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on 19 March 2011
I cannot recommend this book highly enough (& indeed, anything by this author) to anyone who really seeks to understand the words of Jesus. Whether you are of any faith or none, this book shows so clearly how very much we miss through our unconscious cultural/religious preconceptions. In showing how the Semitic languages work, and how very different our Western concepts of God, ourselves and nature are from the world-view of Middle Eastern culture, whole new levels of meaning are revealed which are healing, precious, and SO much bigger than we could ever imagine. Life affirming, life enhancing and especially relevant now. Truly remarkable.
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on 12 December 2000
This double cassette set gives you the opportunity to hear and sing the original Aramaic body prayers of Jesus! Dr Neil Douglas-Klotz introduces you to the hidden meaning of the teachings of Jesus, by reavealing the interpretations of the Aramaic language in which Jesus spoke.
The tapes are in eight sections, described as keys. The first key : My Breath is Part of the Holy Spirit, explains the mystical significance of the breath in a way that left me in no doubt that God is my breath.
"From my breath to the air we share to the wind that blows around the planet: Sacred Unity inspires all. All that breathes resides in the Only Being."
Each key offers insight and understanding, new words to chant and different experiences. I particularly enjoyed the third key which is : God Gives Birth Every Moment. Everything is Born in Blessing. This key explores the opening words of the Jesus Prayer and guides us to an understanding of how we have the opportunity to be born anew each day.
The author, in a warm and unassuming voice opens a whole new vision of the Beatitudes. For example he describes the first Beatitude (Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven) as having a possible translation of "Blessedly ripe are those who have only their breath."
Singing the ancient words in the way we are asked to certainly set up a sacred vibration that left me wanting more! By feeling the resonance in my body and observing my physical, emotional and spiritual responses, I believe that Dr Douglas-Klotz offers us something not only deeply inspirational but healing.
Having read Dr Neil Douglas-Klotz's previous book, Prayers of the Cosmos, this was like meeting the man and The Man.
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on 22 November 2013
An interesting but rather complicated book which seeks at times to find solutions to things which can never be certainly ascertained. However an interesting book to read and does cause the reader to think about the origins of the gospels There needs to be an awareness that the writer although sympathetic to the Christian perspective is not himself a Christian and this perhaps enables the reader to follow some of his arguments better. Peter Baden
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on 30 August 2014
A different slant on a message that was never explained from later English and Greek translations.
You're let with an insight into a Middle Eastern mystical religion and philosophy; made more sense to me.
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on 5 December 2012
I bought this book because I'm interested in the oral(Aramaic) background to the gospels. I already have a collection of books on this subject but thought another would provide more insights. The author does indeed select (only) some gospel texts and show how, if the Greek is translated into Aramaic, the words can have several meanings and not just those of the Greek. Given the nature of the book, (see below), it remains to be seen if his translations are accurate!

With his new list of words he then proceeds to pick out those which fit into his particular picture of Jesus. His paraphrases of the gospel texts end up by creating a Gnostic Wisdom teacher. He inserts into the Gospel texts ideas that are totally foreign to it, to the extent that a first century Jew couldn't understand what Jesus was saying. When compared to the historical Jesus, for whom we have a great deal of information, this portrait looks like a New Age invention, or perhaps a Sufi invention as the author is a Sufi. It certainly doesn't fit in with a first century Jesus.

The end result of his, so-called research, is a Jesus who is unbelievable. I am OK about quirky views of Jesus as long as they will fit with the historical person, but here, it is not the case. The spiritual message of Jesus has not been "decoded" by Douglas-Klotz. The "Good News" can be readily found in the gospels and its subtleties can indeed be uncovered by a study of Hebrew words and idioms. But his Jesus is a parody derived from his own personal philosophy.

My recent research on the Aramaic foundation to the gospels has revealed that the original oral text is, in fact, Hebrew. Scholars have dismissed the "Aramaic primacy" theory. So, it would seem, both I and Douglas-Klotz are on the wrong track.

So don't waste your money by buying the book.

NB. I should have known the book would not be based on any proper analysis because it is published by Theosophical Publishing House. Theosophists are not noted for rigourous research and study, but for their unsupported invented theories.
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on 21 August 2015
Language is one of my loves and to have what I considered as the difficult language of the Bible given deeper, more understandable meanings was fantastic. Well worth the read
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on 19 April 2016
Exceptional, Marianna and Michael
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