I needed a study guide to clear out all interpretations of Jesus’ actual words – as near as we can determine from the remaining fragments discovered only in this last century.
The largest problem in studying this great philosopher’s work is separating what was actually said from all the interpretations which came later. It didn’t help that Jesus or Nazareth was never a writer. All these stories were passed down for several generations before ever committed to parchment.
We are in luck in this, is that there are certain sayings attributed to Jesus which have survived in remarkably similar form. So the studies began at this point – commonalities of attributed sayings.
First, I took the “Q” Gospel as one source, since this was seen as a single (if missing) source which was common to our New Testament authors. This lacks all the narratives and details added later, and contains basically the simple teachings Jesus left.
Second source along this line was found to be the Gospel of Thomas, as recently uncovered in the Nag Hammurabi files. This, too, is simply the sayings of Jesus – without narratives or added detail.
Why would I want to study these? Because by studying his exact words, as far as we can determine, I would be able to uncover more truth from these words and not have to weed out other interpretations.
Rather, I would be able to study these interpretations for what they were – and so see if I agreed or disagreed with those ideas. The first point was to boil what has been saved down to its essence.
And so, in the oldest traditions, I could see with my own insight.
Now I publish this for you and your use.
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