The “Sayings” of Jesus Christ
Scholars tell us that in its earliest form, the Gospel Story was not really a biography of Jesus at all. It was nothing
more than a collection of His “Sayings”, or “Logia” (from the
Greek for “Words”) which were later placed in a biographical context to become the Gospels that we know. This
earliest record has not been preserved, but scholars infer its existence from the similarities and differences of the Gospels
that have survived. It is known as “Quelle” or “Q” for
short, and those who are interested can find out more about it from any good encyclopaedia.
In essence, however, it is believed to have been simply a collection of the “Sayings of Jesus”.
The Apocryphal Gospel of Thomas still exists in this form, but it is not in itself the original from which the Synoptic Gospels derive, for it contains sayings which are absent from them. It may however have been based upon “Q” and
it is generally agreed that the earliest accounts of the life of Jesus Christ were in this form, though it is unclear as to
whether they were originally written or merely oral records.
Introduction to the Sayings of Melchizedek
We are likewise uncertain as to whether the original record of the teachings of Melchizedek was oral or written, but
it was certainly in a similar format to the Logia of Jesus and it is that format which we have endeavoured to reproduce in
this record of the teachings of Melchizedek. It is given here simply
as a collection of “Logia”, or “Sayings” just as were the words of Jesus Christ in the years that
immediately followed his Ascension. Perhaps the Logia or Sayings of Melchizedek were also collected and written down in
this way, soon after He returned to Heaven 2000 years earlier. Perhaps at that time they were merely an oral record and remained as
such till Moses wrote the Book of Genesis long afterwards. This is something that we may never know.
The Discovery of the “Sayings of Melchizedek”
Most people will have heard of some major archaeological discovery about Biblical matters such as the Dead Sea Scrolls
or the Nag Hammadi Codices, but not all discoveries of this sort are made in the dusty deserts of the Middle East. Some are the result
of the patient work of scholars labouring for years in a dusty and cluttered work-room, or struggling to link a modern computer
program with ancient texts and the Discovery of the “Sayings of Melchizedek” comes into this second category.
In the closing years of
his life John Sebastian Marlowe Ward, otherwise known by his mystical name of Brother Seraphion, or sometimes simply “The
Reverend Father” began to make a study of the book of Genesis. By reference to the meaning of the Hebrew names he demonstrated
that most of the early chapters had originally been designed as allegories pertaining to the development of the human spirit
and suggested that if the names in the later parts of Genesis were all translated they would provide much further knowledge
on the subject.
He himself began this monumental
task with nothing more than a Bible and a Hebrew lexicon, but was called hence before he had gone very far. Many years passed,
but eventually his successors, aided by a modern computer program, have been able to build on his concept and complete the
translation. The result has been published under the name; The Sayings of Melchizedek, which, broadly speaking is a most remarkable
collection of more than 100 wise sayings, phrases or proverbs, derived from the meanings of the ancient names themselves.
Individually these Sayings contain much wisdom, but collectively they are more than mere proverbs. Taken as a whole,
they seem also to provide a coherent message, related to the development of the human soul throughout its various lives on
Remarkable as this might
seem – it is not all. The message of the Sayings of Melchizedek is no mere story - rather it seems to be a training-book
for use by those whose task it is to train others on the Spiritual Path. It may well have been used by Moses, Samuel, Elijah,
Huldah and others who in Old Testament times were required to lead and train prophets in the service of Jehovah. But it also
embodies the same principles of spiritual growth as are used by Hindu yogis, Tibetan lamas and Buddhist monks as well as by
the confessors and spiritual directors of the Christian religion.
It is designed to help them
to understand the spiritual development of their charges, prescribes spiritual remedies for spiritual problems and most importantly
explains how one should approach God through the Mystic Path. As such it is just as relevant to us today as it was to the
spiritual leaders of Israel in ancient
Nor are the Sayings of Melchizedek
simply the result of randomly combining the various names in Genesis until a meaningful sentence emerges; the names are used
consecutively, and in the order in which they occur in the Bible text, indicating both a high degree of Divine Inspiration,
and probably also that a coherent narrative had been woven around the basic names, possibly as an aid to memorizing them. Nor should this surprise us, for in a time when writing was largely unknown, all such teaching had to be committed to memory
and remember, the Book of Genesis as we now know it, did not exist in Melchizedek’s Day.
This is no simple “Bible
Code” in which the author virtually writes his own rules to derive some sort of secret message from the Hebrew text,
like many which have been created over the years, perhaps attracting the interest of the credulous for a while but then passing
into History. This is a text that provides a link with the oldest Divine revelation known to man.
Obviously the exact interpretation
of Hebrew names can be a controversial subject, and it is true that there are often several possible meanings that can be
ascribed to each one. However, it must be said that in many cases such alternative translations of the names in Genesis do
not materially change the meaning of the Sayings that are derived from them, whilst the use of others would not result in
a single coherent narrative such as the Sayings provide.
If this is true; if the
“Sayings of Melchizedek” do represent the oral tradition on which the book of Genesis and by inference the whole
of the rest of the Bible is based, then surely they demand at least as much respect and study as the rest of it? Many people
have written Commentaries on various parts of the Bible, but this is the first to provide such an insight into this previously
untranslated aspect of the Scriptures. It is set out side by side with the appropriate verses of the Sayings of Melchizedek.
and is provided not only in the hope of further elucidating the Ancient Wisdom that they contain, but also of putting it into
a perspective that is applicable to our modern day. For like all fragments of the Eternal Truth it is as relevant to us today
as it was 4000 years ago.
May all those who read it,
find their lives enhanced thereby, and may some at least carry forward this ancient knowledge into the New Age that is now
dawning on the world, until as Christ Himself once promised (St Luke 4; 18 & 19) He comes again to
restore all that has been lost; to mend all that has been broken and to bring sight to the blind.
It may seem somewhat incongruous to employ the Greek term “Logia”
with the Hebrew “Melchizedek” in this way, but the word “Logia” is commonly employed by English-speaking
scholars in relation to the “Sayings” of Christ. Its use thus serves to emphasise the similarities of these two
sets of “sayings”, which though at least two thousand years apart in time, refer to the same Eternal Verities.
The Ancient Wisdom for Modern Man