfection, because it created us in its image, which is perfection and it can ONLY create perfection. The “error” is false thinking and beliefs, which God does not recognize.)

Because yours are the kingdom, the power and the song and praise. (As we are one with the kingdom (and with God), we have the power of the kingdom, the song and praise of the kingdom, which is gratitude and appreciation.)

From all ages, throughout all ages. (Always has been and will be, eternally.)

(Sealed) in faith, trust and truth. (Knowing and trusting the Truth is real and Truth cannot change.)


ANOTHER VERSION: Here is another version of the Lord’s Prayer translated from Aramaic directly to English which I also found interesting:  (From the Catholic Forum) https://forums.catholic.com/t/aramaic-to-english-translation-of-the-our-father/435534

ARAMAIC “LORDS PRAYER” IN SONG: I found this beautiful song in Aramaic of the “Lord’s Prayer” which was what Jesus said to his disciples when asked “How to Pray”.    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtUkxLHD0-k .  If you stop and listen with  your heart, it is very touching.


EXPLANATION OF HOW AND WHY ERRORS WERE MADE IN TRANSLATION: As I was researching and digging more into the Aramaic translations, I also wanted to share this 28 minute video which explains how “errors” in translation were made from going from Aramaic to Greek to English and by the misunderstanding of idioms, etc.  It is a video by Aramaic scholar, Dr. Rocco Errico:   https://youtu.be/eJEhjeMoGSc  This will put some context to what I shared above.


HOW ABOUT THE BEATITUDES?

All of this excited me so much because it felt so true to me. What else was out there on this topic? I found this teaching about just two of the “Beatitudes”. The “Beatitudes” were given by Jesus to the crowd gathered to hear him speak. That speech became know as the “Sermon on the Mount”, where Jesus instructed the crowd in ways of BEING. These ways of BEING, were later named “The Beatitudes”. In this video, Dr. Rocco Errico shares the Aramaic translations for two of the “Beatitudes” and how he views the true meaning of what Jesus meant. (48 minutes):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGWBftZ134Q  I also included my own interpretation and the meaning I understood in the commentary below, if you don’t want to watch the video.

  • MISTRANSLATED BEATITUDE #1: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven”. (20:00 min in video).  Perhaps a more accurate meaning of what Jesus really meant is explained below (if translated accurately from Aramaic).  
  • BEATITUDE #1 MEANING TRANSLATED FROM ARAMAIC: “Blissful are you who are not judgmental, for the consciousness of harmony, joy and understanding belongs to you.” This is actually my translation, but the translation Dr. Errico gives is described below and I extrapolated what that meant to me, as the words “the counselship of the Heavens” was not that meaningful to me.

    From Dr. Errico’s video: “Blissful are they who are non-judgmental (non-critical), non-arrogant and not overly proud (not full of themselves), for theirs is the counselship of the Heavens.” 

    In other words they are “poor in judgmental-ness, poor in pride, poor in arrogance”, (26:15 mins). Heaven is a euphemistic term which means God, but we made it into a place outside of us, a destination that if we are “good” we go to after we die, but Heaven is not a place, it is a condition of consciousness of harmony, of joy, of understanding, which IS God.  This (Heaven=harmony, joy, blissfulness) belongs to you.   However, you can block your perception of the harmony, joy and understanding if you are judgmental, critical, arrogant, proud or “full of yourself”.   The choice is really yours.  That translation transmits a totally different understanding than “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven”, which I translate as “think of it as a privilege if you are poor in vital energy, then you will get to heaven when you die (somewhere “out there”).” 

The next Beatitude Dr. Errico discusses (with much more brevity) in which the English translation may not accurately convey the real meaning is:  

  • MISTRANSLATED BEATITUDE #2: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” 

    The second part “for they will see God” is interpreted as the future tense….they WILL see God (in the future).  It is actually present tense.  They see God (now).  Here is a more accurate translation:
  • BEATITUDE #2 MEANING TRANSLATED FROM ARAMAIC: “Blissful are they who are pure/clear in heart and mind (emotions and thoughts, in your whole being) for they perceive pure existence (God – now and continually)”. 

    Ĕlāhā, or Alaha in Aramaic = God, which is not a person.  God in Aramic means “the Great Self Existence” and is why you cannot die.  You are one with the Great Existence, eternal.   You are Being-ness, inseparable from God or the Great Existence.  How I understood the initial English translation is this, “If you have a pure heart, you will be rewarded someday when you can then see God.  If you heart is not pure, well, then you know….off to hell you go.” 

My feeling is that the teaching of hell has probably just caused people to feel guilty.  I do not believe hell is a place you go after you die if you are “bad”.  People are going to do what they do because of what is in their heart (sometimes that is making mistakes or errors or perceiving limitation) and if their heart and mind is not pure (or is clouded with false beliefs/thoughts about themselves or others and of limitations), then they won’t be able to perceive their pure existence (God), their whole being-ness, and that is a self-made, self-inflicted “hell”, right here, right now.

Personally, I have not resonated with the classical teachings of a wrathful, judgmental God and often things taught in church did not make any sense to me.  How could a loving God be that?  I did not understand why a person should be “poor in spirit” when Spirit was God? Or why God would condemn a person to hell for mistakes? Or why a loving God gave you one short life to get it right?  None of it made sense, but it makes more sense if we take the TRUE meaning of Jesus’s words, not the incorrect translation. 

Hell is just a mental state of mind that we put ourselves in.  Sin means to separate or divide and occurs when we see ourselves as separate from God.  Sin is every thought and feeling that is out of harmony with the purpose of Life. This simply makes sin an error or mistake, which makes us see ourselves as separate, which we are not.  We only perceive ourselves as separate and that perception is “sin” or limitation.

Maybe some of you don’t agree with what I shared above.  Take what resonates with you and leave what doesn’t.  Each has to find his/her own way and it is the responsibility of each one of us to shift our own consciousness and no one can “save” you.  We have great Masters who have walked before us easing our way because once something has been done, it is available to all beings in the “Field” and is easier, BUT we are all ultimately responsible for “saving” ourselves.   Yes, we have God’s grace, but we need to allow that in by opening up our heart.  We each individually need to  do the work.  Death won’t liberate us.  We carry our level of consciousness with us when we transition to spirit form (with no body).  There is no “escape.” WE. HAVE. TO. DO. THE. WORK.   

Dr. Rocco Ericco’s quote feels true, “We buried Jesus under dogma, doctrine, belief systems, ritualism… buried him deep, deep and now we are digging him out and bringing out the true Jesus and his teachings.”

I have not read any of Rocco Ericco’s translated books of the bible, but after this exploration, I would like to.  I would guess that his books would actually meld nicely with the teachings in “Life and Teaching of the Masters of the Far East”.  If anyone would like to join me in this study, let me know what book would interest you and I will gladly start with that one and discuss it with you (or a group).  He translated various books of the bible from Aramaic to English directly and here is the list:  https://noohra.com/aramaic-commentaries-by-dr-rocco-a-errico-and-dr-george-m-lamsa/

I hope you are all enjoying the slower pace of the “stay-at-home” life. I know I am finding out all kinds of things about myself and have been able to appreciate all that I have, my family, my life and even my “defects” more. Sending a huge hug to you.

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