Wednesday, March 02, 2005

It's the "Cosmic I"

"I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father but through Me." (John 14:6)

This is one of the most popular Jesus quotes in the Bible. It is this text that is used by some to "prove" that it is only through Jesus Christ that one can be saved and make it to heaven.

The implication is that all "other ways" are wrong.

You can argue forever about the meaning of these word that have been attributed to Jesus. Some will say that it clearly means that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation. Others will point out that Jesus was simply saying he was one example of how to attain enlightenment and oneness with God, not necessarily the only example.

The more interesting question is... "Did Jesus actually say these words, or did he say something similar but with completely different meaning?"

The assumption is that the translations from the Aramaic into the Greek and then into the English were accurate. What if the translations were flawed?

Note that in the original Aramaic, the word that was translated into the Greek to mean "I" in John 14:6 is "ena-ena". The problem is that ena-ena does not actually mean "I" as we understand it. It does not mean the "individual I", but rather "I-I"... In other words, the "cosmic I", as in "I AM THAT I AM (Exodus 3: 13-14).

Understanding that Jesus was not referring to himself but rather teaching what God says changes thing a bit.

The point is that to make a claim that Jesus is the only way to salvation (and that ayone who believes otherwise will be damned to hell for eternity) and base it on a single verse that does not even appear to be accurately translated from the language that Jesus spoke is, at the very least, irresponsible. Yet, this claim is one of the core tenets of Chrisitianity. Logically, you can understand why some cling so much to this verse even though the ground on which is lies is extremely shaky.

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