Let’s now turn to the reading for this Sunday, the Second of Lent, the Transfiguration. Whether the Transfiguration took place on Mt Tabor or Mt. Hermon, our Lord would have known both well. It is a taste of heaven in the Synoptic Gospel accounts (Matt. 17:1-6, Mark 9:1-8, Luke 9:28-36 and the Gospel of the Holy Twelve; Lection 46).
A few words about this document. The Gospel of the Holy Twelve supposedly written around the time of the canonical Gospels was taken to Tibet where an original was kept until discovered by Ousley in the late nineteenth century and translated from the Aramaic. Since then many old fragments of the gospel have come to light. Some of them have been found in old libraries and other from excavations. These fragments are called Logins or Agraphas. They are older than and more original than the canonized gospels. Their great value is that they are uncorrupted. The curious thing is, however, that many parts of these fragments mostly agree, word for word, with the Gospel of Ousley, though they are completely missing in the canonical gospels. Let’s look what is in the Gospel of the Twelve
1. AFTER six days, when the Feast of Tabernacles was nigh at hand, Iesus taketh the twelve and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart, and as he was praying the fashion of his countenance was changed, and he was transfigured before them, and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
2. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him and spake of the Law, and of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.
3.. And Moses spake, saying, This is he of whom I foretold, saying, A prophet from the midst of thy brethren, like unto me shall the Eternal send unto you, and that which the Eternal speaketh unto him, shall he speak unto you, and unto him shall ye hearken, and whoso will not obey shall bring upon themselves their own destruction.
4. Then Peter said unto Iesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here; if thou wilt let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.
5. While he yet spake, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them, and twelve rays as of the sun issued from behind the cloud, and a voice came out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
6. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were sore amazed, and Jesus came and touched them and said, Arise and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only. And the six glories were seen upon him.
7. AND Iesus said unto them, Behold a new law I give unto you, which is not new but old. Even as Moses gave the Ten Commandments to Israel after the flesh, so also I give unto you the Twelve for the Kingdom of Israel after the Spirit.
8. For who are the Israel of God? Even they of every nation and tribe who work righteousness, love mercy and keep my commandments, these are the true Israel of God. And standing upon his feet, Jesus spake, saying:
9. Hear O Israel, JOVA, thy God is One; many are My seers, and My prophets. In Me all live and move, and have subsistence.
10. Ye shall not take away the life of any creature for your pleasure, nor for your profit. nor yet torment it.
11. Ye shall not steal the goods of any, nor gather lands and riches to yourselves, beyond your need or use.
12. Ye shall not eat the flesh, nor drink the blood of any slaughtered creature, nor yet any thing which bringeth disorder to your health or senses.
13. Ye shall not make impure marriages, where love and health are not, nor yet corrupt yourselves, or any creature made pure by the Holy.
14. Ye shall not bear false witness against any, nor wilfully deceive any by a lie to hurt them.
15. Ye shall not do unto others, as ye would not that others should do unto you.
16. Ye shall worship One Eternal, the Father-Mother in Heaven, of Whom are all things, and reverence the holy Name.
17. Ye shall revere your fathers and your mothers on earth, whose care is for you, and all the Teachers of Righteousness.
18. Ye shall cherish and protect the weak, and those who are oppressed, and all creatures that suffer wrong.
19. Ye shall work with your hands the things that are good and seemly; so shalt ye eat the fruits of the earth, and live long in the land.
20. Ye shall purify yourselves daily and rest the Seventh Day from labour, keeping holy the Sabbaths and the Festival of your God.
21. Ye shall do unto others as ye would that others should do unto you.
22. And when the disciples heard these words, they smote upon their breasts, saying: Wherein we have offended. O God forgive us: and may thy wisdom, love and truth within us incline our hearts to love and keen this Holy Law.
23. And Jesus said unto them, My yoke is equal and my burden light, if ye will to bear it, to you it will be easy. Lay no other burden on those that enter into the kingdom, but only these necessary things.
24. This is the new Law unto the Israel of God, and the Law is within, for it is the Law of Love, and it is not new but old. Take heed that ye add nothing to this law, neither take anything from it. Verily I say unto you, they who believe and obey this law shall be saved, and they who know and obey it not, shall be lost.
25. But as in Adam all die so in Christ shall all be made alive. And the disobedient shall be purged through many fires; and they who persist shall descend and shall perish eternally.
26. And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.
27. His disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come and restore all things.
28. But I say unto you, that Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.
LECTION 46. 2-7. - The appearance of Moses, to hand over, as it were, the Law and the Dispensation to Jesus, throws a light on the reason of the Transfiguration, which is lost in the accepted version. Elias also appears, so as to make, with Moses, the "two witnesses" required by the law. They recognize Jesus, and witness to him as the great Prophet whom God should raise to succeed and take the place of Moses as the Legislator of the New Dispensation.
The "six glories" of Christ may refer to the six precepts.
LECTION 46. 10-12 - Compare this with the Law as given by Moses. In the law given by Christ there are six negative and six positive. The negative is the external Way, in which certain actions are forbidden. The positive, the interior way, in which certain duties are enjoined. As the prohibitions are summed up in the negative form of the Golden Rule, so the commands are summed up in the positive form. Had this law been faithfully observed by all Christians, there would have been no divisions or war as now, and this earth would have been a paradise for all.
v. 12. -" Slaughtered "is the truer rendering which has in former editions been wrongly translated "living."
LECTION 46. 24.-The law as given through Moses "by the ministry of angels," and as the Church of Israel (the typical nation) received it through their Interpreters and Scribes, had no precept forbidding cruelty, oppression, flesh eating, drunkenness, the worship of mammon, impure marriages for money or position, and other vices and crimes which are the cause of nearly all the misery which now afflicts men and women " called to be happy sons and daughters of God Almighty , and which are visited by the holy Law on the children to the third and fourth generation of them that despise it, shewing mercy to all who love it." Nor yet did it include that mutual consideration for each other (positively and negatively) which is summed up in the one commandment of Christ "Love ye one another," not excluding there from the creatures which God hath given to be our earth mates and companions.
What do you think? – especially our Lord having the Law handed over by Moses and and Jesus’ interpretation of it? Apart from that it is very similar to the Lucan version.
So let’s read and ponder on Luke 9. 28 – 36.