Misstranslating the Gospels


It is widely accepted that Jesus was born in a stable - but the Gospels do not say that. In fact, there is no 'stable' mentioned in any authorised Gospel. The Nativity is not mentioned at all in Mark or John, and Matthew makes it quite plain that Jesus was born in a house.

So where did the 'stable' idea come from? It came from a misinterpretation of the Gospel of Luke, which relates that Jesus was 'laid in a manger' - and a manger was nothing more than an animal feeding-box. In practice, it was perfectly common for mangers to be used as emergency cradles and they were often brought indoors for that very purpose. Why, then, has it been presumed that this particular manger was in a stable? Because the English translations of Luke tell us that there was 'no room in the inn'. But the old manuscript of Luke did not say that. In fact, there were no inns in the region.

The original Greek text of Luke does not relate that there was 'no room in the inn'. By the best translation it actually states that there was 'no place in the room' (that is: 'no topos in the kataluma'). As previously mentioned, Matthew states that Jesus was born in a house and, when correctly translated, Luke reveals that Jesus was laid in a manger (a feeding-box) because there was no cradle provided in the room.

To facilitate the best possible trust in the Gospels, we must go back to the original Greek manuscripts with their often used Hebrew and Aramaic words and phrases. In this respect, we discover that a good deal of relevant content has been misrepresented, misunderstood, mistranslated, or simply just lost in the telling. Sometimes this has happened because original words have no direct counterpart in other languages.

Christians are taught that Jesus' father Joseph was a carpenter, as explained in the English-language Gospels. But it did not say that in the original Gospels. By the best translation, it actually said that Joseph was a "master craftsman" (rendered in Greek as 'ho tekton' from the Semitic term 'naggar'). The word 'carpenter' was simply a translator's concept of a craftsman - but the text actually denoted that Joseph was a masterly, learned and scholarly man.

Another example is the concept of the Virgin Birth. English-language Gospels tell us that Jesus' mother Mary was a 'virgin'. It was the same in an early Latin text which referred to her as being a 'virgo', meaning nothing more than a young woman. To have meant the same thing as virgin does today, the Latin would have been 'virgo intacta' - that is to say, a young woman intact. Looking back beyond the Latin to the older documents, we discover that the word translated to 'virgo' (a young woman) was the Semitic word 'almah' which meant the very same - a young woman. It had no sexual connotation whatever. Had Mary actually been physically virgo intacta, the Semitic word used would have been 'bethulah', not 'almah'.

Apart from such anomalies, the canonical Gospels suffer from numerous purposeful amendments. In about AD 195, Bishop Clement of Alexandria made the first known amendment to the Gospel texts. He deleted a substantial section from the Gospel of Mark and justified his action in a letter, stating: "For even if they should say something true, one who loves the truth should not agree with them - for not all true things are to be said to all men".

Even at that stage, there was already a discrepancy between what the Gospel writers had written and what the early bishops wanted to teach! But what exactly was in this removed section of Mark? It was the item which dealt with the raising of Lazarus - in the course of which the account made it perfectly clear that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were man and wife.

Many scholars have suggested that the wedding at Cana was the marriage of Jesus and Mary Magdalene - but this was not the wedding ceremony as such, being simply the pre-marital betrothal feast. The marriage is defined by the quite separate anointings of Jesus by Mary at Bethany. Chronologically, these anointings (as given in the Gospels) were two-and-a-half years apart.

Readers of the 1st century would have been fully conversant with the two-part ritual of the sacred marriage of a dynastic heir. Jesus, as we know, was a Messiah, which means quite simply an Anointed One. In fact, all anointed senior priests and Davidic kings were Messiahs; Jesus was not unique in this regard. Although not an ordained priest, he gained his right to Messiah status by way of descent from King David and the kingly line, but he did not achieve that status until he was ritually anointed by Mary Magdalene in her capacity as a bridal high priestess.

In the Old Testament's Song of Solomon we learn of the bridal anointing of the king. It is detailed that the oil used in Judah was the fragrant ointment of spikenard (an expensive root oil from the Himalayas), and it is explained that this ritual was performed while the kingly husband sat at the table. In the New Testament, the anointing of Jesus by Mary Magdalene was indeed performed while he sat at the table, and specifically with the bridal ointment of spikenard. Afterwards, Mary wiped Jesus' feet with her hair and, on the first occasion of the two-part ceremony, she wept. All of these things signify the marital anointing of a dynastic heir.

Messianic marriages were always conducted in two stages. The first (the anointing in Luke) was the legal commitment to wedlock, while the second (the later anointing in Matthew, Mark and John) was the cementing of the contract. In Jesus and Mary's case the second anointing was of particular significance for, as explained by Flavius Josephus in the 1st-century Antiquities of the Jews, the second part of the marriage ceremony was never conducted until the wife was three months pregnant.

Dynastic heirs such as Jesus were expressly required to perpetuate their lines. Marriage was essential, but community law protected the dynasts against marriage to women who proved barren or kept miscarrying. This protection was provided by the three-month pregnancy rule. Miscarriages would not often happen after that term, subsequent to which it was considered safe enough to complete the marriage contract.

After the second Bethany anointing, the Gospels relate that Jesus said: "Wheresoever this Gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her". But did the Church authorities honour Mary Magdalene and speak of this act as a memorial? No they did not; they completely ignored Jesus' own directive and denounced Mary as a whore.
To the Nazarenes, however, Mary Magdalene was always regarded as a saint. She is still revered as such by many today, with numerous churches dedicated to her in the Renaissance era. But the interesting fact of this sainthood is that Mary is the recognized patron saint of wine-growers - the ultimate Grail guardian of the Vine.

Aspects of the Gospels can actually be followed outside the Bible. Even the crucifixion sentence of Jesus is mentioned in the Annals of Imperial Rome. We can now determine from chronological survey that the Crucifixion took place at the March Passover of AD 33, while the Bethany second marriage anointing was in the week prior to that. We also know that, at that stage, Mary Magdalene was three months pregnant - which means she should have given birth in September of AD 33.

As for Jesus' death on the cross, it is perfectly clear this was spiritual death, not physical death, as determined by a three-day excommunication rule that everybody in the 1st century would have understood. In civil and legal terms, Jesus was denounced, scourged and prepared for death by decree. For three days Jesus would have been nominally 'sick', with absolute 'death' coming on the fourth day. Prior to this he would be entombed (buried alive) in accordance with Jewish Council law - but during the first three days he could be raised or resurrected, as he had predicted would be the case.

Raisings and resurrections could only be performed by the High Priest or by the Father of the Community. The High Priest at that time was Joseph Caiaphas (the very man who condemned Jesus), therefore the raising had to be performed by the patriarchal Father. There are Gospel accounts of Jesus talking to the Father from the cross, culminating in "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit" - and the appointed Father of the day was the Magian apostle Simon Zelotes.

During that Friday afternoon when Jesus was on the Cross, there was a forward time change, and the Gospels explain that the land fell into darkness for three hours. The Hebrew lunarists made their change during the daytime, but the Nazarene solarists did not make their change until midnight. This explains why, according to the Gospel of Mark (which relates to lunar time), Jesus was crucified at the third hour, but in John (which uses solar time) he was crucified at the sixth hour.

On that evening the Hebrews began their Sabbath at the old nine o'clock, but the Essenes and Magians still had three hours to go before their Sabbath. During those extra three hours they were able to work with Jesus while others were not allowed to undertake any physical activity. It was for this reason that the women were so astonished when they found the tomb-stone moved at daybreak on the Sunday - not because it was moved, but because it had been moved on the Sabbath.

And so we come to one of the most misunderstood events in the Bible - the Ascension. And in consideration of this, the births of Jesus and Mary Magdalene's children become apparent.

We know from Gospel chronology that the Bethany second-marriage anointing of Jesus by Mary Magdalene was in the week before the Crucifixion (at the time of the March Passover). Also that, at that stage, Mary was three-months pregnant and should, therefore, have given birth six months later in the notional month of September AD 33. The story is taken up in the Acts of the Apostles, which detail for that month the event which we have come to know as the Ascension.

One thing which the Acts do not do, however, is to call the event the Ascension. This was a tag established by way of a Church doctrine more than three centuries later. What the Bible text actually says is: "And when he had spoken these things ... he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight".

It then continues, relating that a man in white said to the disciples: "Why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus ... shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go". Then, a little later in the Acts, it says that heaven must receive Jesus until 'the times of restitution'.

Given that this was the very month in which Mary Magdalene's child was due, is there perhaps some connection between Mary's confinement and the so-called Ascension? There certainly is, and the connection is made by virtue of the said 'times of restitution'.

Not only were there rules to govern the marriage ceremony of a Messianic heir, but so too were there rules to govern the marriage itself. The rules of dynastic wedlock were quite unlike the Jewish family norm, and Messianic parents were formally separated at the birth of a child. Even prior to this, intimacy between a dynastic husband and wife was only allowed in December, so that births of heirs would always fall in the month equivalent to September - the month of Atonement, the holiest month of the calendar.

From the moment of a dynastic birth, the parents were physically separated - for six years if the child was a boy and for three years if the child was a girl. Their marriage would only be recommenced at designated 'times of restitution'. Meanwhile, the mother and child would enter the equivalent of a convent and the father would enter the kingdom of heaven. This kingdom was the Essene high monastery at Mird, by the Dead Sea, and the ceremony of entry was conducted by the angelic priests under the supervision of the appointed leader of the pilgrims. In the Old Testament book of Exodus, the Israelite pilgrims were led into the Holy Land by a cloud and, in accordance with this continued Exodus imagery, the priestly leader of the pilgrims was designated with the title Cloud.

So, if we read the Acts verses as they were intended to be understood, we see that Jesus was taken up by the Cloud (the leader of the pilgrims) to the kingdom of heaven (the high monastery), whereupon the man in white (an angelic priest) said that Jesus would return at the times of restitution (when his earthly marriage was restored).

If we now look at St Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews we discover that he explains the said Ascension event in some greater detail. Paul tells of how Jesus was admitted to the priesthood of heaven when he actually had no entitlement to that sacred office. He explains that Jesus was born (through his father Joseph) into the Davidic line of Judah - a line which held the right of kingship but had no right to priesthood, for this was the sole prerogative of the family of Levi. However, says Paul, a special dispensation was granted, and that "for the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law".

In September AD 33, therefore, the first child of Jesus and Mary Magdalene was born, and Jesus duly entered the kingdom of heaven. By following the chronology of the Acts, we see that in September AD 37 a second child was born, followed by another in AD 44. With the period between the first and second births being just four years, we know that the first child was a daughter. The period from the second birth to the next time of restitution in AD 43 was six years, which denotes that the AD 37 child was a son. Subsequent information reveals that the third child was also a son.

Prior to the birth of her second son in AD 44, Mary Magdalene was exiled from Judaea following a political uprising in which she was implicated. Along with Philip, Lazarus and a few retainers, she travelled to live at the Herodian estate near Lyon, in Gaul (which later became France).

From the earliest times, through the medieval era, to the great Renaissance, Mary's flight was portrayed in illuminated manuscripts and great artworks alike. Her life and work in Provence, especially in the Languedoc region, appeared not only in works of European history but also in the Roman Church liturgy - until her story was suppressed by the Vatican in the 16th century.

We can now return to the Grail's traditional symbolism as a chalice containing the blood of Jesus. We can also consider graphic designs dating back well beyond the Dark Ages to about 3500 BC and, in doing this, we discover that a chalice or a cup was the longest-standing symbol of the female. Its representation was that of the sacred vessel of the 'vas uterus'. And so, when fleeing into Gaul, Mary Magdalene carried the Sangraal (the nectar of supreme excellence) in the sacred chalice of her womb.

[Source: Sir Lawrence Gardner - Bloodline of the Holy Grail]