Introduction to The Lost Gospels of Jesus

Humble prayers and respects are offered to Lord Jesus and to those who have sincerely passed on his Gospels.

This project was not undertaken lightly. Nor was it embarked upon without guidance. Rather, it is only by the grace of Lord Jesus and his followers that this project was made possible.

The reader will find in this text a number of manuscripts that should have been part of the Gospels through the centuries. Instead, they were burned or otherwise destroyed. Fortunate for us, a single copy of each made it through time, having been buried by some smart people nearly two thousand years ago. These are the Lost Gospels of Jesus.

The reader will also find, in the case of those Gospels that did get canonized, that these English translations are substantially different from those found in most of the institutional sectarian Bibles that circulate today.

One reason for this, as we will discuss further, is that most of the translations of the Gospels – and the assembly and translation of the Biblical texts in general – have been corrupted by centuries of institutional manipulation.

For this reason, we also include fresh translations of these ancient texts in the Lost Gospels. When they are translated without sectarian influence or institutional politics, the texts portray teachings of Jesus that have been lost among many translations.

There are many reasons for some of Jesus' teachings being lost in translation. These include physical manipulation in the form of addition and change at the hands of sectarian scribes. They also include the enforcement of a particular interpretation of Jesus’ life and Teachings by those institutions that sought primacy and dominance over the regions and populations later described as the Holy Roman Empire.

Prior to this institutional manipulation, the Teachings of Jesus had been passed on from Jesus' direct followers orally. Then some recorded these oral recollections in the form of the early Gospels of Jesus.

The Gospels were originally individual manuscripts – each parchment or papyrus scrolls, some hand-bound or stitched together. These were passed on and distributed primarily as individual documents for at least 250 years in early Christianity.

As predicted by Jesus, between the year 66 and 120 CE, the Jewish-Roman Wars reigned terror over the region and people of Judea. The Romans decimated much of Judean society during this period. Jerusalem was sacked and burned. Many followers of Jesus – considered Jews by the Romans – were slaughtered during this period. Some early Christians escaped to the mountains as Jesus had instructed them. Some were already living in the mountains.

Historical analysis has concluded that the first versions of the Gospels were written during the middle to late First Century and the early Second Century. Many of the early manuscripts were destroyed during this period as a result of the Jewish-Roman Wars, as villages, towns, and libraries were systematically burnt. The Romans considered Jewish and early Christian teachings as threats to the Roman pantheon.

According to most historians, there is little evidence to believe that the four canonized Gospels were written by those whose names they are ascribed to. The exception to this may be the Gospel of John – considered by many historians to be the earliest of the four Gospels despite it being the fourth book in the New Testament.

The oldest remnant of the Book of John has been carbon-dated at between 160 CE and 200 CE. This, however, does not indicate when the Gospel was first written. This was likely one of many copies made of the Gospel. Historians believe that the Book of John was written between 50 and 100 CE. The other three canonical Gospels may have been pieced together from other early manuscripts.

The evidence shows that the earliest Gospels were written in Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, or Coptic, depending upon their location and author. The earliest manuscripts were copied multiple times and translated from one language to another. So remnants of the Gospels found in modern times are not the originals. Evidence from the earliest manuscripts illustrates that not only have they been translated from language to language, but as they were copied and translated, they were also changed – with interpretative text being added, changed or deleted altogether.

Furthermore, the earlier copies of the Gospel manuscripts became the subject of ransacking and burning over the years, even after the Jewish-Roman Wars. The persecution of early Christian and Jewish people by the Romans continued for centuries. As a result, much was lost, including the earliest manuscripts of the First and Second Centuries.

Historians have estimated that the Gospels of John and Matthew were among at least 50 different Gospels that described the life and/or Teachings of Jesus. What remained in the Fourth Century when the Canon was selected were texts that somehow escaped destruction by war, fire and persecution.

There is good evidence indicating the four Gospels were also selected for political reasons: They were the least controversial and most conservative of the many circulating manuscripts describing Jesus. They were also those accepted by more Romans, and by those churches that followed Paul.

The appointed leaders of these institutions also had a tendency to jostle for power in their respective region. Many also labeled other teachers – who didn't struggle for power – as heretics. Inclusive of these are referred to today as the Johannines, Essenes, and the Gnostics.

Yet interestingly, many scholars have tied these "heretics" to the early followers of Jesus referred to as the Nazarenes and the Ebionites.

Many of these early followers of Jesus were eventually dismissed as heretics. We should note the irony, as Jesus was also considered a heretic by the Temple institution of his time.

By the Fourth Century, the regional Christian assemblies had garnered enough political power to gain the attention of the Roman state. In 313, the Christian faith was legalized by the Roman Emperor. Within the next two decades, Roman Emperor Constantine delineated these early assemblies using the First Council of Nicaea of 325. By 380, the Nicene version of Christianity became the official Roman state religion by edict from Roman Emperor Theodosius I, ushering what eventually became known as the Roman Catholic Church.

With the Councils of Nicaea came a negotiated interpretation of Jesus and his teachings, initially orchestrated by Constantine and Eusebius. This effort resulted in an assembly of Bishops that defined Jesus and his position with respect to God: Now called The Nicene Creed.

It has been argued by some that the four Gospels were the primary early Gospels describing Jesus' life. These suggest that others, such as the so-called Apocrypha and Gnostic texts, came later and were thus not considered Gospels in the days of the early Church fathers. This claim is based on a supposition that the writings of early Church fathers cited the four Gospels but didn't cite the other Gospels.

Such a hypothesis – that the four Gospels were the only early trusted Gospels – has many weaknesses.

It is untrue that early Church fathers only cited the four Gospels. For example, we find that early Church fathers, including Jerome, Origen Adamantius, Clement of Alexandria, Eusebius, and Epiphanius, cited other lost Gospels that were not included in the Canon. These included the Gospel of Peter, the Gospel of the Ebionites, the Gospel of the Hebrews, the Gospel of Thomas, and the Gospel of the Nazarenes among others.

Secondly, a hypothesis that the four Gospels were either the most accurate or historically trustworthy Gospels is also suspect. An examination of these four reveals significant differences with regard to specific events and the people of those events. Such differences are comparable to those found among the other Gospels.

There is also significant controversy regarding the similarity between Matthew, Mark and Luke. This Synoptic Problem underscores the uncanny similarity of the description of events between these three Gospels. In many cases, the very words are identical, bringing into question their independent authenticity.

There are many theories about this issue. Some historians believe that these may be linked to a single unknown Gospel. Some suggest that Mark was the original and Matthew and Luke were copied from Mark. Others say that a “Source Q” is the primary manuscript.

There is some evidence that the Gospel of Thomas may be at least in part the source document for these three, as it appears to predate those three Gospels, was not included in the Canon, and documents most of the teachings of the three Gospels without much of the narrative. Furthermore, it is interesting that the narrative elements of these three Gospels – which the Gospel of Thomas did not contain – have significant differences.

The Gospel of John is dramatically different from Matthew, Mark and Luke. The events and teachings in John portray significant differences from these three, though there are also some similarities. At the bare minimum, the Gospel of John does check the box of independent authority.

Nonetheless, we find many manuscripts and documents cited elsewhere to be missing. For example, many of the Gospels mentioned above as cited by early Church fathers have become conspicuously lost or remnants were later found remotely buried.

The same goes for some of the writings of the early Church fathers. For example, Origen's vast works – over 6,000 texts – have gone missing. Origen was one of the most respected theologians of his time (2nd-3rd Century) and was considered an early father of Christianity and was a peer of Clement of Alexandria. Origen had thousands of students and wrote profusely. Yet today we find practically none of his writings exist. Where did they go? And where did all the other Gospels mentioned above go?

Over the past century, we have had several major archeological finds – of buried manuscripts and Gospels. These include the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi library. They include dozens of texts that would never have been known to exist if it wasn't for their being buried and hidden away.

Why were these buried and hidden away? Why weren't they preserved as part of the historical record?

Despite their early reference, some have argued that these texts were never to be considered early enough for the Biblical Canon. Yet the Dead Sea Scrolls – and the Qumran community they arose from – were existing as early as 300 BCE.

As for the so-called Gnostic Gospels – the Nag Hammadi library – carbon-dating suggests they were written in the Second or Third Centuries. Further, their Greek-Coptic formatting suggests most of them were copied from earlier Greek manuscripts. This means these writings were first recorded much earlier than the carbon datings of these manuscripts suggest.

Yet some still insist these texts were not written early enough to be considered for the Canon. But we find among these Nag Hammadi documents the Gospel of Thomas and others that were cited by early Church fathers. This is evidence that the Nag Hammadi library does contain early Gospels that were considered as canon by early Church fathers before the Roman state descended upon these early assemblies and their teachers. Why would the rest of the Nag Hammadi library necessarily be different?

To this we add that there were numerous groups and individuals condemned as heretics by the Roman Church. For example, the Essenes and the Gnostics were considered heretics. Indeed, many of the Gospels among the Gnostic library (Nag Hammadi) and the Essene library (Dead Sea Scrolls) were not included in the Canon. They were not included in the Roman-approved Canon. And because the Roman government marshalled a one-institution strategy, this Canon quickly became the official Canon that became the Bible.

It should be understood that the word “Gnostic” is derived from the Greek word “gnosis” – which means “knowledge.” This means that “Gnostic” is describing those who were more interested in gaining “knowledge” – and less interested in political power.

All of this indicates that many of the Gospels circulating in the pre-Canon period were decimated in the coming centuries. Libraries were burnt and those who kept them were burnt at the stake or worse. Any manuscripts not acceptable by the Roman Church were systematically destroyed over the ten centuries.

During the first 1,000 years of Roman dominance over the Church, those who believed any other interpretation or believed that other Gospels existed were imprisoned or burned at the stake. And any texts they held sacred were burned and removed from the record.

Here, for example, is the statement by the Roman Church condemning the works and teachings of some of the earliest Christian fathers:

“If anyone does not anathematize Arius, Eunomius, Macedonius, Apollinaris, Nestorius, Eutyches and Origen, as well as their impious writings, as also all other heretics already condemned and anathematized by the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, and by the aforesaid four Holy Synods and if anyone does not equally anathematize all those who have held and hold or who in their impiety persist in holding to the end the same opinion as those heretics just mentioned: let him be anathema.” (Anathema 553)

Note that anathema means to be banned. It means to be banned as a heretic and dismissed from the Church. A person who was banned as a heretic would also often be whisked to jail or burned at the stake. This includes being caught in possession of a text written by someone who was banned.

Those early texts that in any way contradicted the doctrine of the Roman Church were purposely destroyed. Entire libraries were burnt along with the buildings that held them. Practically every Gospel and every text written by any early theologian, father, or scholar that did not support the doctrine accepted by the Roman Church were purposefully destroyed during the more than 1,000 years of control over the Church by what became the Holy Roman Empire.

The Bible as we know it today has emerged from this period. And those Gospels that were destroyed during this period were left out of the public record and religious discourse of the last 500 years.

Yes, there were hundreds of Gospel manuscripts circulating in the ancient world during the Third Century prior to the First Council of Nicaea.

Then in the early Fourth Century, some of these Gospels were assembled with existing Jewish texts and translated into Latin.

The process was begun by the Roman Emperor Constantine and his hand-picked historian, Eusebius Pamphili.

Once the list of manuscripts was selected – by Eusebius under order from Emperor Constantine – an official collection, now called the Canon, was formed. This official collection of manuscripts became the foundation for the first Latin Bible. Some figure this collection was assembled using parts of the Greek Septuagint along with selected manuscripts regarding Jesus and his early followers.

But it is now thought that both the Sinaiticus (Greek) Bible and the Vaticanus (Latin) Bible – also called Vetus Latina –resulted from the work of Eusebius. The Vaticanus Bible is also considered to be the foundation for the Vulgate, the authorized Bible of the early Roman Church put together by Jerome in 382.

The essential task of Eusebius was to translate those selected Greek and Hebrew texts into Latin for the Vaticanus. Why? Because Latin was the official language of the Roman Empire.

This translation was not performed by Eusebius, though he was proficient in Greek and Latin. The translations were made by professional scribes employed by Constantine and Eusebius.

This Latin version – withheld from public scrutiny for over a thousand years by the Roman government and its proxy Church – formed the foundation for an ongoing misinterpretation and misunderstanding of Jesus' life and Teachings over the next 800 years.

The reasons for this are complex but may be boiled down to two influences. The first influence was the political force of the Roman empire. The Roman empire enforced the rules of engagement of the Roman Church – the sanctioned Christian institution of the Roman Empire. Any other Christian institution was banned by the Romans. And owning any text other than the Vulgate would result in the document being burned and the person being imprisoned, burned at the stake, or hanged.

As the centuries passed, this forced indoctrination of the Roman Empire and its satellites led to a common acceptance of a single interpretation of Jesus’ life and Teachings aforementioned: The Nicene Creed interpretation, from the Council of Nicaea organized by the Roman Emperor Constantine in the early Fourth Century.

Some ten centuries later, when early Biblical translations into English and German and French were consummated, even while those translators were persecuted, these translations still upheld the Nicene interpretation due to a lack of alternative source documents.

Yes, the Nicene Creed was enforced through violence and then institutional mindset over a period of 1,000 years, leaving differing perspectives and uncanonized Gospels lost.

Curiously, the Bible Canon of Eusebius and Constantine included not only the four selected Gospel manuscripts we know today. It also contained the various epistles and letters of Paul.

Paul's inclusion is quite curious, as Paul was not a direct disciple of Jesus like Thomas, John and James. Rather, Paul had been a Roman spy who was persecuting Jesus' followers on behalf of Rome. Then suddenly after Jesus’ departure, Paul claimed to have had a vision of Jesus, though he stated that he only heard Jesus and did not see him.

Within a short time, Paul began preaching his own interpretation of Jesus' life and teachings, despite never having directly studied under Jesus or heard his teachings. Paul was taught a philosophy that significantly departed from the teachings of James and Peter who closely adhered to Jesus' teachings in their sermons.

Paul essentially created his own doctrine (often called the Pauline doctrine) and argued in public against the teachings of James and Peter. Contrasting the years that James, Peter and Jesus' other disciples spent following and studying under Jesus, Paul almost immediately began preaching his doctrine to the masses and collecting followers in the regions around Rome.

Paul's new interpretation of Jesus' life and teachings gained instant appeal among many Romans and Greeks. Paul's teachings did not require the internal work and change of heart and lifestyle that Jesus' teachings had demanded. Paul's teachings were easier to follow, as they were centered around joining the Church and proclaiming that Jesus died for our sins.

While this is not a criticism of Paul, it is curious that the doctrine and interpretation of Jesus' life and teachings the Roman state embraced was largely the Pauline doctrine. The Pauline doctrine was very popular among Romans, and this was clearly embraced by the Council of Nicaea. Paul’s doctrine was also embraced by Eusebius as he included many of Paul's letters in the initial Bible Canon.

The rationale of including so many of Paul's letters yet abandoning many authoritative manuscripts documenting Jesus' teachings is unknown. But it does tell us what the Roman state accomplished with the inclusion of certain manuscripts and the exclusion of others. It tells us that the Roman-state-sponsored religion embraced the Pauline-Niceen interpretation of the life and teachings of Jesus.

Yet the Canon also included selected manuscripts from early Jewish Teachers – namely from the Tanakh, the core of which was the five books of the Torah. What was the purpose of including these?

Again, the rationale is not obvious. We do know that the Romans struggled with how to dominate the Judean region and Judaism. Especially after having been in a 50-year-plus war with the Judean region.

But it is interesting that the connection between the Old Testament and the New Testament influenced by the Pauline-Niceen doctrine is that the purpose of many of the Prophets was to predict Jesus' arrival and subsequent persecution. Is this an interpretative conclusion of a historical one?

This assembly of selected manuscripts into one Canon eventually became known as the Bible – a term derived from the Greek ta biblia, meaning ‘little papyrus books.’

In simple terms, the Bible is not a book or a single manuscript: It is a collection of separately written manuscripts that were compiled, interpreted and translated by agents of the Roman state.

This is dramatically illustrated by order of Emperor Constantine to Eusebius to collect selected manuscripts and translate into Latin. This new Bible – commissioned by Constantine upon the newly bishoped Eusebius – was to be transcribed and translated by scribes hired just following the acceptance of the Nicene Creed at the Council of Nicaea.

This is evidenced by Constantine’s letter to Eusebius. Here is an excerpt:

“I have thought it expedient to instruct your prudence to order fifty copies of the sacred Scriptures, the provision and use of which you know to be most needful for the instruction of the Church, to be written on prepared parchment in a legible manner, and in a convenient, portable form, by professional transcribers thoroughly practiced in their art. The catholicus of the diocese has also received instructions by letter from our Clemency to be careful to furnish all things necessary for the preparation of such copies; and it will be for you to take special care that they be completed with as little delay as possible. You have authority also, in virtue of this letter, to use two of the public carriages for their conveyance, by which arrangement the copies when fairly written will most easily be forwarded for my personal inspection; and one of the deacons of your church may be intrusted with this service, who, on his arrival here, shall experience my liberality.” (NPNF2-01, Eusebius, Church History, Life of Constantine, Orationin Praise of Constantine)

Key elements of this letter include “professional transcribers,” “my personal inspection,” and the orchestration of Constantine’s involvement in the assembly of the Bible. In other words, the texts were assembled by appointed transcribers who were paid for their efforts.

We must point out that such a paid-for endeavor, ordered by a political state emperor, is diametrically opposed to the central tenets of Jesus' teachings. Jesus had asked his disciples to not even bring a purse when they went out to preach.

Also, we find this paid-for Bible was subject to Constantine’s inspection and ultimate approval. We find significant irony in that an emperor known to have persecuted and gruesomely slaughtered many, whole ruled an empire that was directly involved in the persecution of Jesus, was now personally authorizing and approving the first Latin Bible.

We also find evidence that Eusebius sought to promote his own personal interpretations within the texts of the Bible. Eusebius had many distinctive opinions, some of which were part of the mainstream Pauline-Nicene thinking and some of which were not. The 5th-century Christian historian, Socrates Scholasticus, documented that Eusebius’ writings had “rhetorical finish” and were written for the “praises of the Emperor” and not the “accurate statement of facts.”

In other words, the evidence indicates that the assembly, translation and transcription of the first Latin Bible lacked the seriousness of unbiased scholarship expected for such a work. It apparently accompanied significant political strategy and ambition on the part of Eusebius and Constantine.

We can add to this that there were continual wranglings and political intrigue amongst the various bishops that attended the Nicaea Synods, which determined through a political process the Nicene Creed. So again we find the most fundamental interpretion of Jesus and God accepted as fundamental to church institutions was the subject of largely a political process.

The background on this affair is that in 325 CE Constantine appointed hundreds of religious leaders with strong followings throughout the then-Christian world, and organized a committee called the Council of Nicaea. The purpose was to orchestrate a single doctrine to manage the Christian world under the Roman Empire.

Constantine knew that organizing such a diverse group of sects was going to be difficult. In order to do this right, he had to create the appearance of legitimacy. He had to create an organizational structure that would allow the Romans to orchestrate their control over the region.

As a result, the control exerted over the Christian world by the Roman government was by no means accomplished through the Teachings of Jesus as one might imagine. Rather, the Roman state instituted and maintained their authority over the Christian institution by force.

Over the centuries, the Roman church institution came to not only dominate religious thought in Europe and the Middle East: It was able to control decision-making among many governments following the fall of the official Roman Empire and the rise of the Holy Roman Empire.

This was an issue of control and authority. If the Romans were in charge of the only valid religion, they could by virtue of controlling the religious institution, control the people and their governments. It was a brilliant yet manipulative strategy that continued for centuries.

This strategy was neither a new one for an emperor or government nor was it foreign to many of most of those bishops brought together to form the Council of Nicaea. As experienced historically among many feudal regions, rulers often gained power through their alliances with religious teachers – and often incorrectly attributed later as religious leaders themselves.

Contrasting these were Prophets and devoted Teachers who focused not upon political authority, but upon the authority of the Supreme Being. This is why so many devoted teachers have been rejected by the state-sponsored institutions of their times.

After the early Canon manuscripts were selected, translated into Latin and assembled into the Bible, the Roman Empire and its surrogate Church systematically burned and destroyed any library that included books outside of those selected for the Bible or otherwise approved by Church officials. A few were quarantined within the Vatican library in Rome; most others were burnt, never to be found.

The Church also systematically squelched any alternative interpretations of Genesis and the creation, such as those that were taught amongst the Gnostics for centuries. The Gnostics were driven out of existence. Their villages were burnt, their teachers were murdered, and their libraries of manuscripts were destroyed. This activity – of forcibly removing ‘heretics’ for their alternative interpretations of Scripture – continued, as mentioned, for over a thousand years among the Roman Church and its proxies.

Adding to this 'cleansing:' For centuries, the Vulgate was the only Bible allowed to be read, and only the priests and Church officials had access to it. The rest of the people in the regions controlled by the Roman Church and its surrogates did not have access to scripture. They could only hear the Vulgate through the priests, who also controlled its interpretation. This was the status quo for centuries until parts of the Vulgate were (illegally according to the Church) translated into English and other languages.

As a result, the Vulgate Bible and its interpretation came to dominate Christian belief by the force of the Roman government, and eventually became the fundamental doctrine of practically every Christian sect that has sprung up in the centuries since.

This influence also affected the first complete English Bible – translated from the Latin Bible. The Wycliffe Bible came into being during the 14th Century – nearly a thousand years after Jerome's Vulgate.

John Wycliffe, the English Bible’s translator, was immediately declared a heretic by the Roman Church. By the command of the Church and its Pope Martin V, his Biblical translations were ordered to be burnt, and his then-dead body exhumed, burnt, and his ashes thrown into a river.

This ‘scorched earth’ policy of virtually eliminating any and all alternative translations or interpretations of the Scriptures outside of those approved by the Church and Roman Empire also created a single dominant interpretation of the Biblical Scriptures – a de facto indoctrination – throughout the Christian world. This brainwashing of over 14 centuries has not gone away: Rather, it has continued over the centuries as the undercurrent of nearly every Christian sect.

This undercurrent – the remnant of 14 centuries of indoctrination – has been maintained into modern times through institutional peer pressure.

Historical power grabs over religion are not new. Prior to the Roman-state Church’s power grab on Biblical translation and interpretation, we find ecclesiastical Rabbinical transcription, translation, and interpretation of the five books of the Torah driven by an eerily similar pact between governmental and religious institutions. This was directly criticized by Jesus, as evidenced in the Gospels.

Like the Roman state's domination over Christianity, Judean emperors in the centuries leading to Jesus’ birth commandeered the theretofore orally communicated תורה שבכתב (Torah Shebe’al Peh – “Torah that is spoken”), and oversaw its transcription into a written form, to be called Torah Shebichtav תורה שבעל פה (“Torah that is written”).

The Torah – a word meaning “the Teaching” – was originally passed down orally from generation to generation within a lineage of Jewish Teachers that included Abraham, Isaac, Moses, Joshua, Eli, Samuel, David, Solomon, Job, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel and others.

The principle characteristic of this lineage was that each Teacher would pass on the oral Teachings of the Torah to their followers, and those who were empowered ("anointed") passed it on to their followers. This oral tradition also meant that the lessons of the Torah also accompanied the translation and interpretation of the Jewish Priest – who pledged devotion to the Supreme Being.

We can see this tradition clearly as we examine the relationships between Abraham and Melchizedek, Joshua and Moses, Samuel and Eli, and others within the texts of the Bible.

This teaching tradition became subject to territorialism and politics as the Torah was transcribed from Torah Shebe’al Peh to Torah Shebichtav and interpreted over the centuries.

The question then becomes: who organized and oversaw this process of compilation?

The 7th Century BCE appears to be the period many historians believe the Torah began its institutional journey into what is now Judaism. We find that this century was rife with warfare between feuding empires of Rome, Assyria, Judah, Egypt and surrounding regions. Struggles for land and territory were rampant, and the quest to commandeer Scripture was not only a political necessity – it was an issue of survival for any government that wanted to command and control the pre-Christ Judeans.

Many point to the reign of Josiah, the King of Judah between 641 and 609 BCE. Josiah is understood to be born in Jerusalem and thought to be part of the House of David. He was King Amon’s son. Amon’s father, Manasseh is known for turning away from the worship of the Supreme Being and creating a temple of idols.

Josiah was devoted to Yahweh, however. He ordered the Jewish temple of Solomon to be rebuilt using taxes. During the construction, it is said that the builders discovered a buried scroll describing Moses’ “Book of the law,” accepted by most historians to have been put together by Jewish priests intent on centralizing power under King Josiah. Thus, we find a critical piece of early transcriptions having political ambition: Claiming the right of heritage for certain lands to the house of Abraham, Moses, David, and then Josiah.

This provided a necessary foundation for the political backdrop of those times. King Josiah and his successors were gripped with struggles over territory and population by the likes of the Egyptians, Babylonians and the Syrians – ultimately responsible for Josiah’s demise.

In the centuries that followed, these territorial struggles continued, and the formation of the Torah gained additional substance with the writings of Ezra in the Fifth Century BCE. After the rebuilding of Jerusalem under the Persian ruler Artaxerxes, Ezra led a formation of a separated assembly of Israelites committed to following Moses’ law.

The successive assemblies following Ezra took a drastic ecclesiastical turn over the next centuries, as priestly struggles merged with political struggles for territorial rights. And the rule of the assemblies became increasingly political.

The Torah was thus altered over the next five centuries, as the Israelite high priests formed a rigid ecclesiastical order over their assemblies. The rule of law became tantamount and the five books of the Torah were interpreted as a set of laws combined with a genealogy of the Israelite people.

Meanwhile, the commandments of Moses to love God with all our hearts took a back seat to the execution of rigid rituals.

The necessity of a succession of rulers through this period produced political alliances between Jewish priests and the various kings of Judea. This drove the recognition of the Israelite assembly as a separate race of people and allowed the high priests to become ex-facto governors.

This succession of Jewish high priests became increasingly politicized over the centuries, as evidenced by the Teachings of Jesus. Jesus’ Teachings identified the two primary orders among the Jewish temples – the Sadducees and the Pharisees – as focused upon retaining their politically oriented positions of “teachers of the law” rather than the passing of the original Teachings of the Prophets.

In the Gospels we find that Jesus vehemently criticized these two groups as misleading the people and abandoning the original precepts of the Teachings of the Torah – which he emphasized were grounded upon the “first and foremost commandment” to love God.

This Teaching, we find from Biblical texts, had been passed through a teaching lineage that included John the Baptist and Zachariah, John’s Teacher, and traced back through the centuries to Abraham and Melchizedek.

Out of the thousands of scriptural manuscripts passed down for centuries by early Jewish and Christian Teachers, we find only a few politically-selected manuscripts in today's Bible. What happened to the rest? Certainly, there is no opportunity to recover the thousands of ancient manuscripts from the ashes of the fires lit by the Roman-state institutions.

But we do have proof that these manuscripts did exist. These come in the form of finding some of these ancient parchments buried. Hundreds of texts have now been uncovered – including some included in the Canon along with many that were not.

We also find clear evidence that some of the texts that made it into the Latin Bible were manipulated with respect to their translation and inclusion. Yes, inclusion: This means that some text was removed and some text was added.

This is ironic since the last verse of the Book of Revelation warns not to remove or add to the text. The strategic position of the Book of Revelation was smartly arranged as the last book of the Bible though it was not the last manuscript written.

The position of the Book of Revelation gives the reader the impression that nothing can thenceforth be added or taken away from the entire Bible – though the Bible itself was selectively compiled and altered by Eusebius and scribes.

Furthermore, the writer of this last verse – presumably John – could not have been referring to the later-compiled Bible: He was referring solely to that particular manuscript. The manuscript's placement as last in the Bible was a clerical manipulation.

The Roman manipulation of Scripture has been confirmed over the past few centuries as other Scripture texts have surfaced. These include the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Greek Septuagint, the Arabic Peshitta, and the Nag Hammadi manuscripts. One tattered Gospel text – the Gospel of Peter – was found buried with an Egyptian monk and was uncovered in 1887

The Septuagint arose through the translation of the Rabbinical texts originally put together by Origen (who was later rejected as heretical by the Church), but its current form has been altered through the centuries. The Peshitta, which also contained some manuscripts alternative to the Bible, to some degree escaped destruction by the Romans – although it is not clear to what degree or at what stage.

The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi manuscripts were uncovered in the desert within the past century. These texts reveal many Scriptural manuscripts excluded from the Canon by the Romans.

Translation Notes

For the four Gospels, the Biblical text used for the translation of the Gospels was the original Greek texts as correlated with the Codex Sinaiticus – the oldest known Greek Gospel texts. The translation work utilized various lexicons and sources to offer translations that come without political or monetary influences. Rather, the emphasis was upon capturing the literal statements of the Gospel into modern English.

In addition to the four standard Gospels, selected Gospels discovered in recent years have been added to this work. Most of these are from the Nag Hammadi library, discovered in Northern Egypt in 1945. The texts were carbon-dated and found to be from the First through the Second Centuries CE. These texts, written primarily in Greek, Coptic Greek and Hebrew, are thought to be the remaining texts of followers referred to as Gnostics, Essenes, Johannines, Nazarenes and/or Ebionites.

Such an interpretation of these ancient texts is unfortunate. For we find upon close inspection of the manuscripts, that these texts provide clarity of some of the Teachings of Jesus. We thus find in these texts – amongst Teachings that mirror those in the four Gospels – new Teachings that later institutions attempted to erase from the historical record.

We also find clarity among these buried Gospels about Jesus’ Teachings regarding resurrection, the soul or spirit versus the physical body, the spiritual realm and the citizens of the spiritual realm. Indeed, we find Jesus gave significantly more information about his teachings.

For ease of understanding and consistency, key phrases and terms used in these texts are matched to the key phrases and terms of the Canon Gospels–as referenced with footnotes and Endnotes throughout the Canon Gospels.

Indeed, as also referenced throughout, the earliest manuscripts of the four Canon Gospels reveal many verses and sections that later transcribers and translators added to the earlier versions of these Scriptures. We find numerous instances where words supposedly stated by Jesus were added, while other statements were manipulated or deleted. In some instances, these additions came in the form of an entire verse – often incorrectly attributed to Jesus as quotes.

To the degree possible, most of these additions or manipulations have been removed from this translation work. Most are marked with footnotes. In some cases, the added portions are quoted in the footnotes, while in others they are not.

It should be noted that verse numbers were added to the Gospels much later. They were not part of the original manuscripts. This would logically mean that the added verses came during or after the initial verse numbering – since the additions are sometimes entire verses.

It should also be noted that this translation often departs from the common institutional paraphrasing utilized by translations by organized sectarian institutions described in the Introduction. This was not intentional. Rather, the intention is to offer the clearest and truest English language within the context and the situation prevailing at the time when Jesus walked the earth.

Examples of this include out-of-context translations of the Greek words υἱός (huios) and πατήρ (patēr). Among sectarian versions we find these translated literally without a valid context to “son” and “father” despite in some verses, to “subject” or “people” or “master” – but only when “son” or “father” could not possibly fit. The unfettered insistence upon "son" and "father" has created serious misunderstandings regarding Jesus' teachings about the Supreme Being.

Certainly, a literal translation is appropriate when these two words discuss the case of a physical son and father: A male physical body born from the semen of a male physical body, respectively.

Yet outside of this restricted sense, we find that the Greek and Hebrew languages – as does English and many other languages – refer to other, more sublime relationships with these very same words. For example, we find that the ancient Greek language utilized these words considerably within a learning context, describing nonfamilial relationships between a teacher (πατήρ (patēr)) and a student or dedicated follower (υἱός (huios)).

Indeed, as discussed in the End Notes (linked text for the web), this latter word has also been utilized with respect to someone who is not only a dedicated follower, but a representative of whom is being followed.

With regard to ‘Father,” we also find that as the original words spoken by Jesus and those around him – utilizing a combination of Aramaic and Hebrew – were transliterated into Greek conceptualism.

When the word πατήρ (patēr) is traced back to the certain roots of Jesus within the Teachings of the Prophets, we find the Hebrew word, יְהֹוָה (Yĕhovah) – referring to our Creator and LORD, the Supreme Being.

To propose through translation that Jesus spoke of a different Creator – with a new name, “Father” – is short-sighted. As we see clear evidence by Jesus’ many quotes of the Prophets such as Moses, David, Isaiah and others, we can conclude that Jesus was not introducing a new God or a new Name of God: He was carrying on the Teachings of those Prophets who taught before him, and describing the Supreme Being who was also worshiped by those Prophets.

This is evidenced by the fact that Jesus often taught within the synagogue or on temple grounds – and many of his Teachings quoted these Prophets. In addition, we find Jesus was often called “rabbi” or “rabboni” – both titles being given to a teacher that professed the Teachings of the Prophets.

These points confirm that Jesus also utilized the same references for the Supreme Being – those of Yahweh – Creator – LORD – God. (See Endnotes for more specifics.)

To conclude that Jesus departed from the terminology utilized by the Prophets before him is to attempt to separate the Teachings of Jesus from the Teachings of the Prophets. This is despite the many quotes of the Prophets that Jesus included in his Teachings.

Instead, we find the Roman Latin versions of the Bible appear to weaken Jesus’ roots in the Teachings of the Prophets, with dialogue that makes it appear as though the Teachings of the Prophets were simply intended to predict Jesus’ arrival and persecution.

This translation work seeks to offer a more clear and pure translation of Jesus’ Teachings to his followers. This translation is derived from original texts as possible, within the true historical and religious context of the times, in an attempt to portray an accurate record of Jesus’ Teachings as narrated by his early followers.

It should be added that no political leaning towards any sectarian thesis was utilized or attempted in this translation. The author has no allegiances to any sectarian institution or political organization.

This text contains numbered footnotes and linked endnotes throughout to offer explanations for some of the key translations of critical words and phrases. These are typically linked in the first instance in each chapter. Beyond the first usage, it is assumed the reader can refer back to its earlier use. Usages noted in the earlier parts of the text are assumed without noting later in the text.

This text contains numbered footnotes and linked endnotes throughout to offer explanations for some of the key translations of critical words and phrases. These are typically linked in the first instance in each chapter. Beyond the first usage, it is assumed the reader can refer back to an earlier use. Usages noted in the initial Canon texts are assumed in later texts without noting.

The serious reader should find a rather surprising awakening to the Teachings of Jesus. The translation reveals refreshingly practical yet sublime wisdom spoken by Jesus to his students. One that can reach the depths of the heart.

This publication may be updated from time to time when grammatical or translation errors are found. Error notification is always welcome.

Thank you for taking the time to study these Scriptures.

Continue to the Gospel of Matthew