Painting of the day:
Susannah and the Elders ~ 1526
Alte Pinakothek of Munich
A chapter from Ian Wilson’s
Jesus: The Evidence
Bultmann died in 1976, at the age of ninety-two. A whole generation of modern New Testament scholars, among them his Marburg successor Werner Kiimmel, Bristol University’s Dennis Nineham, Harvard University’s Helmut Koester, and others, acknowledge an immense debt to him for introducing a whole new school of thought in theological research. Others, however, recognize that Bultmann went too far, and have challenged his rigid, unshakable attitudes: in Britain, while acknowledging that each gospel per se may have been written at second hand, several scholars have devoted great attention to the detection of underlying first-hand sources. Not long after Bultmann had begun his professorship at Marburg, across the Channel at Queen’s College, Oxford, a shy and retiring Englishman, Canon Burnett Streeter, quietly put the finishing touches to The Four Gospels: A Study in Origins.
By this time, thanks to both British and German theological re- search, it was already recognized that the authors of Matthew and Luke, in addition to drawing on the gospel of Mark, must have used a second Greek source, long lost, but familiarly referred to by scholars as ‘Q’ (from the German ‘quelle’, meaning source). It was even possible to reconstruct Q’s original content from passages in which Matthew and Luke bore close resemblance to each other, but not to Mark. While reaffirming this thinking, Streeter postulated at least two additional sources: ‘M’, which seemed to have provided material peculiar to the Matthew gospel, and ‘L’ which furnished passages exclusive to Luke. Streeter evolved a chart of the synoptic gospels’ possible interrelationship and dependence upon such sources. ‘M’ and ‘L’ may well have been written in Aramaic, the spoken language of Jesus and his disciples.
Streeter died in 1937, but his line of thought was developed by other major British theological scholars, among them Professor Charles Dodd, who went on to make his own special contribution to an understanding of the John gospel.
To this day the broad outlines of Streeter’s hypothesis remain the basis for much synoptic literary criticism. And the clues to underlying Aramaic sources are indeed there. In the Luke gospel, for instance, which includes ‘exclusives’ such as the parables of the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son, there occurs the following saying:
Oh, you Pharisees! You clean the outside of cup and plate, while inside yourselves you are filled with extortion and wickedness… Instead give alms from what you have and then indeed everything will be clean for you. (Luke II: 39-41).
‘Give alms’ appears to make no sense, yet it occurs in the very earliest available Greek texts. All becomes clear, however, when we discover that in Aramaic ‘zakkau’ (to give alms) looks very similar to ‘dakkau’ (to cleanse). That the original saying referred to ‘cleansing’ rather than ‘giving alms’ can be checked because Matthew includes a parallel passage in what we may now judge to have been the correct form: ‘Blind Pharisee! Clean the inside of cup and dish first so that the outside may become clean as well…’ (Matthew 23: 26). As has been remarked by Cambridge theologian Don Cupitt, this tells us more clearly than any amount of scholarship that whoever wrote Luke was not inventing his material, but was struggling with an Aramaic source that he was obviously determined to follow even if he did not fully under- stand it.
A similar misunderstanding is detectable in the Matthew gospel, notable for its remarkable ‘Sermon on the Mount’ passages, some of which, when translated from Greek into Aramaic, take on such a distinctive verse form that Aramaic must have been the language in which they were first framed. It is like translating the words ‘On the bridge at Avignon’ back into their original French.
(To be continued…)
Excerpted from the first article of William Pierce’s “Who We Are: a Series of Articles on the History of the White Race”:
As already noted, there are a great many instances of pairs of groups which can interbreed with each other but, under natural conditions, either do not or do so relatively seldom, so that their genetic differences are not “swamped.” Such groups are customarily regarded as specifically distinct, in accord with Dobzhansky’s criterion.
One example of such a pair is provided by two very similar species of gazelles, Grant’s gazelle and Thomson’s gazelle. The two intermingle with each other in the wild, and they are interfertile, but they do not mate with each other. Although the morphological difference between the two species is slight—much less than the difference between a Nordic and a Mediterranean, not to mention the difference between a White and a Negro—the gazelles are able to recognize this difference (probably with their sense of smell), and mating is psychologically blocked.
Many other examples—not only among mammals, but also among birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and even invertebrates—could be given of pairs of species whose separateness is maintained only by an instinctive, psychological barrier against miscegenation. This general revulsion in Nature against miscegenation has long been recognized by zoologists, and more than a century ago the distinguished French surgeon and naturalist Paul Broca wrote: “Animals that live in complete liberty and only obey their natural instincts seek ordinarily for their amours other animals that are altogether similar to their own kind, and mate almost always with their own species.”
Man, of course, is the most domesticated of all animals, and it is not surprising that his natural inhibition against miscegenation has become confused—even without the perverse efforts of the egalitarians to promote racial mixing. We should instead wonder at the degree to which this healthiest and most essential of our natural sexual predispositions has survived centuries of a most unnatural lifestyle.
There is a great deal of evidence, historical and otherwise, indicating that in the past the White race, at least, felt a much stronger inhibition against miscegenation than it does today. As urbanization has spread, so has racial mixing. The evidence also indicates a marked variation from race to race in the strength of the inhibition against miscegenation—a variation which, to be sure, may only reflect the effect of different racial lifestyles.
Aryans, Dorians, Goths
The ancient Nordic tribes of Europe universally abhorred racial mixing. The Aryans who conquered India more than 35 centuries ago imposed a strict ban on any sexual contact with the non-White indigenous population, a ban which survives in vestigial form to this day as the Indian caste system. The Dorians who conquered the Peloponnesus at about the same time—and were later known by the name of their chief city, Sparta—likewise forbade miscegenation with the non-Nordic Pelasgian natives. And the Goths who conquered Italy 2,000 years later refrained from mating with the mixed, partly Mediterranean population they encountered there.
In every case the inhibition eventually broke down, as the hardy conquerors settled into a new and softer lifestyle and departed more and more from their ancestral ways. As warriors, hunters, farmers, and craftsmen living in close communion with Nature in their northern fields and forests, their sexual instincts remained sound. But when they became city dwellers and merchants and clerks and administrators, their instincts became blunted, and this fact was reflected in gradually changing sexual mores.
In other races and subraces the pattern has been different. The Mediterranean peoples of southern Europe have generally shown less disinclination to mate with other races than have Nordics. One can see the effect of this difference most strikingly in the different colonial histories of North America and South America. The early colonists who settled the former were predominantly Nordic, and racial mixing with the indigenous Indians was minimal. But the latter continent was settled by Portuguese and Spaniards, both of whom had a heavy Mediterranean admixture. They interbred widely with the indigenous population, as well as with the Black slaves they imported from Africa.
The same difference can be noticed in the European colonization of Africa. The Portuguese interbred with the Blacks in their colonies of Angola and Mozambique, while the Dutch and English in South Africa and Rhodesia kept their blood largely untainted. Such mongrels as the Nordic settlers did produce were not absorbed into the White population, whereas those produced by the Portuguese were.