Opening Another Ten from Thomas

This post, as with the posts for September 2019 TEN MORE FROM THOMAS, and October 2019 Hosting a Further Ten from Thomas  is a follow-up to the post for January 2019 How Will Death Taste? which was originally intended as a stand-alone piece based on selected sayings from the Gospel of Jesus according to Thomas. The following  are the next ten from the remaindered sayings. The introduction to be found in the January post also applies here (as does the conclusion).

               Saying 34

Jesus said, “If someone who’s blind leads someone else who’s blind, both of them fall into a pit.”

I have had three experiences that have led me to suspect (from the prominent egotism, hypersexuality and occupational accustomising revealed) that we only appear to be inhabiting the same proximate place as our neighbours. It’s likely that in our separate minds we are not.

It can be proven with pain-diverting products applied to the base of the spine, or Chilli pepper in the mouth, that the burning sensation of fire is pre-programmed into all of us. It’s what our mind tells our body that we are feeling when our nerves, neutral in themselves, are sensing fire or have been confused into that. Other neural responses work the same way. What the senses describe to us was already waiting to be triggered inside of us and is held in common. It’s a matrix. Likewise psychology has identified sequences that can be read into a life to the extent that predictions then may be made and yet we are all unique at base.

The apparent common ground of language is due to words having a looser practical definition than in the dictionary. Actually, the same word will conjure up differing memory fragments at stages of our individual lives. Such old scenarios are cut as they arise so as to collude with ongoing verbal communization. Recognition of a friend’s face in a crowd, or in a portrait, is calculated along lines at relative distances and angles. The five senses are edited internally to make a real-time informative simulation for the head pilot of our individual vessel or craft to take action. From us existing in a logical age, we assume falsely that we hold the identical view of the world in our head to the one that everyone else does. In many ways it may seem the same but it is never identical.

Most school teachers employ a methodology unaware that it doesn’t help every child in the class, confusing some who already have figured it out another way. How can we then lead another unique individual without the possibility of misdirecting them, however low the odds? On going inward, with God’s blessing freely given, people will learn very well how to make their own way through, I feel.

My experience of ‘1984’ (being that year and the years either side) was not at all religious yet led to an incidental correspondence with part of the KNOWING that I find in Jesus – although never His facility at execution – and if I, a sometime wracked man of so many awful errors, could get to there then for sure every empathic person in this world has been there or will get there sooner or later. Is now the best time to get started? Always, yes, but go with your intuitings and insights. Maybe my writings can help you, I intend them to do so if only heuristically in the event that your journey differs from mine. In truth, I know only my own self and my own path, now on a decline yet readying to incline once again, God willing. I never delve into my spiritual insights to engineer any personal advantage over others, by the way. That would not fit with me.

‘… let them alone, guides they are – blind of blind; and if blind may guide blind, both into a ditch shall fall.’  Matthew 15:14

This verse reminds me of an Edwardian children’s game I shall call The Drunken Farmer, which climaxes with: “Clip, clop, clip, clop, down into a ditch”. The horse can see but it is blinkered, so inclined to be obedient, but its rider is blind drunk.

I recall, also, the slightly dismissive phrase, suitable to a blind vs. unseeing contest, “same difference”.

My Enlightenment very gradually faded after the abjured acquisition of power had dropped away from me, starting my long return to a more ‘normal’ condition – back to the world of pain! I could no longer bear any work of fiction, excepting some humour, which I loved as much or more than before, and I absolutely avoided the word ‘just’ as it had now a darker duality meaning to me. For many years I could not bring myself to compose even factual essays. But I never forgot what I had come to KNOW, in fact I cannot forget. I practice God-dependence every day (never asking anyone for money nor, say, paid work, neither claiming pension rights, but waiting on God entirely) and this trust never fails me, thank you dearest God. Now I’m in a condition of trying to return to blissful innocence even as an aging man.

(Effortless yet not easy! Age in itself means very little. I do not claim to be mature in all respects but I feel that Emotional intelligence and Spiritual intelligence are by far the most important signs of maturity. Im trying daily to improve, to get back to where I was in 1984, but I fail some days.)

               Saying 35

Jesus said, “No one can break into the house of the strong and take it by force without tying the hands of the strong. Then they can loot the house.”

Which is to say don’t be overwhelmed by negative attacks, prevent transgressions without initiating them. Prevention includes registering ‘red flags’ as they occur.

Today’s housebreakers are weaponed-up with the tools of their loathsome trade and known to desecrate homes as if breaking in with intent to do vile damage. Low in the hierarchy of crime they will even break into properties neighbouring their own making them too mindless for any professional gang. Burglars who pre-plan attacks on the premises of organizations are a more slippery kettle of fish.

Long before those social manipulators up there on a par with the infamous Tavistock Institute had set out to engineer societies into depravities and self-damage – such as obsession with body imaging including specific psyche-sensitive parts of the body – I came to a then poor part of South East Asia and noticed two surprising things. Although nobody was even approaching obesity the few men with stomach pouches were quite admired by women as it was a show of material success in a deprived world. Conversely, quite old men who were poor peasant farmers still had the bodies of young athletes including prominent six-packs – earned from a hard life with no hope of retirement – and it was strong men (and hard-hitting women) such as these that a thief in agrarian surroundings needed to overcome.

People are encroachers. Psychotherapists will urge you to create barriers, personal borders, between you and the outside world or strengthen the ones you have as most will encroach a little upon someone they’re not sure about. If they are stopped they will cease. If not they will encroach a little more and a little more until they are stopped. They are testing that invisible circle we put around ourselves to find out where the perimeter is. Once satisfied they will desist.

Others, though, do not understand ‘personal barriers’ – their own or yours – and are very dangerous to stay around having manufactured a benign or attractive air of normality in order to deceive us.

Is that what Jesus is warning us about? He speaks of forced entry and maybe He means only that, although I wonder why as God will protect you and I if only we can live outside of lies. (In Truth God is Reality and cannot enter non-existence or reach inside a lie.)

How about those who have little or no recognition of personal boundaries? These people are said to have personality disorders. Yet no therapist has treated, for instance, a nurturing Narcissist or a sincere Psychopath, or even a sorry Sadist, because these people never want any ‘help’. Just the opposite. They want to stay as they are because it pleasures them (the reason many criminals have no enduring will to change) and especially because it gives them enormous advantages over well-balanced, honest people. In fact, they climb to the top of every ladder by their ability to lie and cheat convincingly, deceiving their superiors as much as their ‘narc’s harem’ into giving them ill-gained rewards and false recognition.

They have closed the door to their heart and created a delusional bubble inside of which they are the god of their world, the faultless one, no matter what evil they do. Evil? Ask their victims or any who has upset their sense of power and control. To get to this condition they have done away with their true selves and become smilingly selfish and successfully self-entitled seducers, sucking up manipulated emotions. They will prey upon the weaknesses of family, workplace, groups, political structures, rivalrous teams, twisting everyone to their advantage and eliminating any goodness except when that suits their ends. Great pretenders all, they are deeply envious of gifted ‘normals’ because they have no warmth of feeling, no good qualities inside them to feel socially proud about. All is invention. By manifest deceptions, the ‘gas-lighting’ of you plus the ‘triangulation’ of your by now ex-friends, they will surely rule your world. They will hurt you unnecessarily. They are not fully human, if at all. Man-up, we say, and reinforce the barricades! Don’t let them tie you up in knots! Keep them out!

               Saying 36

Jesus said, “Don’t be anxious from morning to evening or from evening to morning about what you’ll wear.”

Joanna Holden, an English clairvoyant, was made famous by master millionaire Jim Slater, a member of Mayfair’s swish Clermont Club. Asked by my impressed business boss, I arranged sittings with her. I thought I had dressed well that day. She told me to always dress up because when I did I looked impressive but when I dressed down, well, not. I later received a strong prediction that at a good and important meeting, changing my life for the better, there would be something inadequate about my clothing. What to wear? Why worry? Win-win!

Jesus does not intend this kind of superficiality as He is set against any worldly success and that is clear from all recorded sayings by Him which is why Christianity went down so well with serfs and slaves and prisoners who were ill-clothed and futureless. By glorious contrast, most modern congregations would be mortified by any Christian professional who did not dress ‘smart casual’ at the very least, if not in a silky suit replete with one of those worldly-achiever lapel badges. Or highly adorned, like royalty.

The sequential Saying 37 –  which I discuss on my page – How Will Death Taste? – may bear a deliberate link by His phrase “throw your clothes on the ground and stomp on them”.  (“Now! Who’s going to lead the congregation today?”)

               Saying 38

Jesus said, “Often you’ve wanted to hear this message that I’m telling you, and you don’t have anyone else from whom to hear it. There will be days when you’ll look for me, but you won’t be able to find me.”

Is this a key to understanding Saying 24 and Saying 59 in the post Hosting a Further Ten from Thomas ?

Here is confirmation of His irreplaceability and a prompt to them that in His present form He will not always be available to them.

Well, claiming scarcity is the favourite scam of market traders and diamond dealers alike and yet the Truth is ever available to us once we seek it out. (It has been observed that speaking truth is a form of courage, yet with little effort, whereas lies spring from cowardice and require more labour to sustain.)

Perhaps He prized the relationships He had built with individuals in the group, this being an ease-maker to the accepting and understanding of His profundities, yet took odd days away from them in order to break any co-dependence they might have developed from His continued presence?

A very fine Son of Man indeed, a hero I say.

               Saying 40

Jesus said, “A grapevine has been planted outside of the Father. Since it’s malnourished, it’ll be pulled up by its root and destroyed.”

Being in the right place at the right time depends on righteousness (both right-hearted and right-headed) or on the world’s indulgences and whims. Take your pick. While events in our earthbound lives usually appear to be from a good or else a bad source, what appears to be good fortune may in the end lead to destruction – your seed may become a thriving plantation yet if it leads you to sink in deep slurry it may have been better for you that it had never been sown at all – and what seems like bad luck can turn out to be strengthening and a great help to you on your further journeyings. At first, then, how will we be able to tell? Give your intuition preference over your logic having dismissed any envy fear ego-pandering anger or greed, the negative emotions.

A world vision that incidentally does some fellow a bit of good is probably how some religions got going in the first place – after picking up the spiritual sweepings left behind by one greater. The grapevine analogy fits well to deceptive religions (those growing massive property portfolios) and outlying cults (bigger on fanaticism than they look) that come to an eventual end because, no matter how grand or good or influential they had seemed, God was not in their groundwork. But don’t worry, He’s to be found elsewhere in absolutely everything that is not an illusion.

               Saying 41

Jesus said, “Whoever has something in hand will be given more, but whoever doesn’t have anything will lose even what little they do have.”

What is this predicated on?

Do we come into this world empty-handed or with something of our own? Where did that something come from? Can we subsequently lose that? Are we too vulnerable as children, accepting anything that all those great big grown-ups around us demand is real? What if they were collectively misled over what they now teach to us? Should we reject the sausage-machine aspect of education and refuse to be re-formed? (Some do and are punished harder for that than for anything else, marked for life so to speak.) Or should we build up our individuality into the major enterprise it was meant to be?

Is Life like a supermarket where we can take whatever we want, consuming as we go, but shan’t exit without paying for it, i.e. will we be spiritually enhanced or diminished at the time of dying?

               Saying 43

His disciples said to him, “Who are you to say these things to us?”

“You don’t realize who I am from what I say to you, but you’ve become like those Judeans who either love the tree but hate its fruit, or love the fruit but hate the tree.”

Why did Jesus use the term “those Judeans”?

We may understand that the Jews, on returning from exile, were divided between devotion to the old Torah and to the new Talmud. The disciple-apostles, however, were mostly from the returned Benjamites, a minority group who generally sat well with the Jews despite being historically aligned with the Hebrew-speaking Samaritans (who disputed fiercely with the Galilean-Judeans despite sharing some family names like Levi and Cohen.)

To me Jesus seems cautious to claim divinity which might, I suppose, turn as many ordinary folk against Him as for Him at this point in His remarkable mission to humanity. Nevertheless, those nearest to Him should have realized or suspected it. It seems to be true that we do not see what we did not expect to see.

Trees and fruit crop up a lot in the sayings of Jesus, carrying different weight in different sayings. I guess that this pivotal phrase may have rung bells with a few of His listeners. Certainly the beauty of a fruit tree is a separate matter from the qualities of its fruit. (In South Vietnam the appearance of a green orange gives an inverted clue as to its desirable eating qualities, the uglier the better.)

Contradistinctly, Jesus in Matthew 12:33, and elsewhere, considers that good trees need to have good fruit in a direct correlation,

`Either make the tree good, and its fruit good, or make the tree bad, and its fruit bad, for from the fruit is the tree known. 

We all get what He means even though the horticultural details are absent, perhaps skilfully so as His real target is not trees but spiritual identity and separation.

Another way to view this is that it was the Jews who asked the question originally, not his disciples, and Thomas is toying with us, constructively:

Having right now read John 8:25 – 59, the gravity of a hardly-noticeable creeping separation from Source is weighing heavily upon me. There is nothing literal in that text to suggest this and yet I picked up on it, quite emotionally. Is this the realization that overtook Jesus?

Matthew 27:46 ‘and about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a great voice, saying, `Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ that is, `My God, my God, why didst Thou forsake me?’ 

Or do I worry for worry’s sake? Since 1984 I have never needed to worry about anything, really, but I once made the mistake of wanting to worry a little, it’s only human, and then worrisome problems regularly came up to me and stared me hard in the face, almost immediately retreating again.

John 25 They said, therefore, to him, `Thou – who art thou?’ and Jesus said to them, `Even what I did speak of to you at the beginning; 

Here is either a possible source of the antagonistic start to Thomas’s Saying 43 or else the Johannine echoing of it.
I shall continue this segment a little inappropriately by digging further into the words of Jesus in John: please bear with me,

26 … He who sent me is true, and I – what things I heard from Him*** – these I say to the world.’ 

I am not given to belief in something without the experiencing of it. I call that myth. Having had no auditory spiritual experience I find it hard to accept literally those who say they speak with God or hear His voice speaking to them. The human languages seem to me to be too vague and imprecise, necessarily approximative and ever assumptive in use, to link into a dwarfing accuracy such as His. As I recall there may be better ways to think and communicate than with words.

However, several authors in the OT quote God speaking to them in the first person, the Hebrew word ‘echad’ suggesting the singular (yet not necessarily so).

Isaiah 48:16 Come ye near unto me, hear this, Not from the beginning in secret spake I, From the time of its being, there [be] I, And now the Lord Jehovah hath sent me, and His Spirit. 17 Thus said Jehovah, thy redeemer, The Holy One of Israel, ‘I [be] Jehovah thy God …’

There appear to have been three biblical divinities with two of them reported as speaking to Isaiah in these successive verses. (A holy trinity? Surely Jehovah as God could only be the ‘One’ from out of all three if that represents the superior number of the universe and all others are then parts or divisions of it? We are all One.)

28 Jesus, therefore, said to them, `When ye may lift up the Son of Man*** *then ye will know that I am [he]; and of myself I do nothing, but according as my Father did teach me, these things I speak; 

Jesus could be echoing the old bible story of Moses lifting a snake up high or He could be foreseeing, perhaps unheedingly, His own coming crucifixion. At least the equal of Dagon and obviously greater than Nostradamus, He seems capable of seeing both ways at once into history.

33 They answered him, `Seed of Abraham we are; and to no one have we been servants at any time***; how dost thou say – Ye shall become free?’ 

How easily the political mind argues against the facts. More than once Israel had been a client state and how to get out of their servitude to Rome was a major Judean preoccupation of that day. Also the Israelites drafted into Babylon as non-citizens were treated customarily as servers. In prosperous places like Jerusalem families might take-in visiting relatives from the poorest areas, sleeping them on the floor and paying them a little for servant work plus shared food so that they may save-up money to take home. This level of exchange still happens today in much of the developing world and is welcomed.

34 Jesus answered them, `Verily, verily, I say to you – Every one who is committing sin *** is a servant of the sin, 

I dislike the ritualized objectification of the word sin. It is not a banner or a prop to be waved warningly in the air. It means the condition of spiritual-cum-worldly erroneousness within or without fallacious intent. I suppose Jesus to have been saying that, truly, anyone who is addicted to anything is enslaved by it.

44 `Ye are of a father – the devil, and the desires of your father ye will to do; he was a man-slayer from the beginning, and in the truth he hath not stood***, because there is no truth in him; when one may speak the falsehood, of his own he speaketh, because he is a liar

To stand (in the truth) is a descriptive use of the verb that Jesus employs elsewhere in Thomas to mean, I think, to have reached Enlightenment (which includes a compulsive sense of obligation towards universal truth-telling, the inability to voice a shameless lie).

– also his father.***

The devil’s lying father, who’s he? No, it must be this confusing convoluted construction – I think? (Scholars report that the oldest copy found of the Gospel of John – known as the Theological or notably the Spiritual Gospel – had 450 mostly minor changes made upon it.)

48 The Jews, therefore, answered and said to him, `Do we not say well, that thou art a Samaritan***, and hast a demon?’ 

In contrast to the yards of Judean family tree that have appeared in other gospels, the Jews here say that Jesus seems to them to be a misguided Samaritan, one of the Hebrew-speaking tribe (descended from the Israelites) that they did not get along with back then and who have now virtually vanished from the face of the Earth (as already have their supposed line, the Benjamins).

56 Abraham, your father, was glad that he might see my day; and he saw, and did rejoice.’

57 The Jews, therefore, said unto him, `Thou art not yet fifty years old***, and Abraham hast thou seen?’ 

What final age Jesus achieved we can only guess. My estimate is around 36. These Jews see Him as ten years older than that, perhaps more like our photos developed from the Turin Shroud albeit in unabashed high health (as all the Enlightened are  – being connected to the Whole is accompanied by high good health and a separate route from aggressors).

59 they took up, therefore, stones that they may cast at him, but Jesus hid*** himself, and went forth out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

Another reference to Jesus becoming hidden, including from the company of His disciples. (see Sayings 24 and 59 in the post Hosting a Further Ten from Thomas )

Most things are the result of their history. Many self-supposed or family inheritance Christians will still feel more comfortable to be told what is in the bible than to read it for themselves. Pre-Nicene writings like the Gospel of Thomas are free from that (and disallowed as ‘scripture’ to this day) as they never were read out-loud by priests who explained Latinized interdictions to their compelled yet uncomprehending congregations, forbidden by law from holding a bible. After the early days of Jesus Worship in Jerusalem, texts such as the gnostical gospels and Thomas were not accepted by such connected Christians as editor-compiler Ireneaus, Dignitaire religieux de Lyon, and so not fretted over later by the Roman Church’s control freaks, thanks God.

               Saying 44

Jesus said, “Whoever blasphemes the Father will be forgiven, and whoever blasphemes the Son will be forgiven, but whoever blasphemes the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, neither on earth nor in heaven.”

There are legal systems today that have fixed in stone, as it were, their definition of blasphemy as a crime. It’s more difficult to gainsay exactly what Jesus meant by this curious word. Usually it is pretty impossible to commit blasphemy at a criminal level without full intent – other than explosive oath-making perhaps – but blasphemy against the Holy Spirit could be through ignorance of what the words mean. (Holy Spirit and blasphemy – in a mixed context – may be open to various interpretations.) Of course church leaders once defined it as consistently going against the words of the gospel. But whose gospel? Early Jesus Worshippers in separate underground groups employed about a dozen, each gospel held up as the most important to that particular congregation. And Jesus did not compose any gospel save that we choose to include this one compiled by Thomas as being His. (Jesus could read some scripture, it seems, but could He write? Were you taught that He argued with religious instructors when He was still very young and that this proves that He was academic? He only needed to know God’s Truth to run rings around their communal delusions and group hysterias.)

The first epistle of Clement, sent from the Church Of God Rome to the Church of God Corinth, states in line 42:1 that

“The Apostles received for us the gospel from our Lord Jesus Christ; our Lord Jesus Christ received it from God.”

It also addresses the other C of G as if it were itself a sacred entity,

“your venerable and famous name, worthy to be loved of all men, is greatly blasphemed.”

The Holy Spirit in the bible is a kind of ghost, nebulous and avoiding collision with or entrapment by objects, weightless and timeless even limitless. As such it can have no platform. So it’s not an unremembered tract nor any kind of book, film, video cassette, disc or program-based media that may be researched for information. As for “taking its name in vain” it doesn’t have a name, it has a mystical descriptive reference. In fact, nothing outside of human interference answers to any sort of name at all.

When Jesus personally forgave people their sin (originally an archery term meaning to miss the mark) He was accused by Pharisees of having transgressed a religious and moral law as He had put Himself in the place rightfully belonging to God, a capital offence.

In this Saying He reassures His followers that God won’t mind so much about a technical transgression or some hot-headed or daft act of disrespect and neither will He. (Oh, there He goes again you Pharisees!) I feel sure that God and Jesus are totally above that kind of thing, the over-harsh protecting of proper nouns, so why should they, or we, be bothered by it?

Yet why is it that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is unforgiven, “neither on earth nor in heaven”. This is heavy. So far it is not clear to me what lies behind this ordinance. It reminds me of political correctness or wartime blackout regulations, a strict and retaliatory code to bring about and maintain total cover.

Should a comparison be made with the decree uttered in Matthew 5: 20-22?

‘For I say to you, that if your righteousness may not abound above that of the scribes and Pharisees, ye may not enter to the reign of the heavens. 

`Ye heard that it was said to the ancients: Thou shalt not kill, and whoever may kill shall be in danger of the judgment; 

but I – I say to you, that every one who is angry at his brother without cause, shall be in danger of the judgment, and whoever may say to his brother, Empty fellow! shall be in danger of the sanhedrim, and whoever may say, Rebel! shall be in danger of the gehenna of the fire. 

Entering the “reign of the heavens” is not a matter of belonging to the right club. A high standard obtains here, even new agency, as such great importance is being attached by Jesus to attitudinal words uttered to our “brother”. (Through maddening jealousy? Cain and Abel?) The Youngs Literal Translation for raca is ‘Empty fellow!’ which is perhaps under-blown. Other translators of the bible have simply thrown up their hands and left this word in the original and unexplained. ‘Fool’ would be roughly the right level of insult, it seems to me. Yes, we are all equally foolish compared to God and so make ourselves equally contemptible by accusing others of our own great fault.

Is the Holy Spirit the higher ingredient in being human that sets us apart? Our human-hood? Is taking that spirit out of confliction with monkey-like behaviours (extending to group murder and baby-snatching according to anthropoid expert Jane Goodall) the best way to expand our spiritual nature while to diminish or disrespect our holy spirit is a wrong-headed way that will vantage the ape inside instead?

Why do we hold up on diminishing this inner chimp? Well, maybe that scamp in us likes monkeying around. A lot. Yet it is blocked from realizing spiritual bliss. Our holy spirit within is definitely not. (See also Saying 47)

               Saying 45

Jesus said, “Grapes aren’t harvested from thorns, nor are figs gathered from thistles, because they don’t produce fruit. [A person who’s good] brings good things out of their treasure, and a person who’s [evil] brings evil things out of their evil treasure. They say evil things because their heart is full of evil.”

Handsome is as handsome does, as my mother used to say. (Victorian-Edwardian, I was born late in her life.)

Because she was bright she matriculated early and at age 11 was sent away to work at ‘the great house’ for half-crown a week. She broke a bauble in her first week of drudgery and from thereon worked as a slave until some peremptory figure got repaid. What an unhappy, lost, little girl. There are millions of stories like this, and much much much worse, past and present.

Why do some empathize with sweet inexperience while others remain heartless and cruel, insistant upon instilling worldly nous into children?

(This record or saying, apparently as heard first-hand from Jesus, speaks of an ‘evil heart’. I understand the poetic implications of that concept but in my experience the evil ones have blocked and blackened the door to the heart, the portal of God, and left it to wither away.)  

               Saying 47

Jesus said, “It’s not possible for anyone to mount two horses or stretch two bows, and it’s not possible for a servant to follow two leaders, because they’ll respect one and despise the other.

Jesus knows about mortal combat and hunting game, including on horseback. Was He a carpenter with the Roman army in His gap years? He also knows about human loyalty. Yet in military-style organizations rather than obliging loyalty to two masters those serving would be ordered to show a reflex loyalty to a word or symbol, a single entity representing all their superiors and what head stands above even them. (Another meaning of Saying 44?)

“No one drinks old wine and immediately wants to drink new wine. And new wine isn’t put in old wineskins, because they’d burst. Nor is old wine put in new wineskins, because it’d spoil.

Jesus also knows about drinking and storing wine. I once went to a tribal wedding in hill country where water was stood about in large earthenware vessels. A happy man walked round dropping gauze bags of herbal leaves and whatever into each of the containers. We then crouched around using rubber tubes to suck out the contents. I’d have sworn I was drinking strong red wine (and surrounded all the while by increasingly genial drunkenness).

“A new patch of cloth isn’t sewn onto an old coat, because it’d tear apart.”

Jesus grew up in surroundings where running repairs of clothing were the norm and this comment is spot on. It’s because the area around the patch is now weaker than the sewn part and so will rip given time.

My childhood home in Westminster was as modest as most. I was obliged to attend St. Stephen’s-with-St John’s Church on the same patch as my school and not far from Parliament Square and regal Westminster Abbey. I did not know it but this church, a short walk from the Archbishop’s office, was a stopping place for future bishops. George Reindorp was incumbent. He sought me out for the choir. I listened to him many times both at church and at school – especially an illustrated tale of progress he had contrived by attaching successive pieces of realistic armour to a Pilgrim Knight – but what I remember most was his telling me that the New Testament was senior over the Old Testament.

It was not a patch on the Old Testament: it replaced the Old Testament: it was the New Testament.

Whether or not he continued saying this when he was made the Bishop of Guildford I do not know. Perhaps being young I misunderstood him although I don’t think so and it all makes perfect accounting sense too – old religion, old set of books, new religion, new set …

NigelRaymondOfford (C) November 2019

~ by nigelraymondofford on November 18, 2019.

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